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Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm Growing a Literary Vagina

I just finished reading my first Danielle Steel novel. Not many guys can say that.

The main character, his name is Charlie, is described as this incredibly handsome man. Steel doesn't play around with words, either. That's not her style. Charlie is handsome is pretty-much what she wrote. Women are falling all over this Charlie guy, and, of course, he doesn't know how handsome he is, because that lack of ego just makes him that much more handsome. Charlie is handsome, and that's the problem, because the conflict of this story is that Charlie is trying to get the girl.

Who cares if Charlie gets the girl? Can we really doubt for a second that he wouldn't?

What if Charlie weighed over three-hundred, or had horrible burns all over his face? What if the woman of his dreams couldn't even look at him? How could Charlie possibly get a date then?

The fantasy equivalent of this would be if Frodo of the Shire was the best warrior in Middle-Earth, and instead of risking the lives of himself and his friends to destroy the One Ring he single-handedly slays an army of orcs and then gives a really bad one-liner as he decapitates Sauron.

Maybe (probably) I've got this romance genre thing all wrong. Maybe it's all about the big, happy ending and the conflict should just take a back seat.

If that's the case, then the romance genre is the least realistic genre in literature. I'll believe in hobbits before I'll ever believe in Charlie. Who can possibly become immersed in a story where everything is perfect?


  1. I sense some deep-rooted insecurities, Justin. Perhaps not enough women in your life have told you just how handsome you are.

  2. As long as it's not Danielle Steel telling me I'm handsome then I'm okay with that.

  3. Maybe the point of book isn't the conflict. Maybe it's like a really bad Saturday morning cartoon, or a soap opera, where things happen, and it's more about the experience along the way than the final outcome. Or like Casual Games, watered down for people (middle-aged women) who just want to blow away some time without an actual challenge. Maybe you didn't realize you were reading a Casual Book.