Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The real story

Yesterday afternoon I dove into this book (I'm slowly making my way through my TBR pile...) It was intense, but I expected that. What I didn't expect was the lesson I learned afterward as I scrolled through the reviews on A huge number of readers were FURIOUS over the bait 'n switch the author pulled, promising her sister's story and spending 98% of the book telling her own instead. I didn't disagree with their assessment, but I was surprised by how angry they were.

They weren't disappointed in her story--it was almost as grim as her sister's. But they hated being duped into buying the book based on something different than what it actually was. The general sentiment was that either your story stands on it's own literary merit or it shouldn't be published. But you shouldn't lie to readers.

It made me think of a few other books I've felt disappointed by for similar reasons, and made me take a bit more seriously the relationship between my titles and the stories I tell.

What do you think? How much leeway do you give the relationship between a book's cover and it's content?


Abby Green said...

I'm pretty loose on all of it to be honest, as long as it's a good read I'm satisfied. For example, the hype about A Million Little Pieces...I just didn't care, I enjoyed the read. BUT, lying to my face, or even exaggerating a situation you are recalling to me...hmmm...that's a different story. :)

LEstes65 said...

I agree with Abby. I guess it would really depend on the title and just what was promised and what was delivered. But generally, if it's not what the title made me think, I usually figure I mistook the title or didn't consider all of its meanings.

Rachael said...

What was the book? I read one recently that was like that, but I didn't mind as I thought both stories were so compelling. Now of course I can't remember the title, but it was about the author and her own abusive relationship with her husband and her sister, who was killed by her boyfriend, but had left a letter saying if anything happened to her she thought her boyfriend might be responsible.