October 21, 2018, 01:39:32 AM

Author Topic: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy  (Read 798 times)

Offline Saraband

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Have you ever found yourself feeling indifferent, disliking or actually hating one (or more) of your favourite authors' works? Did it change your "relationship" with that author since?

In my case, I absolutely love Mark Lawrence's prose, and The Broken Empire is one of my favourite trilogies of all time. I also thoroughly enjoyed The Red Queen trilogy. But I can't say the same about the new series that started with The Red Sister  :-\ For some reason, and despite Lawrence's pretty much flawless prose, I simply didn't care for the story at all, and it was a chore to pull myself through. I've been recently comforted by the fact that my partner is equally a massive fan of the previous two trilogies, but is also finding it difficult to care for the latest one. So much so, that I've decided not to purchase the new book, Grey Sister, which is now out in the UK.

I'm slightly conflicted because this has never happened to me before with authors that I love. Sure, there are some Neil Gaiman books that speak to me more than others, but I never had to actually force myself to pull through any of them, because there was still something of the author that I loved.

Maybe I had made a rational decision that Mark Lawrence was one of my favourite authors, but emotionally that may not be true. Or maybe he will come up with a new series after this one that makes me fall in love with his worlds and characters all over again.

But now, by deciding not to purchase a new book from him for the first time, I kinda feel like I'm breaking up with somebody, and I just wan't to know if this has happened to anyone else  ::)
"Poor gauzy souls trying to express ourselves in something tangible." - F. S. Fitzgerald

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2018, 09:00:48 AM »
Don't worry, I feel the same.

I didn't exactly struggle to read Red Sister, it was good enough, but it definitely didn't hit me like his other books did, or other books by other authors did. I'm not that excited about Grey Sister, and I will wait until it's out on paperback to buy it.

To be honest I'm sure Mark understands this attitude, because I remember reading something where he commented this reaction from many people that loved Broken Empire, and he was saying that yes, the world of Red Sister is very different, but he's an author who likes to explore different plots, different styles, it'd be boring to always write the same thing. So in this case, I like to think it's a normal reaction to not like his other books as much, or even at all. After all, I notice that the people who absolutely love Red Sister never read his other books, and those who did didn't like them much, so it's definitely hitting a different target audience.

But yes - Mark signed my notebooks with "from your absolutely favourite author", and now that's not the case anymore, so it hurts, so I fully understand your reaction :-\ ::)
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 09:31:29 AM »
Coincidence, Saraband, this  week I made exactly the same decision. Had email from Audible '... you bought Red Sister now you can get Grey Sister...' and was almost automatically going to order, then thought I really wasn't too bothered in following this story. I found Red Sister such a slow starter, with last minute action, I do not have any sense of anticipation that is usual with a series I enjoy. Broken Empire and Red Queen's War were outstanding for me, but maybe I will wait for more reviews here from people whose views I trust before deciding to read more of the new trilogy.

I had the same experience with Jim Butcher books. I am one of the most dedicated Dresden fans, although now I do wish he would get to the end of the series and wrap it all up. I tried to get into Codex Alera but so far have had about four starts and then put back on hold.  There is nothing I can pick wrong, but it hasn't drawn me in. I will keep trying because someone here has enjoyed it lately, maybe @S.K.Inkslinger ?

I realise it is only fair that a writer tries a completely different approach, they can't keep writing the same type of plots forever and deserve a change for their own sake and professional diversity. But certain readers like certain types of books so they may not automatically like the new directions.

Even Terry Pratchett wrote a couple of books that disappointed me, hard to believe, but that will not change how I feel about his writing.   It doesn't detract from how I feel about Mark Lawrence and Jim Butcher as they have written books I will always remember as outstanding for many reasons. They may well write others I enjoy as much in the future, or I may take the plunge eventually and find I was wrong about the ones I have ignored.

Thanks for posting this as I felt guilty about Grey Sister and as though it was a  betrayal. Now I have had reason to think it through and realise it's a fair enough reaction.

I've just read ScarletBea's post, and appreciate your comment on what I had guessed, about Mark wanting to explore more. Mark Lawrence can still be one of your favourite authors still, he deserves it for those first two amazing trilogies and for that reason he will still be one of mine.
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
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Offline Saraband

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Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 09:56:47 AM »
I feel much better now - thanks for sharing your experiences girls, funny how we all have a shared sense of betrayal.

