[DWJ] Reluctant Pleasure reading

Roslyn Gross rosgross at bigpond.net.au
Fri Mar 4 21:54:55 EST 2011

I just thought about what I just wrote (thinking about something *after* you
post it would seem to be a reverse process!) and I'd just like to tip my hat
to the category of Guilty or perhaps Reluctant Pleasure reading ­ the kind
of book you derive immense pleasure from even though you know you ought to
be thinking more critically about it, or even while you *are* critical of

Right now I'm reading a fantasy series by an Australian writer, Kylie Chan
(the Dark Heavens trilogy) which has a fascinating story arc. It's set
mainly in contemporary Hong Kong and uses Chinese mythology gods, dragons,
demons and so on who look like ordinary humans until they take true form;
martial arts, etc) and I found the first book compulsive reading. While I
was compulsively reading it, however, I couldn't help noticing stock phrases
and repeated ideas and it began irritating me. It also became increasingly
obvious that there was something Mary Sue-y about it. Everything the heroine
does is wonderful, fantastic, extraordinary. Yet there was something about
the story that kept me wanting to read. Now, into the middle of the second
book, these tics are starting to really grate on me. I'm not finding it
quite so compelling, yet I'm still intent on reading on.

I guess there comes a time when the irritation factor just starts to
outweigh anything else. And I guess that will vary from person to person,
and even from book to book for the same person.

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