Linda Maye Adams

Boy Fiction?


I read George R.R. Martin’s The Game of Thrones as part of How To Revise Your Novel.  It was a way to see how scenes were structured, and one of the most interesting things to see was that a scene might take place over a number of locations.  I’ll admit  I didn’t particularly enjoy it because it was more character-focused than I like.  I’m afraid I start getting bored and wishing for a little more plot when it comes to character-focused fiction.

The bok was recently made into an HBO epic, and the New York Times review of it is making the rounds for this comment:

The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

Huh?  Adding token illicitness to get women to watch?  I can feel my eyes starting to cross.  It’s an insult that goes back decades ago.  When I was growing up, there were only a couple of books available for girls: romances and nurse stories, which were also usually romances.  It was like there was this assumption that this was all girls wanted to read about.

Then you got me.  I wanted to read action.  I ended up in science fiction and mysteries because there was action.  Nothington for girls though.  If I found a girl in any of these stories, she usually was stupid and helpless and had to be rescued.  Even Nancy Drew always ended up needing to be rescued by Ned–smart enough to get into trouble, but not smart enough to find a way out of it.

What do I read?

Fantasy.

Science Fiction.

Thriller.

Mystery.

And I pass by any books that have illicitness in them.  I’d rather have the action.  Same thing with movies–I fast forward past those scenes.

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