Friday, 14 June 2013

A literary contradiction?

I read mainly novels, possibly as a form of escapism.  Authors whose works I enjoy include Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens, but only if I'm in the mood.  Most of the books I read are classified as 'crime', such as the Roy Grace novels of local author Peter James or Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley, or 'adventure', which would include books by Frederick Forsyth, Douglas Reeman and Alexander Kent.  I used to enjoy Wilbur Smith's books but his latest works seem to include sex and violence scenes that are just that little bit too graphic for my taste.  Another of my favourite authors was Morris West, but I think he died a few years ago and his books are no longer on the shelf at my local library.

As a young man, by which I mean when I was in my late teens and early twenties, Dennis Wheatley was either top of my list of authors or very nearly so.  Nowadays I find his occult novels so unbelievable that I can't be bothered with them.  That's what I think is very likely to be the case with the book I am reading at present.  I discovered a new author a few weeks ago, Simon Leather, and I enjoyed the book of his that I read.  Perhaps 'enjoyed' is a little strong, but I was quite happy to borrow another of his books from the library.  What I failed to notice is that it is described on the front cover as 'a supernatural thriller'.  The first few chapters seemed OK but now that I am half-way through the book, the supernatural is beginning to appear on the pages.  I'm not at all sure I shall bother to finish this one.

And that's where the contradiction comes in.  I can't get on with science fiction or the supernatural (and that includes Harry Potter) and yet I so enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy that I have read it several times, the last reading being fairly recent.

I suppose I am just a confused muddle of a person.


Another summer picture from the south of France.  This is the village of Seillans.

1 comment:

Suldog said...

I understand where you're coming from. I can't abide most supernatural stuff - horror, that is - but one of my favorite reads of all-time is IT by Stephen King. I've read and re-read that four times now (and it's a LOOOOOOONG book, at some 650 pages as I recall.)