I’m wondering, how many books will you read by an author you don’t love before you "break up" with them? How many chances will you give them before you cut them off for good and refuse to read any more of their work?
Here’s a great example, I've read 7 books by Ian McEwan, that’s a lot of books for an author I really don’t enjoy, but I always think I’ll like his next one. Atonement was the first one of his books I even read and it was so good! Everything after that has just been a disappointment to me. I just read one of his earliest books, The Cement Garden and I hated it. I think this was officially the straw that broke the camel’s back and I’m completely done with him. I feel like I've given him more than a fair shake.
I don’t even want to review Cement Garden; it was just disturbing and awful. It was about four siblings who lose both of their parents and to try and keep their family together they just bury their mom in the basement so no one will know she is dead. The problem is that all the kids are strange and horrible. It’s all incestuous and weird and the whole book felt like an awful dream.
Another example is Cormac McCarthy. I've only read two of his novels, The Road and All the Pretty Horses, yet I'm pretty sure his style is just not for me. Even when action was happening I was bored because of how the story is told. I think McCarthy’s writing style might not be for me. There’s no denying the fact that he has a talent with words, but I couldn’t enjoy the plot because it felt like such a convoluted way to tell it.
For example, another author might say, "They went outside." But Cormac McCarthy would instead say, "The Cowboys wandered into the wide expanse of rolling hills that were dotted with the last shreds of the sun's warm touch." Ugh. Just tell me that they walked outside!!! It's not that the writing is bad it's just a lot more words than I think you need.
I have also read three of John Irving’s novels and I think I might give him up as well. I loved one (Owen Meany!) and didn’t care for the other two (Garp and Hotel New Hampshire). Do I give him another chance or call it a day?
Trust me; I’m not saying these are bad authors. All three of the ones I mentioned are authors that are excellent writers. I wouldn’t even been contemplating reading another one of their books if I thought they were horrible. But sometimes books don’t work for you; sometimes it's writing style, sometimes it's subject matter, sometimes it's a combination of the two What I’m asking is, when do you officially decide a writer, for whatever reason, just doesn’t click with your taste?
So tell me how a lot how many books do you give an offer before you break up with them?
Image from here.