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[personal profile] harrigan
Some folks write themselves fanfic to celebrate their own birthdays. And I love that! It’s a present for everyone! But somehow my birthday always sneaks up on me, and I am the slowest writer in fandom to boot, so I’ll have to share something else that I can just whip up. And I’ve got just the thing!

[livejournal.com profile] harrigan’s history with fictional (literary) orthopedic trauma!

I guess what I like about orthopedic trauma is that it doesn’t turn the hero into a damsel-in-distress. I like my heroes to be frustrated and hurting with the effort to persevere in spite of their injuries, but still actively involved in the story and its resolution. Here are some actual books I like for that reason.

  • Looking back, I guess it’s significant that the first word I can remember ever looking up in the dictionary was osteomyelitis. I was probably 8-10, reading a biography of Mickey Mantle. And the man had more character flaws than any human I ever met, but I was young and naïve and what mattered to me was that he played baseball with a painful chronic bone disease. My birthday rec (oops, it's a movie) to all of you is this film if you like buddy flicks with h/c.

  • In early grade school, I was wading through all the Louisa May Alcott books I could find. (Yes, I’m old. Don’t rub it in; it’s my birthday!) And I hope, like me, you’ve read and enjoyed Little Men, the sequel to Little Women. I was so enamored with rebellious young teen Dan and his sprained ankle that I swore to name my first-born son Dan. (And I kept that promise!)

  • In junior high, I discovered the genre of romantic suspense. But there was rarely enough hero-bashing for my taste. The first one I ever read was The Moonspinners, by Mary Stewart. Anyone here remember the Disney movie with Hayley Mills? I adored the island setting, but that bullet wound to Mark’s shoulder was, of course, my favorite part!

  • High school sucked me into the murder mystery genre. Much better hero-bashing there! And best of all was Dick Francis, whose books (especially the early ones) always featured jockeys or ex-jockeys used to physical punishment. Now, these aren’t whodunits, where the reader is challenged to solve the mystery. The reader knows the bad guy all along. The suspense is whether the hero will find the bad guy and thwart his dastardly plot and/or get him arrested before the bad guy discovers our protagonist and makes him pay! Who among us can resist an author whose titles include Bonecrack, and (in another book) whose dedication is made out to the orthopedic surgeon he consulted with? The early books are the best. Fans of heroes with traumatically-induced permanent disability should especially like the Sid Halley books available together or separately. (Usually each Dick Francis book has a new protagonist; he doesn’t use a recurring sleuth. But Sid is an exception.)

  • No mention of high school would be complete without mentioning A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Right?

  • I dabbled briefly in fantasy/sci fi in high school, but it didn’t really take root until college and after. For orthopedic trauma (leg injuries!), my favorite author is C.J. Cherryh. There’s Rusalka, which might appeal to other SPN fans who like a good buddy story wrapped up in a supernatural quasi-Russian mythology with plenty of leg ouchies and injury complications. (I didn’t enjoy the sequels as much.) The Paladin ‘s setting is more medieval Asian, and the gruff war-scarred male protagonist has a permanent limp. This one is for those who like fics with a spunky female protagonist, too. But my favorite of all this author’s fantasy work is The Morgaine Saga (three books) and the final book in the series: Exile’s Gate. Another one with male and female leads/partners, but it’s the young man, Vanye, who revs my engine with the damage he endures. I read book 4 first (because I saw the cover in the bookstore and liked it – LOL!), then book 3 (the earlier ones were out of print then, but are available again now). While they do take place in chronological order, you can read them in any sequence. Book 3 has a great, long-lasting knee injury, and Book 4 has torture where the emphasis is on recovery rather than the vivid brutality.

  • While we’re on the subject of leg trauma, I ought to throw in a mention for A Murder of Crows by Margaret Duffy. It’s like Scarecrow and Mrs. King!, but set in idyllic England, and more R-rated for violence. There’s a whole series of books with this couple, but it’s the first book where Patrick’s leg injury gets the most attention! It’s out of print, but available used.

