Friday, 5 October 2007

Booking through Thursday

This week's question is:

Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in [your] stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin)
Can anything be overly explicit? Isn't it explicit or not explicit?
But I digress.
By 'romantic scenes' I think you're referring to a jolly good rogering - let's be adult here!
Sex is perfectly okay in books, even explicit sex, so long as it's well written and not just there so the author gets his or her rocks off, or reckons the reader will.

I don't have 'issues' with reading explicit sex scenes. But I abhor gratuitous sex in books, explicit or not. It reflects badly on the author and is just plain tiresome.
For example, I enjoyed two or three Carl Hiaasen novels. They were so funny at first, and he was on a laudable mission. But then the incidence of sex between his singularly unattractive and unappealing, world-weary hero and some hot babe just became so formulaic I couldn't be bothered reading anymore - it all suddenly looked so undergraduate.
The same with Lee Child and his Jack Reacher novels. Loved them at first, until I realised Reacher, laden down as he was with issssues and problems and His Hurtful Past, still got his leg over some willing wench in every story! Bye Jack! Bor-ing!

The subjects I do have 'issues' with are far less trivial than sex. Things like ultra-violence, cruelty, and anything horrible involving kids. Shudder.

4 comments:

Tami said...

very well written! I totally agree!

BookGal said...

I absolutely agree about violence, especially involving kids. I can't read that either.

Karen said...

No issues with sex scenes; like you, as long as they're well written. I do think they can be overly explicit - it can be simply explicit that the characters are "doing it", or it can go on and on, with every move and physiological reaction described in juicy (sorry!) detail. Unless that is relevant to plot or character development, then it does become gratuitous.
I agree about violence - tried this year to read "American Psycho" but gave up after a while. The tedious detail about an abhorrent character was bad enough - but the violence! Great literature is about the human condition; psychopathy is a tiny niche that I choose not to explore.

My true "issues" are with style: misplaced adjectives, or worse, adverbs, will send me shuddering back to the bookshelf to choose something else. When are they misplaced? Find that sentence in the Whatsit Code where the girl gets out of the helicopter. It's packed with sickmaking examples. And it's the spot where, despite valiant efforts to keep up with the zeitgeist, I stopped reading.

Lesley (El Zed) said...

Talking of bucking the zeitgeist - I think I am one of the very few people who has never really watched the Sopranos. The 'casual' violence and the occasional scene in which women are treated like shit are an absolute turn-off for me.
On the other hand, I did not react the same way to the OTT bloodshed in 'Pulp Fiction' and the 'Kill Bill' series.
But I was able to stomach only a few minutes of Reservoir Dogs, and the awful awful awful Wolf Creek.