Thursday, May 19, 2011

Never In Doubt

--Adrienne Miller

Unpredictability is overrated. Yeah, I said it. I know most of say that we like it when life throws a few curveballs our way, but we really mean is we like it when we like it pitches us surprises that go our way. I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly batting a thousand against Life.
Enough with the baseball metaphors, I hear you say. Ok. Ok.
Which is why I love me some genre fiction.  I always have. You always know what you’re going to get.
My first love was horror. Monsters and murder. Demon dogs and reanimated children. Scary stuff, and I faced everything alongside the protagonist. I never knew who was going to fall away during your journey to the last page, but I knew by the time I got there the worst of the shadows would be vanquished. They just had to be.
There were a few mysteries in there too. Sherlock Holmes (still a major literary crush) and Hercule Poirot (not so much). Big puzzles and concrete answers. Satisfying stuff. 


Then came romance and its HEA’s, and I was lost. Nothing I read before could compare to the promise of a happily ever after at the end of every story. No matter how bleak things seem at the beginning, no matter how much animosity exists between the hero and heroine, they will find happiness. Together. And that’s a promise. 
The end of these stories is never is doubt. You know it before you ever plop down your cash. Some critics point to these predictable endings as proof of the inferior nature of genre fiction, but I think they’re missing the point. The joy of them comes in witnessing the dance that happens in that middle bit, the adventure. That’s really why I love these books. I know something that our hero doesn’t--that the monster isn’t invincible, that the mystery is solvable, that the two of them were meant to be together--and because of that I can focus on the journey instead. 

4 comments:

Sophie Littlefield said...

it *is* a singular joy to pick up exactly the book one is in the mood for - and it's my constant campaign to get people to see that you don't have to disparage such books to appreciate the other kind, the surprising kind, the out of the box kind.

Rachael Herron said...

True! I love knowing where we're headed, because I can relax and really ENJOY along the way.

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