A is for Action and Adventure

Author: Anne

Date Published: Apr 1st 2017, 3:38pm

I started writing a series of alphabet themes book blogs two years ago and rather got knocked off course by other things and challenges. I thought I would revisit them and maybe get to the end this time (yes, I have something prepared for "Z").

Here is a blog I published originally in May 2015 - my real life hasn't got any less boring and ordinary since then and I have continued to live vicariously through my love for action and adventure books.


So far this May I have lived in a small American town, investigated more than one crime, relived the trauma of occupied France during the Second World War, fought for survival in an eighteenth century Russian court and battled with the odd vampire. A reasonably typical month !

Those who know me well understand that actually I live a comfortable and very normal life which may seem to veer towards the boring. I go to work, play on the Internet and ignore the housework, with occasional visits to family and friends or meals out. The excitement in my life is mostly in my head because I read lots of books. In truth, I live vicariously through fiction.

When I first started reading for myself I devoured books by authors such as Enid Blyton, Arthur Ransome, Rudyard Kipling, and others. Although there were a fair amount of school stories and horse books scattered among my reading, the vast majority was what I would call adventure books and the taste for them has never really left me. An adventure book, for me, is a book that takes me away from my usual existence and where something happens to engage me and pull me along – it may be a thriller, a suspense novel, an epic fantasy, a mystery or almost any other genre which has a bit of action and some peril for the main characters.

As an adult my the first adventure stories I read were by Alistair Maclean, Dick Francis, Desmond Bagley, and others along with lots of war stories (many of these true life). I now read Dan Brown, Jeffery Deaver, Guy Gavriel Kay, Robert Jordan, Barbara Hambly. Tess Gerritsen, Karin Slaughter, Karen Rose, Louise Penny, and many, many others.

In this type of book I can play at being brave when I am really a bit of a coward; I can perform great physical feats when actually my arthritis increasingly restricts my activity; I can visit interesting places without the expense; and I can practice being the heroine that secretly I know that I am inside. In other words, they are a great escape.

Action and adventure stories tend not to be great literature, they are often implausible, and they also tend to have male protagonists rescuing women in peril which does become boring after a while, but nevertheless they have provided me with hours of enjoyment and relaxation. They are not, by any means my sole reading diet but there is little I enjoy more than being gripped by a book and being unable to put it down because I just need to know what happens next. I live a life of action and adventure and I rarely leave my sofa to enjoy it.