Today I’d like to share some riveting prose. But warning, you might throw up a little in your mouth.
- “…but the body beneath the tailored clothes was a symphony of curves, a melody of flesh looking to break free. In fact, she looked like she was smuggling balloons.”
- “…the waitress with the Nordic-Track ass.”
- “We walked up the staircase, me trailing behind…because I wanted to check out Donna’s legs and butt.”
- “‘She was beautiful.’ I remembered to add, ‘And very bright,’ like I really gave a rat’s ass about that.”
Hmm, See Where I’m Headed with This?
I’ve pulled these quotes from the book Plum Island by Nelson DeMille. My nice gene wanted to keep the book nameless, but for copyright reasons, I figured I shouldn’t. Then again, anyone who follows me on Goodreads could figure it out. Doesn’t take a nuclear physicist. Especially one with big balloons.
Too bad, too, because I love the story—great science, good suspense, interesting police procedural. But Jeez Louise, if I wanted this much chauvinism, I’d head back to Vegas and watch creepy men pawn creepy booby cards.
Sexy language doesn’t bother me. If an author wants to get his or her sex on, go for it. It worked for E. L. James. But if the author desires female readership, I suggest he or she present female characters as more than boobies, butts, and thighs. In this novel, even intelligent female detectives and Ph.D. scientists are no more than the sum of their physical parts. Booty before essence, I guess.
Of course, sexist pigs exist in reality, and as such, they deserve to exist in fiction. And showing, not telling, as this author does, is a beautiful way to highlight the character’s faults. But when the sweet misogynist is the protagonist himself, that sale proves tougher. I don’t know about you, but I like to like my heroes. And this doofus is hard to like, especially when character growth is not on the table.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking—Hey, Carrie, the author can write any way he wants. No one is forcing you to read it.
As a result, I won’t read other works by this best-selling author. A shame, really, because the story is good. But shelves and shelves of great books exist. No reason to waste my time eye rolling, harrumphing, and hawing.
And as a writer, for my own readers’ benefit, I promise to avoid the following physical description of my hero: “Looks like he’s smuggling a cucumber in his pants…”
What are your thoughts on the subject? Men, am I being too sensitive? Women, would you keep reading? Both genders, do you care, or are you just rolling your eyes and saying, “That Carrie is so very…”?
Please forgive my absence from your blogs later this week. I’m taking my youngest to Magi-Fest, a huge magic conference with some of the biggest names in the business. Okay, not David Copperfield. No, not Criss Angel. Not Penn and Teller. Hey, stop it, will you? There are big names there according to my son, who happened to get a full scholarship to the event. That’s my boy! Of course, past experience tells me I’ll be one of the few estrogen-secreters present. Better keep my balloons well-covered…