  • Prefer something a little more light-hearted, and don’t mind waiting till the last chapter or two for the broken leg? I’m fond of this classic from 1915: Dear Enemy by Jean Webster, where the heroine finds herself unexpectedly running an orphanage with the sporadic assistance of a cantankerous and mysterious Scottish doctor. Who dashes into a burning building and saves a toddler and then the building-in-flames crashes in on him, but then I think they get him out but drop him from the second story ladder - oops. And dang, now I've spoiled it for you, too!

  • For something much more recent, there's The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I think everyone here already knows all about it, and I don’t want to say anything more to spoil those who haven’t yet read it but plan to.

  • Finally, how about a mainstream book you’re not embarrassed to suggest to your local book club? This rec is also the book I would most like to see as a movie - with Jared Padalecki cast as Tom: Resistance by Anita Shreve. It’s what the title says it is – a young woman in the Resistance in WWII helps a downed American pilot – but it’s a lot more!

How about you all? Any favorite books with orthopedic (preferably limb) trauma? (I confess, I like the hero, not the heroine, impaired.) Tell me about your faves! Or - have you read any of these? Have you read Resistance, but mentally cast Jensen in the role of Tom? I'd take that, too!

Happy birthday to YOU!

Date: 2011-11-08 12:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miz24601.livejournal.com
I have nothing of value to add re: orthopedic trauma, other than to say that your post is made of win! :) It's like a "This Is Your Life" of h/c love.

Makes me ponder what my list would look like, too. (Can anyone say Speed Racer? )

Happy birthday, my dear friend!

Re: Happy birthday to YOU!

Date: 2011-11-08 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
Thank you! I recently read an SPN fic that reminded me of a certain Speed Racer episode! Blind Faith - take a peek!

Re: Happy birthday to YOU!

Date: 2011-11-08 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madebyme-x.livejournal.com
Y'know I really feel like a fool for never having heard of Speed Racer - clearly I'm missing something that was right up my alley!!

I love the idea of this post and I'm so happy that you shared it! I think you should make this into some sort of a yearly birthday posting verse thing, and who knows, maybe it will spread throughout the whole of LJ?!

I'm really not sure where or when my own love of h/c blossomed and I'm quite envious that you can back track your own.

Maybe this is a cliché, but I definitely do remember having the biggest crush on Holden Caulfield when I was about 13 or so and being a little disappointed that he didn't fall down the stairs or get involved in a terrible car crash etc etc!!! And then later, when I then studied CITR at University, cringing at my own teenage response!

Thanks for sharing this post and I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Re: Happy birthday to YOU!

Date: 2011-11-09 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
Thanks - I did!

Yes, most classic literature would be more readable if the hero fell down the stairs or was involved in a car crash, wouldn't it!)

Date: 2011-11-08 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] geminigrl11.livejournal.com
The Moonspinners! OMG!!! Which I watched just as avidly because Hayley got knocked on the head or drugged or something and passed out. We are a pair, aren't we? (Also, loved Little Men and Little Women both).

Also also, I love that your first dictionary word was osteomyelitis. That is DEDICATION, right there!

As for orthopedic trauma...argh. All I can think of is Klara from Heidi but I don't know if that was trauma or a genetic disease...I will keep thinking!

Also x 3, my intro to you as a writer was "Lifeline" which handled the trauma BEAUTIFULLY and has remained a favorite ever since (as have you). :)

(ETA: Ugh. Sorry for typos).

Date: 2011-11-08 01:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
I'm grinning so hard knowing that we shared those childhood loves!

Date: 2011-11-08 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] geminigrl11.livejournal.com
I mean, seriously! The Moonspinners! I would be even my sisters who saw the movie WITH me back then don't remember it. :D

Date: 2011-11-08 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roque-clasique.livejournal.com
I have nothing to add to the list, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Wish I had your charity fic ready for today, darn. Maybe I should turn birthday notifications back on...

