Re: RARA-AVIS: black cherry blues

From: M Blumenthal (
Date: 03 Feb 2002


t> there's a danger to writing a series. its convenient for
> both writer, publisher, and even reader sometimes. but the
> same-ole same-ole becomes bland.

Miker, or maybe I should write miker,

With very few exceptions, a series is going to have at least one continuing character so there is going to be something that is the same throughout, but that shouldn't affect the quality of the series if a writer is skillful enough. there will not be similar passages or plots book to book, but that's difficult. A lot of what was written in the first one or two books caused people to want to continue reading the books. It's like pop singers having to sing at least a medley of their greatest hits at every concert even if they are sick of them.

I think George Pelecanos has written here, or elsewhere, that he has to stop having all his books' climaxes be a shootout between the some of main characters and the baddies. George's books have enough to offer so you can overlook that. Variety just for the sake of having variety is pointless BTW, I agree with you about the Travis McGee novels having similar plots, but I think this bothered me most because I read them one after another instead of having a long break between them. .
> do the books in a series generally get better later in the
> series, or worse? i'm betting worse. beating a dead horse
> is not inspirational. i've heard parker's stuff gets worse,
> but i've heard that block's best scudder is towards the end.

I think in general I think a normal series' best books are the first one or few The author has said what he wants to in those but continues to churn out new books in series because there is a built in market for succeeding books with publishers as well as the public. . Of course, there are a lot of exceptions. For example, I think George's first, A Firing Offense was built on his life experiences, but as he he has expanded his scope and learned to become a better writer his books have improved. I think the last two of the Washington quartet are the best of his I have read. I'm in the middle of Nick's Trip so I can't judge that series yet. Mark

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 03 Feb 2002 EST