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cethklein
09-04-2008, 03:06 AM
I had an interesting conversation the other day. Somehow we got on the subject of "messages" in books. The person I was speaking with brought up the Narnia books. Keep in mind I only ever read the first one and that was over sixteen years ago. As young as I was then I didn't realize there was much of a message to it. As many know, the books are often criticized for being a bit too heavy handed in their promotion of Christian beliefs (is promotion of any belief in a book really a bad thing, it's just a book).

On another note, Starship Troopers is also often criticized for being overly militaristic. To me it always seemed as though it was making light of militarism as much as it was promoting it. (I'm referring to the book not the film. The film definitely spent too much time mocking militarism and not enough time, you know, being good.)

For those who have read one, or both, do you think they are preachy or are people making mountains of mole hills? Can you think of other boosk that were preachy or accused of being that way?

Now that I asked, I'll go ahead and give my answer. I don't think either book really is preachy. Yes both espouse ideals but I never felt as though I were being preached too (again I should probably re-read the first Narnia book again). People need to realize, these are books. They're fiction books. It's not real. I find such accusations against Narnia to be just as weak as those claiming Harry Potter is satanic.

Cassiopeia
09-04-2008, 03:10 AM
It has been my experience that all books have a purpose (message) to be presented. That's like...well...kinda the point. I can't think of a single book I've read that didn't have a message of some sort.

As for Chronicles of Narnia, I've read the entire collection more than I can admit to. I don't find them overtly preachy in their messages. In fact, C.S. Lewis does a GREAT job in my opinion in presenting lessons for everyone to enjoy. If you are into theological parallels then you could see his interpretation of Christianity in it. But to not notice simple life lessons in his stories is to focusing on one thing alone. In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader he teaches a lesson about eavesdropping and gossip. I don't hear anyone complaining about that. :D

C A Winters
09-04-2008, 03:12 AM
I don't mind books being a little preachy, or conveying a message, as long as it doesn't go on and on with the "telling."

WriterInTheStone
09-04-2008, 03:47 AM
I absolutely loved Atlas Shrugged, but that chapter where John Galt spends 25+ pages in a dialogue explaining Rand's philosophy and how it relates to the way we live our lives...man that was a marathon getting through.

TrickyFiction
09-04-2008, 04:02 AM
I read Narnia when I was a kid and again as an adult. As a kid, I was involved in the church and did not find the message offensive or annoying. When I read them again as a non-religious adult, I found myself cringing. It's mostly the first and the last book, I think. The symbolism is a little overwhelming at times.

That doesn't mean I can't enjoy them, though. Lewis just put his beliefs in his books same as I probably do in mine.

Fillanzea
09-04-2008, 04:15 AM
I'll confess to being a little suspicious of any fiction writer who backpedals on her work with the claim that "it's just fiction." JUST fiction? Why would anyone go through the pain and tedium of writing and editing and submitting who did not believe that there was something true and beautiful at the center of their writing?

Obviously I can't and shouldn't speak for all writers -- that's just my own perspective.

I expect well-crafted books to be intimately tied with particular perspectives and beliefs and ideals, whether the author put them there consciously or not. And I expect to be offended on a regular basis by books when they clash with my own perspectives and beliefs. That doesn't make them bad books, any more than a person is automatically a bad person because she expressed disappointment that they don't kill witches any more...

geardrops
09-04-2008, 04:21 AM
Personally, I think that books shouldn't try to force across a message. Yes, most books have some message, somewhere, but I think it's better when it's executed subtly.

A 25-page diatribe? Not subtle. If I want to read bad philosophy, I'll just pull up Descartes' Meditations, kthx.

It's best if it's done in a way that allows the reader to come to the conclusion on their own, rather than having their hand held by the author the entire way. I've graduated, I'm done with being lectured.

Polenth
09-04-2008, 04:33 AM
The only book I disliked for preaching was a Christian science fiction. The story started out good, then descended into this surreal sequence of events designed to show that aliens were the spawn of Satan and we'd all be destroyed if we let them into our lives. It's possible the author intended the main character to look like a crazy religious psycho, but I got the impression he was supposed to be the good guy.

Messages are fine, so long as it isn't at the expense of story. I think Narnia has a good balance. I don't agree with all of C.S. Lewis's beliefs, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the stories.

