Blog Hop: Memo Re: an RIP

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Have you ever thought of writing a respectful, but angry letter to an author to ask them WHY they killed off one of your favorite characters in a novel?

…no.  I don’t think I ever have!  I also don’t seem to run into this too often.  I don’t think I read that kind of a book typically (there’s a reason I have never picked up Game of Thrones).

No one dies in L. M. Montgomery books except angelic children who are too pure to live to be adults (it was a trope of the time…), elderly people who have lived a full life, and, of course, parents, who are usually ushered off before or at the beginning of the story.  No one dies in Edgar Rice Burroughs books except villains and inconvenient obstacles to the love story (though I was angry with him about Clayton, rival to Tarzan, come to think of it).  And the only person who dies in retellings of the Phantom is, sometimes, the Phantom and, well…so it goes.  That’s not my preferred ending, but it was Leroux’s ending so I can’t object too much.

The Harry Potter series provided a host of tragic deaths–the only one that really got to me was…oh dear.  The twin.  I say this is the death that bothered me, and yet I can never remember if it was Fred or George.  And that’s kind of the point, it was the breaking of the pair that made me sad.  That and the line about dying with the ghost of his last laugh on his face.  Sigh.  But I get it, you know?  Fighters and mentors and serious people can die and that’s just the norm, but when the funny guy dies, then it’s seriousSerenity is a good movie example of that too.

A character death can be sad, and sometimes it can just be unrelentingly grim.  Kira-Kira, a Newbery medal winner where the heroine’s sister has a long, sad illness and then dies, was just exhausting.  But that’s the thing, I usually find books like that unpleasant or depressing, not rage-making.

I don’t know that I ever get angry with a writer about a character death.  Sometimes a character has to die.  I’ve written at least one book like that (not a published one).  I’d have trouble articulating why the hero had to die at the end of that one, but he really, really did.  So I get it, when an author kills a character, usually it’s a necessity.  Or it’s the whole focus of the book (again, Kira-Kira) which means I probably won’t like the book but, eh, tastes differ.

I get angry with writers about other things, and if I was ever going to write an angry letter it would more likely be about abusive relationships presented as romance (yeah, I’m still kind of mad at Meg Cabot).  But it probably won’t be for killing off a character!

3 thoughts on “Blog Hop: Memo Re: an RIP

  1. dianem57

    I’ve never thought about writing to an author about this either, thinking if that’s how they want their story to go, that’s their prerogative, even if I don’t personally like it. I have thought about writing occasionally when a story makes me angry because it’s too far-fetched to be believed or has what I would consider an inappropriate relationship. The one I have in mind the most is “The One and Only” by Emily Giffen. I’ve enjoyed her other books, but this one really upset me. It’s told from the point of view of a young woman who works for a small college athletic department in her hometown. She ends up falling in love with the head coach at the college, who just happens to be her best friend’s father. (His wife had died.) So she grew up knowing him from the time she was a child. Besides the obvious difference in their ages, the story just seemed creepy. Of course they end up together and her best friend is okay with it by the end of the book, even though she will now be her best friend’s step-mother. I thought the whole thing was weird and was angry at the main characters (and author!) as I read it. It stuck with me, though, because I read it several years ago. I don’t usually have such a visceral reaction to books I read. 🙂

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