Thursday, June 7, 2018

Books That I Have Not Liked

Some people get annoyed when another series book enthusiast does not like books that they like.  I have found this to be especially true for some people who like the boys' series books.  When I published my reviews of the Hardy Boys series, at least three Hardy Boys collectors made a point of telling me that they did not agree with some of my reviews.  Well, okay.  I'm female, not male.  My take on boys' series will not be the same as the target audience.  I can't help that.

In this post, I bravely admit to not liking some books that others greatly enjoy.

I have a lovely British edition of The Bobbsey Twins at Mystery Mansion.  The book is so pretty, and I want to like it.  I have tried the Bobbsey Twins in the past with no success.  I tried reading my British edition of Mystery Mansion, but I couldn't get through it.  The problem is simply that the text is too young for my taste.  The Bobbsey Twins series is charming, but it's not for me.

I tried to read the first Seckatary Hawkins book, Stoner's Boy.  It wasn't bad, but I couldn't get into it.  I read a few chapters and quit.  Seck is beloved by many, but I won't ever be one of them.

I read the first Don Sturdy book, Don Sturdy on the Desert of Mystery.  I did overall enjoy the book, but some parts were not that interesting to me.  Don Sturdy is a boys' book through and through, and that's the problem for me.  The attitude towards the natives, the interest in killing animals, and the desire to profit from ivory did not resonate with me.  I have several of the Don Sturdy books, but I will likely never read them.

Several collectors speak very highly of the Hal Keen series by Hugh Lloyd.  The series is extremely scarce, especially in dust jacket, and is very collectible.  The enthusiastic comments have led me to believe that the Hal Keen series is one not to miss.

I read Hal Keen #1, The Hermit of Gordon's Creek.  I do not like the writing style at all, and I find the story to be bland.  I do not like Hal's manner of speech or that of the other characters.  I quit reading the book on page 72 and read a few other books before I forced myself to continue reading.  I only was able to finish the book because I was curious as to whether I had guessed the true culprit at the very beginning of the book.  I was correct.  The man I selected as the culprit is a character that I immediately intensely disliked from the start.  It also should be noted that I did not like Hal Keen or any of the other characters.

Phillip Hart is the author of quite a few books for boys published by A. L. Burt, most of which sound quite interesting.  James Keeline recently discovered that Phillip Hart is a pseudonym of Harriet Pyne Grove.  Uh-oh.  I have a strong aversion to Harriet Pyne Grove's writing, but I wanted to make sure that I would not like the Phillip Hart books.

I tried to read The Flight of the Mystic Owls by Phillip Hart.  The first problem is that the Mystic Owls go by Indian names, so in the text the boys are referred to by both names, which is confusing.  Aside from that, the story does not start out too bad. Unfortunately, Grove's excessive use of quotation marks and lengthy sentences with multiple clauses make the book very hard to read.  I made it to page 39 where this horrendous sentence caused me to quit the book.
Adna and Roy, who disclaimed being in the least literary and "dee-spised Latin," had been coached by the rest and urged on to victory in the examination by the rest of the Mystic Owls, who declared that not only would it be a disgrace to the lodge if Red and Pat didn't pass, but they would run a great risk of being compelled by disappointed and disgruntled parents of being obliged to remain at home and "take summer school," which would, of course, be "the limit" under the circumstances. 
I cannot read another book by Harriet Pyne Grove.  I just can't.  After reading the first 39 pages of The Flight of the Mystic Owls, I have no doubt that Phillip Hart is indeed Harriet Pyne Grove.  No other series book author would write like that.

In conclusion, keep in mind that I did not state that these books are not good.  I stated that I do not like them.  There is a difference.

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