Have you ever gotten mad at a book?

Cold MountainI’m still a little bit mad about how Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier ended. I won’t offer any spoilers on the off chance you’ve neither read the book nor seen the movie, but I did NOT find the end satisfying. Oh, I guess there was a certain poetry to it, but I had something else in mind.

And now, as an author, I realize that people might not like everything I write. Readers might want character A to end up with character B instead of C. They might want characters to live forever–even if they’d be 150 by the time the third novel rolls around. I can’t make everyone happy all the time.

Which is okay.

But I’m trying to brace myself.

So what books have made you mad? Give me some examples of story lines you’ve read that aggravated you and made you want to throw a book across the room (even if you went and picked it up again). Do tell.

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

15 thoughts on “Have you ever gotten mad at a book?

  1. This post made me laugh out loud! Because Cold Mountain did exactly what it was SUPPOSED to do: it drew you in and made you care about the characters SO DEEPLY that … (well, I’m not going to spoil it, either). This happened to me with The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, which made me sob (no, SOB!!!) in bed late one night a few years ago. It happened to me a few weeks ago with Colm McCann’s TransAtlantic, though in that case the ending was soooo satisfying, so perfect, and I hadn’t been sure the author was gonna pull it off. But boy, did he ever. I’m very glad you enjoyed Cold Mountain. No, no — (she holds up her finger) — you did. You just haven’t fully realized that yet. 🙂

  2. I was quite unimpressed w/COLD MOUNTAIN, but I suspect, as you say, it’s “to each his own” with books. I hated the tone of that book. Just b/c you set something in the mountains in the Civil War doesn’t mean everyone was horrid to everyone else and practically inhuman.

    I’m actually happy when people tell me they don’t know whether to love or hate one of my characters–because aren’t REAL people like that sometimes? I think as authors we have to go into it knowing that our books won’t resonate with EVERYone, but if SOMEone relates to our characters/storyline, we’ve done something right. Some books, like THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, I start and just realize it’s not worth my time. Meanwhile, I can read Thomas Hardy books, even though his worldview is bleaker, because his characters are so intricate, deep, and, to me, believable. In other words, they become part of me and I never forget them.

    1. LOVE Thomas Hardy and you’re right, he can be super bleak. But somehow it’s gorgeous anyway. I guess that’s what we’re aiming for. Rattle the reader’s cage and get her to thank you for it.

  3. I, too, am an unsatisfied CM reader ;). My books rile readers at times, particularly TFD. Gone With the Wind left me unsettled as did a lot of the true classics by Hardy and Eliot. DANIEL DERONDA made me weep! Both film and book but especially the film. I do believe books should have a HAE though that is certainly not realistic or the norm in many cases, or even the appropriate or right thing sometimes. Sigh…!

  4. I got REALLY mad at someone named… Fraura Lantz…yeah, that’s totally her name…when poor dear Eden needed help and Silas ran like a chicken!!!
    I did not throw the book, because it’s on my tablet. But I yelled at Mizz Rantz from where I live and hope she heard me.

  5. The Horse Whisperer made me want to throw the book, but I’d borrowed it, and the wall it would have hit wasn’t mine either as I was on vacation at someone else’s house, so I restrained myself. This is one case in which the movie righted the book’s major disappointments.

    I never read Cold Mountain because I read too many reviews that agreed with you, Sarah.

  6. I read Cold Mountain because I thought I should. Hated it. But I was mad at myself at being taken in by the hype.

    Read Saul Bellow’s “Henderson the Rain King” because I thought it would make me cool with chicks. Didn’t. Mad at myself, again.

    “Danger Close” by Stuart Tootal did make me mad…but for a good reason. He describes the effects of the British Ministry of Defence’s ‘rationalizing’ the care of wounded servicemen from military to civilian hospitals. From proper wound care to the indifference of the national Health Service.

  7. Oh, yes, I wanted to throw Atonement (Ian McEwan) across the room when I finished it. I didn’t because it was the library’s copy (and well, because I try not to throw things) but ugh…

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