Thursday, April 30, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Worse?

This week's BTT topic:
Which is worse? Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?

Ouch! Both of those situations are painful, aren't they?

But while it's always annoying to be disappointed by a much-loved author, at least you have the hope that his/her next work (or the next one you read, at any rate) will be more on target.

So I guess I'd say the first predicament would get my vote as the "worst." Fortunately, it hasn't happened to me very often. I can really only think of a few cases where I've been mostly disappointed by an author, after enjoying one of their works. The one that comes immediately to mind, for me, is Virginia Woolf. The first thing I read by VW was Orlando, which I loved and still love. Since then, I've tried to read several of her other works, and just never could get interested. Well, I finished Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, and while I didn't hate them, they just weren't as much fun as Orlando.

I had a similar experience with Maeve Binchy. And there again, I can't say I've hated any of her books. I read her short stories and fell in love with her writing, but then when I sampled her novels, they just didn't seem to measure up. I've started several, and never gotten through any of them. But they always sound like something I'd love, so someday I'll probably give her another chance.

Hmmm. This is one of those "too early to think about" questions, isn't it? Not an easy topic to consider before the mental fog clears.


  1. I think it's a tricky question and am still undecided.

    I agree about Maeve Binchy, not that I hate her books at all, but the first one I read was good and the others I since tried were just not appealing.

  2. You're right, neither scenario is a good one. I can think of several authors whose early work I loved, but their later stuff doesn't measure up.

  3. I loved Orlando too, but it took me two attempts to make it to the end of Mrs Dalloway and I only succeeded by taking it in small doses. I'm still not sure whether I'd try any of her other books.

  4. This was a hard question for me too. I agree that I am more forgiving of fave authors.

  5. I think that hate is too strong a word for this question. It is more like a disappointment. I am always disappointed when an author's novel isn't as good as the first book I've read. I usually give them another try just to make sure it isn't the subject, before I stop reading their books altogether.

  6. I thought the second scenario would be the worse, because some of the magic goes away when an author you love writes a disappointing book. If they go downhill after that, you're always hoping that the next book will be better so you'll keep reading the books, even if the books aren't that great anymore.

    ~ Popin

  7. Really? I enjoyed Mrs Dalloway and now I have to hunt down Orlando! :)

    What matters to me is whether I'll venture into another book of a new author. It's about building the credit. I do believe in second chances. :)

    I'm extra cautious about reading another if the author is not good in my book. At least I wouldn't buy it but borrow it.

  8. Isn't it strange how different we all are as readers? I absolutely love Maeve Binchy's novels but find that her short stories just aren't satisfying enough.

    I can also think of two other fantastic authors whose early work I loved but who, as time went on, lost the plot, so to speak. I only recommend their earlier books now.

    Laura Essendine
    The Accidental Guru Blog


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