Welcome back to this second part in a series about my unenjoyment of Lee Child's thriller Killing Floor!
So yesterday we learned about one of my reading "deal-breakers," namely, military and ex-military characters. Today's subject is even more unreasonable (are you surprised?):
Thrillers piss me off.
Thrillers, by their very nature, are manipulative. Particularly when they're done well. They are often written with chapters that are two to five pages long, with lots of short action words, lots of action, period, and often some punchy dialogue. Their chapters often end with tiny cliffhangers. They usually set forth some sort of puzzle that the reader's supposed to want to solve, or else they offer suspenseful foreboding, making you wonder what's going to happen to the characters next. They are called page-turners because they are designed to make you want to turn the pages faster. And you know what? I resent that.
This is the point where Mr. CR would say I am over-thinking my reading (or, in all honesty, my mother would tell me I over-think everything). But I do not like being manipulated. If I wanted to be manipulated I would go to a full-time job with a boss schooled in management techniques who would try to motivate me using the "levity effect" or "total quality management" or some other bullshit scheme. I do not need to be manipulated in my downtime. When I finished Killing Floor, which I had to do, and quickly, because I'd been manipulated into needing the ending, I felt angry, just like I'd felt when I finished Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns. Yes, I'd cried over it, and was pissed that I'd cried, because I felt that the author had manipulated me into it.
And here's where I have to ask the question I invariably have to ask after I've totally started babbling about a book and my reaction to it: Does any of this make sense?
Okay. We're done here. I'd leave you with a cliffhanger but I don't want you to feel manipulated into reading this blog tomorrow. I will share my favorite part of reading this book, however. It was a book I checked out from the library, and at one point in the narrative, there was this sentence: "'Pluribus?' she said. 'Isn't that something to do with politics? Like on the podium when the president gives a speech?'"
In the library copy that I had, someone had crossed out "podium" with pencil and written in "lecturn." That made me very happy. (And it didn't really manipulate me into feeling happy, either.) I couldn't decide what was cuter: that someone felt strongly enough to write in "lectern," or that they'd spelled it "lecturn." What's your vote?