Shannon Stacey

Is that brimstone I smell?

The fabulous Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels opened yesterday’s entry with the following comment:

In a recent comment, the lovely Shannon Stacey expressed shock that Sarah is having me read SEP’s Honey Moon as part of our April Bad Book Challenge.

Exceedingly gracious considering, if I remember correctly, I actually told her she was going to hell. ** :grin:

But lest you think I imagine myself perched upon a pedestal of romance reading righteousness, I’ll make a confession.

I would rather submit to Chinese Battery Acid Torture…nay, even worse–I would rather go naked to my 20th year High School reunion than read Jane Austen. I think Pride and Prejudice is the single most over-rated romance novel in the history of paper.

There. I’ve said it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be under my bed waiting for Them to show up in their pink SUVs and wrestle my RWA membership card from my clenched fist.

**(Update: In fun. Not a rehash of the moral bankruptcy discussion, thanks.)

14 comments to “Is that brimstone I smell?”

  1. Candy
      · March 10th, 2005 at 12:16 pm · Link

    You don’t like Jane Austen???? Well now, that’s just going TOO FAR. I’m trying to think of a punishment heinous enough for you…. Maybe a lifetime of doing nothing but playing video games based on the Olsen Twins? Or how about a lifetime sentence as Paris Hilton’s gynecologist? *cue Psycho violins*

    (Actually, to be honest with you, Pride and Prejudice is my least favorite Austen novel, and I found it tremendously yawnsome. Ditto Northanger Abbey. I do like her other novels quite a bit, though.)

  2. Jaci
      · March 10th, 2005 at 1:07 pm · Link

    let me make room in the handbasket to hell for you to ride along.

    I don’t read the classics. (listens to the collective gasping). I did in school when it was required reading, but frankly I don’t revisit. Sorry. I like modern writing. I like today’s romance. I don’t study the classics for clues on how to write good romance. Well not unless you classify the classics as the good ole’ historical romance of the 70’s.

    Yeah, I’m gonna burn in hell *g*

  3. shannanigan
      · March 10th, 2005 at 1:45 pm · Link

    Teehee…I believe that is the only book of my required high school reading that I did not even read the back cover on (**SMILES BRIGHTLY**)

  4. Nicole
      · March 10th, 2005 at 1:54 pm · Link

    Hmmm…it’s not the greatest love story ever, but it IS a rather nice book. I kinda like Jane Austen. Took a fun Jane Austen in Film class one summer. It was a nice change of pace from the umpteen semesters of Shakespeare classes (I grew rather fond of him, though).

    Bad book challenge? lol There are some horrendous books out there.

  5. Alison
      · March 10th, 2005 at 2:40 pm · Link

    OMG! Honey Moon is my all time FAVE SEP book!!! And I’ve never read Jane Austen. Never will. I’ve read a page or two, and that was enough for my pedestrian tastes, LOL!

  6. AngieW
      · March 10th, 2005 at 6:00 pm · Link

    Oh good, other romance readers who don’t feel obligated to love the classics so they don’t look like “uneducated romance readers.” I think sometimes people exaggerate their love of the classics to offset their reading of romance. And before someone jumps all over me- yes, I know there are people out there who love the classics :) But I’m just glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel obligated to love the classics and isn’t necessarily a “discriminating reader” of “smart romances” (some of my most favorite phrases I’ve seen thrown around during past discussions at AAR)

    I love you Shan. Jaci. You’re my ideal ;)

  7. Shannon
      · March 10th, 2005 at 6:45 pm · Link

    I do like Anna Karennina, but I’m not sure that’s a romance.

    And you’re right, Angie–there are readers who love the “classics”, and there are readers who pretend they love them because they feel dumb if they didn’t. And there are truly lovely people who claim that anybody who dismisses the classics does so because they’re too stupid to read them. (*insert your favorite obscenity/hand gesture here*) And the people, like Angie said, who when facing scorn for their reading/writing choices, will fall back on Jane Austen and the Bronte girls.

