Sometimes I regret not listening to reviewers. In this case, it’s the latest murder mystery I’m trying to listen to. I saw somewhere in the reviews that the listener couldn’t sort out the characters. I ignored it and am regretting it now. I’m half way through the book and giving up.
The story set up is two men who didn’t know each other meet in a warehouse and are murdered. Their wives are the story protagonists trying to find out who murdered their husbands and why. But all the characters blend together into one big pile of I don’t care anymore.
At first I blamed the narrator and tried to mentally latch onto characteristics to tell them apart, then realized…the author has written all the characters as if they’d been cut from the same loaf of bread. They have different backgrounds but the only way we can tell is when the author reminds us, not by differences in in the way the characters move, speak or act. As if he forgot to give them different personalities as demonstrated through the character’s actions and words. It’s maddening as a reader. It feels like the author could just narrate this story without the characters. Bland. Boring. And why should I care?
It’s possible that listening to the book is exaggerating the problem, but I’m done even trying, This author is on my do not buy list, I’m not going down this boring rabbit hole again.
I’m also mad at myself because I ignored the reviewer comment that should have warned me. But the stupidly arrogant voice in my head said, “The reviewer probably just wasn’t paying attention.” Um, hello? I’m often doing something else while listening so I’m guilty of not paying close enough attention if the author doesn’t have solid grasp on creating individual characters. I will zone out of I lose interest too. Which I kept doing in this book because I was lost.
Anyway, that’s my reading gripe today–characters need to be fleshed out as fully as three-dimensional people that I can identify from their way of speaking, moving or reacting, or I’m going to lose interest.
Do you have a reading/listening gripe you’d like to share?