‘When Is a Good Book Not So Good?’ (2015)

Not all the books that I enjoy reading would I recommend. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is one of them.

When is a Good Book not so Good?

I admit it: I don’t turn away from cheap thrills. I don’t gorge on them any more than I’d eat a whole package of chocolate chip cookies at a sitting. If it’s going to unsettle your faith, or get you hung up on alien ideas that no Christian should have room for… then it’s best to stay away. Don’t court temptation.

Scary books won’t hurt me. I know of other things that can, so I avoid them.

Plus! This book makes for an interesting study of popular culture in what was once a Christian nation. Our America is following Britain down the tubes: we need to wake up to the danger, slam on the breaks, turn around, and go the other way. Fast!

3 comments on “‘When Is a Good Book Not So Good?’ (2015)

  1. At the risk of sounding un-Christian, I can appreciate any good book that has a character behaving with virtue–virtues are universal because God created them that way, whether or not people want to acknowledge that. Even the Bible features a story where God worked through His people for their own preservation without being named once (Esther).

    That being said, I can’t stomach Neil Gaiman anymore. I used to devour everything he wrote the moment it came out–print or graphic novels, or the short story collections. But then he wrote about a “hero” with a predilection for choosing his (how to phrase this?) preferred companions from the playground. That was the last time I touched anything written by him.

    Being an author myself, I know that the writer is not his character*. I’ve written some rotters into my own fiction that get a dose of comeuppance, or who I’ve given a character arc that turns him into the kind of person he ought to be, but there are plenty of places I will never go and won’t even sympathize with, that being one of them.

    *To counter my own argument, there are too many stories out there nowadays where the main character is a complete self-insert. Not that they are any good…

    1. I agree it’s fun to create villains. But one of my villains, Prester Orth, had experiences that completely turned him around–very hard experiences. Other villains got their just desserts (e.g. Lord Reesh).

      I do try not to exalt their villainy in any way.

      I also agree that the “self-insert” is an infallible way to undermine a story.

      Please tell me more! What have you written? Are any of your books in print?

Leave a Reply