Monday, April 30, 2012

Who Likes to Think?

It's hard to explain, but I can tell early on if I'm going to like a mystery. Sometimes I've been led astray, but most often not. There's something about an author's voice that can pull me in or out.

You might call me a lazy reader, because I don't particularly care for thinking too hard when I read. I know many readers enjoy mental exercises, and take delight in keeping track of intricate plots. That's okay for them, but I don't want to expend that kind of effort.

Reading to me is entertainment, not work. That doesn't mean I want an author to spell out every little detail or plot twist that might happen, so I don't have to figure any of it out. I prefer a certain amount of clues sprinkled in, but not too many. I also enjoy splashes of humor, but I'll read a mystery without that.

To me, characterization is more important than anything in a book. I love to get into the hero or heroine's head, and think and feel like that person. Pretending to be someone else, seeing things through that person's eyes, and sharing emotions, that's why I read. Everything else is secondary.

What about you? Maybe you prefer brain exercises instead.

For Excerpts and Buy Links to all of Morgan Mandel's Books, See


Peg Brantley said...

Morgan, I'm with you. Entertain me. Engage me. Tell me a good story. Don't make me work too hard.

Sally Berneathy said...

I totally agree, Morgan. If I want to exercise my brain, I'll read nonfiction or do a puzzle. I want to get completely involved with the characters and go along with them as they solve the mystery.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

It depends on my mood, but I often like a bit of intellectually thought-provoking prose along with a good story. (There's a bit of that in my own novel, but just a tad.) At other times, I prefer just a straightforward good yarn without any intellectual or literary embellishment.

Caroline said...

I agree - I prefer my mysteries to be fun and entertaining. I like to laugh and get attached to the characters, especially if it's a series. Of course I don't like it too easy either - just right. Which makes the work for the writer more difficult.

Anonymous said...

With me it definitely depends on my mood though I like to learn something in any reading. When I read "the Alienist" I had a light though still thought-provoking "High Spirits" by Alice Duncan at hand and switched back and forth.

Fun discussion!


Morgan Mandel said...

When I escape to another world, it's not much fun if I have to think too hard.

It's hard enough to write other worlds and make the writing look like it was easy, when it was really hard to do!

Morgan Mandel