Recession Heats Up Romance: The Snarky Version

Recession Heats Up Romance: The Snarky Version

A few days ago I posted a wonderful article from the New York Times about why romance novels are doing so well during the recession. Well, there was bound to be another article where the tone, shall we say, is less then satisfactory in its telling. In other words, the article was condescending and the author's voice was snotty. Also, she admits to not buying or reading the same books she mentions in the article.

Essayist and novelist Meghan Daum who lives in Los Angeles has written this article called "The Recession Heats Up Romance Novels"
Why don't I post some excerpts from her take on why romance novels are doing well in the recession and you decide if a romance reader like myself and others should be insulted.
- U.S. News & World Report... released its list of “10 Winners in the Recession,” But the most intriguing entry was the third item on U.S. News’ list: bodice-ripper novels. *WHY DO THEY KEEP CALLING ROMANCES BODICE RIPPERS? Why not call them, ripping off my bra because my nipples are hard and need to be sucked by the horny muscular eight pack abs hero novels?*
- It’s so easy to poke fun at contemporary romance novels that there’s really no sport in it. The plots, by definition, are formulaic; the prose manages to be at once overwrought and underdeveloped; the covers, well, they’re where that famous, flaxen-haired slab of manhood named Fabio got his start. *Shakes fist at Fabio. He is too blame for all these stereotypes!**
-It’s not exactly a surprise that the romance novel business would be pretty recession-proof; as bad as things get, a lot of people — OK, mostly women — can still afford a $5 paperback. It’s also no great mystery why stories of women being wooed by chiseled, robust millionaires. *I guess millionaires have great metabolism in world of romance. Usually they are too busy trying to seduce the heroine to exercise. Robust makes me think of hearty, just like those soup commercials where the NFL football players scarf down those robust, hearty soups after a game*

-If there’s anyone who’s predisposed to being snobby about this genre, it’s me. I wouldn’t buy a romance novel unless it was specific enough to my own escape fantasies to be called something like “Ralph Fiennes, Personal Assistant and Discreet Ghostwriter of Newspaper Columns. *So, Ms Daum just shot herself in the foot. SHE HASN'T READ A ROMANCE NOVEL and is writing about the topic? WTF lady? Hello, there is a thing called research!*

My response to Ms. Daum which I posted on Delaware Online:

Ms. Daum,

Can you please tell us the last romance novel you read? And if you haven't read one, how can you write an article like this without doing your research and not reading these books? How can you really have an opinion? That is like a movie reviewer not watching the movie they are reviewing and still writing a review on it.

I wonder what Samuel Richardson who wrote the earliest romance novel in 1740 called Pamela would say? How about Jane Austen who wrote the classic, Pride and Prejudice or Georgette Heyer who introduced historical romances in 1921?

Or what about those 64 million readers in the United States who bought what is considered the most popular genre in modern literature, comprising almost 55% of all paperback books sold in 2004?

What would the twenty-two percent of romance readers who identified themselves as male, and were split evenly between people who were married and those who were single would say? Or the forty-two percent of them who have at least a bachelor's degree?
I could go on and on with the facts that make the romance genre the star of the publishing world. I really feel sorry for Ms. Daum. My world has become a brighter place because of reading these books that make me smile, sigh and always give me a happy ending.

I would gladly have my own bodice ripped open any day.