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One-Read Wonder?

btt buttonWhich 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?

I find the first predicament is worse. Fortunately neither situations have occurred to me, but for the latter case, at least there is hope that the other works might hit the mark. While I don’t hate everything else by Umberto Eco, but compared to The Name of the Rose, the tale of a master’s journey in unraveling a complicated knot at a sacred institution, the other works seem too dull. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is witty but still doesn’t live up to my expectation. The much lauded Foucault’s Pendulum simply runs out of steam for me. They all seem very intriguing but not executed as seamlessly as The Name of the Rose.

18 Responses

  1. That’s a tough question. I guess they’re equally bad.

  2. I think I agree with your choice, although I would go one further and say it is worse to read a book and love it only to discover the author never wrote anything else! That is a real tragedy. In the end, I would say that the first scenario is probably worse just because it suggests you’re reading more books by an author that you’re not liking, whereas in the second case you’re only dealing with a single dud.

  3. I always feel so betrayed when I’ve invested in an author for a long period of time, then they lose their mojo. But because I love them, I am forgiving and continue to buy their work, even if it stinks. Shame on me.

  4. Definitely a difficult one to answer. I’m going to agree with you and Steph on choice.

    I think that in case one it’s almost like a fluke – pure luck that something turned out well and then you find out the author is really a hack (happened to me recently) and never read any of their future work (which at least keeps you from reading more bad material)

    With the second case, everyone is entitled to a screw-up now and again. If the author has one book that’s not so great in a collection of fantastic books, you’re dissapointed but they’re at least consistent with quality work that will be enjoyable to you in the future.

  5. I disagree with you. I think it’s worse to read a disappointing novel by an author you love, especially, if the books go downhill after that book. While authors are human and flawed, readers don’t see them like that most of the time. When an author writes a mediocre/bad book, some of the magic goes away.

    ~ Popin

  6. I think it depends on the circumstances. If I’ve long awaited an author’s next book and it’s a dud, it’s almost devastating. But if it’s a new-to-me author and I’m working my way through their works, I don’t expect to love everything equally.

  7. I feel worse when I read a disappointing book by an author I love, but sometimes it’s my fault for falling in love too quickly. Wiith Marilynne Robinson I know I’m not alone in loving Housekeeping and being disappointed in Gilead. But it could be that anything would have been a disappointment after a first novel that good. Just as anything after To Kill a Mockingbird might have been a disappointment.

  8. I treat each the merit of each book individually. It doesn’t matter if my favorite author has delivered a book that I don’t like. I’ll make note of an author whose book I don’t like, and I do believe in second chances as well.

  9. Good point, you find one book and the rest is just disappointments. When that happens I wonder how it could happen

  10. I agree with you, I find it worse to be let down by a reading experience when you’ve looked forward to an author’s follow up. I would rather be left longing for another book that never happens.

    Sorry I’ve been so absent recently! I’m going to try my best to catch up!

  11. I feel the same way as you do. I figure all authors can have a bad book now and then, but it’s really disappointing when you think you found a great author only to not like any of their other work.

  12. I totally agree. You get sucked in to a new author by that one really awesome book and then everything else you read by them is just a let down and you find yourself giving everything you find by them a chance hoping that you’ll find something as great as the first….it becomes an obsession. LOL

  13. An author can’t hit out of the ballpark every time, but there are some you just come to expect it. As long as they don’t go continually down hill from there, I don’t mind. I think one hit wonders are worse. Thanks for visiting.

  14. I wouldn’t say one is worse than another, necessarily. Disappointments can occur for more than one reason. In some instances it might be that the author had only one real work to offer; or It might be my fault, in that I’m not up to the author’s standard in the other works: I might need to develop in some way or come to some understanding before other works are accessible to me.

  15. I think once in a while, every author goes through a dry spell. They mistake it for writers block and force themselves to trudge on. I never write, unless, truely in the mood or become inspired by something. Then my work has the edge it needs. Before I leave this site, let me mention my new book, “Beth:Love Along The Way…by B.G.Sanford,” and just released by Eloquent Books. It’s the story of one woman who over comes all odds and two ugly divorces, to find real Love………..Along the Way. It’s both an amazing and entertaining story. And if you’re so inclined, it can be ordered off the internet or have your local bookstore order it for you.
    Good reading friends,

  16. I think both are unpleasant experiences but with a favourite author, the disappointment is far greater.

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  18. I don’t know. I kind of take the opposite view. The reason why I love an author is more because of the way he/she writes rather than the plot of the story. And that doesn’t vary as much from book to book, I find. For example, I love Salman Rushdie. The quality of his books do fluctuate quite a bit. But, I still love them all because the standard of his writing is so high throughout.

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