Oy, Wotcher readin' ?
I think, (or hope,) that rather than the attraction being the sometimes gruesomely violent content, it’s the actual words. They talk right some good, as the Newfies say.
Michael Marshall Smith and Giles Blunt clothe muscular narratives with an embarrassment of elegant observations of human nature,(That last sentence is me arse-ing around trying to sound like an actual reviewer) and Banks is just a merry savage with boundless facility. Open his page to your eye and prepare to have cabers hoiked into your brainpan. Brookmyre. Well. Go get some. Honors go to him for best title ever: ‘Quite Ugly One Morning.’ P.S.: Must parlate Scotto. Or will be absolutamente losto.
Both M. Marshall Smith and Banks also write in Sci Fi/Fantasy, my genre favourites. I think it's why when they write into what might be construed as horror or suspense it doesn't seem quite as samey-samey as some others. For example, I adore Steven King's moment-to-moment writing, but I know it's unwise to attach to any of his characters, and (and he might punt the dog for punctuation and no other reason. Another personal firewall) I know there will be a turning point where everything will turn bad, stay bad and get worse. That's a default, and it bugs me in the same way that reading Diana Gabaldon does. No-- wait-- I like D.G, just, since she's slated as Romance, the deal goes, she turns humpy-humpy every dozen pages or less. I loved everything else about her Outlander series, but I just skipped through the humpy. Yes, a hump here or there, that's life. Ten pages to the next hump, that's OCD. That's an issue for me with genre writing, except SF and F. Sci-Fi chews up formula.
There once was a hump from humphump Peru, who humphump found chewing gum on his hump shoe, humphumphump, He'd humhump come down from his humphump hill but hump he's stuck up humhumphump there still, it's Wrigley's! humphumphump Can he wriggle hump free? hump Noooo.
Am I explaining properly? It probably seems like I've just dissed Steven King. No, no. You've put my luggage on the wrong bus! It’s me, it’s not him.(said the big girl) I don’t like to know where a story will end. My problem is with genre. I know where King’s headed, see. Not plot or anything. I just know it’s gonna be bad. It’s like going to hospital knowing they’ll remove an organ. It’s a given. It’s what hospitals do. They have other masters. If you know you have no hope of health, why go into the effing hospital. Who cares what organ comes out. There’s no good scenario. That said, I like King’s voice so much, I have read 1/2 to 3/4’s of many of his novels but only actually finished his book on writing, various reviews, (which I love) and got quite close to the end of ‘11/22/ 63’ I loved the historical detail, the ride etc., until the end part when the protag. goes back the future. Then the scalpel was waving and the world was sepia dinge like when you dream with contaminants in your blood(don't get too excited, Coca-cola does that to me) and I thought it was a fine time to wake up. It ain’t my job to feed the lizards.
Clearer? Crapsicles. It still sounds wrong. Okay. It's like when you're having a live conversation with someone and it's engaged, and you're exchanging, and then they start to complain. And even if it’s artful, they do it again, and again, and you realize they aren't talking to you at all, they are running a program. I think it’s fair to slip off. –er, must floss.
I don’t think this is going well. This is why I’ll never be a U.N. Ambassador. Dear Mr. King. You are excellent except when you veer the same way over and over per your genre. Look, no hards, you take your dogs for a walk and try not to be hit by a truck and I’ll go weed.
P.S. I also have a wife named Tabitha. We’re like the same guy, except I sleep more and write less. And, mine isn’t a wife. More of a close relly. Heh, heh.
An-y-hoozle. Weird. Look at that. This trench just opened up under my feet. Hm.
Y/A hit ‘Across the Universe’ and ‘A Million Suns,’ by Beth Revis. As touted on the cover, a banner beginning and I was hooked almost to the end of the first book. Then I read the second book. What had functioned well as an adult crossover novel in the first, faded in the second. The Y/A -ness, the romantic element, started to amp up. (it is a Y/A novel)I got a noseful of Twilight damage and lost true interest, although there were some really nice story elements.
Also when it began, the feel of the protagonists attachment to her parents rang a little younger than I felt would play for a post sexual experience teen. Had me confused.
Also recently read: All Clear and Blackout by Connie Willis. I really liked the historical detail in these two and the general idea of historians going back in time to study these pivotal events. However, I couldn’t fly with a central conceit that the characters agonized over and over again; Do we change history with each weeny interaction with the ‘contemps’? It was so fundamental and yet, this was an established culture that had been time travelling a long while and suddenly we seemed to have the first crop of self–questioners. And they self questioned lots and lots. Lots of reiteration made me impatient with the pace and, crap audience that I am, I began to skim the bits of self-questioning. So picky. Anyway, the historical detail was really nice. My little mum lived through the blitz. She was just the other side of childhood, back from school in France, and wasn’t sent away. I think the bombings rattled her to the end of her days. She’d tell us about the house across the way with its’ bathtub hanging by one leg from the second floor into the elegant parlour. Every time she told that she’d laugh until there were tears in her eyes. It weren’t right.
Right now I’m reading Alastair Reynolds ‘Blue Remembered Earth.’ Love A. Reynolds. He’s challenging to read. You gotta jog to keep up. You can’t lapse into a booky coma. I often read at work, while other people are talking(ha!) and I can’t do it with this smarty-doublet. You have to stick your whole cabbage on, or your cow will really be on the ice, as the Swedes say. Some of them. Those with cows. Again, Reynolds can’t write fast enough for me. But he does write long enough. This book is 505 pages. If my house were broken into it’d be the first thing I’d lob at the intruder. KUNK. It's a biggun. And I mistakenly ordered it twice, so I have the hardcover in case there are two invaders. Also I have a statue of some kind of goddess with lots of pointy breasts and I think that could make an impressive impression in a skull.
Did I mention I'm not naturally given to violence?
Right. Now I'm off to the garden to run my favorite default.