Monday, December 27, 2010

YA Vs. Adult Themes

I've written before about the Holmes on the Range books by Steve Hockensmith, because I felt that, thematically, they'd be of interest to older YA readers. You know, the YAs old enough to tolerate plenty of foul language and dead bodies in sad states.

The first three books, I thought, dealt with twenty-something young men (one all the way to twenty-seven) who were seeking a place in the world, deciding who they wanted to be. The whole Who am I? thing works for YA readers.

I just finished the fourth book, The Crack in the Lens. It's still fine reading (Hockensmith does some great work with the word "fudge."), but thematically it's different from the earlier books. Old Red, who still hasn't reached his thirtieth birthday, is no longer intent on becoming a deducifier like his hero Sherlock Holmes. Now he's wondering if he made the right choice in turning his back on cowpunching in order to become a detective. Do Holmes' methods even work? Yeah, there's plenty of whore talk in this volume, but it's the looking back and worrying about regret that make this book more adult than the earlier ones.

What am I going to be?/looking forward--YA

Did I make the right life choices?/looking backward--Adult

Hot damn. There's a new Holmes on the Range story coming out next month.

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