Authors I’ve Given Up On

OregonMuse elevates a question from the comments on the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread at Ace of Spades HQ:

28 Mr. Muse: Have you ever been a fan of an author, then one day realize you are completely done with him/her? The first time this happened to me was Ludlum’s “Parsifal Mosaic”. The last 30 pages rendered the preceding 600 pages irrelevant. With Tom Clancy it was “Sum of All Fears”. After 150 pages the plot hadn’t yet started, but we got a lot of detail about Jack Ryan choosing his favorite wines. Boy did that need an editor. More recently I quit Harlan Coben when I got tired of reading the same story over and over. Also, once you realize he has zero wasted characters, you come to realize that the bait shop attendant (or who ever) briefly mentioned in passing will be a major character.

Posted by: Buck Throckmorton at December 22, 2019 09:21 AM (d9Cw3)

OM, who by the way is the Salesman of the Year whenever he mentions on of my books on the book thread, throws out Heinlein, almost. Commenters on the original thread mention Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King.

Although I have been known to abandon books (four in this decade alone), I don’t know that I have abandoned that many authors.

I mean, I can think of John Sandford, whom I last read in 2012 with the cri de coeur:

This book will probably be the last of the Sandford novels I read for a while. I’m tired of them. To recap, the progression kind of followed that of Robert B. Parker’s later work: I bought them new until I couldn’t take the thematic material stretching between the books, then I got them from the library not too long after their release, and then I got to getting them from the library sometime, maybe.

I might have done the same to Parker himself if he’d lived a couple more years. He was injecting politics more into his books as the twenty-first century wore on. He rather killed his characters’ ethos in Stranger in Paradise. Although I read several other books by him after that book, he really was on borrowed interest.

OregonMuse says he gives up on series, and when we’re talking about Parker, I might as well point out that I’m not even sure if there are further entries in Parker’s Spenserverse or Westerns that I’ve missed. I haven’t looked for them, I haven’t seen them in the book stores or on the tables at book sales. So I guess I have given up on them.

As to Clancy and King, I haven’t given up on them, per se. I still pick up their books from time to time and/or have a collection of them on the shelf, but I’m not in a hurry to read them. I haven’t even given up on The Dark Tower series even though I read The Drawing of the Three and thought it completely botched and subverted the first book (at least, I think that’s what I thought–it was twenty-five years ago).

I’ve also said that I’m putting Lee Child into a time out. Will that turn into a permanent giving up of? Perhaps. I guess time will tell.

Perhaps a better question is What writers can you read over and over again? which might be topic for a later post.

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