Use me, use me, ‘cause I ain’t that average groupie

Bookseller Chick made me snort-laugh with this entry about authors you know you should give up, but just can’t.

I have two:

  • Stephen King – he started to suck the almighty hairy nut starting around Gerald’s Game, but I can’t stop buying his books. I don’t even read them. I just have them. Sometimes, I cave in and attempt to read one, like that time I tried to read Black House because I love The Talisman so damn much, but when I found out King and Straub had perverted it into yet another goddamn motherfucking Gunslinger-related book, the book dropped from my nerveless fingers and I had to break into my emergency stash of scientific non-fiction just to calm my nerves.

    The books, they taunt me. I can hear them. And sometimes, I cry in the cold, unforgiving dark for the love that used to be.

  • Robert Jordan – The less said about that habit, the better. No, really. I’ve stopped reading, but my heart stops and I pause dead in the bookstore every time I see a hardcover book with his name embossed on the dustjacket, and I pick it up, hope singing in my heart, and the refrain, it hums is this it, is this it, is this FINALLY it, will you finally find peace? only to find that no, the saga isn’t even close to coming to an end yet.

Deep in my heart, I know this to be true: they hurt me only because they love me. I can leave them any time. No, I swear it.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Madd says:

    Robert Jordan … yessss … the man is sick now and he’s saying not to worry because he’s planning to write for thirty more years and I just keep hoping he doesn’t mean he’ll be writing this series for the next thirty years! I want the ending! Please!!!

    And I’m still waiting for the end of Melanie Rawn’s Exiles trilogy … how many years has it been?

  2. 2
    Christine says:

    Right now I am so very grateful I have not read any of the books in that series.

  3. 3

    My fingers always hover over Black House, because The Talisman is one of my fsvorite books ever…I just wasn’t sure about the idea of a sequel, and the more I heard about it the more unsure I was.

    Now I know I was right not to buy.

  4. 4
    Ann Aguirre says:

    Robert Jordan kills kittens with his writing alone.

  5. 5
    Madd says:

    Truth … but he hooked me young and I just want to be there at the end … you know?

  6. 6
    Ann Aguirre says:

    Hee. I read the first one. And the second. I think I gave up when I realized that the “relationships” in the books were nothing more than adolescent wish-fulfillment. Rand nails Min (who I loved!), Rand nails the princess, Rand nails the barbarian chick. Rand loves them all! I began to see a pattern.

    I realize I didn’t address this topic, though. To be honest, I don’t do author loyalty. Certain authors become auto-buys for me because I have consistently loved their writing, but if they fuck up and disappoint me with crap, I may not buy them again. One stinker puts them on probation; two puts them on the “I used to like that guy / chick a lot” list.

    I have to disagree with with Koontz, though. Someone listed him over on Bookseller Chick as having jumped the shark. They need to read Lightning, Odd Thomas, and Life Expectancy. Those are some seriously kick ass books and I didn’t even like his horror shit. I would say he’s getting better, not worse.

  7. 7
    Alisha says:

    Ugh. Robert Jordan. You’re better off reading Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. Goodkind’s a much better writer, in my opinion.

  8. 8
    Madd says:

    I’m not big on being a “fan” in most categories. If I like something you write, I’ll give something else you write a chance and if it sucks I’ll be wary the next time, but I’ll give something else a try if it sounds interesting. I’m the same with music and tv/movies. Though there have been a few musicians, writers, etc that have yet to let me down, so I kind of consider myself a fan, but I’m definitely not the rabid defender type. I like what I like until I don’t like it anymore.

  9. 9
    Beverly says:

    While I agree that King has become a hit-or-miss author, I actually really enjoy the Dark Tower series, and was very happy to see him finally finish the main storyline.  I actually like to see the little threads of that story/world show up in small ways in his other books.

    And I completely agree about Jordan.  Can you believe I actually kept up with the series until book 8?  Now, my husband skims them, I ask if anything interesting or productive happened, he tells me no, and I wait to see if the next book will finally be “the one”.

  10. 10
    E.D'Trix says:

    Diana Palmer loves me…I swear!! What’s—? Oh no, no, I just fell down some stairs—I’m really clumsy.

