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Can a book be too long?

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed November 11th, 2009, 3:38 pm

I've been reading a lot of Mary Stewart and Du Maurier as well and those two definitely don't spare a word - nothing is wasted. But then I've had The Black Swan by Day Taylor (a romance) and she's just all over the place. Also, as much as I like Elizabeth Goudge's The Child from the Sea, especially the lovely writing style, they could have easily lopped off 200 pages on the front and lost none of the story at all. Woodiwiss comes to mind as well.
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Post by Carla » Wed November 11th, 2009, 3:47 pm

Maybe it depends on the author rather than the era as such? I vaguely remember Kathleen Woodiwiss novels being real doorstops.
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed November 11th, 2009, 4:02 pm

[quote=""Carla""]Maybe it depends on the author rather than the era as such? I vaguely remember Kathleen Woodiwiss novels being real doorstops.[/quote]

Oh yes, those were doorstoppers. That's why I revived the thread as I'm sitting here wondering if it was just author specific or the era. Roberta Gellis can carry on as well.
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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Wed November 11th, 2009, 4:44 pm

It probably also depended on the market category and the decade. Historical Romance in the 70s was probably long-winded with description and sexual gratuity; Romantic Suspense of the 50s and 60s was usually tightly plotted.

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nona
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Post by nona » Sun November 22nd, 2009, 1:51 am

Can a book be too long? yes and no, if the author can hold my interest length is not a problem, if they are scattered and displaced through out the book then yes it can be. Penman and Chdawick nnovels I tend to hate finishing so they could alot longer and I would not mind where as some other authors if it was one page longer I migt have given up.

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Post by Marc » Wed December 9th, 2009, 5:07 am

Hi,


The length of the book depends upon the story of the book. If the plot is gripping then the book can safely be long. But if the plot of the book is not gripping then it is safer to go the short way.


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Chatterbox
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Post by Chatterbox » Fri December 11th, 2009, 4:07 am

It depends on the book, the author and the genre. For someone who writes well, and is dealing with a complex plot that takes place over many years, it really doesn't matter. I can re-read both volumes of Wouk's Winds of War series cover to cover in one gulp without suffering from indigestion. Or I can read William Trevor's almost novella-like novels.

Have I encountered books that are too long? Absolutely, when the author writes in circles. I also am much less interested in sagas than I was; I can deal with long winded writing as long as the prose is great and the characters interesting; I have less tolerance when it comes in the form of a Rutherford style saga book where you may not know the specific events, but you know the formula off by heart after reading his first two books.

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Post by Marc » Thu December 17th, 2009, 12:51 pm

Yes, a book can be too long and I like long books as well. But sometimes, the long dragged out story make me bored and drive me nuts by its boring contents.
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