I am always hearing people lamenting that all books/TV/movies/music are such trash now, and it isn't like the GOOD OL' DAYS when all forms of media were pure golden artistry. Not like NOW, when most stuff is so awful.
Those people make me roll my eyes, because they are judging whole eras of literature, film and music not on what was common or popular, but what has SURVIVED. Nobody remembers most of the top books, plays and movies from long ago... or even recently. We only remember the GOOD stuff. The stuff that has survived. Who remembers the countless Beatles wannabe bands in the sixties? Nobody. We only remember the Beatles, the Stones, and other good bands.
Only a small amount of the media from bygone days is known to modern audiences... not because it hasn't survived or anything... but because most of it was crap.
And a good example of that is Amelie Rives.
Amelie Rives was sort of like the E. L. James of her era... except she was hot, and she wasn't a plagiarist. She wrote novels that were considered incredibly shocking and provocative, because they depicted women having... SEXUAL DESIRES. She also had a personal life worthy of a soap opera (sex and drugs and... well, no rock'n'roll), and if you want to hear more, read the book Archie and Amelie. You won't regret it.
And let's face it: The Quick or the Dead? (why the question mark?) is a crappy book. A really crappy book. Its success definitely shows that the readers of Henry James' time had taste just as bad as people do today.
In Rives' time, I probably would be frothing with rage at the idea that this crap was a megabestseller... but today, it's just hilarious.
- The Quick or the Dead? Chapter 1