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Old 08-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #1
LDBoblo
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How long does it take to quit a series?

Since this has been happening to me a bit lately, I'm a little curious what other people think about this.

Let's say you get started on a novel series. You read the first book or three and decide to "subscribe" to it (i.e. follow it to the end). Then you run across a book in the series that flat-out disappoints you. You can continue on and hope things get better, or you can decide to not waste your time.

Question then is...what kind of criteria do you apply before actually quitting the series? How much benefit of the doubt do you give? How many lesser novels will you read in sequence before you decide to give up on it?

I'm sure it depends on several factors. So for you, what does it depend on? If you've ever quit a series (I don't mean quitting after hating the first book!), how quickly did you decide to drop it? Did you later decide to return to it and give it another try? How long was your "cool-down" period?

I don't know if this thread has any functional value, but it's just a bit of curiosity on my part.

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:52 PM   #2
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The Jonathan Kellerman before his most recent one was terrible. I had followed his series all the way through and was so disappointed with it. His characters got to a sort of fat cat middle aged middle class affluent complacency and the case in the book was a cold case so it lacked immediacy and dramatic tension. I was so disappointed! I was glad to read his next one and find it much improved, back to the formula that worked.

Patricia Cornwell, otoh, I have given up on. Ever since she switched to third person in a move to go more 'literary' the books have not been the same, and when she got flack for killing off a beloved character, she brought him back later in a contrived way that undermined all of the other character's growth from the grieving process of losing him. After a misstep like this, I can't go back and combining that with the other problem, I am done with this series.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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If I don't like it, I delete it. Life's too short to waste reading things I don't like.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:05 PM   #4
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I am with Dixiegirl.

If its a series, most likely I just skim through the book..... Read the parts where important things happen. By book 3-4 I skipped 2 of the plotlines Lost Fleet series.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #5
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Generally, it takes 2-3 stinkers before I totally give up...and I may still borrow another 1 or 2 before I just give up reading the series altogether.

The Cornwell series ficbot was talking about had been going downhill IMHO for a few books before that last WTF action...and it's the last one I've read.

I got fed up with Brockmann's series about 8 books ago now, but I still pick them up if they're on the 100% micropay rebate at Fictionwise. I haven't decided if it's the writing or just that my tastes have changed.

On the other hand, I'm entirely frustrated with what Evanovich has done with her Stephanie Plum series...but I keep reading them FROM THE LIBRARY. I won't pay for it, but I just can't let it go.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FizzyWater View Post
On the other hand, I'm entirely frustrated with what Evanovich has done with her Stephanie Plum series...but I keep reading them FROM THE LIBRARY. I won't pay for it, but I just can't let it go.
I can honestly say I'm done with the Plum books. I have 1-14 in hardback. I am not tempted at all to buy 15 which came out in June. In fact, 1-14 are in sacks to be taken to Goodwill this weekend. Done, done, done. Didn't really enjoy 13 or 14 at all. I kinda liked 12...but it was because of Ranger. I just wanted Evanovich to write Stephanie as growing up a teensy, tiny little bit and so far it hasn't happened. So I'm giving up.


I'm mostly over the Dirk Pitt series by Clive Cussler and/or his son. I used to enjoy them but then it really bothered me that he resurrected Loren's father to walk her down the aisle. Especially considering that he was dead, dead, dead in the book that Pitt and Loren met. I'll let some things go, but I kinda expect an author to keep track of dead people. I had other issues with that book too. That one was a few years ago now though. I'm considering picking one up to try.


I started the Brockmann books too. Kinda liked them but didn't love. I really, really don't understand why so many people love Sam Starret (sp?). I could really do without him.

I am still reading the J.D. Robb "In Death" series. That's at 30 some books right now?

I am still reading the J.A. Jance "Joanna Brady" series. I think that is around a dozen or so.

I don't even know what other series I'm reading right now.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:58 AM   #7
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Cornwell went down the tubes, as did Jonathan Kellerman, but only after a lot of great reading. I was able to read Norman's 'Gor' series for about 7-8 books, but then he got too involved with slavery as the natural order...

