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To get annoyed by a badly written novel with serious factual mistakes

(502 Posts)
PhaedraIsMyName Sun 27-Jul-14 18:01:52

Author thinks the witness to a crime can decide who the Crown calls as expert witness.

Expert witness is a therapist who was treating the witness to the crime. Expert witness is married to a lawyer. Expert witness has been discussing the background with lawyer husband. The person accused of the crime is the crime scene witness'father. Author thinks the lawyer husband can represent the accused and this is not a conflict.

Lawyer husband is actually employed in a government legal department and author thinks lawyer husband can, whilst still employed, act as a defence lawyer.

It's tosh. Did nobody bother to edit or proof read it?

Is it just me who bothers about stuff like this?

I refused to carry on reading a history book recently, because the writer got a fact about Wilkie Collins wrong. grin

burgatroyd Sun 27-Jul-14 18:03:32

What's the book?

jonicomelately Sun 27-Jul-14 18:04:12

That would annoy me too. Which book is it you're referring to OP?

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 27-Jul-14 18:04:28

The House on the Cliff by Charlotte Williams.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sun 27-Jul-14 18:05:21

That would annoy me too

LegoClone Sun 27-Jul-14 18:05:30

Step away from the Kindle freebies! It hardly ever ends well.

steff13 Sun 27-Jul-14 18:06:46

Shoot, that's on my "to read," list on my Nook. Is it really bad?

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 27-Jul-14 18:06:46

Lego if only. I bought the bloody thing as a physical book and it cost me £7.99.

Pipbin Sun 27-Jul-14 18:06:52

I started reading a book once where the main character was born in the same year as me. The character then read the Roald Dahl book Matilda, which didn't come out until I was too old to read 'children's' books.
Stopped reading there and then. Honestly, it takes two seconds to check a publishing date online.

steff13 Sun 27-Jul-14 18:07:33

Step away from the Kindle freebies! It hardly ever ends well

I think I got it as a free Friday selection on my Nook!

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 27-Jul-14 18:09:54

steff sorry. It's not truly awful but the glaringly wrong "specialist subject" stuff grates.

kungfupannda Sun 27-Jul-14 18:13:20

I'm a lawyer and a writer, and this is a pet peeve of mine. It's really not that hard to check. If anyone writing a crime book went and sat in court, even just once, there'd be a lot less grating errors.

LegoClone Sun 27-Jul-14 18:17:31

Phaedra shock Well in that case YADNBU!

Are you annoyed enough to write a review and put it on every website you can find?

cashmiriana Sun 27-Jul-14 18:27:20

I stop reading. When prosecuting counsel is having meetings to go through evidence with the witnesses (in court, full rehearsals), counsel are shouting objection every ten seconds, and 'bail is set at £x,000" you know the writer's knowledge of court procedures is derived solely from watching US legal dramas. And much as I adore ADA Rafael Barba, he would be ridiculous in my local Crown Court.

However there is a special class of pedant out there for whom I have nothing but a sneaky admiration.

I borrowed several books set in a particular part of the country that I know well, from my local library. They were ok, however a previous reader had taken against them, and was clearly finding it difficult to cope with with concept of fictionalising some details. I found irate tiny pencil markings in the margin along the lines of "The newspaper in Stoke is called the Sentinel, not the Courier" and my personal favourite, "Rubbish! Trains from this station do not stop at Macclesfield!" There was also a lot of !!!! next to anything to do with bikes.

While I am usually appalled at this type of wanton vandalism and would encourage prosecution under the CDA 1971, I enjoyed them so much that I hoped I would get another book with the same person's annotations.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 27-Jul-14 18:38:15

"Rubbish! Trains from this station do not stop at Macclesfield!"

Oh that made me laugh. It reminds me of Martin Amis' first novel The Rachel Papers when he was sneering at a character who had a "BA from Aberdeen"

What Amis didn't know is that (a) Aberdeen is not a redbrick University as it was established in 1495 and (b) due to some historic quirk it doesn't issue BA degrees-it issues LLBs and BScs but all Arts Faculty degrees, including first degrees, are MAs.

MilkandCereal Sun 27-Jul-14 18:42:47

Things like this annoy me too. I recently read a book on my Kindle,and was rather enjoying the story,until I got to a part where a minor character,who was supposed to be from my part of Scotland used a word that you'd be unlikely to hear a native say. We have our own term.They then pronounced a word in a way that also wouldn't be used here.

Petty perhaps,but I found it difficult to enjoy the rest of the book after that.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 27-Jul-14 18:52:24

Just checked on Amazon. It has 14 reviews including this one. I might pitch in with mine too.

"Amazon Verified Purchase
The author states she is training in psychotherapy which surprises me as the psychotherapist in the book is terrible, breaking all the rules and doesn't seem to have a clue! I hope Charlotte Williams is further on in her training now and understands what I am talking about! [I am trained in psychotherapy so do know!]"

iklboo Sun 27-Jul-14 19:04:05

I don't mind a bit of poetic licence - changing a newspaper name might well be a copyright issue for instance - but I take great issue with glaring errors or where it's obvious the author has done no research whatsoever.

ChatEnOeuf Sun 27-Jul-14 19:05:47

Annoys me too - especially medical ridiculousness. Knowledge gained from Holby City is not knowledge!

emotionsecho Sun 27-Jul-14 19:09:12

I get so irritated by this whether in books or on TV in dramas, I have to chuck the book or stop watching. It's just lazy not to get these things right.

saintlyjimjams Sun 27-Jul-14 19:10:48

I still haven't got over the one I read recently where a mother living in the dark ages was lovingly peeling potatoes for her sons.

LordEmsworth Sun 27-Jul-14 19:10:49

I used to read a lot of Will Self's stuff, until I read one of his short stories about - I think - an affair; in it there's a world cup qualifier match going to a penalty shoot out.

That would not happen. I don't even watch football, and I know that.

I stopped reading Will Self as a result. That was about a decade ago, maybe I should let it go...

MilkandCereal Sun 27-Jul-14 19:13:49

I know nothing at all about football,but if that wouldn't happen,then what's this? confused

thecatfromjapan Sun 27-Jul-14 19:19:49

cashmiriana that is a wonderful story! It has made my day. smile

I think good quality editing and proof-reading has probably always been a luxury, hasn't it? Does seem to be worsening, though. As a former proof-reader, I feel a little pang every time I come across a book that has made it to print with appalling spelling mistakes.

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