Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Escape Through Entertainment
I love going to movies. They give me two complete uninterrupted hours. No phones. No doorbells. No one "yelling" Mom! For two hours, with popcorn and pop in hand, I get to experience a new world. And don't give me a thought-provoking piece: give me adventure and laughter. I'm there to turn my brain off for a couple of blissful hours.
This summer's been great for that. I've seen Cars 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Cowboys & Aliens, and my favorite, Thor. (Ladies, if you haven't seen Thor yet, go. You will not regret it.) Clearly, none of those movies are going to win Oscars, and that's perfectly fine with me. I don't go to the movies to think.
But, when I pick up a book for entertainment, my goals are very different. I don't want to read a mind-numbing piece for hours. Give me something with intellectual challenge, something that will not only transport me to a new world, but make me ponder that world. Does what I've read dispute or support my beliefs? Does it open my eyes to see beyond my narrow vision?
I recently finished a debut novel by Cliff Graham called Day of War. It's a Biblical fiction work that takes us back to 998 B.C. when David is living among the Philistines at the time they are preparing for war against King Saul and Israel. The story focuses on Benaiah, one of Israel's Mighty Men.
While staying true to the Bible, this work is gritty, detailed, bloody, yet poignant. Graham does an excellent job of getting inside his characters' hearts--characters who are very human. Best of all, this story showed me a new perspective on David's time with the Philistines. I don't know if it's the "true" perspective, but that isn't the point. It made me think.
For me, that's the best kind of literary escape.
What about you? Do you go to movies to turn your mind off or to be challenged? What about when you read?