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#150087 - Sun Jan 05 2003 08:01 AM Good Authors Gone Bad
DieHard Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 10 2001
Posts: 1127
Loc: Louisiana USA
Have you ever found yourself less and less enthused about reading one of your favorite authors? I have several whose books I have read for years that seem to have long ago published their best works. I realize that these authors are not Pulitzer Prize material but they were at least at one time entertaining.

I just finished "Abduction" by Robin Cook which was a horrible book. His last that I read "Toxin" was almost as bad while his early works were hard to put down.

Tom Clancy seems to have run out of ideas, I stopped reading John Grisham and Steven King long ago though King's work was always a bit of a hit and miss. And even my favorite, Robert Ludlum, seemed to have lost his edge in his last few books. I still have not read his posthumously-released final novel. Are these authors just churning out trash to satisfy a contractual obligation or are my tastes changing in my "old age"? Just a thought.
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#150088 - Sun Jan 05 2003 01:06 PM Re: Good Authors Gone Bad
IndieQueen Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 17 2001
Posts: 7306
Loc: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA
I stopped reading King years ago. I was a huge fan of his for some time, but it seems he's lost his edge. I was really disappointed with Isle of the Dogs by Patricia Cornwell. Usually, I love her work, but that book just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it was her constantly refering to one character as "Fat" all throughout the book that turned me off, maybe it was the conversation held between a crab and a fish, I don't know. I'm going to give her one more go, but if her books keep up like this, I won't be reading another.

Mary Higgins Clark is another one. I used to love her writing, but it grew stale pretty fast. I could go on and on for days on this subject.
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#150089 - Sun Jan 05 2003 02:59 PM Re: Good Authors Gone Bad
LadyCaitriona Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 08 2001
Posts: 5406
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
I'm a die-hard Diana Gabaldon fan, but her most recent book, The Fiery Cross just wasn't on the level of her previous works. The writing was just as good, but the novel (part 5 of 6) just didn't have the impact that the other ones did... they were all stories in and of themselves, as well as being part of the series, and this one just seemed like filler between books 4 and 6.
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#150090 - Mon Jan 06 2003 04:28 AM Re: Good Authors Gone Bad
MotherGoose Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Apr 22 2002
Posts: 4256
Loc: Western Australia
I agree with most of what IndieQueen said. I've never really been a Stephen King fan. I totally agree about Patricia Cornwell's Isle of Dogs. I've noticed that I like her Kay Scarpetta series much better than the Andy Brazil series - Isle of Dogs was the third Andy Brazil book and I didn't like the other two very much either. I too thought the conversation between the crab and fish was silly. I think she'd better stick to Scarpetta.

I used to like Mary Higgins Clark when I was young. I am not sure whether I outgrew her but I find her books far too predictable and have stopped reading them.

I think it is true for many authors that their early works are better than their later ones. I still like John Grisham but I think his earlier works are better than his later ones.

Unfortunately, with most authors who write mystery books, you can predict who the murderer or perpetrator is - simply ascertain which character has the best alibi and/or no motive, and it is inevitably that one!

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#150091 - Mon Jan 06 2003 10:02 AM Re: Good Authors Gone Bad
Jar Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed Apr 11 2001
Posts: 4215
Loc: Texas USA
I have been reading a series by Lawrence Sanders, the Archy McNally series. However, since Sanders died, Vincent Lardo has taken on the conintuation of the series. For example, Lawrence Sanders is still on the front cover as the author, but below the title it states, An Archy McNally novel by Vincent Lardo. In my opinion, this is actually a case of a "good author gotten better." I like Lardo's handling of Archy getting better with each book. Luckily I chose one that is the reverse of your choice.

On the other hand, I think Nevada Barr writes "hit an miss." She can write a really good book (Firestorm) and the next one be really under par.
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#150092 - Tue Jan 07 2003 05:41 PM Re: Good Authors Gone Bad
Coolupway Offline
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Registered: Mon Aug 26 2002
Posts: 1131
Harper Lee and John Kennedy Toole... their subsequent output has been JUST TERRIBLE!!!

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#150093 - Tue Jan 07 2003 06:07 PM Re: Good Authors Gone Bad
IndieQueen Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Tue Apr 17 2001
Posts: 7306
Loc: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA
In reply to:

Harper Lee and John Kennedy Toole... their subsequent output has been JUST TERRIBLE!!!