I should also say that I will be on the lookout for reviews of Grey Sister, and if I see that it is massively different from the previous one, I may end up giving it a go - but I won't feel bad if I don't  ;D

(I still say you're my brother from another mother ;D)

Absolutely  ;)
"Poor gauzy souls trying to express ourselves in something tangible." - F. S. Fitzgerald

"Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love." - Robert Burns

Offline Alex Hormann

Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 11:55:04 AM »
I felt the same. Loved Broken Empire and Red Queen's War (although I wasn't all that keen on the endings to either). But I just couldn't get into Red Sister. There's nothing objectively worse about it, it's just not a story that I'm interested in. I saw Grey Sister in Waterstones' yesterday, and realised I had no desire to pick it up.

I think there's a planned sequel trilogy planned as well, which I'll probably skip, but I'll definitely be looking into the other new series he has planned. (One Word Kill)

Offline DrNefario

Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 01:17:14 PM »
I was thinking about this a while ago. Up to about the end of the 70s, maybe even later, it never really mattered. You didn't expect every book from a favourite author to be a banger. Books were shorter. Your favourites maybe wrote a lot of them. They could disappear without trace if they didn't work out.

I'm thinking particularly of Philip K Dick and Michael Moorcock, here, who have been favourites of mine but who have also written plenty of books I just plain don't like, but there are also the thousands of books that the likes of Asimov and Clarke put out.

I don't know if it's just changes in publishing, or if it's the availability of much better information about an author's bibliography, but it seems like your reputation needs more protecting nowadays.

Also, you're all wrong about Red Sister. Weirdos.

(I really liked Red Sister, whereas I have yet to finish the Jorg trilogy. Prince of Thorns was mostly great, but King was a bit flabby, so I still haven't managed to get started on Emperor. I'm not starting the other trilogy until I've finished Jorg's tale. On the other hand, I am also not in a rush to get Grey Sister because I have plenty to read.)

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 01:35:55 PM »
Also, you're all wrong about Red Sister. Weirdos.

(I really liked Red Sister, whereas I have yet to finish the Jorg trilogy.
You've proved our point ;D
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Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 01:50:03 PM »
I had the same experience with Jim Butcher books. I am one of the most dedicated Dresden fans, although now I do wish he would get to the end of the series and wrap it all up. I tried to get into Codex Alera but so far have had about four starts and then put back on hold.  There is nothing I can pick wrong, but it hasn't drawn me in. I will keep trying because someone here has enjoyed it lately, maybe @S.K.Inkslinger ?

I've been summoned! (Glad to pick up on it despite the links not working out) @Lady Ty After some retrospect I'd say that Codex Alera is pretty mediocre to alright in overall quality. I mean the world, magic, and the incorporation of all the roman-esque things were interesting, but there were many parts that could have been much better. It focuses wayy too much on the POVs of other characters than Tavi (the main guy), and those chapters are quite boring in most of the books. There were also wayy too much jokes, which kind of ruined the serious atmosphere that was intended.

Going back to the main topic, I'm not sure if it's coincidental, but I also had trouble with Mark Lawrence. I absolutely loved Jorg's story, and Prince of Fools (and the first half of Liar's Key) are my absolute favorites. However, I was quite disappointed with the story from there and the ending of the Red Queen's War, so now I wouldn't feel really inclined to follow up on his other series. Plus, there's the issue @ScarletBea mentioned with Red Sister as well so...  :P

Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 04:57:14 PM »
I'll have to see how I do with Red Sister. Just checked it out from the library.

I wasn't the biggest fan of The Broken Empire trilogy. I've liked The Red Queen's War (I've read 2 of 3 books), but it's far from being among my favorites.

Red Sister seems to get the best Goodreads ratings.

Offline Rostum

Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 05:21:09 PM »
The books are vastly different and despite the same author there is no reason why they should all appeal to your tastes.

I am more concerned when an author whose work I have read within a series throws in a book that never should have been published. This is why I tend to shy away from series and think trilogies (at the most) are a better idea.
Lets face it by book 17 you are not really expecting anything new.

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 10:24:22 PM »

I've been summoned! (Glad to pick up on it despite the links not working out) @Lady Ty After some retrospect I'd say that Codex Alera is pretty mediocre to alright in overall quality. I mean the world, magic, and the incorporation of all the roman-esque things were interesting, but there were many parts that could have been much better. It focuses wayy too much on the POVs of other characters than Tavi (the main guy), and those chapters are quite boring in most of the books. There were also wayy too much jokes, which kind of ruined the serious atmosphere that was intended.

