Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Valentine's Day Meme




This one seems to be popular on this Valentine's day and I'm sorry that I haven't spotted the originator in order to give credit where it is due. But...here's the question:

"Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?

One former favorite author came immediately to mind when I read the question: Robert B. Parker. I discovered Mr. Parker's Spenser novels only two or three books into the series and for several years I anxiously awaited the arrival of the next Spenser. I talked them up, recommended the books to friends and my local library system and thoroughly enjoyed them. But I started to lose interest in the characters about the same time that Mr. Parker seems to have lost interest in them. Now, many years later he is still writing them but they remind me of cotton candy - all fluff and little substance. The books are very short, the type seems to be larger than that of most books, the paper thicker than normal in order to give the books some heft, and the novels so largely consist of dialog that a Spenser novel can now be read in a couple of hours.

My break with Parker was a gradual one rather than any kind of sudden realization on my part that his work had changed. I don't even blink when I see a new Spenser novel these days. But, yes, Mr. Parker could lure me back. All it would take is a return to the form of his early Spenser novels so that I don't feel that I'm paying for a novel and receiving a slickly packaged novella.

8 comments:

  1. This was actually the Booking Through Thursday question for this week. It's pretty fascinating. :D

    I haven't heard of Parker, but I looked him up on wikipedia and sort of boggled. He's writing that series one book a year (in 2005 there were TWO). I'm not sure whether to be awed or take it as a warning to stay away.

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  2. I have never read anything by Robert Parker, but I did watch the Spenser show when I was growing up. It was one of my dad's favorites.

    Patricia Cornwell is the author I fell out of love with. I was sorely disappointed with the last three books of hers I read, each one seeming to get worse.

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  3. Thanks, bottle, for letting me know who originated the question...much appreciated.

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  4. I hear you, aloi...that's another one on my list, too.

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  5. Yep, Feline, Cornwall has jumped the almighty shark herself. It's been a while since I've picked up one of her books...not sure what happened to her.

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  6. I wonder if you have read Parker's first YA book called Edenville Owls? I liked it very much, and it felt like he was telling a bit of his childhood.

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  7. Nan, I wasn't aware of that one...have to check it out. Thanks for the tip.

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