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Monday, March 16, 2015

Why is this?

Am I a pickier reader now that I’ve reached the august age of 56? I know that I def have less tolerance for authors who take short cuts. You know, you can just tell that when Author X had Character Y do Z, he’d/she’d run out of ideas, was close to deadline and just couldn’t be arsed to write something worthy.

Yes, I can simply put the book down, not finish it when I get to an OH PLEAZE point in a story BUT I feel guilty and lazy when I don't finish—even when the tome proves to be far less than hoped.

Over the weekend I got to the point in the fantasy fluff paperback where I just didn’t care what happened next. It was clear, nearly from the start, that the protagonist would be betrayed by her too good to be true demon lover and the one who seemed, at the start, like the big bad enemy would actually be her ardent ally and savior. He'd been the BFF in the wings all along—she just couldn’t see it, she couldn’t trust.

No, this wasn’t really a bad boy/good boy romance novel though amour metaphors seemed abundant.

My first clue that I might not make it through the whole book, slender though it is, was when she set one demon up as a pure hero type. I kept thinking "Oh my, that's a big ass pedestal for him to fall off of." 

Mostly the story’s about fighting the forces of evil, learning demon magic stuff, general epic surviving, all with a zen-like whiff about it. This was why I bought it. Heroic escapism is what I’d hoped for—a feminist version of the Dresden Files or Tales from the Nightside.

I managed to get past the demon lover BS enough to enjoy the intrigues and battles, the snarky dialogue, the mysticism of "the grove." I was three quarters of the way in and it was now clear that the heroine, while scarred mentally and physically from her ordeals, would triumph and go on to bigger, badder struggles in the next book.

Great! Except I’d lost all interest. I could see what was gonna happen before it was even hinted at. The book became what it'd promised to be from the second chapter —a predictable, formulaic thing that I wouldn’t even take to the beach.

I’d wanted something rollicking and otherworldly that I could get lost in. Jim Butcher and Simon Green used to be my go to authors for this kind of escapism. Why not read more of them? Eh, I’m sadly at that point with their work too. Granted, I’d read maybe a dozen of each before getting to the deja vu-y/haven’t-I-read-this-already-because-I-just-KNOW-what-happens-next stage.

I need a fresh, new, artisnal escapism author. What to do? What to do?

For starters, I could bring those damn lists that I'm endlessly making to the bookstore with me! Honestly. I make the lists—they're full of recommendations from friends and interesting stuff that John Scalzi has boosted on his blog—and then promptly lose them in the midden on my desk.

Oof!

So, what am I reading now? I pulled an old Carrie Fisher off the shelf. I just LOVE her wit plus, all her novels are, more or less, thinly veiled stories from her past. Awesome—escapism city! Here’s the thing—Delusions of Grandma wasn’t one of her better ones. Maybe it’s that I don’t have any interest in pregnancy themed novels? Maybe I’m older and less patient with her, occasionally, unsuccessful elliptical verbal riffs? Maybe there’s more of the unfocused rhetorical triple axel action in this book?

 Maybe I'm over thinking this and need to hit the book store WITH LISTS!

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