I recently read Little Brother by Cory Doctorow and it annoyed the crap out of me. I couldn’t stand his overtly political rhetoric and constant berating of the reader. Yes, I realize Bush is terrible and an idiot and he ruined the country with the Patriot Act after 9/11. If I want to read about that, however, I’ll read a non-fiction, fact based book that details the events without personal bias and opinion of some random author.
I do not want to read a lengthy treatise on someone’s personal political opinion disguised as fiction.
As much as this book annoyed me (yet I kept reading to the end because I wanted to know what happened and the answer is – absolutely nothing) it made me think how often I find this same situation in various m/m books as well.
Usually this happens with political opinions I already share (ie. legalizing gay marriage) and no doubt most readers share this belief or why would they be reading it. However I still find it annoying when an author can’t seem to separate their own personal and political beliefs and those of the characters. It’s easy to tell when the passion of the author comes through and suddenly a character is lecturing about discrimination and choice.
My issue is not that I necessarily disagree with the topic on hand but I don’t particularly want to be lectured to when reading fiction, especially when it’s preaching to the choir. I expect these kinds of strong opinions and critiques when reading nonfiction based accounts of real events. I don’t expect them when reading a fictional book about hackers or romance. I think it bothers me even more when reading a fictional romance to suddenly be confronted with political opinion.
I understand that while religion and politics are tricky, touchy subjects, the author has the right to say and write whatever they want. I personally would prefer these types of political rants be outside of my reading for enjoyment sphere. While this doesn’t necessarily happen in every m/m book, I come across it a fair bit. Some authors are more guilty of this than others and these impassioned speeches seem to happen in every book. There are 3 m/m authors that I can think of off the top of my head that while I like their books, I come across this ranting (in mild or moderate form) at least once a story.
Am I alone in this?
Since the politics tend to be more in line with our thinking anyway, does it really bother anyone in the m/m field?