Sunday, March 19, 2006

A conundrum

A conundrum. I'm in a writer's group with people I've known and whose opinions I've valued for many years. So now I am reading segments of a work in progress where a young girl has been kidnapped and her captors talk between themselves about how best to make money from her: ransom or kiddie porn? When I got to that point in my reading, my friend made it clear that she would stop reading. Fair comment. Good and decent people have different thresholds for this type of fiction, though, and I wonder if it isn't better to stay with my original direction and see what happens.

I've read and thoroughly enjoyed several books in Lawrence Sanders' hilarious McNally series, so I was quite surprised when I delved into his The First Deadly Sin, which is about as dark and unfunny a story as I've read in a long time. Sections of the book with the point of view of the killer are so hard to take that I've nearly stopped reading. A whole book of that would be far too much. What keeps me going are the terrific writing and the anticipation that I'll soon get to read about the very sympathetic and human protagonist. No doubt my good friend would never tolerate the book, yet in its own way it is excellent.

So I'm inclined to go where I'm inclined to go.

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