Monday, September 28, 2015

THE GOOD AND THE UGLY


Are you someone that will tough out an entertainment situation, even when it goes against your grain?  If you are in a movie and you find nothing in it that you like-- do you sit there till the end, compensating with popcorn, candy and drink?

If you are reading a book which has no interest to you, no characters you like and find yourself skipping whole pages, do you lay it down and walk away or do you stick it out hoping for some reason to continue? Thinking surely it will get better.

I wish I were a quitter but unfortunately, I am usually a hanger in. Ah, the time I have wasted.

First a quickie on the GOOD book.


Grand Canyon Thunder by Gary McCarthy.

This is historical fiction of the exploration and commercializing of the Grand Canyon.  All the characters are real though the stories are fictionalized. It covers the explorers, the Native Americans and the Mormons whose lives were effected by the canyon. I found it facinating and instructional and I skipped no pages.  My only complaint was the love interests were a bit convenient but they did keep you liking the hero. This book has made me want to bump the actual Grand Canyon tour up on my bucket list.

Then we come to the UGLY.

I recently caved and ordered the book. Clarity by Loretta Lost. I have never written a review on my blog that was not positive but this time I must break tradition. The book has been on the Amazon free list for months but for some reason I kept passing it by. Then I made a mistake and read only the positive reviews. Normally I read two positives and one negative. Sure wish I had gone for at least one negative.

I knew it was a short novel at just 162 pages but I was looking for something quick and  light. The reviews I read had said it was funny which is a download trigger for me. I am a sucker for a laugh. What I didn't realize is that it is just a part of a book. There are 3 more separate books you must buy to get the rest of the story.

It starts out interesting.  A blind college student is raped by a football player who was pretending to help her find a class. She is so traumatized, she tells no one what happened to her, claiming she had been mugged to explain the bruising.  She leaves her family and friends to hide from society in a small cabin in the woods and becomes a fairly successful author. Ok--so far so good.

One day, two men appear at her door in the woods, saying they are doctors and offer to make her part of a clinical trial that may cure her blindness.  Having no way of knowing if they are even real doctors she agrees to get in a car with them to make a 6 hour trip to her family's home for her sister's wedding which is part of her deal in agreeing to the trial.

I found that an uncharacteristic move for a damaged hermit still having nightmares but into the back seat she quickly goes.  For the first three hours, the one doctor regales them with the synopsis of every porn movie he has ever watched.

Why she didn't jump out screaming at the first gas station I don't know. Oddly she started to think of him as funny. Somehow I missed the humor and I am pretty easy.

Perhaps you had to be there but I felt the whole situation was a real stretch of my imagination to feel  a woman who had been brutally raped to be amused by 3 hours of porn synopses from a total stranger.

Finally they arrive safely just in time for her sister's wedding.  The family reunion turns out better than she thought. However as she hears her sister talking with her fiance she realizes he is the very rapist she has been having nightmares about for three years. Her sister is about to marry a brutal rapists.  With that realization, the story just ends.
W H A T!!!!

The teaser is free, the rest of her books are not. The only good thing is that it was a short book so I didn't waste that much time but at my age, any time wasted is wrong.

Had I read the negative reviews, I would have been spared. They all complained of the cliff hanger ending.  All I can say, if you don't want to be angry and feel you have wasted time, stay away from this book.

When  believability had been stretched out of the range of common sense, would you have continued? Can you put a book down and walk away if it is grating on your nerves or boring you?  Even more brave, can you walk out of a theater for the same reasons

I have no trouble hanging up on robo calls. I know they won't get better if I listen to the end.  I really need to learn how to not suffer through time wasting entertainment hoping for improvement. Life is too short.

27 comments :

  1. It took me a while to be able to put down a book that was going no where with me, but it sure did make me feel like a grown-up. Now I have no problem going on to the next book. The plot you describe sounds totally unrealistic. Movies--on Netflix, no problem to move on. But in a theater with the cost of a ticket and a full bag of popcorn--I have been known to just go into another theater and watch that movie instead.

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  2. I will stick with a movie until the end, because I know that I can walk out of the theater and forget my unfortunate experience. But a book? I put it down and pick up another one. I only return to the earlier book if I am totally bored and need something to do. I've enjoyed several series on Netflix, but some I start and don't return, similar to Olga above. Thanks for the tip about this book, and I'll check out the good one on my library website. I've been to the Grand Canyon and will enjoy revisiting it vicariously. :-)

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  3. Nope I never stick with a film, book or piece of music I don't like. I immediately give up and try something new. As you so rightly said, life is too short.

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  4. When I was younger, I would stick with anything to the bitter end. Now, thankfully, I turn it off, put it down, or get up and leave (unless it's a boring lecture - I try not to be rude). As for Kindle books, I always read a few negative and positive reviews. I usually get a sample so I can test the waters before buying. Some of the free books have too many grammatical errors, and I find I'm focusing more on correcting them than on the story. I don't mind series, but I do like each book to have decent wrap-up. I hate the gimmick of having you buy several books before you finally know what happens. Hope you're feeling well, Patti, and getting outside for some walking. It's a glorious fall at altitude - no snow yet - yippee!

