Monday, July 16, 2012

A stunningly false analogy

Richard Lipez reviews "Criminal" and says:
The physical and psychological tortures inflicted on young Atlanta prostitutes before they are murdered are described at greater length and in more punctilious detail than some readers will want to endure. But if the brave female police officers who have to confront these horrors can take it, readers should be able to handle it, too.
This is one of the worst analogies/justifications-for-slasher-porn I have ever read. Cops deal with perverted serial killers because (a) they have to, it's their job; (b) it's real, actual, in the real world; and (c) they have to, someone is slaughtering real, actual human beings and needs to be stopped.

Readers do not have to. The victims are not real people, and if they were, I would not be the one solving their murders. And you know what? I'll bet most cops would just as soon skip the gruesome details too, if they only could.

A novel is entertainment, not police work. I don't happen to be entertained by this kind of writing. So, if
Nor is skipping over this material a realistic option for Slaughter’s fans; it keeps recurring during meticulously rendered autopsies and in the memories of the scarred survivors of a sadist who’s right up there with Lecter in leaving an all-too-indelible impression.
then I'll just skip the whole book.

There may be an argument in favor of exposing readers (and viewers of films) to the most detailed descriptions of sadistic slaughter (especially of women), but if cops can take it you can too is NOT that argument.

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