Monday, October 26, 2009

Author Disappointment

I just finished reading another Vince Flynn book, Act of Treason. I really like Flynn's writing. It is a good, quick, lazy read for me. An excellent escape from a busy life.

I've been wanting to request another Flynn novel ever since returning from vacation in August. I just didn't have time to get sucked into a book. I've been reading, of course, but nothing with the same propensity to "suck me in".

I am, however, somewhat disappointed. My fifteen year old son, Matthew, is beyond reading children's lit or even the young adult titles. Although it would be nice if he only read Dickens or Cooper or Stevenson, it just isn't realistic. (We have been doing Treasure Island as a family read aloud, however, so perhaps he'll start groovin' on Stevenson.)

There are so few adult books around today that are not filled with smut. And not just an illusion to some situation. But the graphic descriptions of s**ual interactions. I don't think a fifteen year old needs his or her head filled with images of such things. No one needs that. But it's extra important to protect our youth. A young person still has the ability to look forward to a beautiful, pure, physical relationship with his or her spouse some day. Although of course filled with original sin, he or she has not been polluted, so to speak, with graphically spelled out descriptions of humanity's depraved tendencies.

When I started reading Flynn books, I was pleased that there were fewer than usual s**ual situations and those few seemed to be mentioned in passing and not described in great detail. So I began previewing the books and I allowed Matt to read some of the earl6y ones. But then came one I let him read without previewing it and was frustrated when I read it myself, because it was more graphic than I would have liked to expose him to.

I apologized for not protecting him from such titillation.

But it seems Flynn eventually joined the ranks of authors I will not let Matt read. The last several books I've had to tell him, "No, sorry." And I am sorry. It is good to read. It is good to read books with more advanced plots and adventures and vocabulary. But why, oh why, do they also have to have "advanced" other things?!

I use advanced in quotes because, of course, there is nothing mature about this graphic writing style. It is a classic example of what Laura Ingraham would call the pornification of our culture. Specifically, there are two types of s**ual writing to which I am opposed. 1) An author describes in detail the progression of such a situation; and 2) an author includes images of aberrative behaviors.

The first complaint deals the titillation aspect of writing. This so obviously appeals to our baser natures. No one really needs any extra reasons to be tempted toward such thoughts.

The second complaint is because there are just certain things we don't need to think about. Does it really add to a novel to read, even in passing, about how the dominatrix was dressed? Give me a break! A simple acknowledgment that a certain character is a pervert would suffice.

Most of the situations in Flynn's writing from which I feel I need to protect my son do not seem to intentionally titillate. There are not lengthy graphic descriptions. That, in this day and age, is a rare thing. But in his later novels, there seems to be more mention of aberrant behaviors.

Sorry, Matt, you're cut off.

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