Judg
09-04-2008, 04:43 AM
I think Dempsey sums it up pretty well. Every author has a worldview, and it will be reflected in the story, sometimes even promoted. But as long as it works as a story.

Turning it into a sermon or a philosophy lecture, that's another thing. Then it's no longer a novel. I have nothing against either sermons or philosophy lectures, but they aren't novels. And they shouldn't try to dress up as novels.

I loved the Chronicles of Narnia both before and after I understood the symbolism. I know an irreligious person who thinks The Final Battle, the last in the series, is the best of all. She's obviously not put off by the symbols, because she loves the story.

It's when the story is poor or subsumed, that I start hating the preachiness. The very worst I ever read was a New Age novel by a very poor debut novelist, published by what was probably a vanity press, that was virtually a New Age sermon with rags of a nonsensical plot draped around it. Gah! That one I actually threw in the recycling bin.

Don
09-04-2008, 05:53 AM
Yes, Heinlein was very much a 'preacher' in his writings. I don't have his library handy, but I remember him saying that it's ok to impart a message, but you should do it so well that the reader gets caught up in the story and doesn't realize he's being preached at. I believe he was a master at that technique. If you look for them, the messages fly thick and fast in all his writings. If you're not looking, you'll be entertained and may just learn something in the process.

Starship Troopers was so controversial it ended Heinlein's relationship with Scribners. It was not a parody, but reflected much of his real views toward patriotism and the military. From a conventional liberal/conservative viewpoint it's hard to believe that he took a break from Stranger in a Strange Land to write Starship Troopers, since those books appear to be at two ends of the left/right spectrum.

Heinlein didn't fit the left/right mold, and can best be described as a patriotic libertarian. Although socially he was an extremely liberal, even radical, individualist, he also felt that the US held a promise of freedom unparalleled in history, and strongly supported the voluntary protection of those freedoms. These two works were, to him, two sides of the same coin. His military experience and personal life reflected these beliefs as well.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is, in my opinion, the one work of Heinlein's that brings these two concepts together in a coherent message that's also extremely entertaining. That he based this novel loosely on the American Revolution in a future where the United States is just another cog in a world-wide machine underscores his belief in the American dream as conceived by the Founding Fathers, and the realization the dream was being undermined even as he was writing these three novels.

bethany
09-04-2008, 05:58 AM
To me preachy=a good reason to put the book down. If I wanted anybody to preach to me I would go to a church. And I avoid those at all cost.

newbiewriter
09-04-2008, 06:43 AM
I don't mind symbolism being used, or maybe a character having an epihany, but when it gets so overtly preachy that I know the author is addressing me as the reader is when I get turned off.

My mother loved the "Left Behind" books, I tried them and saw a lot of potential, but just couldn't get into them because of the preachiness. However, that was their intent.

Ken
09-04-2008, 06:53 AM
someone once gave me Narnia to read for the specific purpose of fostering Christian beliefs in me, as they later revealed. Don't think it quite worked ;-)

James81
09-04-2008, 04:17 PM
the books are often criticized for being a bit too heavy handed in their promotion of Christian beliefs (is promotion of any belief in a book really a bad thing, it's just a book).



That's because that was the author's intent. The author is very much a religious and christian writer (and has written a few other books on christianity as well) and the whole REASON he wrote the books was as an allegory to Christ (Aslan). Why he'd be criticized for that, I have no idea. *shrug*

That being said, I think just about all books have some sort of message that they drive home. Granted, there are a lot of mindless entertainment books out there, but for the most part every book has it's message. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Tasmin21
09-04-2008, 04:46 PM
someone once gave me Narnia to read for the specific purpose of fostering Christian beliefs in me, as they later revealed. Don't think it quite worked

Ditto. As far as I was concerned, the Narnia series was just a great introduction to fantasy as a child. (and honestly, I STILL don't see all the Christian messages that are supposed to be lurking in there unless I stretch for it) Whether or not C.S. Lewis would count that as mission accomplished, I don't know.

Having just read the His Dark Materials trilogy though... Now, there's a series that just beats you over the head with a sledge hammer. I don't mind books having messages and all, I just want them to be well-conveyed, and these books just weren't. I felt like the author sacrificed story for the sake of cramming his beliefs down your throat.

(and at the risk of derailing: No one can be that mad at God and still call themselves an athiest. Geez)

James81
09-04-2008, 06:36 PM
(and at the risk of derailing: No one can be that mad at God and still call themselves an athiest. Geez)

Wait a minute...are you trying to say that C.S. Lewis is an atheist or am misunderstanding something here?

