Thursday, June 29, 2006

One Author Fills Void of Three Tacky Genres

A summer goal of mine this year -- like a New Year's resolution -- was to read more. Like that New Year's resolution, I am not meeting my goal. I have tackled only one book. One book and a short story.

That sort of started to end today. In the past hour, I've read 50 pages -- 25 from a Pulp inspired piece of fiction that use the authors of The Shadow and Doc Savage, and 25 pages about a lawyer obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe's death as it's plot. Real people, semi-real situations, supposed "great reads" as explained on the back of their jackets.

And I'm simply not getting into them...

My true goal was to read three pieces of fiction that I have never read before. Three pieces that I could/would either despise, get caught up with or just plain enjoy like one of my "bad smells."

There are two goals for writers..."read a lot, write a lot..." Now, how those rules are followed vary, especially with the three different types of books I wanted to read this summer. Any writer who's ever written about writing will say a myriad of things and anyone who longs to write the Great American Novel will follow the advice at the drop of a pin.

It could be great literature, but this summer...I tire of great writing. I tire of sentences that flow and produce brilliant images. I wanted to devote at least three of my readings to bad writing...or writing that has the potential to be horrible. No one ever said, "read bad writing..."

The first novel? A bad romance. Harlequin Romance novels, the covers that have half-naked people collapsing into each other, exhausted, like sex was an event in the Olympics. I walked through the library lately and I had every intention to pick one -- something that didn't exceed 250 pages. I couldn't do it. I don't care if the "reviewers" called the characters believable, I just couldn't be seen carrying a paperback with half-naked lovers humping on the pages.

The second novel I said I would read is sitting on my recliner: V.C. Andrews. Now, whether it's "bad" writing, I cannot say. I do know that she wrote very cultish novels that drew in a wide-range of readers and I've been curious -- plus I want to get the movie version of "Flowers in the Attic" out of my head. It was bad. I would like to give the dead V.C. Andrews some credit -- not the wannabees that continue to write under her name.

The last type of novel I wanted to wrap my eyes and mind around was something from the infamous Chick Lit circle. Again, I cannot call this bad writing -- especially since so many are becoming movies, showing that writers usually have movies in mind when they write novels. Regardless, the library was out of it's copies of "The Devil Wears Prada" since it's become a movie that stars Meryl Streep and Anne Hatheway. That's the one I have my eye on -- I can't do "The Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" or anything with "sisterhood" in the title.

Although, I'm 300 pages into Dean Koontz's "Whispers" and unexpectantly there was a trashy sex scene that was painful to read (totally what you'd find in a romance novel), the hero is a female screenwriter opening herself up to a great new relationship with a detective (chick lit) and the man, Bruno, who is trying to kill her, died, and as far as we know, came back from the dead (V.C. Andrews!).

So, I may have met my three requirements from one book and an unsuspecting author.