I enjoy reading in a bunch of different genres and tend to jump from one to the other as my mood takes me. Earlier this week, having finished off Goliath, the third book in Westerfeld’s awesome dieselpunk trilogy, I decided I hadn’t picked up any horror or splatter stories in a while. I have a whole pile of horror books, and though I’m picky about them these days the genre is still a pleasing go-to.
But not this week, apparently. I got about fifty pages in before realizing I wasn’t having any fun. The setup was intriguing enough and there seemed to be a fair amount of story yet to be told. But I kept getting distracted by boobs.
I’m not sure why, but the author seemed to have an ongoing and unstoppable compulsion to describe the breasts of every female character. And if there was no reason to describe them, then one would certainly come up. Breasts jiggled as women spoke, or bounced when they jumped in surprise, or strained at skimpy shirts when they moved. Seriously. If this were a first-person narrative I could’ve dealt with that, but the third-person POV just gave the impression of a camera that repeatedly locked onto a woman’s tits instead of her face.
When the narrative paused for a paragraph to describe the visual of a waitress’ breasts popping out of her top while she was being attacked and other characters were moving to help her, the visual in my head was like the “haircut scam” scene in Kung Fu Hustle, in which every time the shirtless Bone pounds his fists, the camera cuts to a slow-motion closeup of his mushy pecs jiggling, accompanied by a moderately icky waterbed-mattress noise.
I wasn’t going to be able to take this story seriously with all that slow-motion jiggling going on. So, I put it down. This is one of those times when I feel like I’ve outgrown some styles of writing, and when I feel like the things I’m reading are revealing things about the author. Nothing inherently wrong with that, of course. But right now I’m in the mood for a story, not tits. On to the next read.