Thursday, June 6, 2013

Charlaine Harris, Southern Vampire Mysteries and 'Dead Ever After'.

Okay, so, my love affair with Patricia Briggs clearly goes above and beyond any feelings I may have for Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries, or it's associated HBO television show True Blood. Time and again, I mention again how amazing I think Patricia's writing is. I don't think this blog yet has had a thing to say about the certainly more public series written by Charlaine.

At the risk of being just another commentator on the big issue that has come out of the latest--indeed, last--book of the Southern Vampire Mysteries, they are in a similar enough genre to the Mercy Thompson books and I think a person must almost have been hiding under a rock to have missed the outcry that has come along with Dead Ever After.

At the core, Charlaine completed her series of books in a way that many of her fans did not like. As with many fellow authors, she had a vision for the trajectory of the series and, even with the popularity of certain characters over other certain characters, Charlaine made the decision not to waver from her original view on how the books would end.

Now, in the wake of many impassioned and angry fans, Charlaine has had to cancel public appearances and otherwise hide under her own rock until the sensation passes, instead of celebrating the end of a particularly popular series of books.

At the end of season three, I put True Blood aside when they went off and seemed to kill everyone but Sookie at the end of season three, leaving me feeling like I would have sacrificed the main character rather than lose all the rest. I ranted about it a little to my friends that year. I even started voicing it again when time came around for season four to be premiering. I certainly did not write hate mail to the author and producer of the series, or even post my opinion publicly.

As far as the books, I've been trying to figure out how far I'd gotten. Dead and Gone is the last one I read, I think. As much as I loved the 'mysteries' element of these stories, I thought that the character interaction was, on occasion, a little thin. There were a lot of questions about Sookie and Eric getting together that I thought went overlooked in favour of other things.

I've got a account, and I do post reviews of all the books I read up there. All the books I finish. There have been many I haven't, and to those I simply put a 'Did Not Finish' marker on my blog here and move on.

For any books I've finished and not liked? There is always something constructive one can say about a book. I've also read my fair share of writing in various creative writing courses over the years. It is common courtesy, even when you do not like what you've just read, to say something positive before you give the criticism. I take that route whenever writing a review to a book I didn't feel was all that strong. There's got to be some reason you kept on reading it, even if you didn't like some parts of it, so why not mention those, too? (To be truthful, I also list the one or two things I thought weren't strong in books I absolutely loved.)

The issue has brought up questions of whether authors, as both artists and producers of a service, do or don't have an obligation to give their readers what they want. It's a really interesting debate, but also really scary if authors are put in a position where they have to give in to their readers if they don't want to face all this.

Of course, this is hardly the first time anything of this nature has occurred. In what's probably the most famous previous occasion of public outcry against an author's decision, and probably something that's coming to a lot of peoples' minds right now, Arthur Conan Doyle made the decision to wrap up his Sherlock Holmes series by killing him. In this case, of course, the author did give in to public outcry and brought him back.

Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman Film 'Sherlock' Season 3(Unlike True Blood, BBC's Sherlock is something I'm looking forward to with baited breath. Come on season three!)

I'll tell you what, though. The public outcry over the end of the Southern Vampire Mysteries series of books has made this little read want to sit up and finish reading these books on my shelf, just to see how she did decide to finish them. :D

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