Sunday, November 19, 2006


So here I am yesterday around 11pm, about 90 pages into my latest historical novel, when I come across a scene so incredibly distasteful that it stops me in my tracks. If this wasn't a review book, I'd have put it down right then, if not flung it across the room. (The latter may still happen.) It doesn't help that this novel's pacing is so slow I can barely make it through 50 pages an hour. However, since I'm obliged to finish it, I'll continue to persevere through the next 450-odd pages. And hope it gets better.

I'm sure that was the author's intent, to develop a character so repulsive that the reader feels it, but it sure doesn't make me want to read further. As this is a review book, I won't go into the details now, other than to say you'd probably be sorry you asked.

I don't usually get squeamish about scenes in novels like I do about films at times - over the last few books, I've read about graphic autopsies, murders, hangings (you name it, really, historical fiction can be very realistic) - but there are some mental images I would prefer not to have.

However, Saturday night wasn't a total loss, since a few hours earlier we were up in Champaign at the Borders, where I noted the titles/ISBNs of a good number of books to order for the library's math collection on Monday. Not very exciting, but necessary - I have a bunch of funds I need to spend in the next few weeks.


  1. Anonymous9:21 AM


    Yuck. I don't like the overly explicit or horrific stuff either. I absolutely had to slam AZTEC shut when I got to a certain scene, and I never would open it again. Definitely don't tell us what the scene was, but tell us what the book was so I can avoid it!


  2. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Lol, do you mean the incest one? I read a bit further, but overall, the book didn't do it for me and I gave up some 120 pages into it.

    It's weird, I don't mind torture and descriptions of rotting bodies, but don't ever give me an incest scene.

  3. Somehow I don't think I'll be reading Aztec anytime soon either. I hate to say it, but the scene I read is even worse (imho) than what's been mentioned.

    Susan, I'll email you the title. It'll be easy to avoid for a while, since it won't be out until next April, I believe.

  4. Anonymous11:00 AM

    Ooh, now I'm curious too!

  5. I should imagine we're all curious now :-) The imagination boggles, or at least mine does.

  6. Anonymous5:11 PM

    Yep, Sarah is such a tease. She promises a juicy bad book and then can't give the details away. ;)

  7. Hee... sorry... you guys can email me to find out the sordid details, but they're not going on the blog. For those who intend to read the book anyway, I should mention the scene can't be considered a spoiler, unless we're talking about one's lunch.