Posts Tagged ‘literary fiction’

The 1980s: Chariots of Fire, Reaganomics, Thriller, Magnum, P.I….and the publication of my first two novels. I took myself very very seriously, reading deeply literary reviews, aspiring toward profundity, and devoting lots of pondering to “my body of work” and “my legacy.” That’s some precious musing, considering that I was writing books like this for kids.

Nowadays I often agree with a quote attributed to Tony Hillerman: “Literary fiction is when nothing much happens to people you don’t much care about.” I’ve embraced my inner fan boy, and discovered that the shallow end of the pool holds most of the fun. Sometimes ya just have to say, “The hell with dialog, let’s blow something up!”

The President's VampireThus I’m delighted to discover Bookgasm, a review site specifically for genre fiction. Count on Bookgasm to review fine titles such as Bullets, Broads, Blackmail, and Bombs, Robopocalypse, and The President’s Vampire. If your reading tastes often run towards thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi, comics, and tough guy novels of various kinds (Westerns! –even Westerns!), you might like Bookgasm’s “reading material to get excited about.”

I like the length of Bookgasm’s reviews, but even more, I like the tone: professionalism mixed with insouciance. They hold the authors to high standards of entertainment, but always keep in mind that we’re not talkin’ world peace, here. Though sometimes flippant, they can still land interviews with heavy hitters such as the conspicuously talented Michael Connelly. And how can you not appreciate a site that gives away the occasional free book?

If you’re not interested in Bookgasm by now, I give up.

Connelly is one of those authors who proves that it’s a false dichotomy to set deep and literary fiction against fun and well-paced fiction. They don’t have to be opposites. His popular novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, feels deceptively light, yet explores gray shades of morality, injustices of the justice system, socio-economic dilemmas, and the arc of a character who begins the book morally lost (and apparently satisfied that way). To cite another example, some might consider Water for Elephants a literary novel, but I experienced it as a page-turner.

Is it pulp? Is it literature? What does it matter if you love it? Thanks to Bookgasm, I discovered an author I’d never heard of who writes incredibly vivid, well-paced thrillers – yet moved me enough that after some of his scenes, I had to put down my Kindle and stare into space, absorbing the emotional layers of his scenes. I’ll devote my next entry to analyzing some of his masterful techniques.