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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Castle’

Stack of Books

You know I like books. I mean books, real books, those things made of paper and ink. A well-made book is a treasure, not to mention a marvel of low-level technology and, while I have an e-reader, read the occasional novel on my e-reader, and while I was one of the earliest adopters of the technology (I owned a first-generation REB1000, back in the ’90s), I do not like them.

I like books.

I like the heft, the feel, the fixity of the thing. I cannot turn it off. I cannot download it. I cannot erase it.

A book is a quiet, confident thing. It does not shout or wheedle. It rests, waits, and says, “Read me, or read me not; your choice.” It simply is.

I like reading from a physical book more than reading off my Kindle. When I read from a book I get more involved, I experience a greater immersion in the words and the story.

And I am not alone. Science, it turns out, is right there with me.

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You all know I’m a Browncoat and a fan of “Castle,” as well. I may have also mentioned that one of my guilty pleasures is reading the “Richard Castle Mysteries,” the series of novels ghost written under the Richard Castle nom de plume.

I’m generally not a fan of mystery novels. I find them too formulaic and (frankly) unbelievable. I admit, I went through a Nero Wolfe phase in my youth, scarfing up every dog-eared Rex Stout paperback I could find, but I recovered. These days, the only ones I can read are police procedurals because, let’s face it, who’s more likely to come into contact with murders and murderers time after time: an old pensioner from Sussex, or a homicide detective?

I’ve read all the Nikki Heat books, and am reading Deadly Heat now. Part of my enjoyment of these books is the conceit; I’m reading a book “written” by a fictional character, a book that is mentioned in the TV series, and which often debuts on bookshelves on the same night it debuts on the television show. The book mimics action played out during the previous season in the TV show, as if it were really the product of this fictional character’s fictional life. And built within the book are characters and references to events that appear in the television show. It’s a wonderful gimmick that I really enjoy. Now, throw in a handful of “self-awareness” references, such as acknowledgments that thank not only characters from the show, but also (by first name only) actors who portray those characters. And then, to top it off, toss in a handful of really “meta”  references, pointing back to “Firefly” and other works the actors have done outside the “Castle” world.

In all, it’s layers upon layers, fiction upon fiction, all with a wink and a nod to the real world and real life. (more…)

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Monday was a bit of crazy around our house, so we missed the two premieres we were waiting for. To be fair, we were going to miss one of them, anyway, since they were both on at 10PM and I was not staying up until midnite…not on a school night.

But last night, we caught up with both “Castle” and “The Blacklist.”

Warning: there will be some mild spoilers in this post.

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I have often said, “Every book has its own lesson to teach, even the bad ones.”

Okay…now you’re looking off to the right and seeing the cover for the latest Richard Castle book and you’re thinking…”Oooh, guess he didn’t like that one.”

Wrong.

I liked it fine. It’s a tie-in, meta-reality, police procedural mystery, and as such, it worked just fine. It’s not high art or lasting literature, but it’s a fun read, and filled with all the little “Castle” and “Firefly” jokes that come from this clever and, dare I say, unique confluence of reality and fiction.

However, it wasn’t perfect, and through its imperfections, I learned something as a writer.

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