James Patterson: Hack or Prolific Genius? - Page 3


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Thread: James Patterson: Hack or Prolific Genius?

  1. #21
    His early books were pretty good, IMO. Kiss the Girls, Along Came a Spider, and a couple of others. Then he let the formula take over and the stories went to crap. He's a great marketer and I don't begrudge him his money, but churning out formulaic book after formulaic book is pretty much the definition of hack to me. His 'style' of writing ADD chapters with tons of white space allows him to get novel prices for novella word counts. I think that is borderline unethical. But I don't waste my money on them any longer, so I don't care.
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  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
    If I'm looking for some good entertainment, and I know I always get that from a James Patterson novel, I'll continue to pick them and enjoy myself for those few hours. I don't care who wrote the book or who gets the credit. I'm buying a story from a name that I know I'm never disappointed with. If his name is on it, I can trust it.

    As a consumer looking for a good read that's all that matters to me. Does a James Patterson book deliver? Yes? Okay, I'm buying it.

    Same reason I pick up all of my favourite authors books. I know I can trust the name on the cover. How those words get on the paper doesn't matter to me, as long as I enjoy them.
    I can't trust the name on the cover, Sunny.

    For example: Robert Ludlum was one of the greatest thriller writers of all time. His books were translated into thirty-seven languages and sold millions of copies. Every one of them was excellent.

    Then Ludlum passed away, and someone called Eric van Lustbader decided he would take over writing Ludlum's last book, which then became a contract to write several more, all under the name Robert Ludlum. But van Lustbader could not lace Ludlum's shoes. For instance, the highly acclaimed Bourne series, which was one of the best trilogies ever written, became a series of books under van Lustbader. None of them even come close to the least impressive book in Ludlum's trilogy. The writing in van Lustbader's series is horrible, the characters are flat, and the stories are formulaic and boring.

    So, no, I don't think buying the 'name' means you're buying the same quality that you would if you bought something written by the man behind the name.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    ...[snip]...But van Lustbader could not lace Ludlum's shoes. For instance, the highly acclaimed Bourne series, which was one of the best trilogies ever written, became a series of books under van Lustbader. None of them even come close to the least impressive book in Ludlum's trilogy. The writing in van Lustbader's series is horrible, the characters are flat, and the stories are formulaic and boring.

    So, no, I don't think buying the 'name' means you're buying the same quality that you would if you bought something written by the man behind the name.
    I always wondered why the later books supposedly by Ludlum bored the sh!t our of me. I just did not realise they were written by a different "author". Live and learn - I wonder why many other books I had sounded somehow wrong when reading them.
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  4. #24
    i do think it's kind of wrong. i mean...i can understand why TOR books did it with jordan's "wheel of time" series.
    the guy died before the series was done. but for a living author to delegate ghost writers because his name is famous enough
    to turn a profit on it's own? to me? that's cheating artistic integrity in the worst way.
    "Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.”

  5. #25
    i'm a sex pistols fan, though. so i guess i can't say much about someone who likes patterson. same difference.
    "Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.”

  6. #26
    I don't think it's so bad. He's past retirement age. He spent years writing books on his own and doing well with them.

    Now's the time of his life to spend more hours with his family. Why not let some up-and-coming authors do some of the legwork?

    He still makes all the creative decisions, still plans every single scene. Still decides what happens on every single page. He's not out of the loop yet.

    His coauthors seem happy to work under his tutelage. They get their names listed on the cover. They receive royalties. Most of them develop shiny new careers because of the partnership.

    His fans, also, seem happy to read his books.

    For those who aren't happy with his writing, they find new authors and all is right with the world again.

    Seems to me that Patterson has a great thing going. His process definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea, I get that. But I think a lot of the negativity hurled at him is misplaced.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle R View Post
    I don't think it's so bad. He's past retirement age. He spent years writing books on his own and doing well with them.

    Now's the time of his life to spend more hours with his family. Why not let some up-and-coming authors do some of the legwork?

    He still makes all the creative decisions, still plans every single scene. Still decides what happens on every single page. He's not out of the loop yet.

    His coauthors seem happy to work under his tutelage. They get their names listed on the cover. They receive royalties. Most of them develop shiny new careers because of the partnership.

    His fans, also, seem happy to read his books.

    For those who aren't happy with his writing, they find new authors and all is right with the world again.

    Seems to me that Patterson has a great thing going. His process definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea, I get that. But I think a lot of the negativity hurled at him is misplaced.
    lol. oh come on. he's a prostitute now. it;s not like he's some "noble ass dude" or something. well, he may be more of a "pimp" than a "prostitute". and i'm not being hypocritical here. if patterson would ask me to ghost-write one of his commercial hooks? i'd do it. i'd whore myself out like that. no question. i've done it for $15 for elance. i'd surely do it for patterson bucks. but it's still whoring. ya know?
    "Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.”

  8. #28
    Read one, didn't like it much. Gun calibers and engine displacements. But I don't much care how he, or anybody, makes books. I don't expect these'll still be in the library, in 25 years though, so no real damage will be done.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by dale View Post
    lol. oh come on. he's a prostitute now. it;s not like he's some "noble ass dude" or something. well, he may be more of a "pimp" than a "prostitute". and i'm not being hypocritical here. if patterson would ask me to ghost-write one of his commercial hooks? i'd do it. i'd whore myself out like that. no question. i've done it for $15 for elance. i'd surely do it for patterson bucks. but it's still whoring. ya know?
    Lol. "Whore" I can't agree with. Pimp, maybe.

    I fear one day he'll turn his gaze from the publishing world to supermarkets and gasoline companies, even bottled water! He'll sign everyone to work for him. James Patterson brand everything!

  10. #30
    I'm sure all the ghost-writers - not just those co-writers of Patterson's - appreciate the pimp connotations. So does this feeling of moral superiority flow to all authors who employ co-authors, ghost-writers, or contract writers - or has Patterson been specially selected for that honor?

    I've read some of his books, some written solely by Patterson and some co-authored. Some impressed me, some were "meh" - and it didn't matter which group they belonged to. I don't wait with baited breath for the next book to cross my path, but I don't turn up my nose if it looks interesting. Same as any other author(s).
    Has left the building.

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