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View Poll Results: September 2011 Mobile Read Book Club Vote
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 in the Series) by Alexander McCall Smith 5 6.41%
A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 7 8.97%
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson 12 15.38%
The Chinese Maze Murders by Robert van Gulik (1st Judge Dee mystery by van Gulik) 21 26.92%
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins 6 7.69%
The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer 3 3.85%
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie 7 8.97%
Bruno, Chief of Police: A Novel Of The French Countryside by Martin Walker 3 3.85%
Ghost Story: A Novel of the Dresden Files (The Dresden Files, Book #13) by Jim Butcher 0 0%
Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book #1) by Jim Butcher 14 17.95%
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:39 AM   #196
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Published order (or written order, in the event those two conflict, as in this case) is always the way to read a series (IMO) unless the author(s) expressly indicates otherwise. Internal series chronology is of relatively little importance. Otherwise, the term prequel would have no meaning.

Think about what order someone would have read them in had they started reading them before they were all published.

So, since this is the 2nd book written in the series, there's a valid concern that some important background may be missing from the first written book (I just happen to think it's a very small concern since it was van Gulik's first). But I think it would be silly to expect someone to verify that a book is the very first according to the series' own internal chronology before nominating it for the book club.
The OCD side of me now hates this series! He went forward to go back!?!

I'm actually one who will read a prequel first if I am new to a series, regardless of publication date. It is important to me to get the story in the correct order, even if it can be read in any order.
I've never knowingly had a prequel come up while I was already into a series, so I don't know what I would do in that situation.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:46 AM   #197
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This series is a mess. If you read it in published order, you are bound to miss something. This book feels like there is a lot missing and I'm wondering if we can get that information in the earlier (chronologically) works.

Because this book references another book that comes before it in chronological order, this makes chronological order the proper order to read these and we've started with the 17th story.

Not a good book to nominate for any book club.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:48 AM   #198
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This series is a mess. If you read it in published order, you are bound to miss something. This book feels like there is a lot missing and I'm wondering if we can get that information in the earlier (chronologically) works.
Sure! Read the other books!

Seeing as the book was published 2nd, you're probably not missing much as both DiapDealer and Tom have said.

Just enjoy the story.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:53 AM   #199
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Sure! Read the other books!

Seeing as the book was published 2nd, you're probably not missing much as both DiapDealer and Tom have said.

Just enjoy the story.
But now that I know it's not possible to get the entire series as eBooks, I feel cheated. I feel that one requirement for a book in a series to be nominated is that ALL of the other released books in the same series be available as eBooks. I feel this month is not going well at all and should be scrapped. We get a book that's not in the correct order and we get a series that's not all available.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:02 PM   #200
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But now that I know it's not possible to get the entire series as eBooks, I feel cheated. I feel that one requirement for a book in a series to be nominated is that ALL of the other released books in the same series be available as eBooks. I feel this month is not going well at all and should be scrapped. We get a book that's not in the correct order and we get a series that's not all available.
Jon, life is way to short to be so stressed about so little.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:07 PM   #201
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I'm actually one who will read a prequel first if I am new to a series, regardless of publication date.
It's not a prequel anymore, then.

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I feel that one requirement for a book in a series to be nominated is that ALL of the other released books in the same series be available as eBooks. I feel this month is not going well at all and should be scrapped. We get a book that's not in the correct order and we get a series that's not all available.
That's would be a silly requirement, and you need to chill-out.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:17 PM   #202
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It's not a prequel anymore, then.
Well, aren't prequels usually the "Oh I forgot to say this" or "Ah, now I know how I really wanted to introduce this character or topic" type things? Basically, back story after thoughts?

I mean no one really starts out planning to write a prequel, do they?
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:48 PM   #203
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Well, aren't prequels usually the "Oh I forgot to say this" or "Ah, now I know how I really wanted to introduce this character or topic" type things? Basically, back story after thoughts?

I mean no one really starts out planning to write a prequel, do they?
Oh I think many certainly do plan prequels. Some may write them as afterthoughts, but not all, by any means. Many prequels are meant to be read later (ask the authors). Often times there's secrets revealed in those prequels that can potentially spoil surprises and kill the suspense of the "true" first books in the series. There also may be knowledge in a prequel that will mean absolutely nothing to you without having read the rest of the series already.

So, I tend to think that prequels are a lot more than a Columbo type—"just one more thing"—scenario. In many cases, they are treated as complex flashbacks (that happen to be really long), yet wouldn't make as much sense outside the other books' future context.

Plus, I generally roll with the idea that you can't "unring the bell." If they wanted me to read it first... they should have written it first. No takeseys-backseys.

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Old 09-04-2011, 01:12 PM   #204
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Oh I think many certainly do plan prequels. Some may write them as after thoughts, but not all, by any means. Many prequels are meant to be read later (ask some authors). Often times there's secrets revealed in those prequels that can potentially spoil surprises and kill the suspense of the "true" first books in the series. There also may be knowledge in a prequel that will mean absolutely nothing to you without having read the rest of the series already.

So, I tend to think that prequels are a lot more than a Columbo type—"just one more thing"—scenario. In many cases, they are treated as complex flashbacks (that happen to be really long), yet wouldn't make sense outside the other books' future context.

Plus, I generally roll with the idea that you can't "unring the bell." If they wanted me to read it first... they should have written it first.
Good points, all.

I do see your point: "If they wanted me to read it first... they should have written it first."

Which leads me to think that writers who plan prequels may be putting their readership at risk. My understanding, is that prequels are often treated as bonus stories. I would think that any information that was a "have to have" would be included in the series proper.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:19 PM   #205
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I feel this month is not going well at all and should be scrapped. We get a book that's not in the correct order and we get a series that's not all available.
It's the first original Judge Dee book van Gulik wrote and was nominated as such. "Nuff said. Why not make your peace with it? It's a detective story, not holy writ.

Beyond that, a whole month where people are enjoying the selection and looking forward to the discussion should be scrapped because you're not happy? Seems just a wee bit egotistic to me. Should we just let you pick the books in future, so you'll be happy (which is clearly the first order of priority)? But then what you would have to complain about?
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:46 PM   #206
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Which leads me to think that writers who plan prequels may be putting their readership at risk. My understanding, is that prequels are often treated as bonus stories. I would think that any information that was a "have to have" would be included in the series proper.
Possibly, but I think you'll find that most authors who write prequels (planned-out-but-meant-to-be-read-later-prequels) have a fairly rabid fanbase who will scarf up everything they would ever deign to publish—the very second it's published.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:06 PM   #207
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Possibly, but I think you'll find that most authors who write prequels (planned-out-but-meant-to-be-read-later-prequels) have a fairly rabid fanbase who will scarf up everything they would ever deign to publish—the very second it's published.
As a completest myself, I can see that happening.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:42 PM   #208
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Woohoo. The inter-library loan worked and I just borrowed a copy to read. Hoping to have it done by the 18th and take part in the discussions. Just need to finish one book before I start.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:32 PM   #209
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Woohoo. The inter-library loan worked and I just borrowed a copy to read. Hoping to have it done by the 18th and take part in the discussions. Just need to finish one book before I start.
I've finished it. Its a fairly quick read.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:36 AM   #210
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I finished it last night it is a quick read
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