I haven’t written a blog post since FRIDAY?!? What on earth? Am I dying? Am I disenchanted with life? Am I off in a secret forest have sex with faeries who sex you to death?
Kind of the last one, I guess. I’ve been trudging through a re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Wise Man’s Fear. The trudging is not so much owing to the book itself as to my complete lack of interest in reading anything at all. I hit spurts like this every once in awhile. I wonder if alcoholics ever hit a patch where the have no interest in drink. Maybe a better analogy is a golfer who has no interest in golfing for a couple of weeks; I don’t think my hyperlexia is so much a disease as a lifestyle choice. But anyway, that said, I’ve been spending all my word time just eking my way through this thing. I’m interested in the story but I’m just not interested in the process of reading.
Or I wasn’t, until yesterday morning. Through a random chain of events I ended up reading a Dennis Lehane mystery and finding it unputdownable. Then I realised the problem is not a lack of interest in reading but a need for a switch in my subject matter. I’ve been reading so much epic fantasy lately I feel like I’m choking on the seemingly endless loving descriptions of swords, feats of cunning and sexy faerie sexing with underage boys.
That’s a thing that’s starting to bother me. I keep telling myself “oh, this is fantasy and their cultures are different.” But when you get right down to it there is an awfully high number of teenage people having sex with adults and that is just…
It’s not gross, but it is kind of disturbing. It’s even more disturbing that, if you read a lot of fantasy, you slowly become inured to it. At least, though, in most epic fantasy books I’ve read the sex is of the fade to black variety and the few where the sex is described are with of-age and consenting parties.
There is a lot of complaining about the sex and rape in George RR Martin’s books. The weird thing is that in those books it doesn’t bother me because it feels authentic to the culture and always ALWAYS advances the story and the characters in a direction they need to go. It honestly doesn’t read as “prurient” to me in any way. But now, having re-read LeHane’s Gone, Baby, Gone it occurs to me that the Mystery/Thriller genre is a lot more prurient than Fantasy has ever been.
Mystery/Thrillers were my preferred genre for about twenty-five years, to be honest. It started with Nancy Drew when I was six and Agatha Christie when I was eight. I will always remember finishing And Then There Were None (Which at that time, in 1978, I had a third-hand copy still titled Ten Little Indians). I was in the hammock in my backyard and read that last section where the murderer confesses to everything and explains its rationale and I thought “this? This is the stuff for me.” So from then until I was in my early thirties I was pretty far gone into mysteries. It was really nice when that was the hot genre for awhile there around the whole Silence Of The Lambs craze. A lot of high-quality stuff came out back then.
It got harder to find good mysteries and I had latched onto Harry Potter so since 2000 I’ve been more about fantasy and Epics in general. (Speaking of non-fantasy Epics if you haven’t read Morgan’s Run by Colleen McCullough you need to go ahead and do that ASAP.) Now that I’m revisiting Mystery it’s kind of nice. And I feel like being words again. Speaking of, I’ve gone way over my limit. So we’ll wind up this blog post now.*
*That phrase always makes me think of the episode of Mama’s Family where they go on Family Feud and Mama causes them to lose by insisting that her answer to “Things you wind up” is “A letter”. “I think I will wind up this letter now”. I love idiomatic humour.