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Topic: "one hit wonder" authors

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Subject: "one hit wonder" authors
Date Posted: 5/9/2010 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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I've been thinking how much I loved The Thirteenth Tale and how much I wish Setterfield would write another book. It's been several years now so plenty of time for her to have done so.

Who are some other authors who have only written one book but it was an absolutely fantastic book that you think everyone should read?

Date Posted: 5/9/2010 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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The first book that comes to mind is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

ETA: Thought of another one. I would have to look it up to be sure but I believe Margaret Mitchell's only published book is Gone With the Wind.

Last Edited on: 5/9/10 1:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/10/2010 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
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To Kill a Mockingbird also came to my mind first.  A few years ago, I read the book Cowboy Angst by Jasen Emmons.  It was a good book and I would have read more by the author but that seems to be his only book.  It came out about 15 years ago so I am not hopefully of another book anytime soon.

Date Posted: 5/10/2010 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. 

His son Jeff has continued writing in much the same vein but none of Jeff's have come close to the impact of his father's.

Date Posted: 5/10/2010 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
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Actually, Margaret Mitchel did write one other book when she was very young, long before GWTW.  It's called Lost Laysen and I got a copy from here at PBS quite a while ago.  I've already traded it back so I have no idea where it is now.

Date Posted: 5/10/2010 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Terri Windling wrote a terrific contemporary fntasy called "The Woodwife." She has written more short stories, and edited anthologies, and I think co-authored----but I haven't found another complete book for adults by her......and I loved that book sooooooo much!

Date Posted: 5/10/2010 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
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Michael Shaara did write other books.  Killer Angels was his last one while he was alive.  His son, Jeff, had one of his dad's books published 3 years after he died.  For the Love of the Game.  But known of his books sold like Killer Angels.  That was a marvelous book.

Date Posted: 5/10/2010 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Just a note from someone that writes.. The Thirteenth Tale-- was a great book.  BUT writing is a good story takes alot of time and energy. Sometimes you get great plots that then fizzle out and lead nowhere.  A good author will take the time to work with what she has, and not just put out a book because her fans want more but because the story is top quality. Sometimes an author does only have one tale to tell.
I have read in an interview that she took many years to write her first novel and would be true for her second one..

Maybe take the time and write her a note saying how much you liked the book and why..She might respond.

Date Posted: 5/15/2010 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
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Over 20 years ago, Thomas Sanchez wrote his first  novel, Rabbit Boss. Critics loved it. Movie rights were sold. As enormously talented as he remains, he has never approached this one. Best novel about Native Americans (Washoe) I have ever read. The scene he describes/creates about the Washoe observing strange people with skins the color of a fish's belly, as they eat each other is as vivid/shocking/horrifying  as any I have read by anyone.

Date Posted: 5/17/2010 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
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Here's my take on it: IMHO all of Dean Koontz's thrillers are unreadable cr*p -- not that I feel strongly about it or anything -- no need to argue, you won't change my mind. But before he found that cash cow he wrote a really funny, skillful M*A*S*H* - style novel called Hangin' On -- long since out of print, and deliberately so, I think, because Koontz doesn't want a lot of people to know about it. So he's a one-hit wonder for me, only sideways, because it's the one book that wasn't a hit that... was...

Last Edited on: 5/17/10 11:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/30/2010 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2010
Posts: 56
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Randomly found this thread and HAD to reply :)


To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee!

Date Posted: 10/31/2010 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
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Here's my take on it: IMHO all of Dean Koontz's thrillers are unreadable cr*p -- not that I feel strongly about it or anything -- no need to argue, you won't change my mind.   Not arguing, cheering wildly that someone else shares my opinion of Koontz.  ITA about Hanging On and wish I still had my copy.  Lost the darn thing in a box that went mysteriously missing during a move many years ago.

Date Posted: 10/31/2010 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Last Edited on: 3/6/11 7:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/31/2010 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
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My mother always said that everyone has at least one book in them.  If I ever took her up on her dare, I'd be a one-hit wonder!  LOL

Date Posted: 10/31/2010 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2010
Posts: 56
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I know Ellison published a collection of essays, but alas, not a second novel.  Apparently, he was a few hundred pages into one and there was a devestating house fire and it all went up in flames.  He never re-wrote it.


BTW...had to respond b/c I'm an English teacher and we sometimes cover his book smiley

Date Posted: 10/31/2010 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Last Edited on: 3/6/11 7:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/29/2010 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Thomas Sanchez wrote another book called "Mile Zero," about Key West.

We live near there and have spent years there; although there have many many books about Key West, and set in Key West, this book captured the place better than anything.

I tried Rabbit Boss and could not get into it, but I have re-read MIle Zero many times. just goes to show......!

Date Posted: 11/29/2010 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Anna Sewell died a few months after Black Beauty was published, and didn't have a chance to write anything else.

Boris Pasternack wrote poetry, but no other novels other than Dr. Zhivago.  He also died soon after publication.

Sylvia Plath committed suicide shortly after the publication of The Bell Jar, which was her only novel.

John Kennedy Toole killed himself long before his only book, A Confederacy of Dunces, was published.

Emily Bronte died very young, and Wuthering Heights was her only novel.  Some of her poetry was published posthumously.

Hmm, I think I see a theme here ...

Date Posted: 1/1/2011 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 116
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Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns is one that comes to my mind.  Her second book, Leaving Cold Sassy, was published after her death & that one was not nearly as good.  I believe (not sure) that it was finished by someone else. 

Cold Sassy Tree is one of my all time favorites.  Maybe it doesn't fit this category, but it kind of does.

Happy New Year!!