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Series Books--Do They Lead to a Downfall?

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message 1: by MISCHA (new)

MISCHA (mischakittykat) | 3 comments Does anyone else find that when an author starts to do series (same character in each book) that the writing becomes stale? Not always, but people like Tess Gerritsen, James Patterson, and even my favourite-James Rollins--I feel that their best work has been done before they got into all their series. Anyone else notice this/agree or am I the only one with this view?

For example: Tess Gerritsen. LOVE Bloodstream, Gravity, and Harvest. Once she began doing the whole Rizzoli and Isles, I pretty much stopped reading her books. (Which is funny, as I like the tv show based on them!)

message 2: by Riding (new)

Riding WY Wind (RidingintheWYWind) | 26 comments I tend to agree, and yes they seem to run out of ideas, but I still enjoy picking up a book and finding *old* friends! and see what they are up too

message 3: by Neededanewname (new)

Neededanewname | 2 comments Thankfully I haven't found that they go stale for me.



message 4: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (kristenflute) | 33 comments It really depends on the series. I am in LOVE with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and I don't feel they're getting stale. There are one or two devices that I feel are overused, but the story is still moving along.

message 5: by Future (new)

Future Cat Lady (future-cat-lady) | 30 comments Mod
I like when a series ends with a definite ending. I hate when the author tries to pick it back up when it has already ended.

message 6: by Hamsterfan (new)

Hamsterfan | 3 comments I agree with you Mischa. It seems as if some writers get into a rut or have nothing more to say with the main character and the stories become more and more preposterous. For that reason I will most likely never read anything else by, for example, Scarpetta, Kellerman or Holt.

message 7: by Hamsterfan (new)

Hamsterfan | 3 comments Apologies - I obviously meant Cornwell in my previous post.

message 8: by MISCHA (new)

MISCHA (mischakittykat) | 3 comments Kristen wrote: "It really depends on the series. I am in LOVE with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and I don't feel they're getting stale. There are one or two devices that I feel are overused, but the st..."

I do have to agree with Outlander--those keep my interest!

message 9: by Name Stolen (new)

Name Stolen (NameStolen) | 1 comments It helps to keep a series fresh when the author kills off main characters with abandon. It's hard for a series to be stale when you have no idea who will be alive by the end of the book let alone the end of the series. I'm thinking of George R.R. Martin's series that begins with A Game of Thrones--I think it's called the Fire and Ice series.

One other series that has never bored me are any of Agatha Christie's books with Hercule Poirot in it. I know there are fluffy reads, but I always enjoy them. I particularly like how Christie ended his career. Talk about going out with a bang!

Otherwise, as a general rule, the series does dull if it extends beyond three books.

message 10: by Whatsherface (new)

Whatsherface | 12 comments Thinking about this, I guess I have become disappointed in Patterson with Alex Cross. I used to so look forward to another Cross book, but the last few have been so-so. While reading it I was thinking, again, this again?

I've had his latest book for months and still haven't had a desire to open it up.

message 11: by Riding (new)

Riding WY Wind (RidingintheWYWind) | 26 comments Whatsherface, I have done that same thing myself. It is almost like certain with certain singers, they get so *big* and famous they think no matter what they sing people will buy it, and they can lose that edge they had when they picked good songs for their voices etc.

message 12: by Cactus (new)

Cactus | 20 comments I think sometimes the author has lost interest but there is still public demand and/or a book contract so they continue.
I don't really read all that many series I guess. There were only three Hannibal Lector books but Thomas Harris had clearly lost interest by the 3rd. By that time it was of course hugely profitable! I'm sure these authors have a big financial incentive if nothing else to keep them going but it seems unfortunate when they can't end on a good note.
I have to say when it comes to most series I generally prefer stand alone episodes to some kind of ongoing plot arc though it depends on how it's done. So when a series become all about one rivalry or something I tend to not like it as much.
Even with Sherlock Holmes, I'm not into the Moriarty stories. (Future, this is also an example of trying to pick up a series after ending it-I'm not into that either.)

message 13: by Future (new)

Future Cat Lady (future-cat-lady) | 30 comments Mod
Cactus, do you like non-fic? I read an awesome bio on Arthur Conan Doyle. He hated Sherlock Holmes and only wrote them for the money. If you take a look at his "non-sherlock" works they are super detailed to the point of being impossible to read.

You can also tell because he was very careless in character descriptions and they changed a lot.

message 14: by Cactus (last edited Feb 22, 2011 12:17PM) (new)

Cactus | 20 comments I do like non fiction. I have only read a little about Arthur Conan Doyle but I do believe I have read he didn't really like Sherlock Holmes or being known for that to the exclusion of his other work. I have read only a little of his other fiction-The Lost World and a short story or two.
I like the way that things are inconsistent and unclear in the Sherlock Holmes stories and that there are fans who try to reconcile them and figure out, for example, how many wives Watson had.

eta: What was the bio btw? Maybe I will check it out.

message 15: by Future (new)

Future Cat Lady (future-cat-lady) | 30 comments Mod
The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle: A Biography

Is the book that he wrote. It includes tons of new info, some gathered from letters to his mother.

It reads more like fiction!

message 16: by Cactus (new)

Cactus | 20 comments Thank you, I will definitely look it up!

message 17: by Alittlelost (new)

Alittlelost | 2 comments I like a lot of series. Only a few I've found have gone on for too long (Patterson's Cross series is one of them, though I still enjoy the Women's Murder Club books). Usually if it seems the author has lost their way or it becomes too formulaic I just stop reading that series and move on to something new. One of my favorites has been the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt. The main character is a lawyer, so each book is about a different case that he takes on, but there is also a lot of story of his personal life that goes on from book to book to keep you engaged in the series itself.

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