    But I want my books to be fast. Fast dialogue, fast pacing, fast action. Fast sex? Umm…maybe not. And one thing I’ve noticed about the “classics” is how much freakin detail they give. I don’t CARE about the settee fabric, or the intricate workings of the downstairs water closet. Pee. Flush. Move on with your damn life!

    (I will soften my stance when it comes to Sense & Sensibility, though, because that book gave us a reason to see the delicious Alan Rickman in other than a campy villain role. *sigh*)

    But I know some people who truly love the classics. (Anna? Diana? Come on…you know you want to!) :wink:

  8. AngieW
      · March 10th, 2005 at 8:29 pm · Link

    I love Eloisa James. During her speech at CR this weekend she talked about having to read classics along with romances when growing up, due to a deal she made with her dad. Anyway, she says “Am I the only person here who’s read every Mark Twain book?…and no wonder because some of them are really boring!” LOL! I just liked her for not pretending that all the classics were great reading (not that every romance is either) but implying that romance can give you an escape that the classics can’t always offer.

    It’s like you said Shan, I don’t want to read two pages describing the wheel on the coach. I want to read about the coach careening off a cliff with the heroine bravely saving herself by throwing herself on the back of the galloping team of horses and bringing them under control and the near death experience causing the hero to recognize and declare his endless love for her ;)

  9. Shannon
      · March 10th, 2005 at 11:52 pm · Link

    Sorry, Nicole, that your comment didn’t show up right away! I’m still not sure what set the spam filter off. *g*

    Ah yes, Angie. And then they have adrenaline sex. That’s my kind of story. :wink:

  10. Bron
      · March 11th, 2005 at 6:14 pm · Link

    I usually enjoy classics written by women – Austen, Brontes, Gaskell – but I do tend to skip any large descriptive passages ;-) And the classics written by men (Dickens etc) just don’t grab me at all – other than Shakespeare, that is. And he’s not my sit down, put my feet up kind of reading. And I confess *gasp* that I have not read, and do not plan to read, Lord of the Rings. ;-) I tried The Hobbit once, and gave up after a chapter – very unusual for me not to finish a book! Give me a good romance any day ;-)

  11. Shannon
      · March 11th, 2005 at 8:12 pm · Link

    I like Dickens, but I couldn’t read Tolkien either. I tried to, after the first movie, because I was dying to know what happened, but I thought the writing was atrocious. And, yes, I know millions and millions of people love them, but I’ll never even try them again.

    *waiting to be struck by LotR lightning*

  12. Charlene T
      · March 11th, 2005 at 9:43 pm · Link

    *strikes Shannon with LOTR lightning* Come on, just drooling over Viggo Mortenson’s enough reason to see the movie, at least! : )

    I confess, I’ve read nearly all the classics and Jane is not my favorite. In fact, many classics are not my favorite. I horrified my eng. prof by writing spoofs of Conrad and Hemingway. (I still think my Dick and Jane version of Hemingway is hilarious) This is because so many classics take themselves too damn seriously, IMO. And they have a strong tendency to be depressing. Some of it is truly great writing but so much of it I have no desire to ever, ever, ever read again.

  13. Shannon
      · March 11th, 2005 at 10:02 pm · Link

    Ah, see that’s the thing. When I was younger and had all the time in the world, I’d curl up on the couch and immerse myself in reading.

    Now, let’s face it–every book I read is read one five-minute locked-in-the-bathroom piece at a time. I need a story to move, to be engaging, and I sure as hell don’t want to be depressed at the end. Just one of the many reasons I love snappy romantic comedy.

    You should blog that Hemingway spoof! If ever a writer deserved to be spoofed, it’s him. (And boy, has he!)

  14. Charlene T
      · March 11th, 2005 at 10:35 pm · Link

    *snicker* OK, I’ll do it. ; )

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