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Currently Reading: The Undivided by Jennifer Fallon

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What have I done?

I have admitted something terrible. It didn't take professional police interrogators to drag the confession out of me. I've volunteered it freely.

The reviews that I have posted recently, based on my holiday reading, indicate that I have committed sacrilege against two of the seminal texts of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I didn't especially enjoy Good Omens and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I'm sorry. I hope my parents can still love me.

In my reviews I pointed to the way humour is delivered in a fashion that felt intrusive to me, and I increasingly lost patience with being pulled out of the story. It was a deliberate device - I'm not implying an error on the part of the authors, it simply didn't work for me.

However I have since thought about other possible causes for my ambivalence... Media dates. I'm not one of those people who demands big budget remakes of old movies with modern special effects, but I have noticed that generally I don't enjoy older media (with those rare, brilliant exceptions). Technically it could be argued that I was not the audience for which old movies or novels were produced. Not many authors think enough of themselves to believe they are writing a great story for posterity, hence they are writing for their contemporaries.

I suppose I am implying that both Good Omens and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy don't resonate with a 28 year old male in 2011 the way that did during the times closer to their release. Had I read them earlier in my life I may have fallen in love with them and might be able to reflect on them with nostalgic affection. I didn't. I came into Good Omens in particular with no knowledge of the story, but with soaring expectations nonetheless. It never stood a chance.

I'm sure my kids won't like The Godfather either. Imagine their probable reaction to Star Wars...

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