Friday, February 18, 2011

Is that why they brought in Robert DeNiro?


Some works set such a high standard that
sequels often come with unreasonable expectations. Take Godfather: can you imagine the pressure Coppola had when he began Godfather II?


The success of Hunger Games made Catching Fire and Mockingjay tough standards to live up to. (For the record, I thought both of them were done superbly.) Harper Lee stopped after To Kill a Mockingbird. Star Wars...never mind.

[The only redeeming factor]

Writers jump through hoop after hoop after hoop to get published. It's easy to think that once there is a contract, things will get easier. (Here I pause for my published friends to interject and tell me it ain't so.)

I believe them. When you write a book that is loved, you feel your readers' expectations. Authors who keep besting their efforts are amazing. I am reading Tana French's third book, Faithful Place, right now.

A friend loaned me
The Likeness and I read it without being aware of the buzz it had garnered. It was a wonderful reading experience. I then picked up In The Woods and enjoyed it just as much. When I found out last year that she had come up with a third book, I was thrilled but apprehensive. Can she live up to the first two books or will I have to watch Sofia Coppola act?

I finally picked it up this week and I am two thirds of the way through and I have to say I am relieved to find the writing just as impressive and the story just as captivating. Actually, I'll go even further to say I think this is the best of the three.

Do you do that? Worried about your expectations being too high for a beloved author or filmmaker? Do you have favorite sequels?

6 comments:

C. N. Nevets said...

I'm terrified about it for my own books, especially as to me they feel very, very different. I take some heart in the fact that I've thought that about my short stories, too, and yet I'm told they all have a Nevets feel to them. So I cross my fingers.

I'll have to think about the broader film and literary world.

Bish Denham said...

I'm not much of a sequal person. I like to read stand alone books for the most part, probably because finding/buying the rest of a series can be difficult.

Yat-Yee said...

Nevets: I think that if a writer writes authentically, there will be an essential quality that will come through all their works, despite genres or length. Trust in your Nevetsness.

Bish: Books in a big huge series do scare me a bit. And some works are just not meant to go too far: Rocky XX, anyone? I do love discovering new standalones.

Tim Riley said...

Hey Yat-Yee, just tagged you in my latest post.

I don't know why, but I have a hard time with sequels in general. There are a number of popular series I've started, but haven't finished. Guess I feel the same way about movie sequels too. I rarely like the sequel as much as the original.

I do love to read multiple books by my favorite authors. It's nice to see a writer's evolution.

Yat-Yee said...

Thanks, Tim.

I knew about your propensity to read multiple books by a favorite authors. :) I wonder how big a difference that is from reading sequels. Something to ponder.

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