October 28th, 2009

dorothyday

Owning Our Shit, or, If We Can't Be Bothered To Do It, Who Else Can We Expect To Fix Our Mess?

A short while back, I was in a situation where the only book on hand to read was a novel by somebody I'd never read nor heard of, of that genre that is hard to nail down, the quasi-mystery novel which is often called "suspense" or "thriller" but which would be most accurately called "serial-killer fear porn" in most cases - they were very big throughout the Nineties, and I skimmed a whole bunch of them in bookstores and department store book sections, trying to figure out their perverse appeal, since most of the purchasers seemed to be women. "Be afraid, be VERY afraid at ALL times of ALL men!

--Except for The Hero who will if you are a VERY lucky Good Girl show up to rescue you at the last minute from the charming (or deceptively-bland) serial killer whom you stupidly trusted and now in whose cackling clutches you are helplessly caught--" that was the message of each one that I perused, which admittedly was the message of my parents and the whole adult world, only with more explicit gore and sex. The covers, like the authors and titles and synopses, were pretty much interchangeable, with a lipsticked screaming mouth or terror-and-mascara-widened eye on a ghostly-white background, or, sometimes, for variety, an ominiously-silhouetted female on a shadowy cover.

This one fell into the latter style.

So, yeah, not looking to be my cup of tea, but again when you are trapped without stuff to read - well, you know how it goes - and it turned out to be a lot different than the cover indicated, with women doing their own rescuing (the exception being a six year old child) as well as some of the evildoing, and a Bechdel-Wallace pass as one of the protagonists is mentored by an older FBI agent, and a lot of focus Collapse )