I recently read an article on why China’s internet censors ban the word “salt”
(Because the government is trying so squash rumors that extra salt intake will protect you from radioactivity)
It led me on a rabbit trail to banned books in the USA. Now, I expected to see a list of really old books. Huck Finn was on the list, for instance. I would expect that… back from the days when people didn’t know any better.
But there were quite a few contemporary novels intermingled with classics like “Catcher and the Rye,” “Of Mice and Men,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” that really surprised me.
I guess these books are not banned in the sense of the government coming in and taking them off the shelves (which can happen in other countries… we don’t have to worry about that here in the USA) So I suppose they are saying that certain novels are “banned” by certain groups of people…. Which I would translate to “I don’t like this, so no one else should read it either. Please don’t read it.”
I remember this happening a few years ago when Da Vinci Code came out. Controversial? Sure it was. But it was FICTION. The problem was that it was fiction researched so dern well that people believed it.
Oddly enough, Da Vinci Code was not even on this particular list.
Here are the contemporary novels on the list that really jumped out at me. Get ready to say, “Huh?”
Harry Potter—Not just one. The whole series (Use of anti-religious themes and use of witchcraft and sorcery)
Golden Compass (Anti-religious themes)
Hunger Games (Sexually explicit, violent, unsuited to age group)
Twilight. (Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence, unacceptable for age group)
Hmmmmmm. Let’s think about this for a minute.
Had enough time?
Soooooo….. anyone else want to trash their current WIP to start writing something controversial?
Hmmm. Let’s see. Who can I REALLY offend?
Someday these groups will realize that if you “ban” something, it will just make people want to read it more. It’s human nature.
Someone ban my novel. Please?
It’s too…. Ummmmmm…
Extra-terrestrial. Yes! That’s it! Other planets are BAAAAAAD!
Yes! We must ban this!
Note: Please censor yourself while making comments. Do not come out and bash any particular group who may not have liked one of these novels. I honestly don’t know who banned which, and I don’t care.
Proof is in the numbers that banning does not work… that’s the point of this article.
- Flashback Friday: Banned Books (reneamac.com)
- …not a thing… (readdancelove.wordpress.com)
- The Most Frequently Banned Book Features Scandalous Texts and Dubious Emoticons [Kids These Days] (jezebel.com)
I hate that people still want to ban books. Really? Really, people? And we think we’ve come so far…
As a side note, I thought this article on Lauren Myracle was intersting. She’s a YA author that’s become the focus of a lot of these nutballs:
Thanks for sharing the article!
What’s the old saying, “If you aren’t offending someone, you’re not doing your job”?
Ha! That’s true. It’s a writer’s job, right?
Mine too Kford2007. I warn people about the violence and language in mine and yet they buy it anyways, write a bad review and return it…lol. Ban it instead! 🙂
Really? They give it a bad review because of the violence? It’s not like you tried to hide it or anything. There’s like a big warning banner that screams “SCARY VIOLENT DISTURBING” . People are weird.
I know….one woman said it was so disgusting she didn’t get past the first few paragraphs…which is funny cause it takes a few pages before anything violent takes place..she gave me 1 star 😛
Ha Ha! Why did she even pick it up? Did she think it was a heartwarming mother’s story? It’s meant to be disturbing/don’t sleep at night kind of stuff. Funny. Maybe she didn’t read the description and thought she was buying a cozy. 😮
Who knows. I’ve learned not to let bad reviews bother me. It’s not for everyone. Some people really enjoyed it. 🙂
You’re not a writer if you don’t get at least one “One Star Review” It’s not feasible to be loved by everyone.
I’ve got 2 1-star reviews. Does that mean I’m really good? 😛
That means you’re well rounded!
I want to write a book that offends as many people as possible. Oh wait, Twilight already does that. But seriously? I could understand Harry Potter and Hunger Games but how on earth are those sexually explicate? Ok so there is some kissing and then they all get married and have kids. Very detailed.
