Written in Ink
Written in Ink

This is what's going on with author Isabel Allende. She decided to write a book in the crime/mystery genre called Ripper but went on to subvert the genre, saying she wrote it as a joke and that she doesn't like mysteries. "I realized I cannot write that kind of book. It's too gruesome; too violent; too dark. There's no redemption there. And the characters are just awful. Bad people. Very entertaining but really bad people."

So, naturally, she's getting pilloried by mystery book stores and fans. A Houston bookshop sent back 20 signed copies of the book. True Blood author Charlaine Harris upbraided her on her blog.


I don't see what the big deal is, though that may have to do with me not reading that genre either. It used to be literary snobishness at predictable plots but I've read a few and they've been good. I just don't care. Though I don't know the genre well—as I assume Allende doesn't either. There of course are mysteries that are art, and most are probably entertaining, but, again, I don't care. When there are a billion books and so much other media, as well as life, you have to make time choices. I don't watch crime procedurals, Helen Mirren's thoughts being my own, and because the proliferation of cliches. Anyway, I get wanting to have a beloved genre be taken seriously, but any good reader likes everything and so shouldn't get riled up. They're protesting too much.

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