I've always been under the assumption that C.S. Lewis is a pretty hardcore christian.

WriterInTheStone
09-04-2008, 06:44 PM
I know C.S. Lewis was once an atheist, and converted. G.K. Chesterton's writings really influenced him.

But yeah, I didn't quite understand that atheist comment either.

Polenth
09-04-2008, 06:52 PM
I know C.S. Lewis was once an atheist, and converted. G.K. Chesterton's writings really influenced him.

But yeah, I didn't quite understand that atheist comment either.

The atheist comment went with the second series mentioned. 'His Dark Materials' was written by Phillip Pullman, who is an atheist.

Tasmin21
09-04-2008, 06:57 PM
What Polenth said ;)

James81
09-04-2008, 07:00 PM
The atheist comment went with the second series mentioned. 'His Dark Materials' was written by Phillip Pullman, who is an atheist.

Oh, haha.

Quote marks in the original post might've helped. lol

Toothpaste
09-04-2008, 07:04 PM
(and at the risk of derailing: No one can be that mad at God and still call themselves an athiest. Geez)

I so disagree with this assessment of his work. In no way can he be angry at God because, you know, he doesn't believe in him/her/it. He is furious however at religion, the church, the institution.

This always gets to me a little, people seem to misconstrue the anger as if atheists are frustrated at God and that's what made them atheists. No. They are frustrated at what they see religion having done to the world, and especially some of its institutions. That is a big difference.

(I am not debating if I agree with him or not, just trying to explain the anger, this is not the place for a debate on those issues of course, and I by no means wish to start such a discussion here)

Kate Thornton
09-04-2008, 07:12 PM
I don't mind a message in a book - all books foster some sort of message, even if it's "good triumphs over evil" or "happiness comes to those who survive the trials" - but I do not enjoy being preached at unless it's done with a lot of style.

A good writer can blind me to a message or make read over or through it to get to the absorbing story. I really liked Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams as much as I liked J.K. Rowling, Sue Ann Jaffarian and James Lee Burke. All good writers, all with messages, all with good stories to tell.

I think a "preachy" book is just badly written.

Marian Perera
09-04-2008, 07:13 PM
They are frustrated at what they see religion having done to the world, and especially some of its institutions. That is a big difference.

Agreed. I've written some blistering stuff about fundamentalists (and I mean serious fundamentalists, like the Phelps clan), but I'm not mad at a god, because I don't believe one exists. I'm frustrated at what people do in the name of whatever god they believe in.

Deccydiva
09-04-2008, 07:26 PM
To me preachy=a good reason to put the book down. If I wanted anybody to preach to me I would go to a church. And I avoid those at all cost.
I'm totally with you on this one!

Tasmin21
09-04-2008, 07:34 PM
I'm frustrated at what people do in the name of whatever god they believe in.


This makes sense.

And to get back to the point of the thread (sorry 'bout the derail, guys), I agree. Books with messages aren't bad, so long as the message doesn't overwhelm the story. If you can look at a book after you're done and say "Oh hey, I see what they did there", then the author has accomplished what they intended. If you can't even figure out what the story was about because they were too busy clubbing you over the head with their message, then they need to work on their writing.

willietheshakes
09-04-2008, 07:42 PM
I would agree that most books HAVE messages, and should.

It's when an author writes a book to SEND a message that I have a problem, usually of the nauseated variety.

My approach to my work has always been to root it in characters and situations. Whatever messages (or themes or whatever) arise come naturally. They're there (and I talked a lot about the possibility of being good without God when I was promoting Before I Wake, but it was in no way my intention to write a book with that as a message), but arise naturally, rather than being shoehorned in.

As someone once said, if you want to send a message, use email.

NeuroFizz
09-04-2008, 07:43 PM
IMO...a book will (should?) carry a theme, however that theme should never be brought to the reader via a soapbox. The story should not be a vehicle for the author's agenda--that agenda should be buried in the story (the deeper the better for me). As readers of fiction, we buy stories, not manifestos. Presumably, we can all find personal exceptions to this.

benbradley
09-04-2008, 08:10 PM
I had an interesting conversation the other day. Somehow we got on the subject of "messages" in books. The person I was speaking with brought up the Narnia books. Keep in mind I only ever read the first one and that was over sixteen years ago. As young as I was then I didn't realize there was much of a message to it. As many know, the books are often criticized for being a bit too heavy handed in their promotion of Christian beliefs (is promotion of any belief in a book really a bad thing, it's just a book).
Cassiopia has a point, books DO have a message (even if it's here's some neat math you can do if you pretend there's such a thing as infinitesimals), and whether it comes across as preachy is all in how the message is presented.

