Sunday, May 17, 2015

Book Talk: SPOILER ALERT!



Spoilers are such a touchy subject


I have a bunch of friends who watch the show Game of Thrones but haven't read the books, and back when the show was way behind the books, I couldn't talk to them about anything because they didn't want to know. When a fellow book reader accidentally let slip that a certain...important character...dies, the TV show watchers were DEVASTATED.

"YOU SPOILED IT! NOW HOW CAN WE WATCH THE SHOW? WE WON'T BE SURPRISED OR DEVASTATED OR ANYTHING AND LIFE WILL JUST SUCK."

Well...I might be in the minority camp here, but I don't mind spoilers
Whaaaaaaat?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to go looking for how things end. I'm not one of those people who flips to the last page of a book to see how it ends before I finish. What I mean is that if for some reason I accidentally find out some giant plot twist or Deep Dark Secret, I'm okay with it. In the words of Markus Zusak in The Book Thief. 

"I know what happens and so do you. It's the machinations that wheel us there that aggravate, perplex, interest, and astound me. There are many things to think of. There is much story.” 

Sometimes it's nice to get all the plot aha moments out of the way because you can pick up on so much more foreshadowing and subtlety you might have missed if you didn't know what was coming. I've found that particularly with the Mistborn series and Code Name Verity, I've loved the books so much more the second time I read them because I was able to better pick up on all those subtleties.

Yes, part of the fun of reading a book or watching a TV show is the anticipation of what comes next, and it sucks when you don't have that shock value. But if you think about it, don't you still have that anticipation when you know what's coming? I know my heart starts beating really fast during the stampede scene every time I watch The Lion King even though I've seen the movie so many times and I know what's going to happen. It's like watching the inevitable unfold before your eyes and knowing what is going to happen doesn't make it any less painful or emotional (if anything, I'm more emotional on rereads and re-watches).



Run, Simba, run!

I'm not advocating that you go around spoiling things for everyone, but if something does get spoiled for you, I wouldn't blame you if you needed to take a minute to scream  raise your fist at the unfairness of it all. Once you get over it though, think about all the possibilities you've opened up and enjoy the ride!

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10 comments:

  1. I've never really mined spoilers either. It doesn't really ruin anything. Awesome post!

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  2. I guess it depends on what you count as a spoiler! Spoiling things for myself? NBD, sometimes I just want to know what's going to happen. If the book or show is done well, knowing how it ends won't spoil the fun anyway. BUT... other people spoiling the big twist instead? That's just mean. (Remember the "Snape killed Dumbledore" drive-by video? That.)

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  3. I could care less about spoilers. I thought I was weird but a few years back a study came out that vindicated people like you and I. Spoilers don't hurt the enjoyment of entertainment.

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  4. Personally, I prefer to not have spoilers for ANYTHING in the story. However, sometimes my curiosity has gotten the best of me and I look things up. Or I read a lot about a book or a tv show long before reading/watching it. I do prefer to not have spoilers because I don't have the same emotional impact when I know something is going to happen.


    However, I don't get bent out of shape if someone warns me that there's a spoiler in the review and I read it anyway or if someone asks can I tell you a spoiler and I agree. What I do hate though is when the spoiler blindsides me. Like, we we're not even talking about death's (rather just talking about favorite characters from a series) and all of a sudden - 'oh, he got killed by his best friend' with no warning. That's when I get livid. And quickly leave.

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  5. I absolutely hate spoilers and avoid them, the first time when I read a book I want to be surprised. Although I understand your point about being able to appreciate the foreshadowing more if you know what's going to happen, which is why I like to re-read some books.


    Sometimes knowing how things are going to end can make the story more emotional or enjoyable. I recently read a novella Light of a Thousand Stars by Siobhan Davis and it's best if you read the novella after the first book True Calling and then when you read the novella and you know what's going to happen makes everything so bittersweet.


    So yeah I can see your point how sometimes knowing a spoiler can make you experience the book different, although I still don't like spoilers, I like noticing that foreshadowing in books.

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  6. Ugh yeah it's so frustrating when people spoil things on purpose, but I meant more when someone accidentally lets something slip or doesn't know that you haven't gotten that far.
    It's interesting that sometimes you spoil things for yourself!

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  7. Haha that's pretty great! Do you remember what the study was? I'd be interested in taking a look at it!

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  8. That makes sense. There's definitely a huge difference between someone asking you if you're okay with a spoiler and just blurting out that someone dies!

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  9. It definitely goes both ways. Another great example is books/movies that deal with antiheroes, like Wicked or Maleficent. You know that the generally nice girl you're getting to know is going to end up being the wicked witch of the west or an evil queen, and it's all about how they get there, not where they go.

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  10. I completely get what you mean here and it's one of the reasons I am such a big fan of rereading and rewatching. You catch SO much foreshadowing and plot points when you're not on the edge of your seat wondering about big twists. I don't mind some spoilers but if it's like a REALLY huge twist or surprise, I do like to see/read it firsthand without knowing.

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