Thursday, September 11, 2008

Booking Through Thursday


Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.

So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since.

And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?

Short answer: no. Terrorists have never been just movie villains so 9/11 didn't change that. History is filled with murder and death. I've never been interested in reading Tom Clancy type books, but it does seem like more authors are interested in writing them these days. I can't tell you the number of terrorist-themed books I've seen come down the pike in the last few years. Whether a villain in a book is cookie-cutter or tw0-dimensional really depends on the writing itself and not on anything else. I've read a book or two about Darfur and some political books but I don't go out of my way for that sort of thing much.

7 comments:

S. Krishna said...

I agree - I see books as more of an escape from the real world - I don't want to stress myself out reading them!

jlshall said...

My short answer was no, too. I really prefer to read books that don't make me cringe or squirm too much.

Meghan said...

I don't go out of my way either, but I think that books can help us understand events better than just watching the news. It hasn't affected what I read, though.

gautami tripathy said...

My view is completely different.

Villainy is not the right word

Smilingsal said...

I think differently.

Serena said...

I don't think differently about villans in terms of the 9/11 attacks. I often focus on the quality of the writing and whether it is good enough to make the characters believable or not.

Matt said...

I know about the deluge of books on this topic. The subject is probably explored in all possible angles. The only one that I read was the authorized commission report, which was criticized for being incomplete. I'm not a fan of spy or sci fi books. I am looking for beautiful language and prose when I read.