Thursday, September 24, 2009

Comfort reads...

Sorry I've been absent again. Not only did I have to fight off a major sinus infection, but I also started school again just after Labour Day. Busy busy.

That said, we did take a couple of days last weekend in Vancouver and when we arrived home Saturday evening I was tired, but really wanted something to read. However NOTHING I could find, either from the library or from my own library, appealed. Then I remembered the boxes of children's books in the basement and knew EXACTLY what I wanted to read. A Chalet School book. Yep, you heard me - a children's book.

So off I went to the basement and dug out the box with all my Chalet School books (I own more than half the series) and chose one of my all-time favourites - Rivals of the Chalet School. Soon I was ensconsed in my recliner, happily reading away. It was exactly what I needed. A comfort read.

Do you have those? Books you can pull out that may not challenge you mentally but somehow are just right for the mood you're in, especially if you're tired? If so, please let me know :) I'd love to hear about them.


Currently Reading: Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tortured heroes...

I got to thinking about this yesterday after watching several fan videos featuring Guy of Gisborne from the BBC Robin Hood series. Ok - I just read the character's background on the site and don't entirely agree with it. He is many of the things they say, but like many tortured heroes, underneath he's a good guy who has been caught up in the quest for power and position. The one person who has offered it to him just happens to be a sh*t, so Guy suppresses much of his good side in order to earn the rewards the Sheriff offers.

Still, he never entirely succeeds and over the first two seasons he goes behind the Sheriff's back several times, tempering or countermanding his orders. His relationship with Marian is far more compelling than her relationship with Robin. As the series progressed, my sympathies shifted from Robin to Guy. Then the writers ruined things in the finale of Season 2, writing a scene for Guy that completely ignores the good side of his character. I'll watch series three to see if they can redeem him at all. But they did the character a serious disservice. In fact, for the first time EVER, I was tempted to delve into the world of fan fiction and rewrite the end of that episode.

Tortured heroes are compelling and I wish I could write them better. From the very beginning I've been told my heroes are too nice. I think this is because I have no real affinity for the stereotypical Alpha hero. But watching Guy, I can see the appeal of the tortured hero. I'm not sure I could ever write someone quite as dark as him, but he certainly has an edge that my heroes are missing and I might just use him as inspiration.

How about you? Do you like tortured heroes? How dark can they be before they're beyond redemption? Is there any crime that will exclude them from hero material?

And for those of you who have never seen this show, here's a video montage of Guy and Marian:

Interestingly enough, there are very few Marian and Robin montages, so obviously I'm not the only one who thought the writers failed in their attempt to make Robin the romantic hero of the series.


Currently Reading: The Glassblower of Murano