Monday, September 14, 2015

I think I can handle it

Eek, am I behind on blogging. Alas, my lazy bum time of no classes has given way and I'm back to the grind as I've signed up for school again and am resuming my participation in the large social groups and clubs.

Anyway, I went to a book signing and writing workshop given by three famous authors, including Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, among others. As I was waiting for the event, I was chatting with some other fans of the books and the topic of the Starz tv series came up. I asked the ladies if they had seen it. One lady piped up and said that I shouldn't watch the tv show.

This gave me pause and I wondered: was it not true to the books or did it give spoilers? Instead, the woman leaned in and informed me, "there's a lot of sex in the show!"

I paused, trying to keep a neutral expression and to avoid letting the corners of my mouth twitch. I managed to respond politely, "well, I have watched a lot of HBO so something like that wouldn't phase me, as it is Starz, and it's a similar channel." She offered a weak "oh" in response.

I couldn't help thinking to myself that I'm a grown-a** adult and I'm not going to suffer any ill effects by seeing a biological process on tv. Seriously, we ain't nothin' but mammals at the end of the day, to loosely quote the Bloodhound Gang and to use improper grammar.

I also wondered if she had actually read the books. Um, Jamie and Claire get together in practically every chapter! The funny thing about American television and culture is that it's okay to show violence but all heck breaks out with nudity. Just prior to this conversation, I had another conversation with a German lady about the strange dichotomy of what's, to an extent, "acceptable" on tv. She doesn't get the acceptance of violence on the screen in America and I don't either.


  1. How far into the books are you? I read the first one, and I think all of the second and part of the third. There is still a scene from the first book I wish I could un-read, and I was shocked when I saw it was being made into a series. I assumed they would change or skip that bit, but they didn't (though I think it's worse in the book). It's not about sex, but I don't want to say more for spoilers. We've watched the first season and liked it well enough up up to near the end. I'd want to ask the writer what on earth was going on in her mind when she created that extended scene.

    Despite that, my husband and I have had some pretty fun conversations about the story in general. I was reading the 1st book on our way to Scotland to get married, and he looked over my shoulder during a particularly racy scene between Claire and Jamie. Since then he's called the books and series "your Scottish porn". And there are some standing stones on the estate where our rental cottage is, and I tried them the other day. They didn't work. :-)

  2. Well, about 10 days or so ago, I started with book one. I'm now maybe 1/3 or 1/2 way through book three. At least I think I am; reading an eBook is disconcerting because there isn't the physical heft to judge one's place in the book.

    The violence and gore is more concerning to me. There's a particularly striking part (literally) in book three that's disturbing. However, I would much rather read it than see it on tv because I can read that part quickly so I don't have to dwell on it. Since it's historical fiction and the time was very bloody, I'm not too surprised, I guess, and it wouldn't stop me from reading the book because the violence is an integral part of the story. It has shaped everything in both characters' lives.

    What I do like about Gabaldon's books is that they don't really fit into one category. Apparently I like adventure and quest books but don't care so much about romance books or historical fiction. Well, the books will work for any of those kinds of readers.

    (BTW, if you like quest books with various fantasy elements but not super fantastical, Stephen King's Dark Tower series gives me a feeling of Gabaldon's books, minus the feminine point of view.

    Maybe it's a good thing that the standing stones didn't work for you ;)

    1. You read fast - those are not short books! I agree that her books don't fit into a category. There's a little of everything, which may be why my husband isn't totally opposed to watching the series. Historical fiction is probably my favorite genre, but I usually find the romance bits too unrealistic. My main reason for reading the 1st book was that it took place in Scotland. I don't really like fantasy, though I wouldn't refuse to give it another try. I'll let you know if I go for the Dark Tower series.

  3. With the Dark Tower series, I have to say that I liked book 1 the least (The Gunslinger) because it was too much of a western. I I had to read some Zane Grey books once and was gagging. (But then giggling because I have to make a special point to myself not to mix up Zane Grey books up with just "Zane" books - they are very, very different).

    Past the first book, things get much better. However, I'm a huge Stephen King fan and I love all the literary and cultural references he puts into the DT series. I started reading the French epic poem, The Song of Roland, upon which King based the main character, but now that I've Googlized my brain, I don't have the patience or time to read literature with a lot of footnotes at this time.

  4. Did you feel in Outlander that Claire gave up on Frank too fast? I was a bit surprised but then wondered if she transferred her feelings/abuse from Jack Randall to Frank and that's why she was willing to give up Frank more quickly.

    I also found it a bit strange how quickly she fell in love with Jamie but then I thought of the scary bridge experiment that I learned about in an Interpersonal Psychology class, in which people report stronger feelings for others after being put into situations which elicit a big psychological response, such as fear.

    1. I did not feel that she gave up on Frank too fast. They didn't know each other well when they married, if I remember correctly, and who can resist a highlander with that accent?!? :-) Personally I feel that people in general - not just in books/movies - use "fall in love with" far too easily. Love isn't instant or quick. That's lust and attraction. For me, if after ten years you can still look at the person and say you'd rather be with him/her than anyone else, that's love.

      The scary bridge experiment reference made me think of the silly film "Speed" (which I hate to admit I like) - Keanu Reeves mentions that relationships based on scary experiences don't last. At the end, Sandra Bullock's character says, "Well, we'll just have to base it on sex, then." :-)

    2. Hehe, I love the Speed reference.

      That is true - so many people say they "love" someone so quickly. Claire did marry Frank when she was what, 19? Then they were separated so long.