I have people at work who won’t give there kids Hary Potter because they are “convicted”
Convicted against what? Having an imagination?
LOL . . . I do get the feeling yours will be banned;) I’m sure someone could find a reason to ban mine too!
With my big mouth I’m sure to offend someone pretty good someday.
Thatta girl! I’m proud of you.
Gee, thanks adoptive Mom 🙂
I think the Roman Catholic Church will like my book series just as much as they like Dan Brown’s, with what I hope are similar results.
So, when are we going to get to see this wonderful novel I keep hearing about, oh king of the marketable blogs?
I actually expect mine to raise some hackles in religious circles if they catch on to the underlying theme and the parallels I draw. Part of the reason I plan on using a pseudonym. Ironic since I am a devout, seminary-trained Christian and it’s merely meant to be a (positive) parable *sad smile*
I just sigh and shake my head though at some of the rabid book banners that make us all look bad though. Harry Potter? Really? *facepalms*
Now in fairness, I can see it a little clearer for the golden compass series due to the content and the author’s stated intention to blast religion. But they were real good reads. Hunger games doesn’t strike me as bad at all honestly, aside from some violence. On the hunt for book 3 of that series. Haven’t read Twilight series and don’t plan on it, but was unaware of any religious themes in it.
Remember seeing a cartoon way back when, Bloom Country I think, where the characters actually used “Banned in Boston” as a marketing tool to sell more of their books. Sad but accurate.
I actually see your novel on a list like this someday. Speed up the process. Send a copy to the Vatican. 🙂
Twilight is sexually explicit? Did I miss something when I read those books? All the sex scenes were fade to black. There are some strange people in this world.
I think people jump on bandwagons. The ones screaming the loudest probably haven’t even read it.
ah, come on. They were soft porn for teens. Don’t you know it’s because of books like Twilight our teen girls are getting pregnant? Geez. 🙂 🙂 Get with the program, Emma. LOL!
You translated it in terms of “I don’t like it, so you shouldn’t” but in my experience it’s usually more like “I disapprove of this, even though I’ve done/read it – for research purposes only..I did it FOR you – and therefore you shouldn’t be allowed the right to make your own decision, because if you do I will have the right to hate you”. The same goes for closeted politicians bashing gays, cheaters bashing adultery…lalala. lol 😉
I shall recommend far and wide that your book be swept from the shelves and only sold on the black market for a massive markup. In China.
Awe… What a pal. I’ll have my marketing people contact you 🙂
Seriously? Wow, I’m surprised to see these books on ‘the list’ … and I wanna know, just WHO gets to decide?
You, yes YOU can ban any book you want to. You just need to shout loud and get the backing of a big group to shout along with you.
Insanity! But some definite food for thought. Personally, I’ve always loved stirring the pot a little. Reactions of any kind = you’re doing your job.
In our world, any publicity is good publicity. Well, almost any publicity. To an extent, it’s good to get your name heard for recongnition’s sake.
“Every burned book enlightens the world.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ooooo. Like that quote.
Jeezaloo! Seriously?! I’m of course tempted to grouse over the unfortunate status of my own book (aka, NOT banned), but I won’t, in favor of being stunned and amazed that the books above are. Particularly when one considers that all the listed offenses are things we pretty much read everyday in the Newspaper. So silly!
That’s what I thought. My kids get worse on the school bus.
Is there any way I can give you a link to one of my books so you can get it on the list? I’ll take banned for half the sales on that list, trust me… like when the PMRC came around with music and all the artists that got stickered thanked them after because it always led to more sales…
If it offends me, I will be happy to ban you. Jeremy (commenting above) offended me in his novel three times. (but I kept reading with a smile on my face)
Quite frankly, I hope my book is banned. I’ll be in wonderful company.
Dragons are Bad. We must ban all Keller Ford novels!
Yay! I”m down with it! J.D. Salinger and I will discuss it in heaven over a cup of coffee and have our laugh at stupidity.
Not any time soon, though.