2.08.2005

Books for Thought.

How do you feel about "popular authors"? I have mixed feelings, but here are my thoughts on certain authors:

Stephen King: I can't read him. He bores me. However, On Writing was very good, so I think if he stuck to humor and anecdotal writing he could be fabulous. Otherwise, I'm sticking to Firestarter, which I have in hardback that I bought from a thrift store.

Ann Rice: I liked some, like Violin, but I thought the vampire trilogy was overrated.

Dean Koontz: He either hits the mark or misses completely. Now that he's not publishing twice a year the novels have been much better, and as long as he skips out on the aliens, we're good. From the Corner of His Eye, Door to December, and Dragon Tears are wonderful.

James Patterson: ick. icky double ick.

Michael Connelly: not too terrible; though he sticks to cliches he writes decently, so his novels are easy to digest. I'll read if I'm in a pinch and need a book. Badly.

Barbara Michaels: I love her books. I know it's probably silly, but I think she writes well and you can't always see what's going to happen. The only novels of hers I don't like are the period novels ... but that's because I don't like period novels.

Mary Higgins Clark: I used to love her books, and I have everything she wrote up until the last 3 years (so all but the last 6 books, and I've read all of those sitting in Borders except for the last one). But she's one of those ones who is abusive of "formula writing." She uses the same outline for every story anymore; you know who did it, you know who the main character is going to fall in love with ... you know it all! so why bother reading it?

John Irving: he writes the most amazing plots. The most extrodinarily odd things become believable. Unfortunately, I hate his writing style. So though I've read almost all of his books, I'm generally disgusted when I finish. He's one of those "I'd love to hate him but I can't" authors.

Dan Brown: This one's hard. Though definitely not worth the hype, his books aren't entirely terrible. But here's the thing: People take these books far too seriously. The whole Christian right thinking that reading these books are going to send you to hell --- seriously, folks. It's fiction for a reason. Brown can think what he wants about what he writes, and so can everyone else, but the fact is that it's fiction. Get over it. It's not even very good fiction.

Nora Roberts: See James Patterson.

Danielle Steele: why?

I can't think of anymore "popular" authors. I don't read much of that "summer beach" reading like Marion Keyes, so I can't give my opinion on that, but if you drag someone else out here, I'll give honest opinion on them. And I'd like your opinions on these ones!

8 comments:

L said...

Stephen King's early stuff isn't bad -- however, he tends to verbal diarrhea with his longer (later) books. I've enjoyed his earlier (shorter) stories, but probably won't be going anywhere near the other authors you mentioned...

VegasGustan said...

Let's see...

Stephen King's short stories are usually great. His early stuff was very well thought out and delivered well. "The Gunslinger" and "The Drawing of the Three" were simply wonderful. You are right about "On Writing" it really was brilliant.

Koontz: Every time I've read him he must have missed. Too long winded and not scary enough.

Patterson: He is somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me. Rather, he was. His latest stuff is down right terrible. His 1980's Alex Cross novels were good and so were some from the 90's. I hate to admit it, but I love "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas". It is so sappy and overdone, but I have a special place for it. However, he really can't write terribly well.

I have not read any from the others, and I don't really plan on it. What about Thomas Harris? I think his four books are pretty damn good.

Rowling? Yea or Nea...

Hunter S. Thompson? Good stuff.

In a different vein... Ever read Berkley Breathed? Some of the smartest and funniest writing ever.

If you want something completely unique and engrossing get "The Complete Moonshadow" by J.M. DeMatteis. It is a graphic novel, but you will thank me. Either that or I will refund your money. Seriously.

Mr Anigans said...

you missed Grisham and Clancy and Evanovich.

i generally don't read any of these authors. i agree with L on Stephen King (he should keep his mitts out of film as well). i just read Davinci Code out of curiousity and i agree with you. i'm a sucker for anne rice though.
once i was forced to read a danielle steele book. i think it was for punishment.

the frog princess said...

See, my problem is that I'm more than a bibliophile -- I'm a bibliomaniac. People give me books. I can't have a book in my posession that I don't at least give a chance. I have 9 bookcases of books, 3 of which are double stacked, the shelves under my end tables have piles of books and my nightstand has perpetual stacks of books. I have books in my car, books in my locker at work, and books in my duffle bag from camping. I can't say no to a book (except James Patterson; I'm burning those). And I can't give away a book, especially if it's not going to someone who will read it. I belong to BookCrossing.com but I've never "released" a book.
I've never read Stephen King's short stories. I've heard they were good, but by the same people that liked his longer works, so I didn't give the opinion much credence. Perhaps I'll pick up a copy and try. On Writing was really quite good -- funny and anecdotal. Koontz I don't read for scare factor. Stay away from Intensity; it was crap. But he does have a lot of well written stuff.
Thomas Harris' trilogy was very good, much better than the movies (except I will always have a soft spot for SOTL). I've never read the fourth book. Rowling I never got into -- same with the movies. I'm sure it's popular for a reason, but I never caught on and don't really want to. The only Thompson I read was Fear and Loathing, and I enjoyed his style if not his over indulgence so I might do well to try more. I've never read the others, but I might try them out. I do like a lot of graphic novels. I've read parts of the Sandman, and Death and Preacher (which was fabulous). I own the entire Bone series but I got out of the habit before I finished it.
Clancy: never read, never wanted to.
Grisham: read them all, hated them all. Except Runaway Jury, which I liked intensely more than the movie despite the candy of Cusack. Oh, and Painted House was good.
Evanovich: hopefully she'll stop soon. Or die. I thought I liked cats before her.

Ivan said...

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the frog princess said...

Ivan, you're a dork.

L said...

ever read any P.G. Wodehouse books? they can be terribly amusing...

the frog princess said...

L, you've mentioned Wodehouse before and at the time I couldn't figure out if they were terribly outdated or intentionally comedic. After reading some reviews I see that it was supposed to be amusing, so I've put him on my list too. Thanks!