On another note, Starship Troopers is also often criticized for being overly militaristic. To me it always seemed as though it was making light of militarism as much as it was promoting it. (I'm referring to the book not the film. The film definitely spent too much time mocking militarism and not enough time, you know, being good.)
I didn't see the movie but I read the book (in the middle of devouring a few dozen Heinlein novels and this was 25+ years ago, so honestly I don't rememeber any of them that well), and from what I've read in "Expanded Universe" the movie makers were lucky Heinlein was dead so they could use the name of the book to make a movie.

Someone mentioned "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" and I remember that one much better, and enjoyed it one very much. He slips in some stuff on economics and advertising with "TANSTAAFL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TANSTAAFL)."


For those who have read one, or both, do you think they are preachy or are people making mountains of mole hills? Can you think of other boosk that were preachy or accused of being that way?

Now that I asked, I'll go ahead and give my answer. I don't think either book really is preachy. Yes both espouse ideals but I never felt as though I were being preached too (again I should probably re-read the first Narnia book again). People need to realize, these are books. They're fiction books. It's not real. I find such accusations against Narnia to be just as weak as those claiming Harry Potter is satanic.
There's a difference here, the Harry Potter books clearly weren't intended to be satanic and thus "any resemblance is coincidental", but there ARE a lot of books where the author is trying to convert the reader to a point of view. After a while and after drifting away from a "new-age atmosphere" I found Scott Peck's books to be a bit preachy (whereas before I was just trying to absorb what he said because "everyone knew" what he has to say leads to a better life).

From the other side, many years ago I read Richard Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker" which is his attempt at an explanation of evolution for laymen. I don't lnow that I found it "preachy" (for me he was preaching to the choir, anyway), but I had trouble reading it, it was tedious and he seemed to be go quite slow. It struck me as talking down to the reader. Now that I think about it, he may have been writing it with creationists in mind, and perhaps he doesn't think much of their intellect, so he was (consciously or not) writing down to them.

I recently read Dawkins' "The God Delusion" which I enjoyed much more, though I've heard others say this book is preachy.

I read this eight-book Star Trek/New Generation series starting with "A Time To Be Born," and the last book, "A Time to Heal:"
http://www.amazon.com/Time-Heal-Star-Trek-Generation/dp/0743491785
has a huge parallel with current events - Under Star Fleet's orders, the Enterprise is in a "police operation" on a planet with lots of small battles, and there's about one or two Star Fleet officers being killed per day. It's a real, um, quagmire. It's hard to say just when the author wrote this (published in August 2004, the US invaded Iraq March 2003) and how far along the US had been at war with Iraq, and whether the situation was really inspired by current news events, but the similarity is so striking I found it really annoying. I might have enjoyed this book a lot more if that stupid war hadn't happened.

geardrops
09-04-2008, 09:19 PM
Am I the only one who thought Heinlein was preachy?

I've only read Stranger in a Strange Land and good grief I've no desire to read anything else. I nearly put that book down but I forced myself to finish it. Often I found myself saying, "Okay, I get it already, jeez!"

Books with direct messages that I've liked are along the lines of The Stranger, The Fall, As I Lay Dying, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (technically a play, shush), anything by Bradbury, anything by Vonnegut... I like the allegory to bubble up, not to dominate the work.

Phaeal
09-04-2008, 10:07 PM
I absolutely loved Atlas Shrugged, but that chapter where John Galt spends 25+ pages in a dialogue explaining Rand's philosophy and how it relates to the way we live our lives...man that was a marathon getting through.

What you do is, you read the first and last paragraphs of Galt's speech, then skip ahead to the deliciously flamboyant torture and rescue scenes. Though actually I enjoy the speech when I'm in the right cantankerous mood.

As long as we remember the inscription over the Galt's Gulch generator, we're good.

Marian Perera
09-04-2008, 10:10 PM
I feel like I need a Cliff Notes just for the speech. I like Atlas Shrugged but I have never been able to read through the entire speech in one sitting.

