Is Graphic violence becoming a modern day trend in thriller and mystery writing?

I read Writing Mysteries, A handbook by the mystery writers of America and I would like to have opinions on Jeremiah Healy's rules of violence in a private investigator stories. Though my books are not private investigator types nor are they hard boiled mysteries, I believe  most of the advice in that book pertains to mysteries and thrillers as well.

 

What do you think that "...there must be some violence but no graphic scenes of child abuse, rape and animal cruelty." Even though these things exist in real life and mystey and thriller writting emulates reality.

 

As of late, I've read plenty of stories that violate this rule and quite frankly, thought they were more realistic and I disagree with Jessica Mann and Jeremiah Healy.

 

My novel INSTANT MESSENGER for instance is a fiction based on real life serial killers, and I believe I owe it to my audience, the true crime lovers, to give them a front row seat of what happens to victims of serial murder, violence and rape behind closed doors.

 

I quote one article bellow.

 

·  Amelia Hill

·  The Observer, Sunday 25 October 2009

·  Article history

"Jessica Mann, an award-winning author who reviews crime fiction for the Literary Review, has said that an increasing proportion of the books she is sent to review feature male perpetrators and female victims in situations of "sadistic misogyny". "Each psychopath is more sadistic than the last and his victims' sufferings are described in detail that becomes ever more explicit, as young women are imprisoned, bound, gagged, strung up or tied down, raped, sliced, burned, blinded, beaten, eaten, starved, suffocated, stabbed, boiled or buried alive," she said."

 

What do you think? Is mystery becoming more realistic and the meek should either cope with it or, exercise their right to freedom and simply not read what is quickly becoming a trend—realism?

 

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But, Jon--- does "entirely inoffensive" always have to mean bland?

I think so, yes.

And does that mean that if something is "offensive" to someone that it cannot also be bland?

Caroline likes a logic problem.

Most children's books, for instance are "inoffensive," according to the standard definition, and the best ones are anything but bland.

But what's the standard definition? Would Charlotte's Web, with its numerous references to slaughtering animals, be offensive to people who were animal-rights activists? And do we judge adult fiction by the same standards as childrens' books?

I don't recall ever finding anything really "offensive" (to my way of thinking) in Raymond Chandler's novels, but he wasn't bland!

Chandler was very racy for his era, and I'm sure he offended a great many readers with his references to drugs, pornography, nudity, extra-marital sex, police corruption, homosexuality and so on. The fact that his stuff seems relatively tame today doesn't mean that it wasn't edgy in its day. And who's to say what he might have written if not for the shadow of censorship?

Which assumptions? :)

The ones I disagree with, of course.
Chandler was very racy for his era, and I'm sure he offended a great many readers with his references to drugs, pornography, nudity, extra-marital sex, police corruption, homosexuality and so on. The fact that his stuff seems relatively tame today doesn't mean that it wasn't edgy in its day.

Of the children books I’ve read, not too many, I’ve noticed that more authors are including nuances of adult humor and this seems to work because more children are reading books and adult nuances make it palatable to adults, so ten year old son and I can enjoy the same book.

Harry Potter and its sorcery was pretty offensive to born again Christians but that never stopped it from soaring, neither is the entire Twilight Saga. I even heard one person say that the Percy Jackson series is referencing to the Idolatry and statue worshipping of old Europe. Then again, religious beliefs as we know them are changing.
Then again, religious beliefs as we know them are changing.

Doesn't sound like it. We are instead moving backwards. Or some people are.

In fact all of the examples point that way: HARRY POTTER is a recasting of medieval fairy tales and ancient mythology, THE TWILIGHT SAGA plays with the old Victorian legend of vampires, and idolatry and statue worshipping was what the Calvinists accused the Catholics of doing in the 16th century.

But than all that stuff must seem new to a lot of people.
They're changing in this country in the sense that conservative Christians have been whipped into political militancy by self-serving "leaders" like Falwell et al. It's the new Puritanism--just as scripturally selective and hypocritical as the old Puritanism.
They're changing in this country in the sense that conservative Christians have been whipped into political militancy by self-serving "leaders" like Falwell et al. It's the new Puritanism--just as scripturally selective and hypocritical as the old Puritanism.

Mr. Loomis,
This holds true for almost all the old religions, Look at the propagation of self serving radical Islam as well.

