The pleasures of summer #3 – What do writers think?

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The things one can do in the summer continues. I was tired today and it was a rainy day so part of it was spent on the balcony while I finished a book and drank tea and nibbled on some chocolate. I have spent quite a few hours reading on the balcony this summer, both day and night. If I tilt the knitting lamp behind the couch and bend it to face the window, I can see to read on the balcony even after the sun goes down. This book was a good one, Kerry Greenwood is a good author and I have read about four of her books about Phryne Fisher so far (there is also an excellent TV show about her). I think I liked this the best. It was a quick read, over before I even noticed it starting, as happens with knittings sometimes. The only thing I didn’t like was the use of bad words. The culprit used many bad words throughout the book and I didn’t care for it. Once or twice is fine, to show character and so on, but this was a bit exagerated. Also, the Miss Fisher I know would never tolerate such a language (not that she did in the book either).

I sometimes wonder how authors and screen writers think when they write something. A bad word or something like that is sometimes necessary to provoke a bit or, as I mentioned earlier, show character, but it can’t be too much or the audience will abandon the book, movie or TV show. I have a friend who stopped watching a show because there were too many rape threats. I myself have stopped watching another show because there was too much slapping women around (that was a police show and if you don’t like the detective in question – the hero – you might as well stop watching. In this case he slapped women in pretty much every episode, and not just him, and that was not okay by me. I mean, sure, this might be true of the 19th century society that was portrayed, police detectives perhaps used violence in every encounter with the female sex, but let’s not forget that the show isn’t real, it’s fiction and we can never pretend it’s not, and we have a choice in how we decide to portray it). I don’t even think the line is that fine when it comes to something nasty that might be necessary for the plot and an excessive use of said nastiness and I think it’s a cheap trick that make me wonder about the writers’ imagination and values.

Besides the use of invectives though, the book was really good. Now I’m on to the next Phryne Fisher Mystery. More tea, please!