Booking Through Thursday: Which is Worse?

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Which 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?

Both situations are annoying, but luckily they haven’t happened very frequently to me. In fact, I can only think of one example for each.

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One great book…..

The Other Boleyn Girl was the first Phillipa Gregory book that I read. I loved it! Straight away I went out to buy the rest of the series, and every single one was a disappointment.  None of them managed to capture the magic of that first book. It wasn’t that they were terrible books, they were OK, but the disappointment of not having found the consistent talent I had hoped for was a big let down.


One disappointing book….

Amy Tan is one of the few authors for which I have read every single book she has written. I loved all of them, until her latest one, Saving Fish From Drowning appeared. Amy Tan writes lovely books, packed with rich detail, showing how the lives of Chinese people has changed through the generations. Her latest book is a departure from her normal writing, and I think this is why I was disappointed. I love the insight that Amy Tan gives into the Chinese culture, and so although her writing is consistently good Saving Fish from Drowning lacked the special spark found in her previous books. The book deviated from her rich story telling, to concentrate on political satire, which regular readers of my blog know that I do not like. This was a big disappointment for me, but I know that she has the consistent writing talent within her, and so will continue to buy each new book she produces.

So, which is worse? I think the first, as you are continually hoping to recapture the brilliance of that first book. Reading lots of books by an author who managed to capture your heart once, but failing to find the magic again, is very disappointing.

Which do you think is worse?

Which authors have disappointed you with a single book?

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  1. JLS Hall says:

    I’ve heard several people say the same thing about Philippa Gregory – apparently “The Other Boleyn Girl” just had some kind of magic!

  2. Jackie says:

    JLS Hall – Yes, it does! I wish she were able to capture it again in her new books!

  3. Sandy says:

    Right, I can’t remember who brought up Philippa Gregory, but I think you are in good company on that one. My biggest heartbreak is when I am invested in an author…dozens of beloved books…then they turn out a bad one! I tend to be lenient with these authors, because I love them. And annoyingly, I continue to buy their stuff, even when its crap. What’s wrong with me? I guess it is the eternal optimism that they will find their mojo again!

  4. Jess says:

    Completely agree about The Other Boleyn Girl. Such a great book, all the rest were terrible.

  5. claire says:

    I feel the same way about Amy Tan. I’ve also read all of her books and, although not completely disappointed in Saving Fish, I don’t think it’s a keeper like all the rest of her other books, even Opposite of Fate.

    I’ve been wanting to read Boleyn Girl, but a lot of negative opinions on Gregory. However, since you say Boleyn Girl is much better than all the rest of her other books, then I just might.

    I think the former is worse. The latter, I tend to forgive an author with their shortcomings if I have more than two or three of theirs that I loved.

  6. Jackie says:

    Sandy – I’ve lost that eternal optimism, and so if an author puts out a couple of bad ones in a row I won’t go back to them unless a trusted source says they have returned to form.

    Jess – Such a shame isn’t it? Have you read any of her books written before the Tudor series? I’ve only read the Tudor series, so keep wondering if the earlier ones were good.

    Claire – I hope that Amy Tan returns to her Chinese story telling roots with her next book. Lets keep our fingers crossed!

  7. JoAnn says:

    The Other Boleyn Girl is the only one of Gregory’s books I’ve read…better leave it that way!

  8. Margot says:

    I am a big Amy Tan fan as well. I’m glad to hear about the last book of hers. I’ll check it out from the library now.

  9. Matthew says:

    What matters to me is whether I’ll venture into another book of a new author. It’s about building the credit. I do believe in second chances. :)

    I’m extra cautious about reading another if the author is not good in my book. At least I wouldn’t buy it but borrow it.

  10. Karen says:

    The book/author that stands out for me is The Secret Life of Bees – I absolutely loved this book but I thought the author’s follow up novel was hopeless – very disappointing!

  11. Jackie says:

    JoAnn – The others are OK, but don’t expect anything as good as the first. They still have a great slice of history in them, so I wouldn’t srike them off your list totally – just put them near the bottom of the pile!

    Margot – I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it.

    Matthew – I agree – everyone should get a second chance!

    Karen – I have heard good things about the Life of bees – I have a copy here, but haven’t got round to reading it yet – I’ll have to remember not to read the follow up though!

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