I’m still away for work. I’m glad to find Mr NW is doing a good job of keeping on top of things but this is really bugging me, so here I am, ranting about a pet-peeve.
As I mentioned in last week’s post, I’m reading The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks [according to Mr NW the M is important]. I’m enjoying it but there is one thing that is frustrating me.
The characters’ names.
I think we established in one of our earliest posts that I am a super lazy reader. Reading is for relaxing, not working hard (at least for me). So I really struggle with complicated character names. For example from just The Player of Games:
Loash Armando-Iap Wu-Handrahen Xato Koum
There are more but I won’t bore you with the details.
I understand that the creating of these names is part of the world building but where the letter combinations become unfamiliar, I find myself struggling to read these with ease.
For starters, I spend the first 50 pages of the book trying to decide each time I come across a name how it should be pronounced in my head. I find myself busy trying out different combinations until one settles, and then from there on I read the name that way.
For example the main protagonist in The Player of Games is called Jernau Gurgeh. I settled on Jer-neau for the first name. That was fine. But every time I read Gurgeh I would trip on it. Something about the letter combination was difficult, I found myself wanting to read “Gureg” instead.
So I’d been puttering through for about 150 pages calling the character Jerneau Gureg in my mind because it felt easier (and really because it doesn’t matter that much) when all of the sudden there’s a phonetic spelling of the name as “Gurgey”. So now every time I first read Gureg and then mentally correct myself to “Gur-gey”.
I guess really this doesn’t matter until you are trying to discuss the book with someone else and you start butchering the characters’ names.
Have you found that you’ve struggled with some books due to the names of the characters? Or found out that you’ve mispronounced them in your mind?