nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Getting angry at authors

There's a discussion in sartorias about reader contracts, and I thought I'd mention a couple of times when I felt an author had defaulted on me. Imho, the way you can tell the contract has been broken is because you're personally angry with the author--and not about their personal behavior or their possible effect on the world, but because there you were in a nice readerly trance, and Something Went Wrong.

One is that the book shall not slop over into the real world too nastily. I can remember reading Jerzy Kosinski's _The Painted Bird_ when I was a kid, and being edgy about being near members of my physically harmless family for an hour or so--just because they were human beings. I swore that I'd never read anything by Kosinski (seeing the movie of Being There doesn't count), and, while I don't take that sort of an oath seriously--not after decades, I haven't gotten around to any of his books since.

Another is _The Name of the Rose_. There's no way to go into any detail without spoilers, but let's just say that it's not a conventional mystery novel, and I was expecting one.

Now that I think about it, the Kosinski thing isn't exactly about the contract as usually conceived--that's about genre--it's more about what I expected from books generally.

When have you guys gotten really angry at an author for how a book affected you?
Tags: fiction, good comments

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