In a message dated 2/4/02 1:12:23 PM,
<< I'd have to throw in with the group that likes the
stand alones best, >>
It takes considerable talent to write
any significant number of books, especially books in the same
genre, and not get stale, or repeat yourself, or settle for a
tale of little value. Series or no series, many fine writers
don't have the capacity for endless invention. Leonard who
has featured characters in more than one novel, but who has
avoided doing a series, is quick to admit that his books are
really all about "the same guy," and many of us on this list
believe that even the great Elmore has had problems staying
The Ellroy books all have a sameness about them, an evolving sameness and a fascinating sameness, but sameness nonetheless. The first novel, Brown's Requiem, contained all of the Ellroy staples that we found ourselves wading through in each subsequent book: over-the-top violence, corruption, exploitation of women and minorities, rotten cops, racism, homophobia, booze and drugs, a highly desirable but out of reach woman, and not a single admirable character in sight. Nevertheless, for a long while Ellroy got stronger with each book.
The difficult chore is to keep doing it better each time, and that is damned tough duty for any writer whether he/she is doing a series or creating one of a kind's.
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