Well here’s something I’m not sure many people on here know: I’m obsessed with politics. It’s pretty hard to get me to shut up about it in real life and I follow a lot of it (too much). So by rights you would assume that every time an especially political book comes out that I’d be excited to read it… but that’s not the case at all.
You see, what with all the podcasts and articles I read, I can’t say I’m especially excited to read books that moralise to me about matters that I’m pretty sure they know nothing about (well the arguments often use generally betray that)
Now I’m not talking about books where it’s pretty clear that they’ll be political- especially non-fiction– because they’re “does what it says on the tin” kind of books. And if you pick up a can of beans and are disappointed when you find that it is in fact a can of beans, then that’s on you. All I can say about that is I went about 6 months subconsciously avoiding any fiction which is overtly political– and now that I know I’m doing it, I’m gonna keep at it deliberately.
Because the truth is- and forgive me for making the political personal- I’m a bit tired of it all. I’m tired of the constant intrusion of politics into art, I’m tired of the fact I can’t go five minutes without being clobbered over the head with someone’s view, I’m tired of feeling like there’s a good chance I’ll have to defend my political views or skirt over it entirely if I do decide to share my thoughts on a book. For goodness sakes- I’m a book reviewer- not an economist, not a social commentator, not a politician.
Yet there seems to be a movement of people- especially in the contemporary world- who are determined to bring messages into books, make every romance political, overpower us all with their propagandistic flair. *Newsflash*: that’s not how it works, nor how it should work (crazy idea, I know, but if you want to be informed you have to read some pretty boring things). I don’t think anyone’s mind was ever changed by a throwaway line in a fluffy romance… just sayin’.
And what I’ve found is that when it comes to reviewing books which have sneak attack politics embedded into their core is that I don’t feel comfortable objectively discussing what I had an issue with– which makes my job as a reviewer nigh on impossible. I can’t lie and I can’t get into the ins and outs without writing an off-topic essay. And I don’t especially want to (see above: not a politician, don’t want to be either). Nor do I fancy being dragged over the coals for my political views. It’s not really relevant.
Of course, everyone has the right to read what they want; everyone has the right to write what they want. All I’ll say, for people planning on shoehorning politics into their books, spare a thought for us poor political junkies who might end up reading it. It’s not necessary all the damn time.
Apologies for the rant, just needed to get all this off my chest. I’ll leave you with this:
What do you feel about politics in books? Yay or nay? Let me know in the comments!