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Drinking, smoking and drugs in fiction

(2 Posts)
Apocalypto Fri 29-Jul-11 11:18:05

Is it just me or is it really irritating when you get unnecessary detail about this?

I'm not interested in the characters' gin and soda or scotch or hearing about how good the fag they're smoking tastes. I get even more irritated when they start popping pills and then they pop a different pill a few pages later. I just think, grow up you useless needy drugwanky git.

If it's central to the plot then fine. That's different. There is a lot of food and drink in Burgess' Earthly Powers and it works well. Likewise Brideshead Revisited - in both cases the foodiness is important in creating a sense of character in the one and of time and place in the other.

But when you're reading some airport novel and youre getting all the gruesome details of ice clinking against teeth and gin burning throats etc. the writer might just as well take us into the toilet with their characters, frankly. And if I want to read about that, well, that's what Martin Amis is for.

Is it just me?

MumblingRagDoll Sat 30-Jul-11 08:13:20

I've always loved food descriptions....I don't think you can compare clinking ice to going to the loo with the character! I recommend that you stop reading crappy fiction....then you won't need to get involved in bad descriptions. grin

Some books have great food descriptions as you say.....what about The Darling Buds of May for instance? Never have packets of "potato crisps" and "jumbo ice creams" seemed so desirable as when I read about the Larkins chowing down yet again.

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