Thursday, October 18, 2012

Series-ly dull?

Reviewing my reading since I started this effort in January, I find that I've deepened my narrow little rut even further by reading series, mostly, instead of stand-alone books.  It's fair to do so - once you find a hero you like, you want to see what other adventures he (as noted a few posts ago, rarely she) may get up to.  Perhaps the setting is one that is particularly resonant for you, or offers the best escape from your humdrum life, or the food - or promise thereof - is always particularly good.  By the third book or so, the writing falls away as a motive for continuing to read that author.  You know the books are well- or at least, interestingly-written, so it does not come as the welcome surprise it might in a brand new story. 

But wow, I bet it is dull for anyone reading Crime Pays!  With the very recent exception of the downhill alert on Ian Rankin (who of course has written about twenty books since then so this is entirely personal and not at all a commentary on his overall ouevre), a review of a book in a series to which I'm already positively inclined is likely going to be positive.  And everyone knows that there is not much more dull than a positive book review. 

So, here's saying that I'll try and mix it up a bit.  Except that I've got another Benjamin Black and a Robert Janes on the pile next to the tub, so we'll need to work through those first.  Not exactly hardship duty.

I'm also noticing that I never really did say what was for dinner.  You'll have to friend me on Facebook to find that out. 

10/22 UPDATE.  I received an update from the Euro Crime blog, noting the new reviews that they've posted lately.  Check it out:  They are almost ALL of books in series!  Fifth in a series, first in a series, third in a series, and so forth.  I don't know what to make of this.  The comfort-factor of reading through a series of familiar characters cannot be denied, but there is at the same time a sense of mass-production here, and a question about originality.   I've read none of these reviewed on Euro Crime, but my own reading so far would suggest that Cotterill and Camilleri are far out ahead of their compatriots in terms of originality of series.

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