October 17, 2012

My Issues with The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa- Am I Being Crazy?

I have definitely never been accused of being a prude.  I enjoy edgy novels, sexy reads and erotica, but I found this coming-of-age graphic novel a little too, er, graphic.  However, I am not entirely sure why.

This is not a spoiler, but there is a scene where the young boy begins having wet dreams and there are several scenes depicting this, as well as the young man's discovery of the product of ejaculation.  This, to me, is a bit too much for a graphic novel, especially one aimed at teens.  Obviously, not everyone is going to have this reaction and it is a highly rated book, the first in a trilogy. I didn't have a problem with the book in its entirety- I loved how the book was rich with beautifully constructed metaphors.   I just could not get past this one part.  

Did anyone else have issues with this?  Am I being totally ridiculous?  How can I be completely okay with pornography and erotic novels and the like, but a drawing about an ejaculation makes me close the book never to open again?  Perhaps I couldn't get past the fact that it is for a teen audience?   I do want to make this clear: This is a banned book and I would never, ever condone banning this book.  That is the completely wrong reaction to having a problem with a book.   It is just something I struggled with personally.  Any insights?

12 comments:

  1. bermudaonion(Kathy)October 17, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    I haven't read this particular book but I know I do get stuck in things in some books for some unknown reason. I do think teens are very familiar with wet dreams, etc, so I don't think the book is providing them with any new material.

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  2. I've noticed I'm more shocked by pictures than by reading about the same thing in a YA novel, so it would probably be the same thing here.

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  3. I have not read this book so can't really say. But perhaps for teens it is good to not back away from the subject and not have it made a taboo subject or a funny subject (I generally find it is not discussed or it is turned into a joke as in the movies). It possibly was more confronting in a graphic novel because it was visual.

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  4. Well, everyone has stuff that just gets to them and this is yours. Still, it does sound like it might be a bit much for the intended audience!

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  5. That sounds kinda gross. :P When things feel voyeuristic or sensationalized, I get turned WAY off. Maybe that's what's happening here.

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  6. It just felt over the top to me.

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  7. I think the intended audience is what got to me the most!

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  8. I think you are right- it was the visual along with the target audience. I agree that the book being about puberty is great.

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  9. I think you and Mandy (Caspette) hit on what struck a nerve with me- it was more the fact that the book was for teens and coupled with the cartoon of it.

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  10. Yea, the only thing that makes any sense was I did not like the cartoon image. I am surprised I got stuck on that, but like you said, I guess it happens sometimes.

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  11. Maybe it was the cartoon drawing of it that weirded me out.

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  12. Not just you. I felt very similarly. The first one was just okay, and the rest got progressively worse as I went along. But while I wouldn't ban it (banning for content is never okay) I certainly wouldn't ever recommend it.

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