Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Confessions of a Book Whore: Series of Unfortunate Books ...


A trend that is acting like the crazy aunt who keeps shoving homemade cookies in your face; so you take the first one to be polite, the second one you indulge yourself but buy the 8th one you are wiping chocolate stains off your mouth, swiping crumbs off your lap and looking guilty at the dog who wanted one. You think to yourself “Crikey, I didn’t eat all of those biscuits, did I?” – Yes you did, you glutton!

The crazy aunt sees how much you gobbled and as all crazy aunts think “Ha! Let me fatten this pretty little thing up” and hands you another tray of the ‘nibbles’ and your stomach says with its hands on its hips “Oh hell no! Put another one in my mouth and I’ll show you who runs this ship and blow the cannons!” 



This is how I feel when it comes to a series of books. Like this overeaten glutton with tight jeans and that retching feeling punching my throat. I love a good series that keeps me out of trouble and head-meet-wall-bashing boredom as well as those epic tales that shape childhoods, Harry Potter anyone? But with the publishing world feeling the pinch, it feels that every Tom, Dick and Aunty Matilda are writing prequels, sequels and every equals known to man to make a book brand. I don’t think publishers do it on purpose, they do it to please the demand – they are companies after all.

So we ask the question, why are series/trilogies of epic proportions (G.R.R Martin, People!) so popular? Is it the need to recreate Potter-fever? Do readers like the hug and tug of waiting of a new book and then knowing there’ll be more? Do we really want more of the same thing? 




I like the sturdy knowledge that a book will come back with familiar faces (well in my head) and intriguing plots, but I have had enough. I am bored to death with the same story... Boy meets Girl. Girl/Boy is mutant/vampire/ghost/angel/confused/or just needing sex but keeps it a secret. Girl/Boy finds out deep dark secret. Dark Forces ensue. They Kiss. Good prevails. Evil dies... or so we think. And boom in approximately 300 pages you have a build up to a secondary sequel and an anti-climatic ending and cried blood, sweat and tears. 

The series bug has become like the book-to-movie bug where every book worth reading was made into a movie. Every bookworm’s nightmare is the announcement ‘Camera’s rolling on the set of insert book’s title here’ – they howl, beat their chests and fling the tome across the room! I have started harassing booksellers, yelling at them teary-eyed “IS THIS A SERIES? PLEASE GOD SAY NO!” as I grab them by the collar shaking them.

I just don’t have the drive or inspiration to settle down with a book part of a series, I have a full-time job and degree and by no means do I want to give my life to years of waiting and needing for a character and plot. I need a book to be done with it; rip the band aid off, let me howl, scream and gnaw my fingers on one book and that is that! I like my hair; I don’t think it could survive another Harry Potter-like series; in a good way.



COME ON GUYS! Who is with me!?



*silence*



Anyone?


*carries on reading Book one of a series*



2 comments:

Lood said...

Well, It's easy really. Series gives you the space of sweeping plot lines, intrigue and character development (if done well). Series gives you the chance to fall in love with characters, to have them become part of your family.

And btw,
"So we ask the question, why are series/trilogies of epic proportions (G.R.R Martin, People!) so popular? Is it the need to recreate Potter-fever?"
Martin has been at it since 1996, a year before JKR published HP.

cat_hellisen said...

I do love Jo Rowling for ending Potter. She could have gone on to milk the fans, she certainly had a willing audience, but his story was done, and she left it.

From a writer's point of view, I do get falling in love with your characters and wanting to keep writing about them, and hell, if someone is going to pay you.... For myself though, I can't write more than two books about the same set of characters, too boring. I need new faces and places.

As a reader, I normally tune out after about 3 books. HP was one of the exceptions, and even with the cliff-hanger ending of the 3rd Westeros book, I haven't felt the urge to go read on. Three seems like a magical number.

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