Thriller Chillers—gasping to the end

chiller thrillers 350pxRecognize any of the phrases to the left? How could you not?

They're taken verbatim from reviews of thrillers and mystery novels. They're repeated over and over in book cover blurbs and ads.

Let's face it: there're only so many ways to say "exciting" before running out of words. OK, we do have more words, but they're just variations on the same thing.

I've come to realize that I don't enjoy heart-thumpers (Hey, another word!). I don't like being on the edge of my seat for 384 pages. I don't like reading in PANIC MODE.

So Dear Reader, guess what? I skip ahead … to the last couple of pages. I need to see if my favorites make it through intact, and then I can settle back and enjoy the ride. After all, isn't that the point of reading. (Yeah, here comes the preachy part. You knew I would.)

I like reading for pleasure—not thrills. I like to savor the WORDS, their nuances and intricacies, the rhythm of their sentences. I like the complexities and richness of CHARACTERS. People in real life aren't cardboard cut-outs; we're not divided up into good guys vs. psychopaths. Mostly, I like to be asked to think, to be challenged with IDEAS about how people live in a troubled world.

Right, I'm perfect … I know. But seriously: I LOVE a good thriller—every now and then—just not a steady diet. And many of them are wonderfully written. But it strikes me that since Gone Girl, thrillers have been flooding the market. It's like the publishing industry has gone mad.

Worse, even writers of "literary fiction" are adding touches of thrillerdom to jazz up their plots and, I guess, juice up their sales. Oh, well. 'Nuf said.

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