How much violence will you accept?
I was surprised that no one suggested one obvious answer: reading is a more intimate act than watching a TV show or a movie. It demands more of our attention and thus involves us more fully in the action. In reveals more easily a character's thoughts during an act of violence, which can make the depicted act more disturbing.
When a book describes violence deadpan, without such thoughts and reactions, a reader may feel their absence all the more because he or she knows they are possible and has been conditioned to expect them. Some of the most disturbing descriptions of violence I have read in crime novels (and at the same time the most anti-violence) have been flat and matter-of-fact.
How much violence are you prepared to accept in your crime reading? Is violence more affecting on the page than on the screen? Less? Why? Under what circumstances will you accept violence in a book, movie or television show?
© Peter Rozovsky 2008