When Fiction Isn't Entirely Fiction

When Fiction Isn't Entirely Fiction

some writers go too far

A few years ago, when I brought up the term "faction" to a high school English major, the person said she had never heard of it.  Perhaps it is called something different these days. Either way, it is one form of writing which I personally dislike.

 

The first book that completely turned me against this type of writing was The Book of Daniel, by E. L. Doctorow. I actually have two "beefs" about this book. The fact that it was poorly written was not even one of them. My first reason for disliking The Book of Daniel is if generations in the future read this book, they are likely to assume the events which E. L. Doctorow described took place the way he described them. The Book of Daniel contained numerous events that actually happened, and numerous individuals who were real people, future generations may find the line between fact and fiction quite blurry.

 

The second reason is I found that line bothersome as well. While it is probably nothing more than personal preference, it simply irks me when events or persons are misrepresented-- even if this is the author's entire point. As an example, the Rosenbergs had two sons-- not a son and a daughter. Perhaps I am merely a stickler for accuracy, but it is why I could not see The Book of Daniel as a work of creativity, and as one which could have been written differently and better.

 

I read on a wide range of topics and categories. I've probably disliked less than ten percent of all books I have read. E. L. Doctorow's "bestseller" is very close to the top of that list.