Word Porn

“[He was] talking confidentially to his best friend who just happened to be the whole world.”

Doesn’t that quote just perfectly describe internet culture?  After all, that’s what I’m doing right here and now, writing this blog post for anyone who cares to read it.  And I have to treasure quotes like this, which so beautifully and succinctly put the world into perspective.  I despise being pulled out of a story by typos and grammatical errors.  But give me a line like that, and I will stop and marvel before continuing on with the story.

I think I’ve made clear my opinion on Stephanie Meyer and the Twilight saga.  So when I say that I’d rather read Anne Rice instead, I mean it.  That quote is from Prince Lestat, the latest entry in the Vampire Chronicles.  And yes, I am quite aware that while these books are not not marketed as porn (unlike some of Rice’s other work), they are still most definitely porn.  Well-written porn that defined the paranormal romance subgenre decades before such a thing existed.  Except, of course, that these books are for adults and paranormal romance is a young adult thing.  (Seriously, stop subdividing young adult.  It’s just making things worse as far as producing crap books goes.)

I haven’t read a lot of Anne Rice, but I do enjoy her Vampire Chronicles for the most part.  I own almost all of the series and have read every book in it at least once.  Prince Lestat has probably become my favorite entry.  I’m not entirely certain why, but I’ve borrowed this book from the library at least three times, and this is either the fourth or fifth time I’ve read it.  Yes, I really should get my own copy, but I’m hoping to wait long enough to get a mass market paperback instead of an oversized one.  I do have a couple of hardcovers of the Vampire Chronicles, but they fit rather well where they are now, and Prince Lestat is simply too large to be jammed into that space.

In many ways, this newest book is the culmination of the entire series thus far, filled with so many characters who were minor or merely mentioned in previous books, and touching on aspects of most of the previous volumes.  And, as I’ve previously mentioned, it is beautifully written.  Please understand, my standards for good writing are a little different from poetry and the like.  I appreciate a writing style that is invisible to me, that is to say, the text doesn’t interfere with my reading of the story.  I also truly love good lines like the quote above.  If I can think back and remember that line days, weeks, months, and years later, it is very well-written.  Most of my favorites at this time come from Tanya Huff.  If I haven’t made her standing clear, Huff generally ends up as one of my second-favorite authors, behind Mercedes Laceky.  Anne Rice is not even close to these two, but this does not diminish her considerable skill in any way.

The way the world works, I feel like I should count the Vampire Chronicles as a guilty pleasure.  It’s porn, as I said, and everyone knows it.  But…I don’t really feel guilty.  Firstly, most of the world reads porn of various types.  And no, being asexual does not mean I won’t read it.  Asexuality, combined with a familiarity with classic tropes, just means I really despise forced romances and sex scenes that exist for the sake of sex and do nothing to further the plot.  Secondly, I find the actual stories Rice writes to be very interesting.  Sometimes I do think that she’s pushing things a little too hard, but that happens.  Mostly I am genuinely interested to see where things are going.  So I truly enjoy these books, and there’s no guilt in that.  I like most of the Anne Rice I’ve read.

Lastly, I understand that I don’t need anybody else’s approval or judgement on what I choose to read.  If I can find as much enjoyment in rereading Phoebe Gilman’s Something from Nothing as I do in Prince Lestat, who cares?  Just because something is marketed for kids doesn’t mean adults can’t also find value in it, or vice versa.  Oh the Places You’ll Go is just as much a part of a child’s Dr. Seuss library as it is one of the most popular graduation presents.  At least I’m being honest about what I’m reading.  Like I said, Anne Rice writes porn.  But, like so many things, I’m much more interested in it because of the supernatural skin it’s wearing.

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