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  5. I'll give up on a book if it doesn't capture me by chapter two. I can sleep through a bad movie. The Grand Canyon sounds like a Mitchner novel which I always liked so I think I may put it on my Nook.

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  6. I guess I'm not a quitter on most things but I definitely am a
    quitter on time-wasters. I promised someone I would see the
    movie "War Room" and I kept my word and went to see it
    but I walked out without guilt. I don't read fiction anymore
    (exception....perhaps a good mystery) so most of my books
    are reference books.
    I can't understand why a blind person would try living all
    alone in a cabin. Oh well.

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  7. I am a strange bird, I know, but I can stop and start a book weeks apart and still be okay, if something else garners my attention. I don't have a problem putting something aside if I feel it is a "mistake"....movie, book, whatever.
    I too got a book one time based on a friends thoughts on the book and was very puzzled as to why my friend would have wasted her time. Oh well.
    I live within a days drive to The Grand Canyon and still have never seen it. I've driven close by a couple of times but we never had the time to stop. Maybe someday.

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  8. Nope~if the movie/book doesn't grab me, right off, I'm done!!! There's too many other things to do/read/watch...

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  9. I'm a quitter. Big time. I'll give a book seventy-five pages and after that I'll leave it. I'll stay with a movie for a while, but if it gets too far from my comfort zone I'll stop it as well. I don't go to movies, just stream them on TV. That makes it easier to quit since I haven't paid any extra money and don't have to disturb anyone by leaving. Life is too short for dull books and terrible movies.

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  10. I've been reading one particular author for years and years, but I had to put down her most recent book. I felt like I was abandoning her.

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  11. I wish I were more of a quitter... When we start watching new TV dramas (which we watch a lot of) --generally, even if there is not one we really enjoy, generally we'll watch the next one and the next one --hoping it will get better...Most of the time, my first thoughts about a show are the same ---the more we watch.. After wasting our time watching 12-13 episodes, we wonder why we did that... Guess we were just hoping it would improve....

    This year (speaking of the new Fall TV dramas) --we have decided if we don't care for a show after the first one, we'll delete it.... We already deleted on called Rosewood --which neither of us liked... It's not easy deleting it --but we certainly don't want to continue wasting our time...

    Same is true with books, movies, etc....

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  13. Olga,
    Duh, I have never thought of going to a different movie in a multiplex. Great idea.

    Djan,
    Sometimes I can do that. This one had such a promising start but lost me quickly. Wish I had deleted it. The Grand Canyon book is a really nice read.

    Joey,
    I really have to adopt your way. Hate wasting time, then kicking my butt later.

    Barb,
    I usually have had really great luck with the free ones. I usually read both sets of review plus the first few pages. This time I didn't. Sure pays not to deviate from your routine.

    Joeh,
    Yeah, hard to sleep through a book. Think you will like Grand Canyon. I learned a lot from it.

    Manzi,
    The whole book was implausible. Wish I had quit and gone to a good one like I am reading now.

    Linda W.
    Know what you mean. I lived in Florida for years before finally seeing Disney World and then it was to show someone else. Hope I can develop your quitter attitude. A real time saver.

    turquoisemoon,
    This one did grab me right away but it let go really quickly. Hopefully I can get more like you and some of the others so I don't waste time.

    NCMountainwoman,
    I use to get Netflix also but kept being disappointed by the quality of the movies these days. I hate it when you realize all the good lines in a comedy were in the trailer.

    Linda M,
    I had the exact same thing happen and I wondered what on earth happened to the writer I had enjoyed for so many years. I guess we all burn out eventually.

    Betsy,
    Know what you mean. I give the new shows two chances and it they don't wow me then I am done. Rosewood was one I wasn't impressed with but will give it one more chance. Then that's it.

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  14. We tried to watch Birdman but disliked it so much we stopped watching halfway through.

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  15. My husband and I have been bailing out of bad movies and even plays for some years now and it really feels good! It feels like precious found time instead of time wasted with something we weren't enjoying.

    I also have a short attention span with a book I'm not enjoying. This was slower in coming, but I'm starting to value my time so much, I don't want to spend it reading something I don't like or find interesting.

    Usually, with a play, we would leave at intermission so as not to disturb others. With movies, we sit in a place where we can slip out without crawling over people.

    We don't leave to make any kind of statement or hoping to be noticed. We just want our lives back.

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  16. I hope you will forgive me for just skimming your review. I gave up on it, not because of your writing, but because I would never read the book anyway, and doing so sort of answers your question.
    I pick my movies rather carefully and have never walked out on one. I usually finish any book I start, but not always. I feel guilty thought for spending money on something I don't fully "use".
    I'm trying to read a book right now that was very highly recommended, but I really don't like it -The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window.......

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  17. I've walked out of movies and even restaurants more than once. I will not read a book that I find boring. I'm too old to waste my time reading books that are come-ons or poorly written. I read reviews these days before I waste my time or money. I also read samples. I read one book to the end by a well known author a number of years ago.(Anita Shreve) The ending was so upsetting to me because of a crazy twist that didn't fit that I was furious for days that I spent my vacation reading the book. I never read another one of her books. Sorry you had this experience. I hate feeling ripped off.

