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Authors and patterns....

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  • Authors and patterns....

    Okay... have any of you ever read a book by an author and fell in love with the storytelling?

    Then picked up another book, or books, only to discover that said author never really tries anything new - just repeats the same basic plotlines and characters with new names, and new places?

    I have had this misfortune. And though I hate to say the name of the author, he is one who recently admitted his wife was co-author of most of his books, and has recently added her name to all of their newer books.

    And it is a depressing, sinking feeling to realize that a story I loved was simply the only one this man had to tell, despite the number of volumes he has published.

    It's positively depressing. Mr. E., I shall not by your books any more.

    Now, to go out and try some books by ANOTHER new author I found...

  • #2
    I know exactly who you mean!!!
    I read through the first 2 series of his books purely so I could finish the story. I think this highly rated author is in fact rather boring and less than mediocre.

    David Gemmel has a tendancy to do the same on occasion. Several of his books really stand out as amazing fantasy stories while at trhe same time he seems to have quite a few 'filler' novels. Just repetitions of the same story with different characters and places as you say.
    Regret achieves nothing. Regret breeds weakness. Regret is a cancer which attacks the body's vital organs and eventually destroys.

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    • #3
      Its the Barbara Cartland phenomenon!

      Its a fair comment that the sci fi and fantasy genres are 90% commercial pap and 10% literature. These days the market is saturated by 2nd and 3rd rate authors who are solely commissioned by their publishers to fulfill a demand for it.

      There's no creativity there, in fact its the antithesis of creativity - its story writing by numbers.

      Personally I hate Terry Brooks. He started his Shannara series with a shameless rip-off of Lord of the Rings. Now, in between his own stuff he churns out turgid novelisations of Hollywood movies.
      Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

      Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

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      • #4
        To be fair to Gemmel, he has more than one story. For example, "Morningstar" is one of the more imaginative variations on a fantasy Arthur I have ever read, though you have to get to nearly the end to see the twist. And it's a good one, too.

        But, yes, he does sometimes get repetitive.

        Mr E, on the other hand, seems to have only one plot - A group of various unique personalities, almost always including a powerful sorcerer or deity, gather together despite cultural differences to fight against The Enemy, usually with the aid of a nearly omnipotent artifact (usually a stone). They mention they could take the "easy way out", but don't, because "it's supposed to be done THIS way"...

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        • #5
          Im confused. I have no Idea who you are talking about. But id like to know so i dont waste my money. Maybe give me the First and last letter with some Blanks Inbetween.

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          • #6
            Let's just say David Eddings.

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            • #7
              HAHAHA. OHHHHH ok. Ill be sure to avoid him then.

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              • #8
                I just checked his site out and it looks like Carbon Copy Fantasy to me. I know they say you cant judge a book by its cover, but in some cases, yes you can. Nothing very original. Thats the problem with finding good fantasy today, so many authors just write the same storys using different characters. Thank goodness for MIKEY BOY! WE LOVE YOU MR. M!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Valandar
                  To be fair to Gemmel, he has more than one story. For example, "Morningstar" is one of the more imaginative variations on a fantasy Arthur I have ever read, though you have to get to nearly the end to see the twist. And it's a good one, too.

                  But, yes, he does sometimes get repetitive.
                  For sure he has some great stuff out. I think he tends to get repetitive within the same series more than anything. The Drenai series has some excellent stand out books but there at least 4 which could just be ignored as they are just re-written and don;t add to the series.

                  I think the problem i have with Gemmel is that he tends to reiterate (sp?) the same ideals over and over. I'd like to see a novel from him where the main character was a bit more anti-hero. Waylander comes close but in the end he's still a good guy.

                  I haven't read Morning Star. I'll get there soon.
                  His books that stand out to me are the two Macedone books, Echoes of the Great Fall, the first two in the Rigante series and Most of the Druss books.
                  Regret achieves nothing. Regret breeds weakness. Regret is a cancer which attacks the body's vital organs and eventually destroys.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by devilchicken

                    Personally I hate Terry Brooks. He started his Shannara series with a shameless rip-off of Lord of the Rings. Now, in between his own stuff he churns out turgid novelisations of Hollywood movies.
                    I'm not sure about him ripping of Lord of the Rings. It bears similarities to the concept. But that's common with a lot of fantasy books. It's the standard D&D party type story!

                    There are a few stand out books in the Shannara series; Elf Queen of Shannara being one. But he does need to give it a rest after the High Druid trilogy I think. There's only so many times he can write about an inexperienced boy being taken off on a big adventure and growing up to be a hero!
                    Regret achieves nothing. Regret breeds weakness. Regret is a cancer which attacks the body's vital organs and eventually destroys.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Authors and patterns....

                      Originally posted by Valandar
                      And it is a depressing, sinking feeling to realize that a story I loved was simply the only one this man had to tell, despite the number of volumes he has published.
                      I had this problem with Anne Rice.
                      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                      • #12
                        I read Sword of Shannara a few months after I'd read lord of the rings the first time. I can only suggest you place the books side by side and mark off the 'similarities'. Down to characterisation and plot movement there are no surprises at all.

                        The early edition I read was also marketed as being 'in the tradition of lord of the rings'. Go figure...

                        If TB has shown a bit of creativity since then (in building up the Shannara world), then good for him. but for me its difficult to forgive that he started his career with a blatant rip-off. And from what you say it does not sound as though he has advanced too far beyond it.

                        so many authors just write the same storys using different characters
                        That's the state of the publishing industry these days. Its hard to get published with an original idea and more of a risk. At the same time you've got a whole generation of D&D and GW fans out there who want to read the basic 'party against the odds' story, so there's always a market out there for it. Mainstream fantasy is the modern day equivalent of those old Mills and Boon novels.
                        Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                        Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I always thought Stephen Donaldson was a blatant LotR rip off as well. Still, people enjoy reading it.
                          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                          • #14
                            That's the point - its safe for publishers to put that stuff out there. Why take the risk of publishing something original that might not take off, when you have a whole fan base that just craves more of the same.

                            It makes it that much harder for new talent to get published and recognised.
                            Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                            Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's the tragedy. Readers lose out in the end. I put some of the blame on big retailers like Waterstones demanding huge discounts and pushing small publishers out of the game. But also the bookbuying public for allowing themselves to be spoonfed. People should be more adventurous. But then I suppose we all read books for different reasons. For some it's just mental chewing gum to keep them awake on the train.
                              \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                              Comment

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