October 01, 2020, 01:12:15 PM

Author Topic: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds  (Read 11218 times)

Offline Mark Lawrence

Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2015, 09:14:02 AM »
And these days it seems like Terry Goodkind is regarded as one of the big pariahs of fantasy. I've heard of The Sword of Truth many times, but was it ever a big deal with mainstream success?

Heh. I've not read them, so I'm not a fanboy, but this one made me smile. How fleeting fame can be!

This series sold over 25 million copies. Nearly every book hit the New York Times bestseller list. Terry Goodkind was one of the first (and very few) fantasy authors to reach #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

The first book has 150,000 ratings on Goodreads despite coming out more than a decade before Goodreads started.

It was HUGE. Pat Rothfuss and Sanderson don't reach Goodkind's knees in terms of commercial success in the genre.

Offline Yora

Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2015, 09:34:15 AM »
In sci-fi you obviously have also Heinlein. Who is dwarfed to insignificance by Hubbard.

Dwarfed to insignificance by Hubbard? Do you mean for wierd views and misue of money?
Many people seem to have somewhat mixed feelings about Heinlein. Most people have very clear feelings about Hubbard.  :D
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2015, 10:44:56 AM »
How about the Belgariad? That was huge in the 80s, and these days seems to have been repackaged as YA. I loved that when I was the same age as Garion, but came to see it as very mechanistic and formulaic, with one of the worst prophecy-driven plots going.

I agree, it was rather sad when I recently went to re-read the Belgariad and found Lejays 'suck fairy' had hit, it was so disappointing and I just picked at bits and pieces and gave up. When it first came out half my office colleagues were reading it even though not fantasy fans.   We may be cynical about prophecies and quests but believe it may still appeal to YA who are less jaded. It had some excellent characters and Silk is one of my all time favourites.
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Offline Matt Knott

Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2015, 11:11:50 AM »
How about the Belgariad? That was huge in the 80s, and these days seems to have been repackaged as YA. I loved that when I was the same age as Garion, but came to see it as very mechanistic and formulaic, with one of the worst prophecy-driven plots going.

I agree, it was rather sad when I recently went to re-read the Belgariad and found Lejays 'suck fairy' had hit, it was so disappointing and I just picked at bits and pieces and gave up. When it first came out half my office colleagues were reading it even though not fantasy fans.   We may be cynical about prophecies and quests but believe it may still appeal to YA who are less jaded. It had some excellent characters and Silk is one of my all time favourites.

Biggest issue is once you see through Eddings' formula everything just falls apart. It promises a rich, magical world but it's all so boilerplate.

I was a big fan, but I tried to do a read recently and the dialogue turned me off. It's not bad, it's just bland. All his series end the same way as well. Someone becomes 2000ft tall and gets tombstone piledrivered by prophecy boy before he rolls home to his perfect wife.

It sounds harsh but I think my reaction was so strong because I enjoyed it so much before. It's definitely YA, and I don't think it's jaded so much as higher expectations. I love stark lines of good against evil, there's not enough of it these days for a fun romp. It just needs to have less of that written by a really nice journalist vibe.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 12:18:59 PM by Matt Knott »

Offline JMack

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Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2015, 11:35:43 AM »
Quote
I think, in the end, it just boils down to shiny new and interesting series' coming out that get people talking (A Song of Ice and Fire, Gentlemen Bastards, etc), and gradually older works fade away from the forefront of reader consciousness.

This ^.
As @Mark Lawrence tells us, there's a difference between being forgotten and "falling out of favor."
Goodkind and Eddings have probably fallen out of favor. Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books have just been forgotten, but were prominent in the genre back in the day.
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Offline Matt Knott

Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2015, 12:25:36 PM »
I also think a lot of it is that there was a period of time when there was a certain type of fantasy book being published. A more simplistic style that is very hard to go back to reading.

The accepted wisdom was that 'this book sells not that' so you end up with these huge sagas that are very similar to one another and lack a lot of bite. Don't get me wrong there's some fantastic stuff there, but during the DnD Decades it's pretty visible.

Bear in mind these are the ramblings of a man waiting on a delayed flight who hasn't slept for 30 hours. It makes sense from the business and cultural side of things.

Offline DDRRead

Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2015, 12:41:24 PM »
[
How about the Belgariad? That was huge in the 80s, and these days seems to have been repackaged as YA. I loved that when I was the same age as Garion, but came to see it as very mechanistic and formulaic, with one of the worst prophecy-driven plots going.

Same here. First read it when I was 14 or 15 and loved it reread it in late-thirties and it stand up well. I think changing it YA was a very shrewd move by the publisher.

Offline Druss

Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2015, 03:45:43 PM »
I sometimes feel like people see WoT as a rite of passage. That if you like the Fantasy genre at some point you must read WoT in order to be fully initiated.

