Sometimes I wish I were a horse, so I could get away with wearing blinders. I suppose I could wear them anyway, but that would mark me as some sort of trendsetter, which would make me uncomfortable. Besides, blinders are made to fit a horse’s head. My head is shaped a little different from a horse’s, so wearing them would, again, make me uncomfortable.
The reason I mention this previously confidential conundrum, is to make what I have to say next not seem so eccentric: I believe books are a lot like barbecue.
Please don’t stop reading this yet, Mr. and Mrs. Vegan. I hear you. In fact, the day I see a cow wearing a kerchief, or a chicken on a leash, I’ll
be joining you. This comparison has almost nothing to do with eating meat, sort of. Besides, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen barbecued tofu shoulder on a menu somewhere.
So what does link sausage have to do with historical fiction? Everything. Books are often described as saucy and spicy, or maybe sweet and tender. Just like pulled pork. Great books take forever to create. Just like great brisket.
The comparisons are seemingly endless. Tell me that juicy erotic romance novellas and nice plates of pork butt don’t share a common thread; just like good horror and cheap plates of smoked varmint. By the way, a pork butt is a pig’s shoulder, which is what romance heroines often rest their head on and then later regret. I just wanted to be clear about the analogy.
There is, however, one exception to my theory: some readers prefer hard-boiled fiction. Exactly zero eaters prefer hard-boiled barbecue.
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Harry Margulies is the author of The Knowledge Holder and the to-be-released The Weight of the Moon. When he’s not writing about romance, money, women and other subjects he thoroughly enjoys but knows nothing about, he’s frittering his precious time as a cartoonist.
Photo Credits: Horse courtesy of Jean, Kerchiefs courtesy of Warburg, Leash courtesy of Wesha, Pork Butt courtesy of David P. Brown, Kansas City Flag courtesy of Fred the Oyster, Books in Library courtesy of Project Manhattan.