Saturday, July 07, 2007

Romance Novels

In response to one of my reader’s questions, I believe romance novels are boring and artificial. Although I can’t say I have read many real “romance novels” (even in the depths of lethargy), the tedious, clichéd, unrealistic romance demonstrated in the few I have read have been deplorable.
Romance novels are tedious. The Miss Whatever and Mr. Whatever are involved in a heart-wrenching separation and finally find love…who wants to read about fifty-five pages detailing the melodramatic sobbing of the Whatevers, to find that abruptly, miraculously, the conformist characters are reunited again? It is, in the least, a waste of time.
Romance novels are clichéd. The Miss Whatever and Mr. Whatever are always the same under-developed characters. They are fluorescent lights compared to flora and fauna. Miss Whatever will be the weak, beautiful woman, and Mr. Whatever will be the strong, macho guy. At the end, they will ride off into the sunset or hold hands on the honeymoon balcony.
Do we expect to see an average, TV-watching, fast-food eating, couch-lounging teenager or adult fall desperately in love for the first time, face a heart-wrenching separation, and finally have a happy ever after? Romance novels are unrealistic. First, most people think they’re desperately in love, and find someone else to think they’re desperately in love with after the first person is gone. Eternal fidelity is rare, since most “desperate loves” are crushes. Furthermore, the “ride off into the sunset” after the honeymoon is going to end up a “blight on the rest of your life” because you’re in debt after spending so much on the expensive honeymoon suite.
Romance novels are unrealistic, tedious, clichéd, and deplorable. They only mask our vision of the real world, increase our lethargy like saltwater to thirst, and bring us the fast food of the literary world.


  1. Anonymous2:39 PM

    Hi Adora,

    You are a fascinating and intelligent person and it is amazing to read your words. I share some of your distaste for romance novels. But you would be wise to consider a little more respect for an artform that has endured for centuries and to this day touches the hearts of tens of millions of people every day. It is like popular music. It may not be the finest example of writing prowess but affects far more people than classical music and is therefore significant and important. There may not be something there that touches you or I, but think of it like this. Those millions of people reading romance novels are at least not sitting in front of the TV watching soap operas...

  2. Anonymous1:18 AM

    Hi Adora,

    I've just read your blog.To tell you the truth,I'm pretty shocked.You think romance novels are unrealistic and boring.From your opinion,you are a realist,indeed.But it doesn't mean it's bad.In China,a grate many people especially girls are keen on this sort of novles,including me.It seems very amuse.You are the first person I've met who loves reading historical fictions.Many peaple around me dislike them.Romance novels like beautiful dreams in many girls'hearts.Although the actions in novels may not happen.A number of girls expect that the miracles will appear.They are all cinderellas,they hope that prince
    will come and save them.But probably it is incredible.Every girls want to have a pretty or handson boyfriend.Yet as the time pass by,we realize nothing is ever that simple.As we think back,we may probably mock how stupid we were.