Monday, November 13, 2006

where's the romance ?

i'm a major romantic novel reader.
yes they're trashy, the characters are flat, the plotlines are stale, the end predictable yadda yadda yadda
but not always - and it's worth it to find the gem that so much more

but recently, in romantic novel time, there's very little romance left
everyone has sex
in excruciating (and badly written) detail

which they might have done before as well, and one should not have double standards about what "good girls" do (fill in more yadda yadda yadda)

but i don't want a blow by blow account (literally)
if i'm reading a 200 page novel and skipping 150 pages because i just think some things are too much information, then where's the romance ?
where the bits where she's thinking about him (and who's been in love and not spent inordinate amounts of time worrying about does he like me, should i call now, should i leave a message, sigh ... isn't he cute)

this is a bit of a dichotomy - i don't mind being privy to someones most personal thoughts, but cringe at being a fly on the wall.
but i really like matt damon, and i still don't want pictures of him using the loo - some things are private
so atleast i'm consistently dichotomous.

when i think of romance, i'm thinking of herats and flowers, candle light cliches, sharing an umbrella, walks on the beach, long conversations on the phone, jokes just between the two of you, lots of doodling and sigh ...

the bubble inside
when you love someone
or think you might more than just like them
or feel attracted
or have this delightful flirtation, that seems like it could be more
or not - it was just fun!

and the anguish
when you don't know, or can't express yourself or he's not interested

it's powerful when well written
50% of the music industry is all about that

chick flicks have kissing - for about 10 minutes of the movie
why do romance novels have to degenerate into this pulp?
mush is good, mush is fine
i'm not sure i want mild pornography

writers like Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz, who are great at capturing family dynamics,
do wonderful contemporary women characters, great dialogues
also seem to feel the need to "spice up" their stories
(how i loathe the phrase, so reminiscent of bad pav bhaji with too much garam masala)
which is mildly believeable, because perhaps it is common for women in Seattle or in small towns on the east coast to have sex within a few days of meeting someone
(i know, i know, there's no formula to when it should happen, it should happen when you're ready to take that step - take it, please, just don't describe all of it)

but when regency authors like Christina Dodd, Johanna Lindsay or Stephanie Laurens take the same over the top approach, i find it a bit off.
maybe it happened. maybe there were multiple assignations
it just doesn't work with my idea of romance with a capital r (sorry, R)
(these authors have some great stories, and wonderful characters - thank goodness the novels are long enough to see that)

grrrr ...

any one out there who's remotely simpatico - please, please send recommendations


Blogger rai.karan said...

recomendingabooktoyouislikerecomendingamovietome. eitherseenitorhavechosenveryspecificallynottoseeit.


4:30 AM  
Blogger ~*sim*~ said...

i have achieved the impossible -- recommending a book to pri that she *hasn't* read. it wasn't a romance novel. but still, that's a pretty awesome feat! :D

6:31 AM  

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