Either I'm getting so heavily into researching how to write I can't stand to read or the stuff I'm reading is not that good. Either way, it isn't nearly as much fun anymore. One of my favorite authors is Ted Dekker. I hate to say his early stuff is better than his later stuff, but when I review the order in which I read his works, most of his very early works were the last ones I read. I thought it appropriate that within 2 years of learning of his work I had read his entire published collection culminating with Obsession. He has since come out with 3 more books. One, Immanuel's Veins, I found to be a quick read, but was very base. There were plenty of ties to his Books of History that made you slap your forehead and say, "Nice!" but the characters did not seem to leap off the page like Thomas Hunter.
Despite the fact that I bought The Priest's Graveyard the first week it was out, I have not yet been able to finish it. After 2 weeks of trying to find time to read in my splintered life, I am 29 chapters into it and it has hit its typical Dekker-esque page turning point where you'd rather read then put it down. But throughout the book I have found no fewer than 3 characters acting in a way that is not consistent with the way a real person would act. Despite this, the interwoven plot twists and turns on itself in such a way that even though you look for the unexpected bits you may just barely miss them. The techniques, the writing skill, the parallel paths of characters, the rising action leading to the point so beautifully, skillfully, and subtly pointed out at the beginning is nearly textbook by comparison. Is Dekker as bold and brazen with his demonstration of truth woven through fiction? Maybe not as clearly as Thunder of Heaven or When Heaven Weeps, but it is still there.
So my question is this. do we put up with minor flaws in one part of a book in order to be "wowed" by another? The bits I'm complaining about are easily overlooked, blips in the digital mesh, hardly worth a mention really, when compared to the overall mastery of the work.
For the record, it isn't just Dekker, his just happens to be the work I have most recently read. I also found Hemingway a bit disappointing after recently finishing The Sun Also Rises.
Years ago I discovered that when I did things like running the soundboard at church I missed the message. Paying close attention to the minor nuances of things trying to make it so that they did not distract others from the message at hand had made me more of a technician than a listener. I suspect that the same is coming true of my reading. Has anyone else shared a similar event?