However, I was able to read 93 of the 125+ "Destroyer" series, a delightful tongue-in-cheek send-up of the martial arts super-hero. I'll always look forward (I hope) to the next John Sanford although this last one was not quite as gripping as all the others in the 'Prey' series.

I'm hoping Parker's 'Spenser' or 'Jesse Stone' series will continue. They are perfect for 4 hour plane trips! Total immersion/finish in one read.

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Old 08-08-2009, 04:29 AM   #8
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Hmm, can't remember I ever stopped a series yet. But it would take more than one "flat" book to do. Everybody can make a mistake or just doesn't really have a clue what that next book has to say. But if the entire series goes down (in style, or quality), I think I'd just stop reading it until I got really bored and didn't have anything else to read. (which would be about never...)
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:47 AM   #9
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Janet Evanovich's Plum series has definitely waned. 1 to 12 were good and then it went downhill. 13 and 14 read almost as if someone else wrote them, but 15 sounded more like Janet. Although the series should be classed as humour (young teen humour at that) rather than 'thriller/mystery'.

I prefer the in-between books with Diesel, although starting next year, he's getting his own series.

J.D. Robb's series is just getting better and better, I don't think I'll ever tire of Eve and Roarke.

Sherrilyn Kenyon is another author whose series goes from strength to strength. Her Dark Hunter series continues to be a good read.

J.R. Ward is another who manages to keep a series going. Even though book 6 was a little weak in my opinion, book 7 'Lover Avenged' showed that Ward is back on form.

Just my two cents worth.

--JanG.
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:00 AM   #10
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If I can't be bothered rereading the previous books in the series before getting the new one... it's time to quit. Like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series - too much flippin' effort!
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:14 PM   #11
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If I can't be bothered rereading the previous books in the series before getting the new one... it's time to quit. Like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series - too much flippin' effort!
I know what you mean about the Wheel of Time. I gave up after book 4.
I am facing the "should I quit the series dilemma" with Karen Traviss' WessHar series. I've just finished reading Book 3 which was quite dull, whereas Book 1 and 2 were quite good. Should I read Book 4 or quit now as the series is up to Book 6.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:51 AM   #12
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On a related note, how much books are you ready to try to _get into_ a series?

Most of my friends were engrossed in George R. R. Martin's series at some time. I read the first book and didn't really like it, and they told me it got way better after the first book.

In a similar way, I've heard people say that the discworld series by Pratchett starts to be really good only from the 5th book or something (I read the first 3-4 books and found them enjoyable, but not enough to make me want and read the rest).

So, in the case of a highly praised series, if you don't find the first book really enjoyable, will you try and give the next book a chance?
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:34 AM   #13
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So far I didn't abandon any series, but maybe that's because I've very selective about what I read.

But I'm thinking about abandoning the Wheel of Time series. I liked the books, but when I found out that the author was dieing (and is now dead), I stopped reading the series any further, afraid that it would end as an incomplete series. So I've only read the first 2 or 3 books. Yes, I can't even remember properly if I read 2 or 3 books. So Brandon Sanderson, an author I like, is finishing the series. Great! But that would mean re-reading the first 2-3 books again. I'm a slow reader, so that would take a really long time for me. Plus, I'm not a re-reader, which makes that task even less encouraging.

I'm looking for the possibility of reading summaries of the first books instead of re-reading them. If there are any.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:37 AM   #14
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On a related note, how much books are you ready to try to _get into_ a series?

Most of my friends were engrossed in George R. R. Martin's series at some time. I read the first book and didn't really like it, and they told me it got way better after the first book.

In a similar way, I've heard people say that the discworld series by Pratchett starts to be really good only from the 5th book or something (I read the first 3-4 books and found them enjoyable, but not enough to make me want and read the rest).

So, in the case of a highly praised series, if you don't find the first book really enjoyable, will you try and give the next book a chance?

I won't. So much to read, so little time, why waste mine? I think any author should grab us from book #1. To grab us doesn't mean the book has to be perfect or without faults, though. But certainly it has to be enjoyable!
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:38 AM   #15
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Discworld is another series that just doesn't stop being very good.
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