BTT – Writing or Riveting?

This week’s BTT is:

What’s more important: Good writing? Or a good story? (Of course, a book should have BOTH, but…)

Regular readers of Reading With Tea will know that I am a huge fan of crime, mystery and thrillers; and will put up with substandard writing to get my literary adrenaline fix (see books by Andy McDermott, Steve Berry etc – I may not rate them highly but I do finish them!)

On the other hand, I also enjoy literary fiction, particularly cover writing, but there had to be a reasonably absorbing story behind it – I’m fairly sure that lack of a discernible plot is what’s keeping me from re-opening David Malouf’s Remembering Babylon (with which I am making very very slow progress). I recently read and enjoyed The Great Gatsby, until the plot went totally off the rails, as far as I can tell, because Fitzgerald didn’t know how else to finish off the book.

So while I enjoy good writing, a good story is absolutely essential.

Last week’s BTT was:

saw this article the other day that asked, “Are you ashamed of skipping parts of books?” Which, naturally, made me want to ask all of YOU. Do you skip ahead in a book? Do you feel badly about it when you do?

Never. Why would I do that? I might skim quickly over an area (particularly arduously detailed descriptions of battles) but I would never actually skip a section.


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5 thoughts on “BTT – Writing or Riveting?

  1. Nose in a book 26 January 2012 at 11:17 pm Reply

    First time round I wouldn’t skip anything, though like you I might skim-read a section, but on a re-read I have been known to skip bits and I don’t feel at all bad about it.

  2. bookaddictkatie 27 January 2012 at 3:40 am Reply

    Did you know that Fitzgerald was an alcoholic? And friends with Hemingway…. it makes more sense to me now LOL

    • readingwithtea 27 January 2012 at 9:01 am Reply

      Did not know that at all! I thought he was pro-prohibition, given that Gatsby and Daisy are non-drinkers, and all the ridiculous drunkenness that goes on…

  3. Liburuak 29 January 2012 at 5:42 pm Reply

    I don’t usually skip sections, unless it’s a re-read. Also, my personal literary guilt-trips go the furthest when I don’t finish. I somehow seem to see it as a personal defeat and find it really hard to give up, even if I’m not enjoying a book at all. Self-destructive much? 😉

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