About Adult Fiction

Adult fiction from 100+ years ago is certainly…different from Adult Fiction of today.  Some would say it has “evolved”.  Others, and The Droning Voice is in this camp, say it has “devolved”.  For those raised on current authors, The Droning Voice can assure you that there are far fewer explosions, less profanity – though words like “scoundrel” were used -, more descriptions of being “perturbed”, and WAY more clothing.  Given the lack of on-demand temperature control, The Droning Voice is amazed those people didn’t just pass out from the heat, OR spend all their time huddled in front of their woodstove in a vain attempt to stay warm and not losing key fingers to frostbite.  The only people being dispatched usually had it coming (NO charges filed), and it was typically attended to discreetly, and usually to defend the heroine’s honor.  Actually, EVERYTHING was much more discreet, including how the lead characters in most of these novels procured their income.  The Droning Voice assumes they were ALL trust-fund babies.  God forbid they actually WORK for a living.  In today’s literature, yes, even working in an office can be rife with romantic intrigue and deeds of daring-do, and WAY more skin (often involving office desks).  But in the late 1800s and early 1900s, even the hint of such a thing would cause any lady to swoon, with a gentleman being quick to catch her.  Men were always hoping to catch a swooning heroine, that being the only time they could honorably grope her.  And EVERYBODY kept a small bottle of something called smelling salts on hand for just such an occasion.  Really, The Droning Voice thinks a small bottle of that stuff might be just the thing to wave under another person’s nose when said nose is getting “out of joint”.  Maybe, just maybe, it could snap them out of it, though The Droning Voice is skeptical.  Let her know how it goes!

Also, it seems that most of the heroes from the fiction of that era rode horses.  Given the costs involved with owning an automobile or other vehicle today, riding a horse to work may be exactly what the modern day businessman should be doing.  #historyrepeatsitself
If the listener is used to the works of, well, The Droning Voice won’t mention NAMES, any of these selections should put you right to sleep.  She sincerely hopes you have a good time reading the reviews while deciding which one to bore you into slumber.

As always, pleasant dreams!

The Alternative

The Droning Voice knows she promised, at some point, to never drone one of those insipid romance novels with formulaic plots involving muscular, brooding heroes, and saucy heroines whose bodices can barely contain their ample bosoms.

And she is keeping her promise (so far).

THIS romance novel (she is guessing it is a romance novel) gives the listener a peek into the life of an early 20th century New York Society gentleman.  They belonged to various clubs, they attended the best universities, they had fanciful nicknames, and, above all, they did NOT have jobs.  They, apparently, lived off the interest from trust funds and hoped to marry a wealthy heiress (or widow), the better to keep from having to get an actual JOB.

This appears to have really been a thing.  Heck, it may still be, for all The Droning Voice knows.  SHE lives, very happily, FAR from New York City Society and so is blissfully ignorant of the daily grind those folks must feel…determining which party invitation to accept (or decline), who to snub, which club to join.  But she is not without empathy.  “There, there”, she says, consoling the New York City Society elite. “There, there.”

AT ANY RATE, the hero in this romance (?) ultimately decides to marry only for love, and the object of his affection has been lowered in rank to “secretary” (gasp!), though was, of course, from one of New York’s finest, though fallen, families.  And then he (double gasp!!) actually Gets A Job, sending his poor father into a fit of apoplexy.  The beautiful secretary, of course, is extremely proper, only allowing color to rise in her cheeks as she demurely returns, briefly, a squeeze of his hand.  Then there is a pretty little tableau at the end, leaving our couple close together, him gently kissing her closed eyes as she rests her head on his chest (or something like that), as her hand delicately caresses his cheek.

No cold showers needed after THIS book is read, though, given the descriptions of a blizzard, a nice cup of something warm may help one be thankful for modern heating systems.  It may also help you drift off to sleep.

Pleasant dreams!

Here is a sample of The Alternative:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.

Molly Make-Believe

This story is going to be difficult for anybody born after about 1970 to wrap their heads around, but, believe it or not, there used to be the equivalent of analog dating apps.  The Droning Voice remembers a very charming note received, and loving kept, by her great-grandmother which had been delivered via a messenger boy, and in which my not-yet great grandfather asked if he could enjoy her company that evening at her home….where, presumably, she would be under the watchful eyes of her parents.  Propriety, and all.

The plot of this little romance (?) involves a cold and distant socialite who can’t be bothered with her bed-ridden fiancé, leaving him to face the cold northern winter alone while she goes off to frolic in Jacksonville (Florida).  Before heading off she states upfront that she really can’t be bothered to write him more than once a week, so she leaves him a pamphlet for something called “The Serial Letter Co.”, which is kind of a pen-pal* for hire service, should he require more than a few cursory lines about the weather from his lady-love.  Letters can be received from Oriental Fairies, Historical figures, and even Plush Squirrels.  And, of course, love letters for the lonely, which is what Our Hero signs up for, innocently enough, as he wishes to provide examples of what a love letter should contain to his stately and aloof bride-to-be.  Not that she cares. Oh, no.  Today, of course, there are all sorts of ways one can snub their fiancé AND rub their faces in it by posting photos of themselves doing jello shots at beach resorts with strange men on social media. Hey, they aren’t married yet.

But back to our story:

Of course, everything goes wrong….or at least not as Our Hero thought it would.  The Droning Voice does not wish to spoil the ending for anybody wanting to listen, though is  hoping the listener will be in a drowsy stupor by then.  Still, this was one of the more engaging books she has read in the service of the insomniac, so offers a bit of caution for those of romantic inclinations.  For those into racing sports cars, the WWF, or watching programs where the goal is to determine which of three heavily tattooed men missing key teeth is the actual baby daddy, this may be just the selection for you.

Pleasant dreams!

*A “pen-pal” was a pre-internet, pre-social media way of meeting Russian women, Nigerian Princes, and, occasionally, interesting (and real) people from other countries where you could share bits about your cultures via the postal service involving actual STAMPS.

Here is a sample of Molly Make-Believe:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.

Black Rock

This must have been quite the gripping page-turner back in the early 1900s. It has miners! Lumberjacks! The Canadian Rockies! A fervent minister of the cloth! A beautiful young widow! And the obligatory saloon!!

Compared to today’s “guy type” fiction (The Droning Voice really doesn’t know what else to call it), the body count is fairly low, and without graphic descriptions of how those particular bodies were dispatched. There IS a lot of angst about the saloon, and its wicked proprietor, who clearly forces those working men to drink and drink and DRINK, until all the money they were to have sent home to their poor mothers, wives, and children is all gone. The minister and the lovely, no, angelic widow join forces to combat the evils of liquor and the loathsome men who peddle it.

Trust The Droning Voice, though, that is ALL the minister and beautiful young widow join. There are no untoward glances, steamy or otherwise. There is one pure and tender kiss (no tongues), sealing a pure and tender love. Period. So don’t be waiting for any filthy sort of word-porn in this book. Yes, any parent would feel safe having their child lulled to sleep by this book, unless said parent is terrified by any mention of things (ahem) “Christian.”

This being a tale of miners and lumberjacks and, uhm, whiskey, there is a certain amount of brawling, though it is covered quite discreetly. There is really nothing to get you pulse quickening too much, though The Droning Voice did suffer a hot flash during the reading of one of the scenes.

Now get comfortable and be thankful for central heat and air. Turn your fan on, or pull up your blankets, and drift off to sleep with a vapid piece of historical literature.

Pleasant dreams!

Here is a sample of Black Rock:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.