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Author Topic: anxiety or entertainment?
mr_porteiro_head
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I'm reading The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. The main viewpoint character is autistic, and finds simple daily tasks stressful and nearly incapacitating.

I have found it extremely unpleasant, and almost painful, to read of these happenings form his point of view. I find my anxiety levels increasing. I'll read a little bit of the book, and then I quit in order to read another story, and weeks (or months) later I'll come back and try again, only to quit after a short time.

Does this sound familiar? Has a smiliar thing ever happened to you?

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Theca
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Happens all the time. Books, TV series, movies. Yeah. It's been pretty bad recently. I usually put the sound on mute, or fast forward, or put a book down over and over when I start squirming with that feeling of increased stress.
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Zeugma
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Yeah, I couldn't even get through half of the first Lemony Snicket book. [Smile] My plan is to read the last page of the last book in the series when it comes out, hoping that I'll get the ending I wanted. [Wink]
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Tante Shvester
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While I have at times related closely to and sympathized with the characters in books, I don't believe that I have ever has the reaction that you describe.
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MyrddinFyre
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I do that for more than half the books I read. If I find that I'm just not getting through it, I don't force myself. Weeks, months or years later I find I get more easily sucked in after taking a break from it. But, it's never been because the book was too painful in the same way. Just uninteresting or boring, at least to me at that time. Then again, my tastes change by the hour so that might have something to do with it.
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Tinros
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Each college here at OSU requires its incoming freshmen to read a specific book- for the college of the arts, it was Old School, by Tobias Wolff. The Speed of Dark was required by another college(I think it was one of the sciences). I bought it because it sounded interesting, but so far haven't read it.
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mr_porteiro_head
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I sometimes have the same reacion when watching television or movies, when we get into a sitcom-like situation where everything escelates because the characters are acting unbelievably stupid (think of Lucille Ball inflating cream puffs with air so that her tiny meal will seem bigger for the too-many dinner guests her husband is bringing home).

The weird thing is that this reaction of mine is much stronger when I've seen the episode/movie before. Knowing that the embarassing situation is coming makes me mute it or change the channel, even though it didn't particularly bother me the first time around.

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The Pixiest
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mph: Embarassing humor is much worse for me the first time through. To the point that there are many movies I can't watch. The American Pie movies spring to mind.

As for simple stress... my husband won't watch Big Love because he got so stressed out watching the first episode and the hectic life they lead.

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Synesthesia
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I just finished reading a book called We Need to Talk About Kevin. Good book, but it's EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL. It had the scariest blood chilliest scene I've ever read in a book. This scene was worse than a scene I read in Women of Brewster Place.
It was worse than the scene you KNEW was coming up. I read ahead to this scene and was just cold with horror that something like that happened. It just made it worse than the expected scene because it was so personal and so horrible.
Still managed to read it again and prayed that I wouldn't dream of that because just thinking of it makes my blood literally run cold.
I also hate embarassing humour a lot of the time, but I like American Pie a lot and I found Big Love to be painful because I kept thinking, why do you need those extra wives when your first wife is just so cool, so much cooler and smarter than they are. I can't stand sitcoms where I know the person will be embarassed and will get into the situation that will be their own stupid fault.
Shark Tale comes to mind.

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The Pixiest
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Oh, something else that's painful to watch.. cuz you know what's coming, not for any embarassing humor aspect (there's NOTHING funny about this movie...) Boys Don't Cry.
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Synesthesia
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Yeah. That movie just hurts like all hell. *shudder*
i hope they never make a movie out of we need to talk about kevin. I do not need that scene in front of my eyes.

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dean
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I have had that reaction to books and movies. One movie I couldn't finish was Apt Pupil because something about the soundtrack bothered me too much. I also had a hard time reading the beginning of Seventh Son because Reverend Thrower made me too mad to continue reading.

However, I'd read both The Speed of Dark and We Need To Talk About Kevin, and I didn't have that reaction to either of those books.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I got about one chapter into Lovelock and couldn't continue because of the nasty, horrible people.
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