Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Plum crazy

As I mentioned in my previous post, all non-essential activity in my life has stopped while I've been on my book-reading bender. I'm currently ensconced in book eleven of the Stephanie Plum series. (I skipped Visions of Sugar Plums but am considering the other "between the plums" as the library has copies of them.) What I've discovered in reading these books back to back to back is that there is a strange suspension of disbelief that is asked of the reader.

The first book in the series was written in 1994, with the first ten books coming out one per year. In the first novel, the main character is thirty years old, one of the characters has a car phone, no one has a cell phone. Slowly, over the course of the books, the technology upgrades. First some of the characters get cell phones and pagers. Then everyone has a cell phone. The car phones fade away to be replaced by GPS tracking and onboard navigation. The "seasons" pass.  It's summer, it's winter. There's pumpkins on the Plum front porch. It's spring and the paint job looks sickly in the drizzle. It's summer and the smog is heavy on the freeway. Secondary characters get pregnant and give birth. The main character gets a computer ... but she's still thirty.

O! to be Stephanie Plum! Stuck in a type of suspended animation where life marches on but you need never fear turning thirty-one, or thirty-two or any other age!

I'm completely on board with the technology upgrading faster than "time" is passing in the novels. So what if it's only been ten seasons in the course of the story instead of the ten years that passed in the real world? But where my desire to believe snags is when the character never ages.

But the novels are laugh-out-loud funny -- I daily scare the cats from sudden bursts of laughter when they thought I was just sitting calmly -- I'll continue to suspend disbelief. But it's weird. A bit like knowing you've stepped Underhill and into Faerie

Highly Recommended