Date: 2011-11-08 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
I'll just keep celebrating my birthday till it's ready then! *g* Not a problem!

Put A Murder of Crows on your library waiting list if they have it. Those first couple chapters are right up your alley! LOL!

Date: 2011-11-08 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shallowz.livejournal.com
I'm pretty sure it was the Moonspinners movie that started my love of H/C. It was right up there with Emergency since there was nothing better than watching firemen/paramedics getting blown out of buildings.:)

I enjoyed the movie which it led me to read the book which I loved even more. The book hit two of my buttons. Wounded hero (oh yay) worried for his missing brother. Missing brother thought wounded brother was dead. That is manna from heaven as far as I was concerned.:D

Some of the others I've read and enjoyed, and I'll take a look at the others. Hunger Games, Resistance and I love the title 'A Murder of Crows'. That's irresistible. Thanks for the heads up on these!

My personal faves for H/C in the urban fantasy dept. is The Conner Grey series by Mark Del Franco and the Leandros brothers by Rob Thurman. Her newest series with the Korsak brothers is happy making too. H/C and brother worry. Nirvana.:)

Date: 2011-11-08 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
I'll have to look for the Conner Grey series! (Which reminds me - I have a Half Price Books coupon!) Thanks for the rec!

And I agree with you about the Korsak brothers! \o/

a lovely birthday history

Date: 2011-11-08 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] akh1221.livejournal.com
I think this is a delightful way to celebrate one's birthday!
I am not sure but I have a suspicion the first word I looked up in the dictionary was Curmudgeon. I do hope that doesn't say something for my future obsessions...!!

Moonspinners:I could never remember that title, but recall that it was Hayley Mills in a role rather different from The Trouble With Angels..

My memory of watching this movie as kids was that somehow it was on annually, and it was one of the rare movies we made popcorn to watch. Jiffy pop.

We also did that w the Wizard of Oz. Only two I remember us watching together (or at least several sibs at once) and having popcorn...

I remember nothing abt someone getting shot, but I do have a recollection of Hayley getting knocked out...

I have had CJ Cherryh recommended to me before, guess I know which of hers I'll have to try out now.

Hope you are reading something delightful to celebrate today!




Re: a lovely birthday history

Date: 2011-11-09 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
curmudgeon - LOL!

I did get a birthday present book in the mail today! Can't wait to set aside a nice, hefty chunk of time for wallowing!

Date: 2011-11-08 05:04 am (UTC)
ext_11786: (Default)
From: [identity profile] dotfic.livejournal.com

happy birthday!

I love Dick Francis! Also, am starting to suspect his books were partly to blame for giving me a taste for wounded fictional men who repress a lot and wisecrack through their pain.

Date: 2011-11-09 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
♥ to a fellow Dick Francis addict! He was the first (nearly the only) author whose books I would buy in hardcover the day they came out!

I'm glad he inspires your fic!

Date: 2011-11-08 07:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callistosh65.livejournal.com
I love the idea of this post - like a This is My Life through h/c..:-)) I have nothing amazing to add, but just HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Oh, and Little Women was the first 'adult' book I ever read post Enid Blyton, etc, and all that Jo, Laurie, Amy h/c and angst?? Blew my mind..

Date: 2011-11-09 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
Louisa May Alcott was my heroine, growing up! I wanted to be just like her.

Only with a TV. And much later, a computer.

Date: 2011-11-08 08:48 am (UTC)
onthehill: yuri plisetsky gives a thumbs down (scissors)
From: [personal profile] onthehill
Ooh ooh! I have one! Flambards! Yikes what's wrong with me/us?
Just before/around WW1 a girl is sent to live with her crotchety uncle & 2 cousins, one of which deliberately fucks up his leg so he doesn't have to go foxhunting. \o/ Cue lots of pain and limping \o/
http://www.amazon.com/Flambards-Collection-Set-Christine-McKenna/dp/B00005J74P

Date: 2011-11-08 08:49 am (UTC)
onthehill: yuri plisetsky gives a thumbs down (scissors)
From: [personal profile] onthehill
PS. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ♥SMOOCHES♥

Date: 2011-11-08 01:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
Awesome! I just checked my library and they have it!

