Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good News, Bad News

I read, I read a lot, and I read a lot of various things. For the last year or so I have been noticing a disturbing trend in my readings. Not the topic, they are still as varied as ever, but I have begun to notice that I have real problems with character(s). There has been in almost ever book I have read in the last two years a character that I absolutely LOATE. A character that I wish a quick, painful, brutal death to on every page they appear. Characters that make me want to put down the book, and stop reading altogether. Characters that when they show up make me start to just skip pages, not skim, but SKIP. Great swathes of pages that I can not read because the character is such a pain in the ass that it makes me want to puke. I had begun to be really concerned about this a couple of months ago when I figured out that almost all the characters I loathed were female characters. Granted I am an unrepentant misanthrope, but have I sunk to misogyny as well? There were female characters that I wanted to boil in oil just so I would not have to read any more of their blathering. In my mind, I begged the author to kill off this character for the sake of Western literature. Of course, as usual with these things, invariably the character that I loathed not only survived to the end of the book, but was, of course, the heroine of the day. Generally, the one who gets the boy, the castle or whatever, the title, and lives happily ever after to my general disgust. This usually made me even madder, not only did the lousy character live, but lived to the very fucking end of the book. One of the characters was in a EIGHT book series, and I loathed her from the first book. Imagine reading SEVEN more books itching for her to die an agonizing death and having her live to the last fucking page. This is the bad news that not only do the characters I hate seem to be predominately female, they seems to live forever. I have become a misogynistic pig. Great my mother will be so very proud. But then along came Karsa Orlong a character in a series of book entitled the Malazan Book of the Fallen. A series of (so far) about ten books. Mr. Orlong puts in his appearance in book four titled House of Chains, and let me tell you I LOATHE him. He is like superman, batman, and God all rolled up into one. Can not be killed, can not be harmed (if he is accidentally wounded he heals super fast), can not be wrong. His character is about a deep as a mud puddle, though part of that may be on purpose, but whenever he shows up large amounts of people die at his hand by his superhuman, godlike ability, and he just strolls away. It is disgustingly bad, and somewhat sad because the rest of the books in the series that I have read, have been fairly good books. However, Orlong made reading House of Chains both a chore, and eventually quicker. When he put in his appearance I could just skip about 15 pages of him killing about a hundred heavily armed people, and no sully myself with reading about it. Watching superman/god cut through normal humans like butter gets really, really fucking old about the 12th time it happens. I mean this guy is amazing. I am really not doing him justice calling him superman/god. I am pretty sure Mr. Orlong would beat god to death with superman's head after he lopped it off. However, the good news is that at least he has solved my earlier problem, he is ALL MAN, ALL THE TIME, and my loathing of him at least sets my compass back to mere misanthrope. Of course, I am quite sure that he will survive, and conquer until the bitter end, which is this case is a mere six (thousand pages or so per) books away. D'Oh!

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

The misogyny question is interesting. Have you noticed an extension into your every day life? For instance, do you find yourself loathing women who seem to always land on their feet and are always on top of things? Fascinating. Now I want to read House of Chains. What's the eight book series you refer to?