A book for flagellants everywhere
31 March 2012
This is where this series starts to become really painful and irritating and I really do not know why I continued through this series to the seventh book. Maybe because I am a sucker for punishment, though it is not as if any punishment was being doled out to me but rather because I was exposing myself to it. These books aren't good science-fiction and don't have any literary merit. One wonders how it is that they became international best sellers despite people not actually liking them. Some have suggested that a bunch of Hubbard's followers simply went out and bought multiple copies of the books, but even then, if the first few make it by that method and the people who actually read the book hated it, then as each progressive book comes out, less and less people will be buying them.
The reason that I wanted to read this book was because the cover looked so cool. However, remember the age old adage, never judge a book by its cover. While in many cases it does work, in some cases (unlike this particular book) it does not. As mentioned, the book itself was actually very painful to read, and the really painful part of it was where Soltan Gris is imprisoned in a New York apartment by a couple of lesbians who were using him as their play thing. He then decides to attempt to better his position by demonstrating to them what real sex is about, and then proceeds to rape them. However this does not work because they become so enraptured with heterosexual sex that he is turned into their playboy.
Both then, and now, I find this particular scene to be incredibly disgusting and repulsive and it has nothing to do with homosexuality. While there are some serious conflicts with regards to the biblical stance of homosexuality and my compassionate stance towards it, I find this part of the story to be simply repulsive. I remember reading a book once called 'What Cops Know
' and there was a chapter on rape. The conclusion from that chapter was that most victims of rape know their attacker, and in many cases it is an attempt by the perpetrator, as misguided as it may be, to make the victim love them. While this is not the case with regards to Gris, it just baffles me how any female (outside of consensual sex) could tolerate, or even enjoy, rape. To me it is a violation of her integrity and a method to exert control over the victim. In a way it does not matter whether the victim is male or female, it has nothing to do with pleasure, and everything to do with dominance.
I was going to continue my diatribe on psychology and sin in this particular review, but I felt that maybe I would digress for a bit and explore the concept of rape in literature. To me, this scene shows that the author simply has no idea how people think and act. This is a clear thing in novels because by seeing how the characters react demonstrates how the author believes humans should act. It is something that I try to keep in my mind when writing fiction. One of the classic traps is to make the character a 'Mary Sue', that is a character that is perfect in every way, with only a few minor flaws. Some have suggested that these Mary Sues are the author's imagination of what they would really like to be and creates the novel to act this out. As I read what I have written of my story 'The Law of Averages' I try to ask myself whether I am creating a Mary Sue with the protagonist, particularly in his relationship with women. It is tempting, as Piers Anthony has done, to have all of the female characters fall over the protagonist in a desire to have sex with them, and this is something I am resisting doing, however I have noticed that as the story progresses, numerous things begin to change, however I don't think I will go into any more detail at this stage, and simply leave the story to develop by itself.