(I ♥ my library. I can look up their catalog online, see the available copies and where they are, get on a waiting list if there are none, reserve it if it's on a shelf somewhere, have them deliver it to my most handy branch, and they'll email me when it's ready to pick up, and a reminder three days before it's due! I feel so spoiled!)

Thanks for the rec!

Date: 2011-11-08 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debbiel66.livejournal.com
Happy belated birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope it was a good one. &hearts

Date: 2011-11-09 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
I have a stack of books to read! Life is good!

Date: 2011-11-09 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scullspeare.livejournal.com
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Harrigan
And much hurt/comfort, too!

My love of whumpage is a little less specific (any body part will do *g*) but I think I can blame it on my love of books by British children's author Enid Blyton - especially her Famous Five series about four kids who solved mysteries (Julian, Dick, George and Anne - the fifth was Timmy the dog!) I devoured them when I was little.

Murder of Crows looks good; think I'd like to check that one out.

My mum loves Lee Child's Jack Reacher spy novels; I haven't read any yet but I love this little anecdote. Apparently fans of the books were livid when it was announced Tom Cruise had been cast to play Jack Reacher in the upcoming movie version of one his books. A huge part of Reacher's character is that he's 6'5" tall and, as most of us know, Mr. Cruise, um, isn't. ;-/ My mum just about blew a gasket. "What the hell were they thinking?" she said. "He's just all wrong. They needed someone like, you know, the tall brother on Supernatural." *g* I'm totally with her on that one. I know there's whumpage in the novels; I'll ask her about leg trauma next time we chat.

Oh, and apparently you've been a bad influence on me - in a recent review, one of my fanfic readers wrote, "What have you got against Sam's legs?" *Hee*

A birthday toast to you - I will do my best to wreak havoc on Sam's legs, yet again.

Date: 2011-11-09 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
The Jack Reacher books are my *favorite* books to read these days! I've read them all! Although they don't quite satisfy my literary kink for orthopedic trauma (he does get bashed but there's absolutely zero comfort to the h/c. I do like more h than c - but he's ridiculous!)

He's a fascinating, totally entertaining character, though. The books are not written in sequence of when they occurred - they bounce all over the place, so you can start anywhere. (The latest one would actually be a perfect place to start.) If Jared were 10 years older and had a military buzz and bulked back up... maybe. (I'd definitely go see it.) Reacher is more of a cross between Vin Diesel and Jason Statham... but definitely needs to be about 6'5" and be able to play convincingly smart, too! (Tom Cruise? I shudder...)

I may have to give Enid Blyton a look - thanks!
Edited Date: 2011-11-09 01:52 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-09 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gaelicspirit.livejournal.com
Anyone here remember the Disney movie with Hayley Mills? I adored the island setting, but that bullet wound to Mark’s shoulder was, of course, my favorite part!

Me too! I loved that -- my mom introduced me to the movie when I was, well, young. Elementary school. I totally fell for Mark. I didn't realize there was a book (duh!). *makes note to go look it up*

And I LOVED Resistance. I loved it so much I accidentally bought it twice (it was recovered and I knew the summary sounded good...I was 1/2 way through the first chapter before I realized I not only already read it, I owned it).

Others you mentioned resonate as well (especially Hunger Games - can't wait for the movie!), but these jumped out at me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thanks for giving US a gift on your b-day. :)

Date: 2011-11-09 01:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harrigan.livejournal.com
The book is even better than the movie!

It's so weird to read romantic suspense that was written before the late 1960's or so. When the heroine was a secretary or a nanny, because what else would a single young woman possibly be? It's kind of charming to go back and read those, when capable, independent young women were shocking!
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