When is it too much?

I’m having a conversation with some online book friends about graphic descriptions in books. Namely, sex and violence. American Psycho comes to mind. I remember vividly how viscerally I hated the book because it was so ridiculous and over the top in its descriptions. Bret Easton Ellis is a great writer, respected, had some big hits, etc. But man, that book was just too much! I liked the idea of the plot. The 80s yuppie time period with the double life which was his true self, but I ended up glossing over much of the horror for a couple reasons. 1. I got bored with it. Reading it didn’t give me any insight into the plot or character (once I understood who he was deep down). How many scenes of torture do we need to get how messed up this guy is? Only takes a couple, really. 2. The scenes went on and on and on in meticulous detail. Which really does show what a great writer BEE is, but I ended up skimming to get back to the plot, as minimal is it was.

I have never read the 50 Shades book and have zero desire to do so, mostly because of the same idea of “too much.” I’ve heard from those who have read it that they just ended up skimming most of the sex scenes because they were redundant. Granted, these books sold millions, so someone enjoys them, but I don’t get it at all.

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2 thoughts on “When is it too much?

  1. I agree about too much description. Like others I skipped over a lot of sex scenes in 50 Shades. It was redundant and I also didn’t need to read about someone being tied up and spanked. In horror books it actually gives me the creeps when they are too detailed. I don’t need to know about every stab, slice, or blood splatter. Gross!

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