    Shut up, our love is pure!

  11. 11
    Kimber says:

    Noooooo! Not Terry Goodkind! I stuck with him for 3 books too many. That is to say, four books in total. The first one has an interesting/disturbing S&M digression which I thought was pretty cool. By the second book he had developed this into a major theme and it was obvious what he really wanted to write about—not to mention turning his kick-ass heroine into a simpering girly girl. By the fourth book it had completely devolved into some kind of Ayn Randian screed. I just picked up the back cover of his latest book (#6, #10?) and it seems his two main characters are STILL after umpteen books, separated and trying to find each other. Jeebus!

    Also, Ken Follett. His first 3 books are great. Everything after that is lousy pulp fiction.

    Stephanie Laurens. I swear there are more Cynsters in Regency England than Wayanses in Hollywood. After a while she even starts mentioning in the books that they’re all the same.

  12. 12
    Nora Roberts says:

    I couldn’t get through the second chapter of Black House. But King’s upcoming Lisey’s Story? I thought it was brilliant on too many levels to count.

    Hit or miss, maybe. But this one was a whopping bull’s eye for me.

  13. 13
    Candy says:

    Nora: damn you and your enabling ways!

    *looks at pile of unread (and largely unreadable) Stephen King*

    *looks up Lisey’s Story on Amazon*

    *starts weeping*

  14. 14
    Ann Aguirre says:

    Kimber, I’m with you on Terry Goodkind. His writing comes off as misogynist to me; he writes female characters, but he doesn’t seem to like any of them. He’s no Louise Cooper, that’s for sure. My fantasy A-list consists of:

    Richard Adams
    Lloyd Alexander
    Clive Barker (giving him a nod for Imagica)
    Terry Brooks (he entertains me, he’s sort of a guilty pleasure)
    Stephen Brust
    CJ Cherryh
    Louise Cooper
    Charles de Lint
    Stephen Donaldson
    Dave Duncan
    David Eddings (he veers into Jordan territory but I don’t hate him for it)
    Raymond Feist
    CS Friedman (Coldfire trilogy, mmm)
    Neil Gaiman
    Guy Gavriel Kaye
    Katharine Kerr
    Katherine Kurtz (I get these two ladies mixed up but I like both their stuff)
    Tanith Lee
    Ursula LeGuin
    George R.R. Martin
    Patricia McKillip
    Sharon Shinn
    Sean Stewart
    Tad Williams
    Connis Willis
    Terri Windling
    Roger Zelazny

  15. 15

    I can’t believe no one has metioned Her yet. You know. . . Laurell? Maybe because no one is actually hanging in there anymore?

    I’m not sure if I’m ashamed of this or not, but I hung in longer than most. Danse Macabre (the latest) is the first one I didn’t buy. But I made a clean break. Wasn’t even tempted. I just stood in the bookstore and sneered at it. You’re not taking me down this time, bitch. I’m saving my money for GOOD porn.

    Okay, the truth. I’m still hooked on Merry Gentry.  :down:

  16. 16
    Steph says:

    I’ve never read Robert Jordan, but my father used to read him, and every time he sees a copy of one of his books, he launches into this thing about how he never stops publishing them, and it makes me want to keep a lookout for them so I can veer him away before he sees it. Or just keep saying “It’s okay, Dad, it’s okay…”

  17. 17

    Wait! I’m better than that. I didn’t read Micah. I repeat: I did not read Micah. Yeah!

  18. 18
    Sara says:

    I didn’t mention Laurell K. because she’s so, well, obvious. She’s the queen of bad but addictive books. She’s the patron saint of “why does a tiny flicker of hope spark in my soul when I see that you’ve published a new book?” That flicker is always quickly doused, of course. But it’s always there.

    Another reason I didn’t mention her is that I have given up on her. I don’t buy her books anymore. I don’t even get them from the library. Life is to short, Laurell! Too short!

  19. 19
    Ann Aguirre says:

    I am proud to say I have never, ever read a Laurel K. Hamilton book. But I caved on Janet Evanovich when stranded in Elmhurst, IL this July. (whispers) It made me feel dirty but I kinda liked it.

