Thursday, June 18, 2009

Change in Tastes

I have discovered, as I get older, that my tastes have changed. Now, while with food some of this is as much a result of biological processes both mysterious and nefarious (for example, pickles seem to bother me now, and I don't know why, and it upsets me because I like pickles), with other things such as books and music I suppose it's just a question of growing out of things.

Though for some things, there are outlying causes. Such as the writers I liked, as they got older they either got sloppier, or as my own writing improved I came to notice that they were sloppier. Or they got preachy. One of my favorite writers has now penned his last novel with a certain character, and I hated to admit but I was glad that, when I finished it, I knew he was done. Whereas the earlier novels had been active, intense, densely-packed but deftly-paced plots, this last one seemed to be one endless speech after another.

I stopped reading Tom Clancy for much the same reason. Also because, having lived in China, 'The Bear and the Dragon' didn't ring true to me. At least not the first 500 pages. At which point, still nothing had happened. Which may have had more to do with it than anything else. (Yes, I exaggerate. It was 250 pages, and nothing had happened. In the time it takes other books to be done, that one hadn't even got going yet.)

Some of my changing literary tastes also have to do with my own sense of disbelief. I am willing to entertain the notion of ghosts and nasty things that go bump in the night. On the other hand, I have much more difficulty believing in the kind of conspiracies that fuel most of the works of Ludlum and others like him. Some of this is just my lack of belief in conspiracies in general. Keeping a secret for generations, much less centuries, seems to me a losing proposition unless the number of people who know about it steadily die off. It's the nature of a conspiracy that the more people who know about it, the less secret it tends to be.

Other aspects of it are just simply my lack of belief in the lengths with which these conspiracies go to. It starts to stretch the realm of believability. I'm not just talking about the frozen heads of former fascist leaders, either, but how these organizations always seem to know everything that's going on, always one step ahead (or just behind) the hero, who himself (or herself, though that's really rare) has only just made the spectacular leap of logic to figure out where to go.

Mind you, when Muldur made those leaps on the X-Files I bought them, but then you kind of came to expect those little weird logic leaps from him. It was part of the character, and they weren't these successive little steps, on after the other, each one scaling new heights of impossibility.

Which is, I suppose, why I stopped browsing that section of the bookstore. It's just as well, I have more than enough things to read as it is.


Diana said...

Like *cough*submissions*cough*


Kmcelhinny said...

Or maybe they just became too similar and you're searching for something new?

Too much of a good thing, is still too much. But it's always sad when your favorite author let's you down.