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Kindle books, too long for Twitter

Last night, as I was reading yet another free Kindle book that sounded interesting in the description, but was completely different upon reading I tweeted my disappointment:

How fricking annoying! Half the free Kindle books that sound like interesting thrillers or romances are Christian novels.

Stop being sneaky! If it's a Christian book just say so, so I can make an informed decision! I might still get it if it sounds interesting.

I imagine I've confused the heck out of Amazon recommendations though, by downloading Christian fic along w/erotica, sci-fi and horror.

I love Twitter, but it does have the downside of having to condense your thoughts into 140 characters or less.

I saw today a response to my tweets from one of my friends, but 140 chars just isn't enough for a thoughtful response.
@HellZiggy Why do you need to know it's Christian if it sounds interesting? It sounds like you want to be able to judge based on that first.

It's not that I want to judge a book on if it's Christian or not before deciding to get it. It's that when I do download a book, I want the book that was described.
It's more complicated than not ever wanting to download Christian novels. I've read them before and I'll do it again. But, if it is the main theme of the book I feel I should know that before hand.

Take this description, for example: "When Thelma and Wayne Owens are found murdered in the warehouse where they held their church services, their son-in-law Jonathan is arrested for the crime--but his wife Morgan and her sister Blair, Thelma and Wayne's daughters, are confident that he didn't do it and set out to find the real killer."

I downloaded this book thinking it was a pretty straightforward murder mystery. And parts of it were, but there were also parts where it focused more on the characters finding God than on the story itself. It really felt more like a religious novel with a mystery subplot than the other way around.

That is what is bothering me and what the tweets were about. In no way did the description when I downloaded this book indicate that it was a Christian novel. One of the reviews on Amazon, which unfortunately I didn't look at first, sums it up: "There really should be a disclaimer on the back of this book; the description given doesn't prepare the reader for the incessant preaching. What could have been a decent mystery is totally ruined by the insertion of religion in nearly every sentence." Now I don't think it was as much as every sentence, but the story was definitely not the murder mystery I believed it would be!

It's not the rampant preaching that annoys me about this, it's the bait & switch. You just don't advertise as being one genre and throw another in. What if the book had the same description, but rather than just solving the mystery, it went into very graphic details of the murders, and horrific things the murderer had done, and just went very dark and twisted? That's the same issue: it's not the book I thought I was getting.

This is another book I downloaded: "Russell Fink is twenty-six years old and determined to salvage a job he hates so he can finally move out of his parents' house for good. He's convinced he gave his twin sister cancer when they were nine years old. And his crazy fiancee refuses to accept the fact that their engagement really is over.Then Sonny, his allegedly clairvoyant basset hound, is found murdered.The ensuing amateur investigation forces Russell to confront several things at once the enormity of his family's dysfunction, the guy stalking his family, and his long-buried feelings for a most peculiar love interest.At its heart, My Name Is Russell Fink is a comedy, with sharp dialogue, characters steeped in authenticity, romance, suspense, and fresh humor. With a postmodern style similar to Nick Hornby and Douglas Coupland, the author explores reconciliation, forgiveness, and faith in the midst of tragedy. No amount of neurosis or dysfunction can derail God's redemptive purposes."

This is the one I'm reading now, and I'm really enjoying it. It has religion too, but because it's a key part of the plot, it was included in the description.

I'm not running into this problem with books I buy the Kindle version of, just the ones that are available as free downloads. I've gotten some free books that are really good and I then go buy others from the same author.
If you believe your book is worth it, be honest in the description and let us decide for ourselves! If I download something that I know will have religious themes and it ends up being too preachy for me anyway? Fine. I knew that was a chance I was taking and I'm ok with that. If I download a book that is supposedly a murder mystery and it ends up being too preachy? F**k that.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 14th, 2010 03:49 am (UTC)
I'm with you totally. There is nothing more annoying than a book being mis-described like that, where the main theme is something totally different. And I bet that's why it is free.
Mar. 14th, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
There's a hell of a difference between a comic and a Jack Chick tract. :)
Mar. 14th, 2010 05:40 am (UTC)
Yup, and there's a difference between an Archie comic and a Watchmen comic. :) It's all about representing honestly.

Love that user pic, BTW!
Mar. 14th, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't have normally used that one, but it's the only "book" one I have, and I figured you wouldn't mind. :)
Mar. 14th, 2010 12:20 pm (UTC)
I totally want to judge a book on whether it's Christian or not. I don't care to be preached to while I am trying to enjoy myself. Anything with 'Christian' in front as a descriptor would get a complete pass from me.

I guess my atheism is getting more militant the longer I read PZ Meyers....
Mar. 14th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with your point.
Mar. 15th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
I just ran into this issue with some books my mom bought me for Xmas that she thought I'd enjoy. Book 1 was ok, book 2 and 3 - constant preaching and "you must be saved" crap. ARG! (That and the author does not stay consistant and obviously has not done his research on certain aspects of the book which gives this series a double thumbs down). I hate being preached at and I don't care if it's Christians or Pagans or any other religion - just don't shove it down my throat. Which is what these books are doing and there was absolutely nothing in the description to make me think they'd be Faith based books. They're supposed to be murder mysteries. Ugh.

In other news (and completely off topic) - here's another travel contest for you to enter. ;)
Mar. 15th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Contest! Thank you. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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