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?
Yesterday one of my facebook friends sent me an invite to take one of those quizzes to see how much alike we were. It was the kind where you have 10 phrases to put in order, most to least, starting with what I hated the most. “Disappoint me” was top of the chart, even above “lie to me”, “ignore me” or “talk behind my back”.
At least with reading a book I love, then hating everything else by that author, I had that book one that I loved. It’s easier to take the rest of his or her writing, and I can just shrug it all off as a fluke. As much as I love The Book Thief, I’m slightly worried that nothing else by Markus Zusak will be any good. However, if I should happen to give another of his books a try and hate it, It will not sully my memory of The Book Thief.
On the other hand, if I pick up a book by an author I love, and hate it, there’s a sense that the author has failed me personally. We have a relationship, of sorts, and he or she did not hold up his end of the bargain. He or she has FAILED ME, and with every book I read thereafter I will hold this little uncertainty, a distrust, and wonder if he or she is going to screw me over again.
The worst of all, though, is that first experience reading an author and loving the whole book, every word is perfectly placed, his pace perfect, his story compelling, and you sit there and think “How on EARTH have I lived my life without reading this author!” Then you get to the last three or four chapters, the last 10-15 pages, and he totally and completely bottoms out in epic-sized proportions. And now, because of this, every book you touch by him you are leery to pick up, no matter how fascinating, intriguing or compelling the story line, because you wonder if he’s going to “screw you over” again. AND he’s one of your bookfriend’s favorite authors, so she’s always sharing whatever one of his 147 just-out-in-paperback-because-he-has-a-new-release-ever-five-minutes-book she has just finished, and you look at every single one she thrusts at you to read, with the proclamation, “This is his best book yet!”, as if it were an adorable puppy you just watched get bitten by a foaming-at-the-mouth, crazy rabid squirrel and you know it’s only a matter of time until the big-eyed, heart-tugging pup turns on you. But you finally relent and take her offering, however, no matter how good the writing is, you say to yourself, “Oh, sure it’s good now, but is he going to screw me over in the last few chapters like the other one?” So you can’t enjoy it AT ALL because every page comes with that feeling you have as you turn the Jack-in-the-box crank as “the monkey though ’twas all in fun….” plunks out. EVERY page you ever read by him again is saturated with the aftertaste of that massive let down.
Dean Koontz, I’m talking to you.
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After reading The Darkest Evening of the Year and loving it, loving it, loving it… then having it all turn to crap in the last three or four chapters, I feel like Buddy in this vid clip while reading From the Corner of His Eye.
Filed under: Booking Through Thursday | Tagged: book, book sharing, Booking Through Thursday, Books, Buddy the Elf, Dean Koontz, deception, disappointment, distrust, epic fail, facebook, fail, From the Corner of His Eye, lies, Markus Zusak, meme, rabies, reading, The Book Thief, The Darkest Evening of the Year | 15 Comments »