  20. 20
    Chicklet says:

    Ugh, Robert Jordan. I got sucked into that never-ending series back in college, summer of 1993 or so. I read the first four books and realized I’d read about 3200 pages and jackass hadn’t even declared himself the Dragon Reborn yet. I promptly gave away the paperbacks and washed my hands of the whole business. As I said to my friend, “There’s Epic, and there’s Get Over Yourself.”

  21. 21
    Lorelie says:

    I swear to god Stephen King has some kind of mystical power over people.  I’m thinking he’s researched so many creepy crawlies he found the ultimate reader-enchantment spell.  I do happen to like the Dark Tower series and I re-read them lately. . . and then bought another King book.  Because he still has the gift, right?  Um…maybe not.

    I hung on with Anne Rice for a looooong time too.  My poor Mayfair Witches.  Gawd she fucked up Mona. 

    As for romance?  Jude Deveraux is my crack.  I wanted to boot Darci of the Forever series in the head.  Yet I still buy.

  22. 22

    Oh, GAWD, the Forever series. WHAT WAS THAT?

    As for Stephen King, I’ve sort of gotten over him. For now, anyway. But The Stand haunts the attic that is my mind. It pops into my head all the time. Every single time I drive through a tunnel, for instance. And I live in the mountains, so that’s a lot of tunnels. God, that was good shit.

  23. 23
    Ann Aguirre says:

    My poor Mayfair Witches.  Gawd she fucked up Mona.

    Oh God yes.

    Anne Rice should be publicly paddled for the steaming heap that was Lasher.

  24. 24
    Lorelie says:

    Oh The Stand!  I went to Vegas recently and at various points I kept thinking “Ceeeeebbooooollllaaa”.  Not even sure if that’s the right phrase exactly.  (What that firebug screamed as he ran through the streets.)

    You know, I’ve had a recurring nightmare involving rats because my Sophmore english teacher (who even looked eerily like King) read us the short story “Night Shift” in class one day.

  25. 25
    Lorelie says:

    Anne Rice should be publicly paddled for the steaming heap that was Lasher.

    She’d probably like that too much.  Reference the Beauty books.

    BTW, how do y’all do that quote thing?

  26. 26
    Rosemary says:

    Ya know, I’ve always been able to drop authors when they bore me.  I might give them one chance past the suckfest that was but not one has ever redeemed themselves.

    I’m very good at dropping boyfriends as well.

    I just like to pretend that they are dead and don’t exist anymore.

  27. 27
    Madd says:

    I’m with you guys on the Mayfairs … but I have to make a confession … I picked up Danse Macabre at the library … *sobs*

    As for Jordan, I have an enabler at home. The man was also hooked early and we enable eachother. It’s all so very co-dependant.

  28. 28
    Maggie Robinson says:

    Danielle Steele…haven’t read her in years but just checked out her latest from the library and skipped thru it in about 30 minutes. Ghastly. Did no one ever tell her “show, don’t tell?” How can she continue to be published? Cardboard characters. Clueless.

    Can’t do Stephen King anymore, altho The Stand remains a favorite.

    Johanna Lindsay. I canna read the lassie nae more.

    Have lost track of which alphabet letter Kinsey Milhone story I should be reading…surely the English alphabet is just too long. Blocking on author’s name.

    No more Dan Brown. Never, never, no matter how many upside down and backwards puzzles he sticks in there.

    Now, if we were gonna list our must-buys, that might make some interesting reading….

  29. 29
    Madd says:

    you do the [ brackets with quote between them to start and /quote to close it out.

  30. 30
    Ann Aguirre says:

    It’s pretty hard to find books in English here in Mexico City so I picked up a book by Danielle Steel called ImPossible. I think I had read something by her, years ago. And from what I can tell, her formula appears to be:  young woman marries man who provides her with monetary security and paternal love, but no passion, man dies, she gets it on with a hot guy.

    This book was really no different, except she made her heroine a bit older. To reflect her life better? I dunno. The book was dreadful, though. It ran 300+ pages of nonsense just to have the protagonists decide that an older woman / younger man relationship is possible. Say what? Duh. We already knew that.

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