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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Big Names...Bad Books...

Have you noticed the trend: Big name authors are writing stories out of their successful genres. Why? It generates a multitude of sales because of name recognition. I fell for the scheme recently. Bought a book by David Baldacci...who I believe is an excellent writer and has, in the past, created interesting, insightful stories loaded with believable characters who take crime and suspense to the federal level. I bought 'his' latest work...Summer something...it's so bad I don't remember the title. And I don't want to remember the title. This story is totally weak, amateurish: the plot--if you can call it that--floats like a wet donut scraped off a plate at the bottom of the sink. Granted it's tissue intended...as it tries to compete with the Nicholas Sparks hearty achey stories. But it falls so flat and far from a substance story that you begin to believe Baldacci had a ghost writer pecking away at his keyboard. Here's the jest of it: Dying man saying goodbye to his family, wife dies instead, he makes miraculous recovery and moves his family to the beach to recover. Hmmmm...maybe not a bad idea. But beyond the back cover blurb, you get nothing but idle chatter, weak characters and predictable, meaningless dialogue. Here's what I purpose: Big name writers---take the money and run. Don't ruin your reputation on junk writing just to get a book out to market. It reminds me of 'this little piggy went to market' ... the successful one stayed home. Wasn't fried for bacon. Didn't disappoint his audience, didn't cause a negative rebound in his sales. I'd be hard pressed to buy Baldacci again...his next novel would have to get such high reviews and publicity coverage before I'd put my foot in the water. Beach story...blah, blah, blah....bypass "....Summer....something..." and pick up a Harlequin romance. You'll be pleased by your decision.

11 comments:

Sheila Lowe said...

Yes, Wil, it often seems that when a writer gets a big name, they are no longer edited. I've been stunned at some of what I've seen make it to print. Of course, I hope nobody says that about my books :)

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

Sounds like it's a book trying to get into the romance market.

Sandy Cody said...

I think Sheila is right. The editor was afraid to tell the big name that he needed to go back and give it another polish. It's a shame. Almost enough to make me glad I'm just a little name - almost.

Michele Drier said...

I don't know whether it's a rush to get the book published or if editors are afraid to edit Big Names, but I've noticed tyro mistakes: the same verb used 3 times on a page, the same simile used over and over. Said to see Baldacci go down this road.

Margo Hoornstra said...

I agree with everything that's been said so far. It's too bad for some people, once they hit it big, the words no longer matter so much to them anymore.

At least that's how it seems.

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

I'm with you, Wil. One of my favorite writers who always promised a great book changed up a couple years ago. She used the same characters from her other books that I loved, but the h/h were new and the plot was awful! The dust jacket promised one thing and that part of the plot didn't begin until page 200! Great post.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

There's a chance he didn't even write it. Something else I've noticed, if a big name author sells lots of book, no matter what he/she writes, it'll get published. Sad, but that seems to be the way it is.

Maris said...

Ah, so true, Wil. I think the push on writers to get a book out every year or faster is really detrimental to both the writer and the reader. Good blog.

Morgan St. James said...

I may have just heard the audio book of the same author Margo mentioned. Until now I enjoyed the books in the series, but this one would have received tons of rejection notices if the author were not a New York Times bestseller. Potty humor, weak characters, literally no plot--just a bunch of events strung together.

I agree with all of the comments before mine and your evaluation!

Marla M said...

It is a real letdown when a favorite author does a bad one. Recently I read a book by one of my favorites that I was very disappointed in. When I left a review on Goodreads and read the other reviews, I was amazed to see that his other fans loved it. So you never know, do you?
And I think his writing was rather sloppy, which I am painfully aware of after being in a critique group for three years!

Morgan St. James said...

Adding one to the pile. This book was obviously written to snag readers hooked on the occult and black magic genres by a funny mystery writer who could always be counted on for a good book. NOT THIS TIME. It was the silliest, poorly written book I've forced myself through in a long time. I kept foolishly believing it would get better. Checked it on Amazon. A ton of one-star ratings and similar comments.