Recently I read (okay, listened to) the third book in Gregory Maguire’s OZ series, “A Lion Among Men” and I wasn’t really terribly impressed. As I was writing my review, I realized I haven’t really been crazy about any of his work, except “Wicked” which I really enjoyed. I don’t have anything against him as a writer (or a person, for that matter), he and I just don’t really click. This got me to wondering why on earth I read four books by him, none of which I enjoyed, just because I liked “Wicked.” Heck, I even reread “Mirror, Mirror” to see if it was just timing, or if I really didn’t care for it.
And I’ve done the same thing with Philippa Gregory. I really liked “The Other Boleyn Girl,” which actually is what drew me into historical fiction, now my favorite genre. I enjoyed “The Queen’s Fool,” and “The Boleyn Inheritence” although not nearly as much as “The Other Boleyn Girl.” “The Constant Princess” disappointed me and “The Virgin’s Lover” left me cold. And yet, I actually bought “The Other Queen” in hardback when it came out – although I quickly gave it away on my blog, it definitely was not a keeper for me. Seriously, what does she have against Elizabeth I? All this and I can’t help but be curious about her upcoming book, “The White Queen,” although it seems like she’s cranking them out pretty quickly now (“The Other Queen” just came out in the fall, about a year before “The White Queen” is scheduled to be released) and I can’t imagine but that the quality is suffering. At least this time I’ve pledged that it WILL be a library book.
The library book lesson is one that I’ve started to learn with Jodi Picoult. I initially loved all of her work I read, but I quickly OD’d on her. The storylines seem very different on the surface, but if you read too many of them they all start to blend into one another, although I do hear her newest book is quite good. She’s really cranking them out too, though.
Why is it that I seem to give an author endless chances to impress me if they managed to do so with their first book? Really, if I haven’t liked over half of their work, shouldn’t I just call it quits? How many chances do you give an author? Is it three strikes and they’re out? More? Less? How many should they get?