Why is Everything so Graphic?

Before I went skiing, I downloaded some books onto my Kindle. It's not like I didn't already have about 35 books waiting to be read, but something urged me to do a little freebie downloading.

And I found a couple of good ones!

I want to state right here that I do not consider myself a well-read person. I'm very particular about what I read and I will delete a book if it ticks me off. I don't read literature, or most best-selling novels. I read some romance, some mystery, some fantasy, and some middle grade fiction.

I'm very limited in my reading interests.

I had been wanting to read a J. A. Konrath for awhile now. He's a HUGE proponent for self-publishing, very outspoken on his blog. He wrote the Jack Daniels stories, with a female detective as the protagonist. All the titles are whiskey-themed drinks. I downloaded a short story and a novel. I've read the short story. EXCELLENT! I haven't read the novel yet because on the trip I crocheted in the car and stared into space after skiing all day. The short story was bloody, but not too graphic, as the violence was past tense. It was a closed room-type of mystery with clues for the reader to figure out what happened. As this was a cop story told in first person, I was okay with this. As I said, I haven't read the novel yet, so I might change my mind about Konrath. I read only one story, as a freebie from this collection.

I downloaded another book, sort of. It was James Patterson's Alex Cross, Run, but they only had a freebie download of 19 chapters. I'm sure it was to pull you into the story and entice you to buy the rest of the book. I wasn't enticed. I've never read Patterson before . . . and I will likely never read another Patterson again. I believe I'm in the minority here, compared to the rest of the US.

The murders were too graphic, too warped, too cruel, and too much for this reader.

So many books are available to be read, why waste your time on something that really doesn't appeal to your taste?

And, in general, I've noticed a trend in TV, movies, books, video games, etc. that the more graphic the violence, sex, etc., the better.

Well, I'm here to state that graphic whatever doesn't make a lame story better. Oh, it might appeal to those who like reading gory details, but really? It's all just icing. There's no real cake of a story underneath the overly sugary sludge of language, gore, and sex.

As I mentioned in my last post, I want to be entertained, to smile after I cry, to feel good at the end of a book, movie, or whatever. I want to engage my mind, to figure out what's happening, not be overwhelmed by the graphic nature of the story, which tends to limit my reading choices.

Look, I know sex sells. Gory, warped murders sell, but what joy is there in reading those books? I don't want to escape from the real world into an even darker world. I want fun, light and happiness.

I have many author friends who write erotica. I will never read their books. I will still be their friends, but I could never read their writing. Long ago, I tried reading the stuff. It just doesn't interest me. I don't get this trend, and probably never will. They make very good money writing this stuff, but it's not for me.

When I read romance, I want to feel the turmoil, the tension, the give and take between the couple. I don't want to jump into bed with them. I want the emotional connection, along with a good story. That was why I started reading those books thirty years ago.

Those books are still out there, but you have to sift through a lot of chaff to find the grain of true romance. I'll throw you a bone.

If you like romance and mystery, with engaging characters, check out my good friend, Marilyn Pappano. Wow! She writes the type of story that I can't put down.

So many publishing companies are going for the easy buck of eroticism. I can't blame them, really. Times are tough and their overhead is crashing down on them--maybe they need to think hard before offering serious $$$ for some crap by a famous name that never gets the sell-through to pay off the advance--but they have bills to pay just like the rest of us.

I just wish they would rethink some of their trends . . .

But I fear I'm in the minority on this one.

Later, Peeps!  


Marilyn said...

Thanks for the recommendation!

If you're in the minority, well, I'm right there beside you. I can't count how many authors I've given up for exactly the reason you mentioned. Some were romance authors who were pushing the envelope of erotic right to the edge of (will people hate me for saying the p-word?) porn, and the others were suspense authors who kept writing gorier, sicker, more brutal stuff.

I want characters and emotions and plots -- not graphic anything.

Margaret Golla said...

Well, I've said before that everything is cyclic, and I'm ready for the cycle to move the other direction!

I want to feel good after I read a story, not bleach my eyes out of my head!