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Old 04-15-2012, 05:13 AM   #121
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JKR has Tom Clancy disease. Tom Clancy disease is when you are so popular you think (and in fact you can, to the detriment of the book) blow off your editor, or pick a weak one.

Main telltale symptom: books proceed from breakthrough novel and sequel of normal page count. Further additions to the series and other new books get progressively longer, when a good editor would have cut out all the fat and kept the story tight and moving. I dropped out of both JKR and Clancy around book 4 or 5. Compare against the LOTR trilogy: a six-part work in three books, each of approximately equal length.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:48 AM   #122
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Further additions to the series and other new books get progressively longer, when a good editor would have cut out all the fat and kept the story tight and moving.
I always thought the perceived wisdom in publishing was that it was supposed to be children who suffered from having short attention spans, not adults? Yet ironically it seems that it's always mainly adults who complain about the length of modern children's books (even before they've read them, half the time).
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:29 PM   #123
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I always thought the perceived wisdom in publishing was that it was supposed to be children who suffered from having short attention spans, not adults? Yet ironically it seems that it's always mainly adults who complain about the length of modern children's books (even before they've read them, half the time).
In the first instance, one could argue, the issue is the child's failure to concentrate. In the second, it's the adult's familiarity with the structure and idea of the novel and wanting to focus on those and not aspects that have come to seem cliché.

The question might be whether the asides, descriptive passages and inessential complications add to the aesthetic enjoyment of the book; whether the quality of the insight and style are sufficient to make them worth including.

Celine used to brag about cutting careful descriptions and inaction out of his books. "They say, 'he knits a nice sentence.' Me, I say it's unreadable."
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:50 PM   #124
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JKR has Tom Clancy disease. Tom Clancy disease is when you are so popular you think (and in fact you can, to the detriment of the book) blow off your editor, or pick a weak one.

Main telltale symptom: books proceed from breakthrough novel and sequel of normal page count. Further additions to the series and other new books get progressively longer, when a good editor would have cut out all the fat and kept the story tight and moving. I dropped out of both JKR and Clancy around book 4 or 5. Compare against the LOTR trilogy: a six-part work in three books, each of approximately equal length.
Compared to Clancy, JKR is Ernest Hemingway. Not that she wouldn't have benefited from a heavier editorial hand, perhaps. But it's really hard to argue with success. And, on that note, LOTR could have used some heavy editing in places, too. Not to make it shorter, particularly, but JRRT is pretty inconsistent as a writer: he deals with fight scenes very well (Moria; Minas Tirith) - the pacing is great, the descriptions clear, the tension high - and he can maintain this for dozens of pages. Some of his non-fighting writing is also quite good - the Birthday party, Rivendell, the Scourging of the Shire. But a lot of his writing isn't tight; it's unfocused and would have benefited from an editor to bring things into focus and tighten them up. (Although at the time he wrote this, I wonder whether any editor would have been able to do that properly - it wasn't like there was anything else out there to use for a comparison).
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:33 PM   #125
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No way the price will be anything over $12! Even that is insane for an ebook...
I was at B&N today and noticed a new Arthur Conan Doyle book that is published for the first time... it was the first novel he ever wrote (at the age of 23) and was never finished. It was very thin and probably came in at only 100-150 pages. Guess how much the Nook version is... $14.50! For a book written 130 years ago, that was unfinished and can be read in a couple hours.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:48 AM   #126
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I always thought the perceived wisdom in publishing was that it was supposed to be children who suffered from having short attention spans, not adults? Yet ironically it seems that it's always mainly adults who complain about the length of modern children's books (even before they've read them, half the time).
So I have a short attention span and haven't read the books? Since you don't know me, all i can say about your point one is that your are mistaken. One the second part, I did not read beyond the the book where i decided I had had enough superfluous verbosity and irrlevant discussions and events. Especially seeing the next one was even longer.

First with Clancy, then with Rowling. I don't know the cause: maybe being able to insist on a longer "author's cut", or not having time to make it shorter (tighten the prose and story) due to th need to publish to stay on the best seller lists, etc. Something happened, to the detriment of the later books.

Of course this is reading the books with some attention and observation, not just using them as time-passing fodder. I imagine the later ones work fine if that is one's reading preference. This is my preference at times as well - for example, I just read the Hunger Games trilogy. I thought highly enough of both authors' early works to be disappointed by the evolution.

