Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Mistaken Identity

On page 42 of Buddha's Money, author Martin Limon shocks me with detailed molestation of nine-year old girl. I'm not sure I want to read more. The problem is, and this may sound weird, this is fiction. I can't accept that the author made this up. In "Special Victims", an offspin of "Law & Order" the t.v. series, we learn about hideous crimes. Although fictionalized, I accept that the writers of the script get their ideas and information from Real Life situations. I may not condone what's happening in Real Life, I appreciate what the makers of these series bring to our attention.

It's been said that readers would rather read about terrible things happening in a fictional than in a non-fictional account. The reason for that would be that what's made up isn't really as bad as what actually happens. Or rather, what's made up can't happen to the reader.

If only that was really true.

Fiction after life may show situations that actually took place. That makes such stories believable. Sometimes it is as though the author takes on the role of a creative non-fiction writer. The reader knows the stories are based on facts, only the writer creates an environment that makes for more interesting reading.

One can question the existence of True Fiction, after all, all writers use material from their memory bank, from the media, from history, from Real Life.

Sometimes readers confuse an author with his characters. They will blame the author for the things his characters say or do. Often that's a mistake. After all, the author uses his characters to say something. But that doesn't necessarily mean he agrees with the character. An author has the power to bring controversial situations to the foreground, to the attention of the reader.

So, in the end, I gave Martin Limon the benefit of the doubt, after all, while reading the previous novel, Slicky Boys, I had learned some things about an environment I had known nothing about. Perhaps I would learn the reason for the scene with the child in the next chapter.

I'm on page 76 now, and yes, I did find out why the child is molested. The reasoning doesn't make the act any less horrid, but at least I trust the author.
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