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Light Reading: October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008

As I expected, I finished Black Ship last night. It was very satisfying, but I’d expected that, too.

Talking about it, though, lands me square on the horns of a dilemma, one I haven’t resolved: how to describe something light in a way that doesn’t make it sounds stupid. The appeal of the Dalrymple mysteries and other types of light reading is that they don’t make particular kinds of demands of me, whether those demands are intellectual or emotional. In the case of the Dalrymple mysteries, I know nothing horrible is going to happen — there’ll be a murder, but it won’t be presented in a disturbing way, and the thread of violence isn’t going to hang over the narrative.

That description strikes me as damning with faint praise, which is not my intention. My life makes demands on me that use up a lot of mental and emotional energy, and sometimes my reading is all about escaping those demands so I can recharge my batteries. Fiction that lets me do that is welcome and beloved.

So maybe you’ll join me in a moment of gratitude for the pleasure to be found in smart, light fiction, even if I haven’t figured out how to describe it in a way that praises it properly.

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