Thank you for your comment on Codex Alera. Again, makes me feel better at not reading so far. Inks, I always have trouble trying to link you, perhaps because of the full stops plus  and spacing. Last time  time I even copy pasted from another comment to try and get it right, but failed. Please could you consider adapting it to initials and full stops, but no spacings, to make it  easier?
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Offline Neveesandeh

Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 11:03:22 PM »
I was a huge fan of 'The Edge Chronicles' series when I was younger, and I've been meaning to re-read them for a while. At the time, I loved them for the adventures and the monsters, but looking back, I realise how original the world was, how it explored themes like corruption and authoritarianism.

Paul Stewart also wrote another series for older readers about a sort of Wild Westesque setting with dragons. I thought the first book was mediocre, the second was dire and the third was okay. Most of it, I think, came from my total and visceral hatred of the series' protagonist.

'The Amber Spyglass' could also count. I set up a Goodreads account just to vent my spleen about how disappointed I was in that book. But I'm not sure that Pullman is one of my favourite authors. Not yet, anyway, I still plan on reading his new trilogy. I like the world he's created and I want to see him do it justice.

Offline Elfy

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Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2018, 01:50:15 AM »
I was a huge fan of 'The Edge Chronicles' series when I was younger, and I've been meaning to re-read them for a while. At the time, I loved them for the adventures and the monsters, but looking back, I realise how original the world was, how it explored themes like corruption and authoritarianism.

Paul Stewart also wrote another series for older readers about a sort of Wild Westesque setting with dragons. I thought the first book was mediocre, the second was dire and the third was okay. Most of it, I think, came from my total and visceral hatred of the series' protagonist.

'The Amber Spyglass' could also count. I set up a Goodreads account just to vent my spleen about how disappointed I was in that book. But I'm not sure that Pullman is one of my favourite authors. Not yet, anyway, I still plan on reading his new trilogy. I like the world he's created and I want to see him do it justice.
Sounds a bit like you're concerned that the suck fairy may have visited The Edge Chronicles in the intervening years since you last read them.
Having a reliable author let you down can happen. Everyone has an off day. I often chalk it up to that and move ln, unless it happens 2 or 3 books in a row. Then its probabky time to stop reading said author.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2018, 05:12:07 AM »

I've been summoned! (Glad to pick up on it despite the links not working out) @Lady Ty After some retrospect I'd say that Codex Alera is pretty mediocre to alright in overall quality. I mean the world, magic, and the incorporation of all the roman-esque things were interesting, but there were many parts that could have been much better. It focuses wayy too much on the POVs of other characters than Tavi (the main guy), and those chapters are quite boring in most of the books. There were also wayy too much jokes, which kind of ruined the serious atmosphere that was intended.

Thank you for your comment on Codex Alera. Again, makes me feel better at not reading so far. Inks, I always have trouble trying to link you, perhaps because of the full stops plus  and spacing. Last time  time I even copy pasted from another comment to try and get it right, but failed. Please could you consider adapting it to initials and full stops, but no spacings, to make it  easier?
S.K.Inkslinger ?

I would, but after several months, I am still not able to go in and edit my forum profile.  :'( Hope someone goes in and fixes it soon.

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: When one of your favourite authors writes a book you don't enjoy
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2018, 09:20:56 AM »
I was a huge fan of 'The Edge Chronicles' series when I was younger, and I've been meaning to re-read them for a while. At the time, I loved them for the adventures and the monsters, but looking back, I realise how original the world was, how it explored themes like corruption and authoritarianism.

Paul Stewart also wrote another series for older readers about a sort of Wild Westesque setting with dragons. I thought the first book was mediocre, the second was dire and the third was okay. Most of it, I think, came from my total and visceral hatred of the series' protagonist.

'The Amber Spyglass' could also count. I set up a Goodreads account just to vent my spleen about how disappointed I was in that book. But I'm not sure that Pullman is one of my favourite authors. Not yet, anyway, I still plan on reading his new trilogy. I like the world he's created and I want to see him do it justice.
Sounds a bit like you're concerned that the suck fairy may have visited The Edge Chronicles in the intervening years since you last read them.
Having a reliable author let you down can happen. Everyone has an off day. I often chalk it up to that and move ln, unless it happens 2 or 3 books in a row. Then its probabky time to stop reading said author.

I re-read the latest one a few years back, and for the most part I think it still held up. Except I noticed the phrase 'just then' is incredibly overused.