I thought it started of brilliant then got crushingly dull well before the middle until I just stopped caring. Way to much talking, way too much women sniffing, way too much hair tugging. Utter Snooze fest.

Sword of truth is more simplistic, it's also more fun. Still think it's 'Of it's time' a bit these days were people seem to like grit and flawed heroes.


Offline magisensei

Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2015, 05:38:29 PM »
Raymond E Feist - used to be quite amazing but for me it has fallen quite a bit over the years with at least for me some re-write of history that was established in the first series the Rift War Saga.  For me, at least each saga gets a little harder to get through - lacking the charm of the first series. 

Terry Brooks and his first Shannara series was amazing - for me the Wishsong (the 3rd in the first series) was the best and sets up the world for future series - we see in this third book a move away from Allanon (Gandalf want to be) to his own unique world. 

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman - used to be amazing but has declined some over the years.  From Dragonlance to Darksword trilogy to Death gate cycle to even Weis' own science fi series - but their latest few series has been somewhat hard to get through. 

Offline Elfy

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Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2015, 10:29:43 PM »
Raymond E Feist - used to be quite amazing but for me it has fallen quite a bit over the years with at least for me some re-write of history that was established in the first series the Rift War Saga.  For me, at least each saga gets a little harder to get through - lacking the charm of the first series. 

Terry Brooks and his first Shannara series was amazing - for me the Wishsong (the 3rd in the first series) was the best and sets up the world for future series - we see in this third book a move away from Allanon (Gandalf want to be) to his own unique world. 

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman - used to be amazing but has declined some over the years.  From Dragonlance to Darksword trilogy to Death gate cycle to even Weis' own science fi series - but their latest few series has been somewhat hard to get through.
When people talk about Weis and Hickman they always forget The Rose of the Prophet trilogy. That was a standalone series and has always been my favourite of their work together. I don't know that authors decline as such, more that everyone from publisher to reader is trying to find the 'next big thing'. They do that, exhaust it and then move on to the next one.
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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2015, 03:53:11 AM »
I tried reading the first book of Weis's latest series not that long ago (Shadow Raiders, I think). I found the writing was much better than her earlier work with Hickmann, but the story wasn't doing it for me. It wasn't bad. I just didn't feel any pressing need to read on.

The Death Gate Cycle, on the other hand, is a bit rough in terms of the writing, but I loved the story.

Offline YordanZh

Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2015, 08:08:04 AM »
Le Guin got a lot of rage from some people after her comments on Amazon and I've been hearing quite a bit of anti-Earthsea talks recently. While I too disagree with her on Amazon, Earthsea remains a favorite of mine. :)

I'll also second Feist's Rift War Saga and this time I agree - it didn't do it for me.

Offline Yora

Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2015, 09:43:48 AM »
What did she say? That amazon is bad?

Or even more offensive, that amazon is good?  :D
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Offline JMack

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Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2015, 11:47:38 AM »
Le Guin got a lot of rage from some people after her comments on Amazon and I've been hearing quite a bit of anti-Earthsea talks recently. While I too disagree with her on Amazon, Earthsea remains a favorite of mine. :)


Here is the link to one of LeGuin's blog posts about Amazon. Shall we say, she's not a fan.

http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2015/06/01/up-the-amazon/

I expect the kerfuffle is over her characterizaiton of so much of what people have written as "BS", disposable, fast food literature. I also expect she wouldn't put her own work into that category. (And it isn't, of course.)

But whose work is she referring to? She blogs as though Amazon itself is writing the books she detests, when it's really authors - real people with dreams of being published.

I found her blog interesting, but more interesting would have been also taking on authors who publish 12 novels a year because they have a staff working under them - but put only their own name on the cover. I'm looking at you, James Patterson.

I really needed the specificity of the books and authors from her, not just generalities about Amazon. What books does she label as BS? The Girl on the Train? Edgar Sawtelle? Gone Girl? All the Light We Cannot See?Whatever book is hot that summer? What exactly does she think is wrong with these books? Or is she after the suspense or romance novelists. I suppose she detests the idea of Shades of Grey, but I doubt she'd read it (nor do I have any interest there). I wonder what she thinks of Harry Potter? or the Mockingjay series?

She yearns for a day, it seems, when fewer books were published, and maybe fewer people read them. It feels to me like she is exercising a form of snobbery that weakens her argument against a company that abuses and pressures its suppliers and employees.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 02:11:57 PM by Jmack »
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2015, 12:47:17 PM »
Thanks for the link, @Jmack, I hadn't been aware of that article but even more interested in the comments. No wonder people are annoyed with Ursula le Guin, I am really surprised that she wrote so critically and seemingly without clear understanding.
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