The discussion of bodily functions in literature

Use this forum to discuss the February 2018 Book of the Month, "The Reel Sisters" by Michelle Cummings.
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Kemunto lucy
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Re: The discussion of bodily functions in literature

Post by Kemunto lucy » 05 May 2018, 04:00

Body functions are hilarious and they make literature interesting, though I have not read a book with such but still I would recommend people to read especially my crazy friends.

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Post by Samantha333 » 05 May 2018, 12:34

While the description of bodily functions in writing is sort of entertaining, it’s not preferred. It’s always a little funny and uncomfortable to discuss and consider the views of others on such a personal/private topic. Honestly, I guess it depends on the extent and the context of the expression. However it truly isn’t my preference LOL

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Post by JacquiHerr » 07 May 2018, 13:54

If it's strictly necessary for the story, then it's fine, but it can definitely be overdone and I found it quite offputting as the opening paragraph for this book, to be honest. It could lead one to think the whole of the book is going to be potty mouthed or one would anticipate that other bodily functions would be described in even more detail later on.

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Post by lisamcogutu » 08 May 2018, 07:20

LoisCHenderson wrote:
29 Mar 2018, 08:49
I had to laugh at Sophie's detailed description of a woman trying to pee with waders on, as I often get caught in a similar position outdoors when taking my dog, Splay, for a walk first thing in the morning. What effect do descriptions of bodily functions in novels have on you? Which books have you encountered with such descriptions, and would you encourage others to read the novels concerned, or would you be too embarrassed to :oops: ?
I have to admit that I'll be too embarrassed to recommend such a book, especially if they later realise I read it. :oops:

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Post by faceadventure » 13 May 2018, 07:58

In post apocalyptic stories they never really get into those kinds of things and it always leaves me wondering. How do people deal with their periods in those situations? Going to the toilet and that stuff is pretty straight forward but periods are a bit more complicated.

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Post by Jax14 » 14 May 2018, 04:41

Being able to skip past sections about bodily functions in books if it makes you queasy is quite easy. I always feel sorry for the actors in movies that have to do take after take on the loo, like Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) getting shot while having a poop or Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) sitting on the loo while a bomb is being defused. Now that can't be fun.

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Post by haleygerstenberg » 14 May 2018, 09:39

This can be really fun to read if it's done well, the thing that ruins it for me is when the author spends too much time and too many words describing the bodily function itself. Like, everybody knows what it feels like to need to pee, so you can just say "she really needed to pee" and not talk about stuff like sudden awareness of pants size, which just feels weird and forced. Aside from that beef, I think it's a cute shot of realism into a story.

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Post by dtb » 16 May 2018, 09:13

I sometimes get annoyed in stories where the physical needs of the characters are ignored while the action goes on and on and on as if they have no needs.

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Post by bruin » 16 May 2018, 16:56

Reading about bodily functions in a book can make me laugh, gag, or relate to the character depending on the situation. I haven't recently read many books that contain bodily fluids, but if my memory serves me correctly, Wally Lamb and Judy Blume mention bodily fluids in some of their novels.

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Post by richa1706 » 17 May 2018, 06:24

Haha!! I am completely fine with it, though I don't remember reading about any bodily functions in a book.The best things about books are that whatever you are reading it's just you and your book there.Nobodys there to shy away from.And there are books dealing with a lot more grotesque things as their main theme, so bodily functions are not a problem at all.

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Post by KristyKhem » 17 May 2018, 12:16

I think it depends on the genre of the book and also the characters. Certain bits can add to a story, but can also take away the seriousness of a storyline. Depending on what it is, for example, diarrhea, can be a little disgusting!

The Harry Potter books have a few descriptions of bodily functions - Ron puking up slugs after his spell backfired!

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Post by LeaNyathi » 18 May 2018, 18:16

I enjoyed reading about it in this particular instance because it was presented and written in such a funny way. I do think there is a place for it, provided it fits the particular story line of course. Just not a whole book about it. That one I would most certainly skip.

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Post by VirgoRules2018 » 19 May 2018, 18:43

Sometimes, the scenes in movies or those being described in books about bodily functions can be quite entertaining....for the reader or the movie goer. But it can be a tragedy for the person having the experience.
I mean imagine being stuck in an elevator with a bunch of strangers and badly needing to use the washroom....awful....in no way funny for the person enduring the 'pain'. That could actually be a story about someone's moment of horror.
Can you imagine some of your favourite stories going awry because the main character had a bad case of stomach flu with huge piles of vomit surging out of them :oops: ....might work for one scene but not throughout.
For the purpose of maintaining the fantasy, some of us like.... not to have to include, that part in our imaginations. Especially, if we ourselves have at some point in time had the unfortunate mishap of a public pee or worse yet. We know the details.
I think it could work in comedy but certainly not in an action-packed thriller or drama. Having to read about the story's hero having to stop every twenty minutes to dump off in a toilet because he had a bad curry the night before.....will not work for me....(sorry...just my thoughts).

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Post by CinWin » 21 May 2018, 00:06

To discuss bodily functions or not to discuss bodily functions, that is the question. Some books are not conducive to that subject. It would just be plain bad taste. However in other books, especially ones that have a lot of comedy involved, it would be quite proper in mentioning any bodily functions. Many books are written in a way that the authors are just talking about regular day to day life so it is actually expected. There is a limit to bodily function talk. A little bit is acceptable, but when it is continual it would not really add to the plot of the story...just my 2 cents worth.
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Post by Bookmermaid » 21 May 2018, 17:37

Quite interesting, I can't remember ever reading any book that featured bodily functions. My initial reaction might be to find such discussions a bit revolting, as I can sometimes be quite squeamish.

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