Saturday, July 7, 2012

Books of substance? Step aside!

It's obvious to me that I have no interest in books with any sort of body to them lately.  Let's just call it a phase, ok?  I recently jumped on the lady-porn bandwagon and read the 50 Shades series by E.L.James.  I would like to write a critique of these books, but, to be utterly honest, I don't know how.  I didn't like them...but I somewhat enjoyed them.  Ahem.  The first was probably my favorite (though "favorite" seems a bit strong).  The second was terribly vapid, and the third was a skim up until the final quarter which actually became interesting.  A friend of mine was reading them as well and made comment about how many times Ms. James used the word "murmur".  I (foolishly) made a bet that "growl" was more frequent.  Sadly I lost BIG time.  I used my handy-dandy e-reader to do a search on both words in books 1 and 2.  Fifty Shades of Grey had 21instances of "growl" and 196 instances of "murmur".  Damn.  Book 2, Fifty Shades Darker had a mere 13 "growls" and a whopping 279 "murmurs".  At times the word "murmur" showed up 3 times on a page!  We collectively decided the author used "murmur" and "said" interchangeably.  I was going to count them up in book 3, Fifty Shades Freed, but I got bored.  Anyway, they're descriptive, moderately pornographic, and basically a ramped-up Harlequin.  What I found interesting about these books is that they were written as a form of fan-fiction for the Twilight books.  I guess, had there been vampires, they would have been an adult version of what might have happened... but there were quite a lot of similarities in the main characters and their utterly unhealthy relationships.  Anyway...take it for what it is...lady-porn. 
After that I was attempting to read something with more substance, but apparently I had unhealthy relationships and Twilight on the brain, so I downloaded a pdf of Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer.  This volume is unpublished and unfinished.  Ms Meyer was working on it and it was leaked, so she quit writing.  Apparently there were a number of different copies floating around, so she released one in pdf format on her webpage so that there was at least some consistency.  It's the story from the first Twilight novel, but told from Edward's perspective.  I don't really have anything to say about it other than it was very much in keeping with the others and probably would have sold like hotcakes had she finished it and published it.  Not that it was particularly good, but the twi-hards would have gone absolutely nuts for another volume. 
Somewhere in there I also took an afternoon to read Christopher Moore's The Griff, a graphic novel.  A little known fact about me: I like comics and I especially like graphic novels.  They're dandy.  I had been meaning to read this one for a while but had to order it from chapters as it is a touch too obscure to be readily available in store.  So, when it came in I spent the afternoon sitting on the deck reading.  It's a story of an alien invasion of winged lizard type creatures.  They come to earth, destroy just about everyone and everyone and a group of survivors have to manage to...well...survive.   It was a decent storyline and the artwork was well done.  Plus, it was peppered with the fun dialogue that Christopher Moore is known for.
What am I going to read next?  Hard to say...I have a number of great books at my disposal, and a number of books that I'm really interested to read...I just don't know if I'm over my "nothing but fluff" phase.

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