I’ve spent my whole life reading, and I seem drawn to anything but the real world. I recently thought I should dip my toes into the realm of the everyday. I chose a book that came well recommended here on the blog and elsewhere, but 20 pages in I realised I didn’t care. It was the tale of a doomed marriage, and I realised right then that I really don’t want to read about the people next door or the lives of others that I might even find familiar.
I want other worlds, difficult Dystopian scenarios, people thrown together in impossible situations and it has to be a page turner. But not for me the science fiction style filled with robots, detailed plans of space ships or mutant frogs. I like to read about people, but in situations I’ll never find myself in. A perfect example is Wool by Hugh Howey. The last of mankind living in a huge underground silo, over 100 levels down below the surface. Now there’s a situation that brings up all kinds of tensions and sets the stage for intrigue, struggle and hopefully redemption. I need to identify with the characters of course, I just don’t want to think I could meet them at work or at the supermarket.
I’m currently reading The Wild Shore by Kim Stanley Robinson, and this is so much more me. A post nuclear America, where small rural communities eek out an existence away from the abandoned ruins of large cities. Ah, back to familiar territory.
I’ll even venture into zombie territory as I did recently with Warm Bodies by Issac Marion, a great Young Adult read. It’s an unlikely but wonderful love story between a zombie who is desperate to be human again and the daughter of the leader of the resistance against his kind. The movie just made of the book is a great interpretation of the story.
These books are still filled with relationships, struggle, good vs. bad and the pains and joys of living. It’s just that they are set somewhere away from my real life and that’s the just the way I like it.
So it is that I will go into my dotage shunning the real world and retreating into the unknown and un-visitable.
Where do you like to spend your imaginary life?