Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Honeymoon's Over

Have you ever read a book you were so smitten with that you pronounced yourself a fan of that author right then and there? Have you then gone to subsequent books by that author and disliked them so much that you question your earlier judgement? I know I loved Pierre Berton's The Arctic Grail so much that I was pretty confident I'd enjoy every other word he'd ever written. Alas, I was very disappointed with The National Dream and The Secret World of Og. I haven't given up on him entirely, but I'm not rushing to read him again anytime soon. Any similar experiences?


Anonymous said...

My experience was with the author Leon Uris. One of my favourite books of all time is Mila 18 his story about the Warsaw ghetto written long before Schindler's Ark made the story more famous. I also liked QB VII and of course Exodus. However, when I read the last book he wrote, O'Hara's Choice, I was very disappointed but I put it down to the fact that he was ill when he wrote it and died soon after. So I picked up a book he wrote earlier, Mitla Pass, and found it lacking as well.

As for Pierre Berton, I haven't read enough of his works to be disappointed. And I read the Og book when I was in grade school when I really liked it. Maybe the grownup me wouldn't care for it.

Remi said...

I prefer to think of the reverse scenario.

In high school I read The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence. It is not a book for high school students to read. It was such a drag - what did I care about some old lady and her flatuence? Boring and drab and nothing like any of the writers I was into at the time.

First year university Canlit course and I'm faced with this much larger Laurence book, The Diviners. Argh! I start reading it two months early figuring I'd have to labour away. Not so. It immediately went onto my all time top five best novels ever and stayed there.

I re-read The Stone Angel a few years ago and enjoyed it much more.

Anonymous said...

Douglas Coupland. I thought Microserfs was one of the best books I've ever read, and I've hated everything else he's ever done, to the point where my opinion is now that he's basically just a self-absorbed yuppie hack, and Microserfs is simply the result of a kind of "even a stopped clock is right twice a day" phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

Hi John ... thought I'd stop by and say hi!
Very much enjoyed Berton's "The Arctic Grail" too ... his "The Great Depression" is also very good and in a weird. eerie hindsight (foresight?), reflects some of today's economic and social turmoil.
Uris' "Mila 18" (mentioned by another responder), I read about 25 years ago and is one of the best books I have ever read ... am now reading "The Bielski Brothers" by Peter Duffy, which chronicles the exploits of Jewish partisans in eastern Europe (movie "Defiance") during WW2 ... it's brilliant!
cousin Perry

Ali said...

A little bit, with Christopher Moore, because I loved Lamb and Fluke, then I read some of his weirder satirical stuff and it just wasn't the same.

Corey said...

I'm not sure if I have such a strong response to any one particular author. That said, after reading Ira Levin's Son of Rosemary, I was prepared to declare that Mr. Levin had been abducted and replaced by a pod person, or possibly James Patterson. And while Robert Heinlein remains a master writer, his late-era novel The Number of the Beast should be erased from the planet.

John Mutford said...

Gypsysmom: I'm unfamiliar with Leon Uris. Too bad we couldn't know if he felt O'Hara's Choice or Mitla's Pass wasn't as good as his others.

Remi: The reverse is interesting. It happened to me with Wayne Johnston. I couldn't stand The Story of Bobby O'Malley and probably wouldn't have read anything else by him but then The Colony of Unrequited Dreams was up for Canada Reads one year and I gave him a 2nd chance. So glad I did; it's one of my favourites.

August: Yes, sometimes I'm inclined to think they just got got lucky once.

Perry: Two people professing their love for Mila 18. I guess I have a new book on my tbr pile!

Ali: I feel that way about some musicians. On the one hand, I'd like them to mix it up not get in any creative ruts. But when it fails, it's like I wish they'd just stuck to what they did best.

Corey: Maybe you could do a literary remix of The Number of the Beast. Could be an interesting project.