What I am finding more common around me is a new breed of youngsters who only believe in ultimate good not in any form of organized religion. Radical Pentecostal sects may still be gaining popularity is select circles but overall in the United States organized religion is loosing its grip on the masses.
In fact all of the examples point that way: HARRY POTTER is a recasting of medieval fairy tales and ancient mythology, THE TWILIGHT SAGA plays with the old Victorian legend of vampires, and idolatry and statue worshipping was what the Calvinists accused the Catholics of doing in the 16th century

What I meant is that Old school Christanity, less tolerant Christianity, the one that displaced and banned Vampire legends, fairy tales and ancient mythology, wica and the like, that Christianity is giving way to a modern day tolerant and politically correct form of belief. The people still within the Old School Christianity are fadding away. The ways of old, never left, they simly went into the background.
Well, it would be nice. But actually all the fundamentalist forces are becoming militant.

Not sure vampire stories were ever banned. I doubt the uptight Victorians quite realized that they stood for the seduction and rape of virgins by something monstrous. In other words, they were overheated sexual fantasies.

And the fairy tales were never banned. Mythology actually celebrated the gods. Of course, the new Christian faith was opposed to that, but you can't really blame them. The witchcraft prosecution was in part the church defending itself against alternate faiths, and in part a desire to see people burn or twist in agony on the rack during questioning. The victims were largely dispensable, i.e. old women who were poor and a burden on their relatives and communities. I rather doubt men will ever be tolerant.
I. Parker,
Not sure vampire stories were ever banned. I doubt the uptight Victorians quite realized that they stood for the seduction and rape of virgins by something monstrous. In other words, they were overheated sexual fantasies.

And the fairy tales were never banned. Mythology actually celebrated the gods. Of course, the new Christian faith was opposed to that, but you can't really blame them. The witchcraft prosecution was in part the church defending itself against alternate faiths, and in part a desire to see people burn or twist in agony on the rack during questioning. The victims were largely dispensable, i.e. old women who were poor and a burden on their relatives and communities. I rather doubt men will ever be tolerant.


I wonder why I am always defending my position on here even when I am in agreement with Y'all.

Maybe the word Banned is not the proper term to be used here. Maybe forbidden. Banned or not, the belief in the "living dead" is not a Christian thing and was forbidden in Christian circles. And so was the belief in fairy tales an what not. In Salem, MA they have a record of much more than just old women being tortured and maimed.

But the burning of every written history that was not Christian was a way of banning certain things, and they did burn everything they thought was not Christian.
Regardless, I do agree with you that humans will never become tolerant, at least not in our life times.
Humans, by virtue of our nature to compete in everything we do, leave very little room for absolute tolerance.
And the fairy tales were never banned.

But there have been those who wanted to. As a matter of fact (and I just happen to be a bit of an expert on the history of fairy tales) they were not originally written for children. When the Grimms' published the first version of their Marchen, it was so filled with violence that it didn't sell---it was a real clunker, for which they caught a lot of flack---so they "cleaned it up " for subsequent versions. Made mothers into stepmothers, for one thing, and added folksy language and so on. There are still people who think fairy tales are too "dark" for children, but children, it seems, can handle that. (It's the Disney corp. that wants to whitewash all of them---to own copyright on cultural property, and commodify the old stories so little girls will want Rapunzel and Cinderella dolls). Not to get off the track here, since this isn't a fairy tale forum....but you'll get my drift. In the overwhelming number of traditional fairy tales, justice was severely meted out: violence to innocents was punished. So, in a sense, fairy tales have something in common with murder mysteries, do they not? The restoration of order, the exercise of justice.
offensive to born again Christians

But then what isn't. :)
No matter what you write, I suppose someone will find SOMETHING objectionable.
But what's the standard definition?

I think that's the problem.
Offensive: that which offends. :)
And sometimes, it's just a matter of degree.

"Objectionable" was the word the Catholic Legion of Decency used to rate movies, back in day when I was a kid. (We weren't Catholic, but my father always consulted those ratings ." X meant "objectionable IN PART for EVERYONE." Meaning....you guessed it...something sexy. Violence was OK. But then, movies weren't violent then in the same way they are now. Any of those Marlowe movies---those would have been "objectionable in part for everyone." Really made you wanna see them! The poster usually showed some cleavage!
Which assumptions? :)

The ones I disagree with, of course.



:D

I suppose the thing is....you could write a book that would be "entirely inoffensive" to SOME PEOPLE, while others would find at least one offensive element.

Actually, for ME, bad writing is the most offensive thing in any book. Now, there's a fun thread. Just what constitutes BAD WRITING! If anyone wants to go there...

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