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Topic: How many chances do you give an author?

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Subject: How many chances do you give an author?
Date Posted: 2/24/2012 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Even though I always finish a book, I do give up on authors fairly quickly.

A while back, I read Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain and loved it. When one of my book clubs decided to read his Thirteen Moons, I was optimistic. Unfortunately, I found the book to be almost unbearable.

So when his latest book, Nightwoods, was released, I wondered whether to give it a chance or not. The subject is grim (a woman has to take custody of her niece and nephew after their mother is killed; the children have endured a great deal and are intensely troubled), but it takes place in the Appalachian area and it sounded promising. So I started reading. I found the writing to be topnotch: it's a great book!

So Charles Frazier is back on my good list.

How many chances do you give an author?


Date Posted: 2/25/2012 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,575
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I found both Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons 'unbearable' so I wouldn't read any more of his.  I have given some authors a pass on one out of three or four bad books, but usually if I really hated the first or second book, that is it for me.  To many books, too little time.

I just wanted to add that this an author I gave more than two chances and wasted my time and money:  Jonathan Franzen     I just don't get what is great about his novels.  Just don't get it.

Last Edited on: 2/25/12 5:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 2/25/2012 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I haven't thought much about it.  If an author comes highly recommended, I might try a couple of books before giving up.  If there's one good book, I might plow through a number of bad books looking for another good one.

Date Posted: 3/1/2012 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,157
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Two for me!  I think that if the second book doesn't interest me it's time to move on.

Date Posted: 3/30/2012 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2009
Posts: 186
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I've found that there are usually books I love and don't love by the same author. I wouldn't give up because I didn't like just one book. In fact, several of my favorite books are loners - meaning, other books by the same author are not good! (Loners...ha....I made that up...lol)

Date Posted: 4/4/2012 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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I, too, slogged through Cold Mountain and decided to give him one more chance.  Thirteen Moons was terrible, written in that same awful style.  For me it is two strikes and you're out.  I won't be reading anything else by Frazier. 

That is pretty much true for me for all authors.  If they can't hook me in two tries, that's it.  There are WAY too many books to read to take another chance on a writer that for me is a proven dud.

Date Posted: 7/1/2012 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2007
Posts: 26,077
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I tend to give an author 2 chances, esp if I didnt care for book one.  For instance

I read this well liked book and hated it

Author: Chris Bohjalian


BUT gave him another chance and liked this one

The Double Bind
Author: Chris Bohjalian


I also have to admit that I have given way too many years of my life to a few authors of stand alone novels  FOR Instance that BLEEPITY BLEEP Nicholas Sparks

That bleepidity bleep  TIcks me off.   His strong male character find a true deep soul mate love and that bleepity bleep always kill someone off. 

Date Posted: 7/1/2012 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Heather, that's a perfect example. I also didn't care for Midwives, but The Double Bind was sheer genius! (I've since read other Bohjalian works, and he's wonderful.)


Date Posted: 7/1/2012 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Rose:  I was criticized once by a friend for being prejudiced against certain "other" genres of books than the ones in which I habitually made my choices.   So I decided to read a "detective" story, and picked up Nice Girls Finish Last,. by Sparkle Hayter.   And I read this piece of bubblegum fiction all the way through.  And that was that.........no second chances from this reader . . .

I also read Jasper Fforde's The Jane Eyre Affair  and kinda sorta got some amusement out of it.  But It was a little like a TV show with only one "schtick" that is used over and over.  So Thursday Next will have to make her career as a fictional female detective of the future without this reader as a fan.

Sometimes (IMO) it only takes one book for a writer to show his or her hand. . . I recall how pleasant it was meeting Precious in The Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency, the first of that remarkable series about the problem-solving African female entrepreneur.

Last Edited on: 7/1/12 4:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1