Quick short post today and I'm stealing the idea from the Wall Street Journal's Book Lover (Cynthia Crossen) (5/14/10). Anyway, someone wrote in to discuss how a favorite author can seriously disappoint a reader on a follow-up book. The Book Lover agreed that authors can write lousy books, and then make a come-back with brilliance. It happens.
The Book Lover used John Irving as her example. She loved World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules. Subsequent works, not so much. She writes, "Either he changed, or I did, or both, and now I don't even try to read his work."
Who's your disappointing author? Two came to mind immediately. Donna Tartt wrote The Secret History, and I loved that book. Then ten years (ten years later!) The Little Friend was published and ugh!, an absolute beating to read. I don't know that I even finished it. Same with Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. Wow! I was enthralled with that book and recommended it to everyone. Then she came out with Almost Moon. Blecch!
Aldous Huxley said, "A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author's soul."