Thursday, December 27, 2007

Those itty bitty facts

The post on Novel Journey today is about the importance of research. Lisa cited a book in which the author referred to Lake Charles, LA as Port Charles, LA. As she pointed out, Port Charles is the fictional city in General Hospital. Lake Charles is very real. I have family that lives there.

Topics like that always make me think of my two pet peeve "this author failed to do any research" books.

The first one was written by Fern Michaels. It had an interesting premise, quirky characters and was set on a horse farm. I love Thoroughbred racing, and that's why I tried to read the book. It was the first book that I've never finished. It was BAD!! I'm by no means an expert on racing and breeding, but I know more than the average horse nut. It seemed that Ms. Michaels was making it all up as she went. There was no basis for reality in any of the book. Every single scene that involved a horse or a race or training broke the fictive dream for me. Because of that book I will never ever read anything by her again and I do not recommend her books to my friends.

The second pet peeve is in a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Supermystery. The title is High Stakes, it was written in 1998 and the setting is Saratoga Springs. Nancy's on vacation and the boys are guarding a very valuable mare named Golden Folly. Anybody who's read a Hardy Boys book knows that Frank is smarter than your average teenage boy and has a head full of the strangest facts. Much like mine, lol. Whoever the ghost is that wrote High Stakes did no research whatsoever into the business of horse racing. The setting was great, I think the ghost has really been to Saratoga. But not to the race track, obviously.

What is it that bugs me so much about this book? It's when Frank says "Golden Folly won the Triple Crown several times." Come on, Frank! Ya know I luv ya, but you know better than that! The Triple Crown can only be won once. Only three-year-olds are eligible to race in the TC. He also would know that no filly has ever won the TC and probably never will. This book was written pre-Internet everywhere, but something like that is easily verifiable in '98 by just calling the Jockey Club or the Daily Racing Form offices. Or, heaven forbid, going to the library.

So what little fact has pulled you out of the fictive dream?

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