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Feeling tense

While Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union didn't win the Edgar, it did win a Nebula, and it is still up for a Hugo. Since I am going to Worldcon and voting in the Hugos, I decided I should read it. How often does a book get this much multi-genre buzz?

So I started it last night . . . and it's present tense! Argh! How can you do this to me, Michael Chabon! I don't care if a book is first person or third (although I find second person annoying for anything except short works), but I loathe present tense.

And it's 411 pages long!

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
ext_97783
May. 9th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
Gah. Present tense for over four hundred pages? How did the judges read it long enough to nominate it?
karen_w_newton
May. 9th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
I know! I guess I'll never be asked to judge anything, because present tense grates on me so much. But as Scott's comment below demonstrates, this isn't a universal feeling.
scottedelman
May. 9th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
So what's your issue with present tense? I have no problem with it. For me, it's just one more tool in the toolbox, and I have no visceral reaction for or against a story told in that manner. When it's done poorly or used inappropriately, yes, then I might think that the author would have been better off choosing a different tense. But it seems as if the very concept offends you. Why is that?
karen_w_newton
May. 9th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
I think it's mostly because (for me) it calls attention to itself. It constantly reminds me that I'm reading a story. I'm OK with it in short stories where the author is going for immediacy, but in a novel, it wears on me.
(Anonymous)
May. 11th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
Nice quote

Too much is not enough.


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