    I hope you are feeling better.

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  18. I read so many books, and am a fast reader, that I resort to the free and .99, 1.99, etc., mostly under 5.00, but often find most of them disappointing. On the other hand, if a book was free, I can cheerfully delete it without not feeling guilty over the waste of money. That said, I find many of the free and discounted books to be full of bad grammar and punctuation, not to mention bad word usage. Every now and then, though, I find a rose among the thorns, and that keeps me going. When I get really desperate for good writing, I pay the higher prices and bask in the glow of thoroughly good writing. I look forward to Christmas and birthdays, because my kids give me gift cards, which I can use to buy the better book.

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  19. I will not stick to a book that is boring me to death, but I have stuck it out in movies. It's easier to put the book down, I guess than walk out of the theater. That second book of yours sounds worse than awful. That would really tick me off.

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  20. Like Joey, I can stop watching a film; stop reading a book; stop listening to music I really cannot stand.....I'd rather move on to something else than waste my time on something I already know is NOT going to please me one bit! LOL!

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  21. Yikes that book and come on is really bad. Unfortunately I too am one of those finish to the end types. I've never walked out on a movie no matter how bad That's my style with most books too though I think having a book review blog gives me some catharsis for reading a bad book. I get to trash it in public...:)Walking out of a bad restaurant is also hard for me. Most like my cheap side says get something for you money though I won't got to the extent of risking poisoning..

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  22. I was taught if you start something, you finish it so for years I struggled through some bad books to just "finish". I am wiser now. I like to think. If a book has not turned good within thirty pages, chances are it won't. I struggle with laying it down but sometimes I do.

    I almost walked out on one movie, The Blair Witch Project, and did drive out of an old drive theater. That was before ratings. We took our children to see Alice In Wonderland and Pinocchio. Believe me when I say, it wasn't Pinocchio's nose that grew. I had a fit with the ticket taker and they refunded our money.

    That does not sound like a book I would enjoy. I tend to skim the lurid sex scenes anyway. I agree, if she an almost hermit, why in the world would she willingly go with them? Or even say, I don't want to hear that. Maybe she falls in love with the rapist and steals him from her sister.

    I enjoy posts that make me ponder. Thank you.

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  23. Stephen,
    You are a person of strong convictions who suffers no trash. Kudos.

    Dr. Kathy,
    Well done. Not sure I would leave a play due to the dollars spent but you are right. We can't get those hours back.

    Linda R,
    Yikes, you had to tell me you skimmed my post?? Well it does prove your point. I was one who recommended the 100 year old man along with Djan. I loved it but I guess that is why thankfully there is more than one author on the market. We all have different tastes.

    Sally,
    The good thing for me is that the book was very short and free. All I lost was time but at least I did get a post out of it.

    Betty,
    The odd thing is that most of the books I get in the free or cheap price range are surprisingly decent. The ones I have been sorely disappointed in are the highly reviewed best sellers that I paid full price for. One I still haven't finished. It is a crap shoot and we take our chances.

    Kay,
    Yep it was, enough so that I had to post about it to feel better.

    Naomi,
    That is a trait I really hope to master. Good for you for all ready having it.

    TB,
    Ha ha, you nailed it. The only good thing about a bad book is getting to vent your spleen in blog form. Gosh I love blogging.

    Gail,
    The sad thing is this book had a good hook, but that was all. It was all down hill from there. This book just made no sense to me. I was so mad, I wasn't even curious what happened.

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  24. I tend to continue reading books even when they are bad...I keep looking for some redeeming feature. The latter book, however I'm not certain I would. What a sad tale, I don't see how anyone could find the story line humorous.

    I've never walked out of a movie either, but I often change channels on the television. I guess I'm too cheap to walk away or out of something I've paid for!

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  25. I prefer to think of it as making a reasoned decision to leave. Life is too short and time too precious to waste it on any form of entertainment that is not entertaining.

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  26. I don't have any problem at all about tossing a book aside if it isn't any good. But not before I've read the ending. haha! If I've paid good money to see a movie, I'll usually stick it out, but I rarely go to movies anymore so it's not a problem. I agree life is too short to waste on stuff that we don't like.

    Now, Patti, you've got my curiosity up about the blind girl getting into a car with strangers after what had happened to her. Doesn't make a lot of sense. But I'm curious as to what she'll do now that she's met up with the bad guy. Or what he'll do to her to shut her up! Of course he'll probably not figure out right away that she knows his voice.

    I want to thank you for your kind words on my feature post! It was a shock to be asked, because my blog certainly isn't a decorating blog, but it was fun to do. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Have a nice Friday and weekend! I'm still recovering from the nasty virus. Hope you stay well!

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  27. I can stick to a movie until the bitter end and have always challenged my kids to come out with at least one thing we could all agree was a redeeming quality. But if a book doesn't grab me right away, it is down.

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