Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Me – Books Over 500 Pages in General – Cryptonomicon in Particular

I think I've discovered something: I can't finish a book over 500 pages. I couldn't finish Aztec, though I enjoyed it. I can't finish Cryptonomicon either. I know it's LTC John's favorite book in the whole wide world. I was given it for Christmas by "Uncle" Mike a few years ago because he loved it and thought I would enjoy it too.
I just can't stand it anymore. I'm listening to it on CD and it is 34 CDs long, THIRTY FOUR! I've taken to skipping to the WWII parts because they are fairly interesting still, but this morning I had to skip through half a CD that talked about one character's milk and cereal.

Seriously, Neal Stephenson, PITH! Edit yourself once in a while.

Maybe it's just me. Once I get the gist of the story I can't put up with it, "Yeah yeah yeah, I get it, next."

I can read series, Discworld, Foundation, Sherlock Holmes (not books per se, but you know what I mean), Harry Potter, Nero Wolfe, Harry Dresden, Lensman, Sharpe, Hornblower; but I just can't stand those long books.

Funny thing is, I get into all those details when I write. I love to research and get tons of facts. These very 30 Days of World Building are a good example. How long have my 30 days been, three, four months? Very often I loose interest after doing the research and I have piles of it that I just can't part with. I like those kinds of details, but I probably do enough research for a book and end up with a 4,000 word short story. Something about actually putting all of that in a book turns me off around page 600-700.

Maybe folks with books like that should take a cue from movies and wait to put it out on the DVD special features. Something like, "Deleted Scenes from Cryptonomicon." See now, I'd read that.

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