Advanced search

Do you get annoyed by characters' names in books?

(49 Posts)
UnquietDad Thu 03-Jul-08 10:42:10

I'm trying to read Tim Pears' "Blenheim Orchard" at the moment and I'm getting exceedingly annoyed by the fact that the parents are called Ezra and Sheena and the children are called Blaise (a girl) and Hector and Louie. had me tutting in exasperation before the thing even gets going. Irrational?

Spidermama Thu 03-Jul-08 10:44:35

I find it very irritating too. I find sci fi names even worse which makes reading Harry Potter very difficult.

It took me years to get round to reading Lord of the Rings because of the silly names, but once I'd got past them I really quite enjoyed it.

It's this intolerance which inevitably leads me to non fiction on the whole.

Cies Thu 03-Jul-08 10:45:47

I do. I can't think of any specific examples at the moment, but it often irritates me. I think especially when I'm not sure how to pronounce the name, or it's a very odd pronunciation.

It probably is irrational though.

CatIsSleepy Thu 03-Jul-08 10:46:03

I hate Tim Pears, have read a really rubbish book by him, can't remember the name. It was some kind of family saga I think.
not sure why I finished it, was tempted to give up at numerous points

mistypeaks Thu 03-Jul-08 10:46:41

What is really irritating is once you get used to sounding the names out in your head. Some git releases a film and they all pronounce the names totally different to you. You can't re-read the book, you can't concentrate through the film . . . It was Hagrid in Harry Potter for me.

mistypeaks Thu 03-Jul-08 10:47:37

I apologise for that post. Very very very bad sentence construction. Apalling grammar.

madamez Thu 03-Jul-08 10:48:01

SOmetimes the US/UK language differences can niggle. I do remember a moderately gripping thriller I read years ago purely because the hero's name was Randy Pratt.

Nagapie Thu 03-Jul-08 10:50:20

Mistypeaks - I make a point of making sure I avoid the films of books I have read. The films just never do the books justice...

mistypeaks Thu 03-Jul-08 10:52:52

With the exception of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings (which was well done I think) so do I usually. But other people go to see them and discuss it with you. Oh it was great when <character> did such and such . ." You're going who the f&^& is <character> until you realise that the pronunciation has changed.

BandofMothers Thu 03-Jul-08 10:53:27

So how did you think Hagrid was pronounced????

I read a set of 2 trilogies once that carried oon from one another. There were about 3 or 4 generations by the end and they all named the next one after previous ones or variations thereof and it got so confusing that everytime a name was mentioned I had to look up in the index who was who. Very annoying.
Unless they are really stupid though it generally doesn't bother me.

Sunshinemummy Thu 03-Jul-08 10:56:35

I recently read William Boyd's Stars and Bars and got really annoyed that all the characters had weird weird names.

UnquietDad Thu 03-Jul-08 10:56:38

I expect SF/fantasy to feature a certain amount of silly nomenclature. But not contemporary novels.

Bandofmothers - it's always a warning sign, I find, if a book has a family tree at the beginning. Makes my heart sink - I think "you're going to expect me to do a lot of the work here, aren't you?"

Cies Thu 03-Jul-08 10:57:30

Agree that made up names can be a real palaver. Does anyone else just sort of invent a pronunciation?

e.g. Malaviaciaous would become Malavicious. (made up example)

BandofMothers Thu 03-Jul-08 10:59:09

It was at the end UDgrin and I couldn't stop reading after the first trilogy cos I had to find out what happened, tho the second trilogy was one long war campaign and bored me a bit(ok a lot) hmm I am so stubborn sometimes.

Nagapie Thu 03-Jul-08 11:00:06

Or even worse, when the movie is 'based on' or inspired by the book !!

UnquietDad Thu 03-Jul-08 11:00:13

It's always a struggle if you're having to think how on earth to pronounce the main characters' names. I read one once which had all the names based on the Xhosa language, and attempted to show the clicks etc. by means of exclamation marks. e.g. Krr!xsx and so on.

BandofMothers Thu 03-Jul-08 11:00:28

Sometiems I try not to actually say it in my head as I read it if it is wierd and bugging me, I just look a it, recognise who it is referring to and keep reading. Does that make sense??

BandofMothers Thu 03-Jul-08 11:01:08

Aargh, UD did you finish it, that would be irritating

UnquietDad Thu 03-Jul-08 11:01:29

I did finish it! Don't know how...

mistypeaks Thu 03-Jul-08 11:07:03

BoM - I always read it as Hay-Grid. It just sounded 'bigger' and more 'boomy' if that makes sense. I was so disappointed when he then turned out to be Ha-grid. Trivial I know.
I've read a series of books based on Irish Faery mythology (kind of) and there was a list at the back of how the names are pronounced. I have to say I ignored that one!!!

Cies Thu 03-Jul-08 11:09:28

BOM - it does make sense. I do that too.

BandofMothers Thu 03-Jul-08 11:12:24

I always read it Hag Rid, but I find it annoying when it is different than in my head, like when I discuss a book with someone and they say it different and I am shocked and say NOOOOO, you dont say it like thatgrin

MaryAnnSingleton Thu 03-Jul-08 11:16:31

ha ! good thread - am trudging through Iain Banks' Garbadale book and am irritated by the names in that for some reason - partly because there are lots of them - they aren't weird - a couple are unusual - there's no real reason why I should object (I had no probs with Prentice etc in The Crow Road)

UnquietDad Thu 03-Jul-08 11:18:48

Read another one recently where the main male character was called Inigo. FFS, Inigo. Almost made me want to chuck it across the room.

TotalChaos Thu 03-Jul-08 11:24:11

I don't think those names are that bad UQD. Recent Ruth Rendell books have unusual names that irritate me. Now trying to rack my brains for some specific examples.....

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: