When the author gets it wrong.....

yoyobon_gw

Have you ever read a book in which the author has made a factual or other type of error ?

Does it affect your enjoyment of the book ?

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vee_new

Yes, yoyo . I can't remember the book off hand (I'll check later) but the writer described how Queen Elizabeth I had many Catholics burnt at the stake. There were plenty of nasty forms of execution in late Tudor times but, under Elizabeth, this didn't happen. And I was put off the rest of the book; had it been an light-weight easy read I could have suffered it, but this was a 'serious' work.

Another eg, but from a TV programme showing at the moment. Gentleman Jack the true story of Ann Lister, a woman ahead of her time, the 1820's. She was clever, quick witted, well travelled and what today would be called a lesbian. Her diaries originally written in code have been deciphered and the series is based on this.

In one episode someone is gossiping about the local vicar who has barely buried his wife before 'setting his cap' at a wealthy heiress. The conversation goes something like " To think Mrs Ainsworth has only been dead these past two weeks and her husband is thinking of taking another wife. And him a man wearing a dog-collar."

Clergymen didn't wear dog-collars back then; they hadn't been 'invented' I think it became more common wear among RC priests much later in the century then copied by other denominations. Nor is the vicar in the TV programme shown wearing one.

I know this is pedantic . . . but there is no pedant like an old pedant . . .



Gentleman Jack




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colleenoz

No, but it is a bit of a stumble. Currently I’m reading a series of detective stories, and I’m guessing the author didn’t keep a cheat sheet of details about each character, because so far a few times a minor character‘s name has changed for one novel, or their personal attributes have changed.

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annpanagain

I find this very irritating as a good editor should have noticed. A couple of my biggest annoyances have been a dog that changes sex halfway through the book and a woman who is said to be huge actually weighs only ten stone! More like twenty from the description and other readers noticed that too!

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yoyobon_gw

I was reading a story taking place in London in WWII and one of the characters used an expression that has only become popular slang recently.
The author had taken great care with the historical details yet ruined it a bit with that glaring error.

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donnamira

I read a book several years ago in which gardening was a major plot point, and the author had oleanders growing wild along a roadway in New York state! Oleanders haven't really naturalized in much of the US (apparently you can find naturalized oleander in Texas) and most important, are hardy only for zones 8-10; New York is mostly zone 4-5, with a few areas mitigated to zone 7 by being close to large water bodies. That did ruin my enjoyment of the book, because gardening and plants were such a big part of the story.


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msmeow

I remember a few times when a pet or minor character has changed names. And a few times where I’ve gone back a few pages to double check because a location or something changed mid-stream.

Some years ago there was a TV show that was supposed to be set in south Florida and the scenery had mountains in the distance. Oops.

Donna

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carolyn_ky

It annoys me a bit. Several times I've noticed the writer using the wrong name for a character. Like Msmeow, I have sometimes gone back a few pages to check. I think e-books are particularly bad about this. Some of them seem pretty sloppy.

The TV series of Elizabeth George's books had an actor who played Tommy who had dark hair. Tommy is blond. Not her fault, I suppose, but really!

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annpanagain

Carolyn, yes a wig and even contact lenses can make the character on TV more true to the books but my mother complained that the actors in a POW series weren't thin. I asked her if she expected them to starve for the part! There is also the problem of the actors with perfect teeth...

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vee_new

Annpan, re teeth. I remember one of those Henry VIII - Ann Boleyn films/TV dramas where a male character, probably a supposed lover of Ann, is shown being tortured on the rack and screaming in agony. All his front teeth were shiny white and the back ones were full of fillings.

Do you remember the UK TV series 'Tenko' set in a female Japanese PoW camp? The women actors were made to go on diets, so at least they looked 'less fat'. Some of it was made on location round Singapore and in one scene the women are shown carrying a bad-tempered bossy female too weak to walk, using a make-shift stretcher. You could see how genuinely hot they were with insects flying about their heads and as they said their 'lines' you felt their real hostility towards the invalid.

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Rosefolly

I'm currently reading book set in Parker, Pennsylvania, a very small town with a city charter and the claim that it is the smallest city in the United States, which may be technically true.

As a child I lived in the bordering town of Foxburg, so I know a little about Parker. The characters keep talking about attending the local YWCA. This sounded wrong to me. While YMCA's still thrive, there are very few YWCA's left anywhere. I certainly would not expect to find one in a remote town with only a few hundred residents, so I looked it up. Apparently there used to be a YWCA in a town called Butler about 20 miles away, but these days the nearest one is in Pittsburgh, about 60 miles away. I get it that I am being picky, but why deliberately set a novel in a tiny and obscure rural town, and then not bother to describe it accurately?

