Monday, July 28, 2008

Pandora's box

Wow, is all I have to say. Over at the LDS Publisher blog there is a big hornet's nest discussion going on. It started with a question by a reader about what should and should not be considered LDS fiction with Angel Falling Softly as a reference example. As I read the comments I wondered how much my review of the book might or might not have been a contributing factor. This morning I clicked on a link from one of the commentors and found comments from my review comments referenced in that blog post. So I guess my review must have had some contribution. Because of that, and some of what has been said over at LDS Publisher and other blogs around blogland, I would like to clear up some things.

*I didn't like the book. That is my opinion and my opinion only. Take it or leave it, your choice.

*I stated that I would not have picked up this book to read based on the blurb on the back cover. However, Zarahemla contacted me and asked me to review the book and give my opinion, which I did. I am sorry if it was not the glowing review they would have liked. Again, my opinion and my opinion only.

*I am not condeming Mr. Woodbury or Zarahemla for the content of this book. I have way too many things in my life that I need to account for and repent for without trying to keep track of what others are and are not doing. I will work out my own salvation, they are responsible for theirs. I just didn't like the book.

*Other people have read and liked the book and I am ok with that. We all bring our own expectations and life experiences to the reading of a book. My life experiences have taken me through experiences that I cannot read this type of book and like it. Again, my life, my opinion, my experiences.

*I wish Rachel had been a little more fleshed out, that I could have seen her struggle with her decision a bit more. Maybe, just maybe, I would have understood her more and perhaps liked the book a teensy bit more. In fact, I liked the vampire, Milada, a lot more than I liked Rachel. In Milada I saw a being that wanted redemption, wanted understanding and struggled with what she was and who she was and who she was not. She struggled with her past and what it meant to her present and future. Rachel probably struggled with these things, but I didn't see it in the book. For me it felt like she wasn't getting what she wanted, she saw a possibility and then grabbed it throwing everything out the window for what she wanted with no thought for the consquence of that action. (I still would have objected to the descriptions of sex. I don't want to be a voyeur and don't read books that make me one)

* I would have liked to have seen some sort of consequence for Rachel other than her daughter now lives with someone else but comes to visit regularly and they all lived happily ever after, the end. Perhaps I missed the intended consequence but this is the ending as it appeared to me. Do something contrary to what you believe is right and it is ok. I hate it when evil is rewarded and good is punished or ignored at best. (again, my thoughts, my experiences, my opinion)

*I have never read Dracula, nor have I seen vampire movies and the whole vampire=sex thing was lost on me until I started reading about it on blogs and comment sections of blogs. Sorry. Does that make me illiterate? I don't think so, but some would. That is their opinion and that is ok. Does it make me naive? Again, I don't think so, but some would. But then I have had some experiences that they have not and so in that regard, I might call them naive.

*Perhaps there are other references to other things that I didn't get because I hadn't read some particular book or seen some particular movie. Maybe that would have changed things for me. I am pretty picky about the content of books and movies that I read and watch. Personal reasons that I won't go into. Ask me in person and if I know you well enough and trust you enough, I might share those reasons with you. Because of those reasons, there are certain things, nuances, references etc. that I won't get. But not knowing them is not detrimental to my eternal salvation so I don't care.

*I don't read just Deseret Book and Covenant publications. I don't just read "LDS literature" I read a lot of things. I like a lot of things. Yes, I read a lot of "safe" books. But sometimes I like something with some "teeth" to it, if you will forgive the pun here. And there are things that I don' t like and I return them to the library, give them away or throw them away. I usually don't review them on my blog because I want to share with you the things I like. But I had been asked to review this book. So I gave my opinion.

*I have read some of Mr. Woodbury's comments on different blogs and he seems to be a very intelligent, nice man. We just don't have the same taste in books. That is ok. I even said in my original review that I liked his writing style, I thought he was a good storyteller. I might read more by him if I wasn't afraid of being slapped in the face with envelope pushing elements to his story. Again, my reasons, my opinions.

*I was mistaken when I stated that Angel Falling Softly was marketed as an LDS fiction book. It is not marketed that way. The fact that the book has an LDS setting and the publisher has an LDS name threw me and I did not check my facts in my blogging about that. I apologize for that.

*I haven't seen "The Dark Night" and don't plan to. I hated "Lord of the Rings". I fell asleep during each and every one of them. I loved "The Core" and watch "Stargate". I read "The Work and the Glory"," The Promised Land" series, "The Wheel of Time" and loved them. I hated "Twilight" I loved "Sunshine". I read Agatha Christie, Ann McCaffrey, and Nora Roberts. I didn't like "Angel Falling Softly", but I did love "Outlander". Didn't like "A Time to Dance" but did like "The Alliance".

So my point is this, discussion about what is and is not/ should and should not be included in a certain genre is good. Discussion about a book and what you like and don't like is good. It is also subjective and open to interpretation unless you have the author read it to you and explain every single word and scene choice. Calling names and hurting feelings is not good. I wrote what I felt about a book. I hope that it is not being used to make fun of others or to point out how someone is illiterate and naive for not knowing something, because that was never my intent.

Coming tomorrow, something fun to get ready for the post 300 giveaway.


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Christopher Bigelow said...

I actually agree with you on the Rachel character; I don't see we saw enough of her emotional reaction, etc.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Well put, Sandra.

Kimberly said...

Very well put, indeed.