Oh, that's just too funny! I must agree their recent works are really sub-par
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#150094 - Sun Jan 12 2003 12:12 AM Re: Good Authors Gone Bad
MsBatt Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Dec 16 2001
Posts: 883
Loc: Alabama USA
Duh!

I honestly think some of the writers who really churn out the books are putting their names on other people's work (with permission, yet!) because the writing is so uneven. As mentioned above, Robin Cook's work has gone so far downhill that I never bother with him any more, nor Mary Higgins Clark. Even the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwall has been driven into the ground. When I first started reading THAT series, I loved it, and I think a lot of women did, because Kay Scarpetta was such a strong, self-reliant woman, and someone we liked to identify with. Now, I can't imagine anyone wanted to identify with poor Kay---nobody she works with likes her, and half the world's trying to kill her.

I'll have to give the post-Lawrence Sanders Archy Mcnally series a try. I always liked ol' Archy, anyway.
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#150095 - Mon Jan 13 2003 09:02 AM Re: Good Authors Gone Bad
IndieQueen Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Tue Apr 17 2001
Posts: 7306
Loc: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA
In reply to:

Even the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwall has been driven into the ground. When I first started reading THAT series, I loved it, and I think a lot of women did, because Kay Scarpetta was such a strong, self-reliant woman, and someone we liked to identify with. Now, I can't imagine anyone wanted to identify with poor Kay---nobody she works with likes her, and half the world's trying to kill her.





That's pretty much why I stopped reading them. Kay was a great role model in the begining. She was smart, independent, caring. Now, she's just a bit loony and no wonder. Her boyfriend gets killed, people break into her house all of the time, she gets death threats. I think the books would be much better if Cornwell cut some of the drama and focused more on the victims and the pathology involved in forensic science. But, then again I'm a geek
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#150096 - Wed Jan 29 2003 07:05 PM Re: Good Authors Gone Bad
Coolupway Offline
Prolific

Registered: Mon Aug 26 2002
Posts: 1131
And how about that Jack Henry Abbott guy? Don't hear much from him lately, do you? (In fact, for that matter, what's Norman Mailer done in the last few decades?)

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#150097 - Thu Jan 30 2003 01:59 PM Why I Stopped Reading Stephen King
skylarb Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Jan 30 2003
Posts: 631
Loc: Virginia USA
I used to devour Stephen King books in my youth. But I stopped half way through Gerald's Game and never picked up another one. Part of it was the unnecessary grotesqueness of the whole thing, part of it was that I found the tome boring. I haven't gone back since, except to continue in the Dark Tower series.
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#150098 - Sun Feb 16 2003 07:08 PM Re: Why I Stopped Reading Stephen King
Teallach Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Feb 19 2002
Posts: 261
Loc: Scottish Highlands
All of them. They are living on their laurels. No new ideas-no new plots. I get so upset when I read a book by a favourite author and know how it's going to end!

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#150099 - Sun Feb 16 2003 07:50 PM Re: Why I Stopped Reading Stephen King
lefois Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Fri Feb 01 2002
Posts: 6246
Loc: Kitimat BritishColumbia Canada
How did the title of this thread get changed! It was...Good Authors Gone Bad, wasn't it? I would have to add Clive Cussler. I loved his Dirk Pitt series. Why on earth did old Clive decide he could tart up his books with two new characters who are exactly the same as his original two, except ethnicity, hair colour and a few other substitutions. I can't decide why this was deemed necessary! The stories are about the same, and I find this stupid substitution distracting. Bad move, Clive.

Oh...and as for Stephen King. I loved all his predictable scary stuff and re-read it still! He lost me in the fantasy stuff, and I didn't like the Atlantis one, either!

John Grisham scared me when I read he was going to publish his next book based on his childhood memories. I'm all for branching out. Look at Asimov! But I always get this uncomfortable feeling that I will lose what I came to love in particular authours when they stray. I'm selfish!

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#150100 - Mon Feb 17 2003 05:07 PM Re: Why I Stopped Reading Stephen King
Teallach Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Feb 19 2002
Posts: 261
Loc: Scottish Highlands
Don't give up on Asimov-he will always surprise you! The man is a genius. He's the exception to the rule!

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#150101 - Mon Feb 17 2003 06:14 PM Re: Why I Stopped Reading Stephen King
lefois Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Fri Feb 01 2002
Posts: 6246
Loc: Kitimat BritishColumbia Canada
Oh, dear. I wasn't clear (again)! I meant I love Asimov, and he can make red corpuscles sound fascinating! I meant to infer he was a capable exception!

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