Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Is There A Garlock Anonymous?

I don't know about you, but there always seem to be one or two authors I keep going back to in spite of the fact that they write the SAME BOOK EVERY TIME. Or, I love re-reading a book even though parts of it make me gag or cringe or cry. Not the good kind of crying, you understand, just weeping at the badness of it all.

For me, it's Dorothy Garlock. I've read every single one of her westerns, even though I needn't have bothered after the first one. But I keep going back and re-reading them, too, and I don't know why.

I'm not alone- DG is in the amazing best-seller "we're not worthy to breathe your air" category. She's sold a kajillion books. Even if it's the same one, over and over.

Her heroines are all feisty, spunky, perky, and any other adjective that ends in y. And they all share one thing in common- they want nothing to do with the hero. Nothing, I tell you! That man is a rotten, no-good, lily-livered polecat! Until he starts kissing her. Then, yeah, we're gonna have a Swooning Tonsil Swab and probably a Protuberance Squash, after which she'll gain her senses and yell at him while he smiles and assures her there's more where that came from cuz we're meant to be together.

And the beat goes on for five chapters. Spunky doesn't just dislike this guy, she HATES him. Everyone tells her she's really in love with him, including the sister/niece/stepdaughter/insert supporting character for whom she's responsible. Cause that character's always there, too, I guarantee it. And she'll find her own love by the end of the book, throwing Spunky into turmoil.

Dastardly Villain will menace her some way, usually sexually, and almost always with a bad hick accent. "Hit ain't no use fer ya ta tell me ya don't want me fer yer feller, cuz Ah gots a powerful hankerin' fer ya. Ah knows how you women likes it. Haw, haw, haw!"

By this time Spunky has had 5.6 Heave-and-Throb sessions with Rugged hero, and told him 5.6 times that she doesn't even like him and leave her alone, and I can't for the life of me figure out why he keeps coming back. It's not for the coppafeels, because Brazen Hussy is always right around the corner, thrusting her protuberances under his nose. Rugged, despite the fact that he's all man and may have slept with this one before and the girl he loves continually treats him like slime, refuses her. That is SO believeable.

Then, at some inexplicable point, more often than not a rescue from danger and certain death, Spunky admits hey! I was wrong! I don't hate and loathe and revile him. I luuuuuuurve him! ARRRGGGHHH.

We're treated sometime in the book to a drawn-out description of Dastardly Villain's Sword of Love reaction to Spunky or Brazen Hussy's weird bedroom experience. I always look forward to that, lemme tell ya.
And after the big admission of lurve, suddenly Rugged isn't rotten skunk, he's my darling, my dear one, my love. Hurl bag, please!

And Spunky will always do something totally out of character, that makes you scratch your head and say, "What?" In the one I just re-read, Nightrose, Spunky has been subjected to all sorts of bad guys in mining towns. She moaned and groaned about how she hated getting pinched and groped and propositioned all the time, and hated having to carry a gun to defend herself, and men were rutting pigs. And she's a fighter, not afraid to shoot or punch or kick, so violence isn't a no-no for her. This nasty old lecher nearly forces a fifteen year old girl, and she witnesses it. Rugged, who owns the town, calls for a jury who decide to give the guy 50 lashes. SHE OBJECTS TO IT. We have to call the law, she says. You're not a feudal lord. This is barbaric.

Give me a freaking break. DG has told me for 3/4 of the book that Spunky hates being taken advantage of by men, and isn't afraid of violence, yet when some guy tries to force a girl, she's going to say 'let the sheriff handle it?' She'd be stringing him up by his Sword, that's what she'd be doing!

So tell me, is there any hope for me? Why do I keep reading these things? Maybe I need to contact Dr. Phil.


Blogger Veronica said...

I've never read one of them, but this cracked me up.

1:44 PM  
Blogger quirkychild said...

Don't. Dr. Phil probably reads them too.

There is hope!...I just don't know where it is. I would recommend a different kind of book, but right now I'm on a P.G. Wodehouse kick, and Jeeves and Wooster don't seem to be good alternatives, however hilarious they are.

My recent sadomasochistic reading is the Babylon Rising series, which is very similar to an idea my Dad and I had for a book, and they're written so bad! I read them, then come complain to my family how awful it is! They ask why I'm still reading them...and I don't know!

2:44 PM  
Blogger Camy Tang said...

Um, I hate to be a dissenter here, but I don't relate. If I don't agree with anything the h/H does, the book gets thrown. Illogical character actions are my pet peeve. When an author keeps doing it, like some long-standing historical authors out there, I don't even bother borrowing their books from the library.

So no, there is no hope for you. Strap yourself in a jacket and check yourself in.


4:39 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Gee, thanks, Camy. You want to kick my dog while you're at it?

Usually, that's how it is for me too. I have a really good throwing arm for that kind of stuff, just not in this case. Aieee...

9:26 PM  
Blogger Missie said...

I love Camy! I think you should write for Hallmark.

Front of Card:
Sorry to hear you are depressed...

Inside of Card:
But there is no hope for you. Go play in traffic. Help thin the herd.

Ha! Just kidding! And Robyn, there is a name for the self-torturing condition you have. I just don't know what it is...maybe self-torturing condition.. Yeah, that's it!

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

LOL! You know what I hate is when you read a book and enjoy it, then reread it 5-10 years later and think, what CRACK was I smoking when I thought this was good??? =:0

5:02 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Okay, so call me ADHD, but I can't even read a GOOD book twice. What are you guys doing even looking at the cover of a book (let alone a crappy one) more than once.

And Camy! You go girl!! Ha!

9:16 PM  
Blogger Jolene*Marie said...

Rotfl, I knew there was a reason I love you so much Camy. haha. You're great. As for you Robyn, I doubt there is any hope. I support another vote for the Camy side. haha. I'll see you on the psych floor ;) I have some interesting stories from that floor. haha I think the justice league resides there..their all wearing blankets around their necks and running around pretending to fly. You'll fit right in. :)


11:49 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Man. Feel the love, can't you? Geez.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Jolene*Marie said...

Aw, Robyn, poor Robyn what shall we do for you? How about some chocolate and a new book, one that is worth reading time? :)


2:31 PM  

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