One message story I enjoyed is Orson Scott Card’s Saints. I wrote a blog post about why it worked for me, here (http://marianperera.blogspot.com/2008/06/message-stories-that-i-like.html).

Phaeal
09-04-2008, 10:14 PM
I actually like Francisco d'Anconia's speeches better, much shorter, with more zingers. Like the one that explains the book's title:

(Paraphrased)

Francisco: What can Atlas do, when he carries the whole world on his shoulders, bent and bleeding, captive to its demands?

Hank: What CAN he do?

Francisco: He can shrug.

Marian Perera
09-04-2008, 10:19 PM
I think Rand's original title for The Fountainhead was Second-Hand Lives. Was there any alternate title for Atlas Shrugged?

RG570
09-04-2008, 10:49 PM
I think if the person has properly worked out their ideas and novel, the message will be built into the story without jarring diatribes. You can use structure, language, everything, to buttress your point, and all without writing a sentence actually defining it.

If your ideas are poorly thought out and stem from base emotion, you get pretentious finger wagging, such as Rand. Her ideas were abject failures and it shows in the clumsiness of the way she tried to implement them. She had no distance from her opinions whatsoever and the basis for her work--a political scare not based on reality--shows its flimsiness in the flabby narrative and completely outrageous ideas and plots.

Doing it properly requires a lot of self control and humility, I think.

Cassiopeia
09-04-2008, 11:37 PM
IMO...a book will (should?) carry a theme, however that theme should never be brought to the reader via a soapbox. The story should not be a vehicle for the author's agenda--that agenda should be buried in the story (the deeper the better for me). As readers of fiction, we buy stories, not manifestos. Presumably, we can all find personal exceptions to this.I agree with you. If you feel you are being preached to you then perhaps one is "telling" not "showing" the storyline. A reader should come to the message via experience not lecture.


Cassiopia has a point, books DO have a message (even if it's here's some neat math you can do if you pretend there's such a thing as infinitesimals), and whether it comes across as preachy is all in how the message is presented.

And then, there is this. Ben is right as well. And let's look at this from another perspective. The reader. What is the reader's predisposition to such a message. No matter how well written if the reader's bias is strong enough against a particular subject, (Christianity in the Chronicles of Narnia) it is reasonable to conclude they are going to find it "preachy". The reader, consciously or unconsciously looks for the purpose in a story. We all do it. Purpose usually can be equated with a message. If that message is contrary to one's values, beliefs or desires then that person is bound to be disgrunted or annoyed.

It is important to remember that in communication in any form, there are two factors; the message being delivered and the interpretation of the delivered message. A writer has no control over the interpretation of their work but should be careful to see to it their intended message is written well enough to leave little to interpretation if that is important to them. Many writer's don't mind deviations or adverse reactions to their work. A reaction good or bad means the reader was engaged in the work. And THAT I believe is the purpose of good writing.

Don
09-05-2008, 06:08 AM
Am I the only one who thought Heinlein was preachy?

I've only read Stranger in a Strange Land and good grief I've no desire to read anything else. I nearly put that book down but I forced myself to finish it. Often I found myself saying, "Okay, I get it already, jeez!"

Books with direct messages that I've liked are along the lines of The Stranger, The Fall, As I Lay Dying, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (technically a play, shush), anything by Bradbury, anything by Vonnegut... I like the allegory to bubble up, not to dominate the work.
Stranger is unique in his body of work, and not a good starter, IMO.

My personal favorite is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but your view may vary greatly based on your politics. :)

The Robert A. Heinlein Archives (http://www.nitrosyncretic.com/rah/rahfaq.html#0408) makes this recommendation:



4.9 - Which of Heinlein's works should I read first?
There is no consensus on which novels and shorter works are the best for a new or novice reader. However, most serious Heinlein fans would find little to argue with in the following list of "recommended starters":

The Past Through Tomorrow (Future History short stories)
Citizen of the Galaxy
Have Space Suit--Will Travel
Double Star
The Door into SummerAlmost anyone who's going to like Heinlein as a whole will like most or all of these books.
A good set of "second round" starters might be the following. These books are hailed by many as some of Heinlein's best works, but each has a significant number of detractors as well. If you don't like one in this list, put it back on the shelf and try another. They're all very different, and just because one tastes bad to you does not mean the others will.

