Elude means to escape. And my interpretation of this word is genres I stay away from and why.
Even though I have a voracious love for reading, there are a few genres I just cannot seem to enjoy. I read to immerse myself into a make-believe world that makes my imagination fly. I have a very deep love for stories and let myself live out the tale through the characters in it.
This is why there are a few genres like Self-Help, Political Thrillers, Magical Realism, Horror, and Dystopia that just don’t enthrall me at all. I have tried reading a few books in each of these genres (except Horror) before concluding that they are not my cup of tea.
OMG! This genre is just yaaaaaaawn for me. I have tried to read a few very well recommended books, especially from peeps whose reading tastes are similar to mine. But it all failed for me except The Atomic Habits which I did manage to finish and appreciate just a little bit 😉
Ikigai would be the other book that I not only read but enjoyed reading in this genre. So even though I try my best to elude this genre, one or two books have happily slipped under the radar 🙂
This genre deals with inciting fear in the readers by the use of supernatural and paranormal elements to create a morbid and spooky atmosphere. The details are just a little bit too realistic for comfort and cause a great deal of trepidation and terror. Even while watching a movie or play, during the spooky/thriller parts, I often cover my eyes out of fear. This is perhaps the biggest reason why I elude this genre the most and am yet to read even one such book.
Another genre that I elude with all my heart is Political thriller. Often biographical in nature, these are just a little bit too
real boring to read if politics is not a favorable subject to deal with. Sometimes these are partly real and partly the story is woven around it to lend credence to the plot. I had begun reading the Red Sari which is based on INC President Sonia Gandhi’s life but didn’t enjoy it a lot and left it midway.
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I was first introduced to dystopia via the much acclaimed novel 1984 by George Orwell and subsequently The Animal Farm. Both were part of my college reading and were extremely painful for me to read. Somehow the dark and depressing motifs of dystopian world take the romance of reading out for me. I also attempted to read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and subsequently tried to watch the TV adaptation of it too. But they both failed for me as I just couldn’t relate to this kind of reality. I confess to being in love with happy endings and dystopia is anything but happy!!
Left the best for last as I am sitting on the fence with this one. I first stumbled on this genre in Chocolat by Joanne Harris and I am sure back then magical realism wasn’t a much talked about or recognized motif.
Wendy B. Harris has proposed five elements of magical realism as Irreducible Element, Phenomenal World, Unsettling Doubts, Merging Realms, and Disruption of Time. This genre is a cross between reality and fantasy fiction and is mostly linked with Latin American cultures and writers. That is because much of the folk stories from this region are based on elements that magical realism seeks inspiration from.
Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez are the prime examples of this. The beauty of magical realism lies in the juxtaposition of supernatural elements as commonplace in the story. Basically its a combination of a common facet of everyday life with hyper-fixation. The extended metaphor of fantasy is believably stretched by deft imagination and eloquent writing.
I have read a few books touched with magical realism motifs like The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. It was an amazing read for me up until the end. Because the ending just didn’t make any sense, sensational though it was meant to be.
That is what my grouse with writers employing this particular genre is. Magical realism is being used more and more to give unexplainable endings or nuances to the tale that leave me dissatisfied with the whole story. Layla by Colleen Hoover is another example of a disappointing read in this area.
But then there are authors who know how to make it work and leave me wanting to know more; which I guess is the idea behind this genre. One such book I can recommend is The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley. Its Harry Potter meets Phillip Pullman kind of story setting and one that I am looking to explore more. The magical realism elements in this book are well placed and help to move the story forward.
Another writer who weaves magical realism masterfully in her books is Diane Setterfield and I just loved her book Once Upon a River.
But the best example of magical realism in my opinion is, The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger which has all the five elements of this genres.
So I guess its not the genre so much that I avoid but the writers who fail at implementing it skillfully.
Well that sums up the genres I tend to elude the most. What did you think of this? Do you also have least favorite genres? Which ones? Any from my list? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
And if you are stopping from AtoZ, please do drop your link in the comments for me to read your post too.
For the uninitiated, AtoZ challenge is a blogging challenge wherein one has to write on every alphabet from A to Z and post on all days of April, except Sundays. Usually its better to devise a theme as it makes it easy to write the posts. Plus readers have a reason to stay hooked too.