Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I Poohpooh Sequels

"She silently watched him go up the stairs, feeling that she would strangle at the pain in her throat....She knew now that there was no appeal  of emotion or reason which would turn that cool brain from its verdict....

'I won't think of it now,' she thought grimly, summoning up her old charm.  'I'll go crazy if I think about losing him now.  I'll think of it tomorrow....'

With the spirit of her people who would not know defeat, even when it stared them in the face, she raised her chin.  She could get Rhett back.  She knew she could.  There had never been a man she couldn't get, once she set her mind upon him.

"I'll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara.  I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back.  After all, tomorrow is another day."

The End.

Why isn't The End always The End?

This will probably strike you as very, very odd, but I never read sequels. 

The first book is just fine as it is, thank you very much. 

Lonesome Dove? Amazing.    Streets of Laredo? No interest.
Stargirl? Great story.    Love, Stargirl? Not so much.
Dune? Brilliant.    Sandworms of Dune? I don't think so.
Wrinkle in Time? Yes, of course.   Wind in the Door? No, sorry.   

Author Nick Hornby says, "Sequels are very rarely a good idea...."

Author Connie Willis writes, "I hate sequels. They're never as good as the first book."

Author Laurie Halse Anderson is blunt: "Sequels are too often crass attempts to make money off something that worked the first time, but without the care and attention that made the first movie or book so special." 

I hanker for a sequel when I close a good book. But the sequels I've tried consistently founder.

What am I missing? You have run across wonderful sequels, haven't you? Convert me, please.

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  1. I know what you mean, if you've loved a book chances are the sequel won't live up to your expectations.

  2. I agree that sequels often do disappoint, but I've read some books that need sequels because otherwise it's information overload in one book!

  3. Although I've occasionally enjoyed a sequel, I've never read one that was as good as the first. I try and put some space between them so they're more like standalone books. I also tend to like ambiguous endings so sequels and series aren't really something I seek out.

  4. Deb I love the quotes you included :)

    My TTT

  5. Sequels only work for me when I'm more enthralled with the characters than the overall plot. In that case, I'll usually follow the characters through however many books a writer wants to turn out. But, where plot driven sequels are concerned, like you, they usually fall short and disappoint.

    The Ocean Between by Lynda Coker

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  7. Unless the book vitally needs a sequel, I'm much happier when they go without. If I had to have a sequel of some kind, I'd rather have a companion novel focusing on one of the secondary characters from the first book. They satisfy my need of wanting to see some favourite characters again, but also explore a new story line with different people.

  8. There are stories where it does work because they are not finished but I do feel you. With some books the end should be the end and if they come with a sequel it is only disturbing or a weak copy.

  9. Agreed! I wrote a post about why I don't like them too. Movie ones are bad enough!

  10. TOTALLY agree on most sequels. Not all--there have been some good ones, especially when the books were INTENDED as a series--but I totally get you. I particularly agree with the Laurie Halse Andersen quote.

  11. I agree, Hollie. I'd prefer a companion novel rather than a sequel, a continuation.

  12. Ciska, I'm okay with that, but I'd honestly prefer a nice big book rather than two (often grossly inflated) books.

  13. I think it's a matter of ambiguity; I like a little ambiguity.

  14. Agreed!

    The Sparrow - amazing. Children of God - meh.

    Odd Thomas - wonderful and had me sobbing. All the rest in that series - big disappointments!

    These is My Words - Fantastic! Sarah's Quilt - couldn't finish.

  15. I understand what you mean...but I don't completely agree. When done right, I love sequels, but there are definitely some sequels that should've left well enough alone. Thanks for stopping by :)

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

  16. I get where you're coming from - I hate it when it seems like an author has produced a fantastic standalone, and someone else in the chain decides, "Hmm, we made a lot of money out of that, let's do some more!" That's when good stories go bad....

    Although having hopped around the TTT lists this week, I did see a classic post (can't remember whose now, unfortunately!) who put a particular book on their list (can't remember the name of that either!) and said something along the lines of, "The first ten books in this series were fantastic, but after that it went downhill..."

    That made me giggle a bit.

  17. I was sure that you and I would agree on this, Les.

  18. First ten were fabulous, but then?! Hilarious!

  19. Sequels often work well if the whole thing was planned as a multi-book story arc in the first place. Think The Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter books. They can also work well if the author has more to say in that world or with those characters. Anne McCaffrey's YA
    Dragonsong and Dragonsinger are marvelous; so are several of her adult Pern novels. The YA books aren't exactly sequels, but they happen in the same world, at the same time, and involve some of the same characters and events.

    That said, there are definitely books which shouldn't have series. (I'll respectfully disagree with you on the L'Engle books; I enjoyed A Wind in the Door.)

    Overall, though, I admit to being a fan of sequels done well.

  20. I agree about sequels. Everyone gets hyped up and ready to read more and things fall flat. It's like books in a series-you'll love one or two and the rest just don't measure up. I miss the days of a good standalone and imagining how things might have turned out.

  21. I haven't read the Anne McCaffrey books, but I liked Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Part of their appeal to the wide world, I think, was the series aspect, Lark.

  22. Maybe it's just a matter of too many series, Jess. Maybe that's part of the problem.

  23. I don't like how nothing can be stand alone anymore, it seems almost everything is part of a series, particularly in kids books of course, and many genres. I think I agree with you about sequels, and certainly my recent sequel reading- the second of The Hunger Games was disappointing.

  24. I do like a good series BUT often, even if it is a favorite book I will not read a sequel. What are the chances that I'll love the next one equally? Not good!


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