Starship Troopers
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Friday
Glory Road
Stranger in a Strange Land
Time Enough for LoveAfter that, you're on your own. Read on knowing you are deeply envied by the legions for having mountains of fresh, undiscovered Heinlein to read.

Phaeal
09-05-2008, 05:12 PM
I think if the person has properly worked out their ideas and novel, the message will be built into the story without jarring diatribes. You can use structure, language, everything, to buttress your point, and all without writing a sentence actually defining it.

If your ideas are poorly thought out and stem from base emotion, you get pretentious finger wagging, such as Rand. Her ideas were abject failures and it shows in the clumsiness of the way she tried to implement them. She had no distance from her opinions whatsoever and the basis for her work--a political scare not based on reality--shows its flimsiness in the flabby narrative and completely outrageous ideas and plots.

Doing it properly requires a lot of self control and humility, I think.

This side by side list of 100 greatest novels is interesting. Hmm, four in the top ten, including the top two spots. Not too shabby, Ayn.

I guess a lot of people have considerable distance from your opinions.

Obviously the reader's poll brought out the passionate, as the election of L. Ron Hubbard and J. R. R. Tolkien to the top ten shows. 1984 is another work of passionate belief, as, in some ways, is To Kill a Mockingbird.

Agree or disagree with the result, but mocking passion in its many forms probably isn't a paying proposition.

http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/100bestnovels.html

Phaeal
09-05-2008, 05:28 PM
I think Rand's original title for The Fountainhead was Second-Hand Lives. Was there any alternate title for Atlas Shrugged?

I believe the working title was On Strike. Yeah, Atlas Shrugged is a lot better.

Interesting, how both titles shift from a bare-faced statement of theme to metaphoric statement. The metaphoric are much more evocative, I think. Good lesson for us all.

maxmordon
09-22-2008, 09:03 AM
The "punchline", as we say the Spanish speakers, of this is to have plot over message. Concieve a good story that even if it has a message, let the reader to find it by himself instead of message over plot and have a manifesto with some plot as ornament just to show example of your beliefs...

Personally, I found some Narnia books good (specially the ones in the middle) and some boring and The Last Battle downright offensive and preachy. Same with His Dark Materials, I liked the first one... but in the last seems more like a rant; and is not something if I agree or not with some author's idea, is the fact that they the story as some puppet show to say in a not so subtle way that they are right and why...

Exir
09-22-2008, 09:41 AM
Talking about "preachy" books, I think The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is the king of preachy books. It is just so very very preachy.

And I absolutely loved it. I don't know why, but as I read the book I actually felt like being preached to. That's how I felt.

Sean D. Schaffer
09-22-2008, 09:50 AM
I read a few of the Narnia books, and I liked them. I didn't think they were extremely preachy, just that they were entertaining and fun to read. Until someone pointed out to me how preachy they were, I don't think I would have known that there was a Christian message to the series.

:Shrug:

Darzian
09-22-2008, 09:54 AM
Interestingly, I don't seem to see most of the 'messages' in the books. I read the stories because I like the plot, characters etc... I never identified any Christian messages in Narnia really. I like Aslan as Aslan.

I am sometimes surprised when people find messages in books that the author didn't intend to put there. I've heard of it a couple of times (can't quote specific examples). That can sometimes be amusing, but not to the author if his book is being interpreted in a way that he did not intend.

Some people accused Twilight of encouraging early marriage, and all sorts of things (some truly mad people accused it of supporting pedophiles). The books were written as books. I don't think the author wanted to encourage such things, the situation in the books called for the plot to move that way.
BTW, anyone suggesting that SM is supporting pedophiles (I've seem some people claiming so on Amazon) have not read the books properly. She very clearly states that the imprinting issue between a teen and a baby results in an elder brother-baby sister relationship.

Pullman does project his atheist views, but His Dark Materials was a very good trilogy with an awesome plot. I've never before seen a book written with a direct war against the Authority. I loved it as a book. I ignored the fact that the 'God' seems to die at the end. I'm very religions, but it didn't offend me in any way, presumably because I read it as a book, and not as a sermon.

maxmordon
09-22-2008, 11:42 AM
Talking about "preachy" books, I think The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is the king of preachy books. It is just so very very preachy.

And I absolutely loved it. I don't know why, but as I read the book I actually felt like being preached to. That's how I felt.

Paulo Coelho is the king of preaching in novels... though I find it unbearable