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carolyn_ky

In a book set in Kentucky that I remember reading years ago and no longer remember the name of or who wrote it, the author kept referring to the politicians down in Louisville. While we certainly do have politicians in Louisville, the capital of Kentucky is Frankfort. He was correct that we are down river.

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colleenoz

We had an Australian book for book club, a detective novel set in a small country town in Victoria. The problem was, they kept talking about "getting the big city detectives in" from the "nearest" (named) big city, which is a town over the border in the next state- state police here do not work in each others' jurisdictions. Also, the small country town was supposed to be several hours' drive from Melbourne, whereas in fact it's about an hour away.

In an otherwise really good book, this kept driving me nuts every time it came up.

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maxmom96

Yoyobon, It may have been the same book where the author describes a character that "jetted", in this case meaning went rapidly. I wondered about the use of that term in that era nevertheless. There was another error I remember which may have been what you were referring to.

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annpanagain

Perhaps it is better not to know too much about the setting of a book or some other matters where the author can go wrong. I used to breed Scottish Deerhounds and they come in grey or wheaten colours and certainly not in black as an author wrote.

He also had an illegitimate spinster finding out she was really a Dowager Duchess. WHAT!!

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colleenoz

How do you get to be a dowager if you're a spinster?????

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annpanagain

By some fancy footwork! :-)

I am afraid some people find nobility ranks puzzling.


I am having a chuckle at the line in a book I am reading "She wore a straw hat on her head." Like...where else! #Paging an editor to Chapter One.#

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netla

I remember reading a historical romance novel that took place in the Shetland Islands and the characters kept referring to the island known as Mainland as either Shetland or Grand Shetland (I forget which it was). It says something about the book that this is the only thing I remember about it.

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vee_new

Re the 'setting' of books. I realise some artistic licence must be allowed when dealing with places, but I found M C Beaton's books about the female detective Agatha Raisin got rather out of hand with her descriptions of the journey's AR made back and forth to London. That she could travel by car from her small remote Cotswold village and be in central London within an hours plus be able to park right outside her office building was just too much.

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annpanagain

Parking in London! We rented a townhouse in Streatham, a suburb of London, which had a garage as part of our ground floor. Because of the street parking problems, we thought it should have been advertised as "Garage with Townhouse" rather than the other way around! When we stayed at a friend's flat in London, we often parked several streets away, which was the nearest place we could find.

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carolyn_ky

My grandson's wife of a year left today on a two-week mission trip to Uganda, so he and my daughter are going to London for a week. It will be his first trip there. It makes me quite nostalgic since I haven't been for a few years now. My sister, brother, DD, and I are going to Switzerland and Austria next month. Sister picked the trip which she says comes from reading too much Heidi as a little girl.

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yoyobon_gw

We were enjoying the Yankees-Red Sox game this weekend and my DH kept looking at the overhead shot of the stadium to see how many cars were in the parking lot.....and there wasn't one. Then we realized they all came in on the tube !

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vee_new

yoyo, some years ago friends were in London and were glad to be able to park their car near one of the large football stadiums, despite a game being in progress. A couple of hours later, on their return they realised why there had been so much empty space at the road-side. Their car was covered in dents, scratches and even footprints on the roof . .. presumably inflicted by 'fans' on their way home. There is less football vandalism these days but a drunken British football crowd is not a pretty sight.

BTW the US woman deserved their win last night, although I felt the English girls put up quite a fight!

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yoyobon_gw

Vee.....regarding the soccer win, although they may be talented I am , as an American , ashamed of their behaviors. Although they are rabid competitors they've obviously missed the "gracious gene" in their makeup. Theirs was a really horrible display of poor sportsmanship , IMO.

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socks

An older book, City of Thieves, mentions the Russians making "library candy." I cannot find anything on the internet that they actually did that.

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vee_new

yoyo, for an eg of poor sportsmanship look no further than Nick Kyrgios's out-burst against Nadal at Wimbledon yesterday. Shouting at the umpire, spitting, throwing balls might make great TV/crowd entertainment but show a total lack of respect.

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woodnymph2_gw

I watched the superb soccer game between the US and the English women. I saw no rude behaviors from anyone. I felt both teams had a great deal of respect for each other. The only thing I was aware of was the "tea drinking" gesture made by player Morgan.

Vee, the English played a very good game, indeed. It was almost a tie! Now it's on to Sunday against the Netherlands.

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yoyobon_gw

woodnymph......with the word "behaviors " I also include foul language and foul gestures which were used prolifically by one woman in particular. It was egregious enough that the US newspapers frequently took note of it with much disgust.


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colleenoz

Personally I feel that Nick Kyrgios and his role model Bernard Tomic (the Tank Engine) should be excluded from professional tennis. They may be able to play brilliant tennis when the mood strikes them, but neither has the drive to really succeed, and they're taking up space from other players who would give it their best shot. I wouldn't watch wither even if they were going to burst into flames on centre court.

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