Sunday, 2 November 2008

Is There A Problem Ossifer?

I tend to have realisations in cyclical patterns.

I realise something, am astounded, forget about it and realise it again a few months later when it comes up in the rota.

For instance, I am surprised at each change of the seasons by a vague sense of nostalgia, of dej√° vu, that this all seems kind of familiar.

As the weather heats up I am amazed each night at how annoying the sheets are getting and how I need to remember to put the fan on before getting into bed.
I have this strange premonition that it’s going to get warmer before it gets colder, seeing as it isn’t even summer yet… but I’m getting off topic.

The astonishing revelation that I am re-experiencing at the moment is that I used to read far more books far more often.
I would knock over a book every day or two easily and have a stack ready and waiting to go on with.

I have no idea when I stopped hitting the library on a semi-regular basis but it coincides suspiciously with my last year of university when I had books being crammed in both of my eye sockets as literary theory was dribbled into each ear.

Determined to right this wrong, I rocked up to the local library, had a bit of a browse and came away with a stack of books. The first one I picked out was Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham which led to another epiphany.
I really need to stop reading crime fiction for about... 20 years.

Not because I don't like it. I think it's fantastic.
It's just all the impassioned, grizzled, principled detectives/policeman are all about 40+ as a rule and when I start getting all misty eyed about their angsty emotional problems and their bad luck with dames and how the system is always against them no matter how many people they save and how they suffer... *coff*

Tom Thorn, Sam Vimes, Salvo Montalbano, Adam Dagliesh* - and many others - all 40 to 50ish and all so very honorable**.

While many 40+ year old men would be A-OK with the idea of a 25 year old woman giving them the glad eye*** it just makes me feel a bit... reverse cradle-snatcher. There's a term for it... not grave-robber, something else... Anyway, back to my point.

The young fictional policeman just aren't that exciting. They're either wet behind the ears and still being taken under the wing of scruffy-but-ethical older detective or they're hot-headed and there to get stabbed up by some psycho for being too overzealous and going in without back-up and dammit, what are we going to tell the kid's mother?
By the time they've been on the job long enough to have an eye for the job and to have suffered enough to be attractively damaged they are getting into that age bracket and I just feel like I'd be taking advantage****.

So the best thing to do would to just put the crime fiction aside for about 10 to 20 years and by the time I came back to it we would be of an age and everything would be fine*****.

Actually probably the best thing to do would be to actually get some sleep once in a while and not get on the internets when in the grips of that out-the-other-side-of-exhaustion bug-eyed clarity. And a nice bottle of Merlot.
Damn Adam Dagliesh.

*Yes Adam Dagliesh is a bit of a ponce but I let him stay on the list as every time I read any P D James I end up making myself really fancy meals and drinking nice wine, P D James really loves talking about food. And clothes. Woolen clothes. Go figure.
**And cynical! And sometimes sarcastic! I really like cynical sarcasm...
***If they actually existed and all...
****If, y'know, they existed...
*****If they weren't fictional characters in books.


Rapscallion said...

OOOooh Montalbano! I'd forgotten about him, shame on me. I used to love it when SBS would have one of his movies on every weekend. Although it is always amazing that anyone could get away with anything on an island that small.
And Sam Vimes well Pratchett is awesome. I used to date a guy who had a fake Centrelink ID with Samuel Vimes as his name on it, mostly to get cheap movie tickets.
I think the term is Sugar Daddy but I'm pretty sure they'd have to a bit older than 40 and you'd have to be a few years younger. So then the real creepy factor would apply, like high school teachers and their pupils. For some reason the female equivalent is Cougars not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.
I used to read a lot more too, but then school ends, and you have to work, then there's overtime, sleep or lack there of. TV, internet, friends, family, co-workers steal your time before you've even realised it. Personally I think you should keep up with crime fiction there are lot worse books/genres out there.
I've written a bunch, oops.

Ricochet said...

Any vows that include giving up Montalbano would be dirty dirty lies.
You would be surprised what you can get away with in the wonderland that is Italian bureaucracy.
You should try the books, same basic stories but still very good. By Andrea Camilleri.

I think Sam Vimes would approve of cheap movies for fellow officers :-D

Ah, sleep, I remember you... What with all the new crime type authors I've had recommended to me lately I don't think I'll be getting any in the near future. Sleep I mean. *coff*