Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm not a Pisces anymore

When the new dates for astrological signs were released, I was a little miffed. I’m a freaking Aquarius now? Guess I’m going to have to practice being an extrovert. And...you know...stuff with water.

At least I have a song about my “age” now.

Recently, I have found it increasingly difficult to enjoy reading a book. I’m terming this the “Nancy Drew effect.” Sort of like the Coriolis effect. Except without the rotation. Or inertia. Although there might be a tornado if you are lucky.

I’m not sure if you have ever read a Nancy Drew novel. I read my first three after an assignment from a Children’s Lit class in my undergrad years (ah, youth). We needed to read a selection of three from a series to find some common factor, themes, etc.

Essentially, as I observed it, the Nancy Drew books followed a certain sequence of events.

First, a mystery (intrigue, surprise, obvious plots!).

Then, conflict. Here, poor Nancy had a tendency, as the denouement approached, to get a bonk on the head. With that solid thwack, she was knocked out, only to wake, and have everything revealed. After surviving the first ten books in the series, it is wonder Nancy had not received some serious brain injury, or developed extrasensory superpowers.

Finale. Villain uncovered. Oh finally...it’s over.


So, where am I going with this? Well, I started reading The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver P√∂tzsch (SPOILER AHEAD). I got a little over halfway through the book, enjoying the murder mystery, when, “THWACK,” the stick of a rapidly approaching climax came down on our poor heroine’s head.

Son of a bitch.

I have put the book down since (figuratively, of course, since it is on my Kindle), and have not been able to pick it up again.

Generally, I don’t mind a predictable fiction. I read a lot, so I tend to recognize plot techniques.

Have you ever gone to a movie, and known the ending in the first ten minutes? Same thing.

With a good book though, I can usually suspend my cynicism (I know, hard to believe), and just let myself be absorbed. But not in this instance.

Jasper Fforde has a new book in the Thursday Next series though, so all is not lost. And if I make it through this week without exploding, I might treat myself to the first volume in the Sandman series. Neil Gaiman is the only person that I would ever willingly pair the words “delightful” and “macabre” together for.

Yea. I ended a sentence with a preposition. Want to make something of it?