Thursday, September 11, 2008

Booking through Thursday: Villainy

A Thursday meme:
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?

In some ways, yes, current events, especially horrible ones, does affect what I decide to read. I read for pleasure, mostly so I tend to read in order to cheer myself up, make myself think, for education, or just relax. When a real-world event happens I am usually glued to the newspaper to know more about what is going on with the world. I tend to decide to read something as far away from the subject as possible. I remember 9/11 quite vividly as I was living in Washington D.C. at the time and the subsequent panic for anything potentially terrorist-related even months after will always leave an impression. I believe I turned to humorous and fantasy books just to escape it all.

As for how it changes how I feel about villains...well I've never bought the old black and white villain has always been the villain in the shade of grey. I have always drifted towards a villain who could justify his actions with the thought that he is doing what is right or what is needed. In this way, terrorists and the villains of my entertainment are similar. However, I'll probably hold off on reading about terrorists and other current events-related novels...I can read all I want in the morning paper.

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