Monday, October 31, 2011

The beginning of 'something'

I've never been one to keep a diary. I've never been one to read a blog. And yet, here I am.

I think the motivation for starting this was to be able to read something that interested me. And no, my words are not 'gilded with the tears of doves' and I don't have a 'grandiose belief' that I was sent down from heaven to lead the blind to salvation. Rather, I think I've grown tired of 'movie-style' books. Books written with the intent to be made into a movie. When the character's name is 'Prad Bitt', you know where the author's intentions lie. Have we become so devoid of imagination that we turn to action movies as a source of inspiration?

When it comes to authors, my tastes are quite limited. I enjoy a good Frank Herbet and Isaac Asimov can be quite entertaining, but when it comes to a fun book, I'd rather turn to an Enid Blyton or a Piers Anthony. Now Enid is probably my favourite children's author. Her books flow so effortlessly and are always chock-full of imagination spewing from the pages (pardon the metaphor). It's just when it comes to adult books, you can only have so much fun with Dick and Fanny (yes, those were the actual names).

Off topic: I'm not sure whether that was meant to be harmless and not an underlying sexual tension brimming to the surface at the point their names were chosen. It could be that combining Dick with Fanny was perfectly innocent in the 1940's, but it doesn't translate well now. Mind you, she's also the author that had Noddy sleeping in the same house as Big Ears. Scandalous!

Off off topic: In the 'revised' (AKA neutered) editions, Noddy no longer sleeps with Big Ears and Fanny is now Frannie, while Dick is Rick. Hopefully that clears things up.

Now as for my 'other' author, Mr Anthony. He's probably more of a dirty pleasure, as he seems to follow a similar path to Enid Blyton from the 'Magic Faraway Tree' days, except slightly more adult. He uses bigger words and the books are over 200 pages. But still, he has fun creating pillow trees that explode with popcorn when agitated. They live in a world of fantasy and magic and he refers to earth as Mundania. Now what's not to love about that?

A book, to my mind, is meant to be an escape from reality. Why should it reflect the next Bruce Willis or Will Smith flick? If I want action, I'll 'watch' a movie. I won't read about it. Case in point:

"..and some dude comes at me with a knife, swiping the air where my head was just seconds ago. I parry his next swipe as I knee him in the groin, keeling him over and leaving him open to be finished. I stand over him and state, 'You didn't make the cut,' as I make linguine out of his throat."

Not exactly leaping off the page, is it? Anyway, rant over. I'm hoping to 'fix' this problem in the next few months.

You have been warned.

As an addendum, it seems that Piers Anthony has some 'pedigree': 10 debut science fiction novels that took the world by storm. A few I've already read, but there are plenty on the list that looks pretty 'tasty'.