Booking Through Thursday: Villainy

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The Booking Through Thursday question for today is:

Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.

So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since.

And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?

I don’t think major catastrophes in general change my reading habits. I am generally able to separate book villains from real ones, and in books you know everything will work out in the end (at least the books I read),

I do remember, though, after my good friend’s mother passed away when I was in my early 20s, It was my first experience with the death of someone close, and I reeled at how cavalierly death was handled, especially on TV, but sometimes also in books. I blanched when I heard jokes about death and hoped there was no one watching or listening who had recently lost someone. As a whole our society seemed insensitive to those who were grieving. So at that time I probably could not have read a story involving the death of a loved one. Though I have read many missionary books with parts detailing unimaginable suffering, for a long time I couldn’t read Gracia Burnham’s In the Presence of My Enemies because it was too close — it had happened to people not far from my age group and in my lifetime.

So, though I am not drawn to books dealing in any way with terrorists, if I were, I don’t think I could have read any around that time. We do watch some TV shows and movies with terrorist-driven plots now, but I probably could not have for a long while then.

I was drawn to articles about the different aspects of 9/11 for months afterwards, especially testimonies of people who were there in NY when it happened or family members of those those who were directly involved. The only books I read that dealt with 9/11 specifically were Karen Kingsbury novels One Tuesday Morning and Beyond Tuesday Morning.

More thoughts on 9/11 are in th next post, but I wanted to keep this one strictly in answer to the question.

4 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Villainy

  1. It’s hard to know how you would have reacted when you aren’t/weren’t drawn to those sorts of books anyway. The more I read responses, the more I think maybe I would have taken at least some time away from those types of books had I read them at the time.

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