Saturday, April 15, 2006

Reader's Diary #74- Jean M. Auel: The Plains of Passage (up to 115)

Yawn. Can you believe I'm up to p. 115 and we're still reliving the first three books? Aside from a flood and a couple of Auel's patented sex-by-numbers scenes (note to Auel: Stop using the term "manhood" to refer to a penis), there's very little story line.

Something I've noticed in this novel that I haven't noticed in her previous ones, are the references to modern times. For example, Auel mentions"gigantic cave lions, up to twice the size of their later southern descendants..." or "...aurochs, the splendid wild forerunners of herds of placid domestic cattle..." I'm not sure if I just hadn't noticed before, or if such acknowledgements of the reader's time are new to this novel. In either case, I find such references distracting and they take me away from the setting. In such a weak novel, I really don't need help losing my focus.


Robert Hiscock said...

Have you ever encountered the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award?

It is, apparently one of the most dreaded notices an author can get and lots of luminaries have made the shortlist. Given how terribly many otherwise good authors become when trying to write about sex, it makes one wonder why they try. It can't be for erotic appeal because generally it ain't erotic and with copious euphemistic references to 'manhood' and the like it isn't even titillating.

I think if I were to wrote a novel, I'd be very, very weary about including a sex scene because when they go badly they go really badly.

John Mutford said...

Thanks for the interesting (and humourous) link. It's made even more laughable when so many "winning" authors try to claim it was written poorly intentionally.