For no particular reason I can read fast, my eyes and brain see clusters of words and then attempts to cram in as much as possible all at once.
The major downside of this is I get through a lot of books; the second downside is I don’t tend to retain names – real or fictional.
Of these the first one is the hardest as it has resulted in my reading some really weird things and something which were flat-out inappropriate.
An example of the latter was on a family holiday when I ran out of suitable books and picked up one of my dad’s, this wasn’t uncommon even at that single digit age and hadn’t scared or scarred me previously. Unfortunately this time the book was ‘One Rainy Night’ by Richard Laymon.
Richard was a prolific writer and tended to write SplatterPunk. For those who don’t know the term it is subgenre of horror fiction which specialises in lots and lots of really graphic gore and violence.
I’d read Stephen King and similar before, but this was something else. I can’t remember if I got to the end of the book, I can’t remember too much about it, I do know that I haven’t picked up once of Richard’s books since!
Standard non-splatter horror was still fine – although I was now a bit shy of things by male writers – who, as a very broad generalisation, seem more inclined to have bad things happen to female characters and in more detail.
Luckily there are a number of female writers who write books that feel like horror without the trauma (mostly!). They tend to be attributed to odd sounding genres – including the exotic sounding dark fantasy and urban fantasy. Also there is some good stuff hiding under the genre of Paranormal romance, despite the name making me wince a bit!
In order to maximise sales publishers seem to use a very similar template for the cover art and back cover text for anything even vaguely horror/fantasy/supernatural that is written by a woman. This does make it hard to tell the pearls from the swine – or even the young Adult from the Adult, so I’ve ended up with some wonderful books and some which are humorously bad.
The above is a nearly 400 word excuse letter for why very soon I will inevitably mention some books which sound more embarrassing than I perhaps want to mention with without a disclaimer.
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