Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Musing about authors

I find that it is very difficult when you have fallen in love with a particular set of works by an author (typically a series) to branch out to their other works. You run the problem of the other books either being derivative (such as Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich), or being radically different from what you fell in love with (such as anything by Rita Mae Brown that was not co-authored by Sneaky Pie Brown). I can only think of one adult author who have found this type of transition with, and that is Christopher Moore. (Children's authors are another matter, there are a loads of them where I managed this such as Elizabeth Enright, Beverly Cleary, and Richard Peck just to name a few).
I bring this up because I just read Deanna Raybourn's latest book The Dead Travel Fast, and while I liked it, I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoy her Lady Julia Grey series. This really surprised me since I love Ms. Raybourn's blog which covers a huge range of topics. However, I think it is more that I don't truly enjoy Gothic novels. I like elements of them, but generally find that even the best ones tend to be over the top and many of the characters a tad absurd.
That being said, I did enjoy TDTF. I read it in one day and was left with the simultaneous reaction of "what?!!! and "but of course!!!" This reaction is the hallmark of a good mystery novel to me and she really hit the mark. However, I don't think I can give it a complete and caveat free endorsement. If you aren't a big fan of Gothic novels you might want to look elsewhere. Other than that, but especially if you LOVE Gothic novels, give it a whirl.

1 comment:

amnbsdad said...

I find it strange when I love one book by an author and then when I start reading more of there work I fall out of love with them. Case in point I loved Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut so then I read Slaughter House five and it was different but still pretty good, but then I read Breakfast of Champions and thought it was horrid and I've not read anything else by him since. Also, though thankfully not to such a degree, I love Hesse's Siddhartha but the next two I've read by him (Journey East & Demian) haven't lived up to my expectations. I don't suppose anyone can hit it out of the park every time.