You'd think I would know better by now...
So after I typed up my last entry, I picked up the next book in my stack from the library, intending to start it before making dinner and returning the videos to Blockbuster. Yeah. Comme d'habitude, starting turned to finishing.
Damn you, Nora Roberts. I had no idea you were really that good a storyteller. Yes, I have a mild prejudice against romance novelists. Only because I've read some real crappy ones in the past, mind you. But seriously, I could not walk away from the characters or the story.
Compare this to the Tom Robbins books I've read in the last week... I was unable to finish Still Life with Woodpecker because I didn't care what happened to the characters. Hollow, hollow, hollow. Jitterbug Perfume was better, but it took awhile to grab me, and I skimmed most of the scenes with Wigg Whatshisname because it didn't interest me or seem very central to the story. There is such a thing as trying too hard. It leaves me cold.
My standards have gotten more stringent in the last year or two. Maybe it's because I need glasses... When I pick up a book, I have to ask, "Is this worth getting a headache over?" I'm generous... usually I'll give the author fifty pages to hook me. Usually. I have a John Updike novel my mother sent me that knocked me unconscious in the first five pages. Blech.
I dunno. Call me crazy (it's certainly been said before), but maybe I just prefer the classical approach. You know, like actually putting the story ahead of the style? Shocking, I know.