My husband began reading a new novel last night and commented that the author had used several long words in the first couple of pages. He said it was hard to figure out what was going on because trying to work out all the meanings interrupted the flow of the story. It seems to be a very descriptive historical novel, and the author has proven that she is smart but not that she is a good writer, in his opinion.
It reminds me of similar novels I've tried to read in the past. It's sometime true of books that have won prestigious prizes. The intelluctuals on the judging panels like them but the normal population won't necessarily agree with them. These books are brilliant and clever but not necessarily inviting to read.
Sometimes authors use slabs and slabs of description and imagery when I'd rather just skip all that and find out what's going to happen in the story. It reminds me of the nineteenth century classics I used to study in English lessons at school and Uni. I read once that writers like Charles Dickens needed to provide lots of descriptive slabs because TV was still a thing of the future. For example, you might find that Dickens spent five pages describing the interior of a lawyer's office, but that was because he knew that many of his readers would have no idea what a lawyer's office might contain. We in the 21st century however, have seen enough TV shows to hazard a pretty good guess of what you might find in there, so we can dispense with all the description. To readers in the 1800s it was necessary, but to us it may become tedious.
Somebody once pointed out that we 21st century readers tend to unconsciously search for "white space" when we're perusing books to buy. If a page is filled with blocks of chunky paragraphs, we instinctively get the idea that reading it may become a bit 'heavy' and require lots of concentration. When description is sparse and dialogue is plentiful, there is often lots of white space at the end of lines. Readers only need a glance to get the impression that this story will be fast-moving and easy to read. I've never forgotten that lesson because I immediately knew that it's true in my case.
When it comes to my own novels, I like to write stories that appeal to me. I consider myself to be a fairly typical representative of the population so if I like it, it's not unreasonable to hope that many other normal people will like them too.