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Book-Related Discussion > What genres do you think are sub par?

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (icecheeseplease) I've seen a lot of people saying that romance novels are not "real" reading and similar comments. What genres do you find to be "lesser reading" and why? (Please keep in mind that you may be trashing someone's favorite genre so be nice!)


message 2: by Eric (new)

Eric Garand I'm not a big fan of fantasy as a whole, because in most cases I feel like the book is all about the universe created, and not about the story and the characters (which is what I'm interested in a book). That's the main reason I didn't like LOTR: it's obvious that Tolkien was mainly interested in the universe he was creating, and the story is simply there to justify the universe.

However, I certainly don't considerer fantasy a "lesser reading, "not real reading" or a "sub par". (I kinda of think that anyone describing any genre as "not real reading" is arrogant and don't know much about literature)


message 3: by Will (new)

Will | 8 comments I don't think of anything as lesser just because of its genre, although it will make me more hesitant to read it. Romance, fantasy, and thrillers are genres I'm iffy about. Romance because those books aren't my cup of tea; fantasy because I feel like when it comes to those gargantuan series, authors care more about getting their work done and out the door than they care about pretty prose (although there are plenty of fantasy books that I like); and thrillers because, I don't know. Maybe there are good ones out there. I read Te DaVinci Code and one of Crichton's lesser known books (The Terminal Man) and both were...bad. Really bad. I should keep reading thrillers though, I suppose, and see if I like any others. How is Harlan Coben?


message 4: by Prajwalit (last edited Mar 18, 2013 08:18AM) (new)

Prajwalit | 16 comments I see your point, Pelomar. While I agree with you about your comment tolkien's work, I don't think every fantasy book focusses on it's world. There are some interesting books / series' which are a lot more focussed on storyline than LotR and which you might like :-)

A Song of Ice and Fire - Focussed a lot on politics / military tactics / betrayal / revenge / wars.
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Not exactly pure fantasy but goes into science fiction fantasy. Fantastic book.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - It's goes in historical fantasy genre. I liked it a lot.
The Amulet of Samarkand - Fantasy but interesting plot and point of view style writing.

All these books are fantasy but of different types. (None is similar to LotR) You'll find a lot more books which are better than then ones I mentioned. I just wanted to point out that fantasy doesn't necessarily mean world creation without a good story.


message 5: by Eric (new)

Eric Garand @Prajwalit: oh yes, I'm certainly not saying it applies to every book in the fantasy genre. I loved A Song of Ice and Fire for example. Just something I came across a lot when I was trying to read fantasy (maybe I received bad advice).

Thanks for your recommandations, I'm adding this to the hundred other books I have to read :)


message 6: by Prajwalit (new)

Prajwalit | 16 comments @Pelomar, my to-read list is useless. I tried maintaining it, but I skip it entirely if I stumble upon some interesting book and start reading it rather than putting it in a queue. And then I read it's sequels :P
I don't remember when was the last time I actually started reading a book from my to-read list. :-/


message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 185 comments I really enjoy reading fantasy because more than any other genre, I lose myself in it. That being said, there are some pretty bad fantasy books out there (but what genre doesn't have crappy additions?).
I think fantasy done right can be amazing. There is so much creativity and a great breadth of imagination at play. An author who knows how to develop a character can really rise above genre lit, IMO!


message 8: by Prajwalit (last edited Mar 18, 2013 08:34AM) (new)

Prajwalit | 16 comments @Jennifer, speaking of character development, Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself has the best characters I've read in any fantasy book so far. Very very different and interesting characters. (I don't know if you'll like the book though)


message 9: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 185 comments I keep hearing about it on the reddit r/books, and I have been meaning to check it out. Thanks!


message 10: by Eric (new)

Eric Garand Prajwalit wrote: "@Pelomar, my to-read list is useless. I tried maintaining it, but I skip it entirely if I stumble upon some interesting book and start reading it rather than putting it in a queue. And then I read ..."

Welcome to the club ! I both love and hate this feeling of having so much stuff to read.


message 11: by John L, Mod (new)

John L (philipblake) | 103 comments Mod
Prajwalit wrote: "@Jennifer, speaking of character development, Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself has the best characters I've read in any fantasy book so far. Very very different and interesting characters. (I don..."

I just downloaded the first law series on Audible. I LOVED Red Country and am excited to listen/read every book Mr. Abercrombie places in that setting.

That said, I'm no huge fan of the romantic books, nor thrillers. I'm also not big on mysteries...but you'll find a few in my library.


message 12: by Prajwalit (new)

Prajwalit | 16 comments Philip Blake wrote: "I LOVED Red Country..."

Great! I should read it then. I've finished Joe's 'First Law series' and Best Served Cold. I still have to read The Heroes and Red Country.


message 13: by Ricardo (last edited Mar 21, 2013 07:15PM) (new)

Ricardo (ricardob) | 15 comments I don't appreciate most fantasy, not because I dislike fantasy elements, but rather because a lot of fantasy authors use magic as a shortcut for conflict resolution. Someone snaps their fingers and they're back at home, drinking tea and giggling.

But books that ground their characters while keeping those fantasy elements in check are incredible. Lord of the Rings and The song of... are the obvious examples.


message 14: by John L, Mod (last edited Mar 21, 2013 07:23PM) (new)

John L (philipblake) | 103 comments Mod
Prajwalit wrote: "Philip Blake wrote: "I LOVED Red Country..."

Great! I should read it then. I've finished Joe's 'First Law series' and Best Served Cold. I still have to read The Heroes and Red Country."


I just bought all of the first law series on Audible. I'll listen to them next. And, I'm not sure if you follow Joe Abercrombie or not but this might interest you if you have a spare $80 laying around and want a numbered edition of The Heroes.


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