Perhaps that is my issue: I had high expectations based on the early works that, to me, the later books did not fulfull.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:15 PM   #127
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So you will obviously be reading Ms. Rowling's new work when it comes out, to see if she has "corrected" any of the problems you found in the early stuff ?

Especially as it is a new..."genre" ... for her ?
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:27 PM   #128
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So you will obviously be reading Ms. Rowling's new work when it comes out, to see if she has "corrected" any of the problems you found in the early stuff ?

Especially as it is a new..."genre" ... for her ?
No, my belief based on observation is that the disease is incurable. If it is less than 300 pages and gets rave reviews, I might consider it eventually, if the story line seems special.

It's not a matter of "corrected". She's able now to produce what she wants, fairly free of restraints or money concerns. Obviously there is a huge demand for what she generates. From that view, nothing needs correcting. She does what she likes, and the money rolls in. She is / has a "franchise."

It just leaves me uninterested; I thought, based on the first two Potter books, there was a good chance the original books would become classics, albiet minor ones; rather than short-term sensations.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #129
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No, my belief based on observation is that the disease is incurable. If it is less than 300 pages and gets rave reviews, I might consider it eventually, if the story line seems special.
It's not a matter of "corrected". She's able now to produce what she wants, fairly free of restraints or money concerns. Obviously there is a huge demand for what she generates. From that view, nothing needs correcting. She does what she likes, and the money rolls in. She is / has a "franchise."
It just leaves me uninterested; I thought, based on the first two Potter books, there was a good chance the original books would become classics, albiet minor ones; rather than short-term sensations.
Fair enough - although I can't help thinking that the story line already sounds at least interesting; although that may be a little parochial of me ?
I know I'd have to at least consider a story by, say, James Lee Burke, even if it was (on the surface at least) apparently about small-town politics in Louisiana .......
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:31 PM   #130
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I was interested in her new book until I checked out the prices As an Australian shopping on Amazon I will be paying $24.34 over $6 more than the the same book on US amazon meanwhile I can go down to my local Big W and get it in hardcover for $20 when will Aussie publishers get a clue!
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:22 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by derangedhermit View Post
JKR has Tom Clancy disease. Tom Clancy disease is when you are so popular you think (and in fact you can, to the detriment of the book) blow off your editor, or pick a weak one.

Main telltale symptom: books proceed from breakthrough novel and sequel of normal page count. Further additions to the series and other new books get progressively longer, when a good editor would have cut out all the fat and kept the story tight and moving. I dropped out of both JKR and Clancy around book 4 or 5. Compare against the LOTR trilogy: a six-part work in three books, each of approximately equal length.
That's your opinion on it. Personally, I preferred the later books, and was disappointed by some of the story lines dropped in the movies. Also, Harry Potter was structured so the reading level would be on par with the age Harry was. The first one is perfectly suitable for a 11 year old, but book 7 I'd not recommend at all for someone that age. The people who first read the book more or less grew with Harry as the books were released. LOTR, the reading level stayed stagnate.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:50 PM   #132
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of course it's aimed at adults. Her fanbase has grown (though not much).

Next you're telling me it's another fantasy novel too.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:53 PM   #133
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I was at B&N today and noticed a new Arthur Conan Doyle book that is published for the first time... it was the first novel he ever wrote (at the age of 23) and was never finished. It was very thin and probably came in at only 100-150 pages. Guess how much the Nook version is... $14.50! For a book written 130 years ago, that was unfinished and can be read in a couple hours.
that's great news for his heirs. Free cocaine for another 70 years at least.

perhaps some of his grandsons finished the novel akin to Chris Tolkien?
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:51 PM   #134
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JKR has Tom Clancy disease. Tom Clancy disease is when you are so popular you think (and in fact you can, to the detriment of the book) blow off your editor, or pick a weak one.

Main telltale symptom: books proceed from breakthrough novel and sequel of normal page count. Further additions to the series and other new books get progressively longer, when a good editor would have cut out all the fat and kept the story tight and moving. I dropped out of both JKR and Clancy around book 4 or 5. Compare against the LOTR trilogy: a six-part work in three books, each of approximately equal length.
I believe LotR was just one epic tome broken into 3 books for practical reasons.

One writer who suffers from lengthenitis is Elizabeth George. Her Lynley books keep getting longer and longer and more exhausting. If you look at her amazon listing, her star ratings keep going down. Her editor needs to step in and read her the riot act.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:33 AM   #135
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Amazing difference between Amazon and B&N price

The price of the book on Amazon is 8.55$ and B&N Nook version is 17.99$
Logic?
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