Disclaimer: Somewhere on this blog are multiple grammatical mistakes, spelling errors and obscure Star Wars references.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another war story...

You know what I noticed during my latest excursion to Magrudy's the other day? I noticed that if you walk into the fiction section of any bookstore (not just Magrudy's) most of the books are war based. To play Devil's Advocate, a lot of those are my favys. Robert Ludlum's especially. Unfortunately there were aisles of books about covert warfare, espionage, terrorism, lunatics hell bent on blowing up the world etc etc. But very few on peace.

It's kind of saddening isn't it. I mean can you imagine that a decent majority of reader's of fiction novels read about some terrorist or organisation planning to take over the world, or, steal an old Russian Nuclear warhead, or, sink thousands of shipping vessels to destroy the economy world over etc etc etc.

Why don't people write about a lawyer-turned-politician who pens down one of the world's most influential peace treaties. Or, a humanitarian worker in Africa that's able to bring peace to some warring factions. Or, a religious leader in Philippine who's able to get the rebels and the government to come to a ceasefire, standstill and eventually a final and resting peace. Or even a local police officer in some county in California who's able to stop two neighbors, a Republican and a pious Muslim, to stop arguing and get along. Simple stuff even.

I've never seen books like those. Which could totally be my fault entirely and it could be that such books exist but I've never seen them. And I'd like to think that I'm a voracious reader. Either way, it'd be nice to see a book that focused on an individual or party that was a forerunner in world peace and/or did something to make the world a more peaceful place.

To be fair to the war books, the bad guys weren't ALWAYS Arabs or Muslims. Many a times they were Europeans or Far Eastern or Russian/Eastern European. But there was ONE thing that ALL the books had in common. At least one, if not the only, good guy of the book was from....... (no prize for guessing the right answer) the USA. Very Gung-ho very Americanised very Hollywoodised.* coughtypicalcough*

War is easy. Anyone can do it. It's the peace thing that's hard to do. Try writing books about a peace treaty that worked out. Oh, and it has to be a fiction novel. Hope I'm not asking too much.




Uzma said...

Unfortunately, with cultural hegemony and what not, American books by American publishers plague the bookshelf. Their policies glorify war. There's not much we can do about it. Granted, a lot of Americans don't feel that way, but who are we more likely to listen to - the big ape they call the President, or the individual?
Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent.

The point is, good observation, but nobody WANTS to read about peace. Nobody wants a happy story with an even happier ending.

It's in human nature. You hear a good, clean, happy story and a scandalous story; which one are you more likely to talk about?

mali... said...

True that. The common man is more likely to read about some punk with a Nuclear Missile Silo than a local cleric fighting for peace.