Jun. 25th, 2013

transemacabre: (Rose Red)
As astute readers of my lj and the [livejournal.com profile] plantagenesta comm may have determined, I have a hate-on for popular historical fiction author Sharon Kay Penman, best known for her novels Wales: Land of Tragic Brawny Princes and The Splendour of York: The Story of Richard III's Dick. I just REALLY dislike her writing and it pisses me off that she got so successful on such paint-by-numbers crap.

Take this bit from Time and Chance, where Ranulf, Penman's OC and by-the-way Henry II's uncle and by-the-way also half-Welsh and by-the-way married to his perfect blind Welsh cousin, becomes Mr. Exposition.

"My nephew is about to go to war against the Count of Toulouse and he has issued a summons to his barons, myself included, to meet at Poitiers on June twenty-fourth."

I've bitched about this before, but WHY IS RANULF THERE? What purpose does this character serve in this book? Why are we supposed to care about him and his marriage and his stupid old flame, Annora? There is way more at stake in this book than Ranulf blathering about receiving a summons from the king. Is it too much to ask that we get some chapters about Thomas Becket? Yes? Fuck you, Penman. And fuck you, Ranulf. You are barely a person.

Okay, now look at this dialogue from her novel, Lionheart. One of these dialogue tags belongs to Richard I, king of England, fabled "Lionheart", warrior king of the Third Crusade. One dialogue tag belongs to his mother, the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine. One belongs to his notorious brother, John. Can you guess which one belongs to who?

1. "Jesu, but you gave me a bad moment there! I thought you truly did not want to go."
2. "So... tell me of the meeting with Sancho and his son. I assume he was contented with the dower?"
3. "I do not think Longchamp will be able to meet Richard's expectations."

The answer is: meaningless, because everyone in Penman's books has the exact same speech patterns and turns of phrase. You could cast Keanu Reeves in EVERY speaking role for the movie and lose nothing. Every character delivers exposition in the same deliberate, 'I got this from wikipedia' tone. Every character is impressed by the same things, falls in love the same way, and gets angry at each other the same way.
transemacabre: (Rose Red)
I just started cackling like a hyena when I came across this on someone's ff.net profile:

Outside of fanfic, God is the most important thing in my life...

I'm sorry, I'm a godless atheist with no respect for religion, but it seems to me that if you believe in God, shouldn't God be, like, WAY above fanfic in the list of important things in your life? Fuck! Priorities, y'all!

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