Thursday, September 24, 2015

At Least 702 People Agree With Me

by Alan

After the excitement and controversy of Go Set A Watchman: what would be your dream rediscovered-lost-work? And your nightmare?

I’m a big fan of Robert B. Parker, so I guess I would love to see his Spenser series and his Jesse Stone series continue. If only someone would discover some of his lost work, then I <BREAKING NEWS>Two excellent crime writers, Ace Atkins and Reed Farrel Coleman, already are continuing those series <END BREAKING NEWS>

Um, never mind.

Let me regroup.

I would like to see the lost sequel to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS discovered in Thomas Harris’s basement. I loved that book (and RED DRAGON before it) and would eagerly devour another one featuring Clarice Starling facing off against Hannibal Lecter.

Of course, some of you may be familiar with a book called HANNIBAL that purports to be a sequel, but…lecter

I don’t think so.

There’s no way that Thomas Harris, a fine suspense writer, would COMPLETELY CHANGE the incontrovertible core beliefs of one of the main characters he created. No way.

How could he?

No, I think HANNIBAL must have been written by an imposter, one who had absolutely no knowledge about what made Clarice Starling tick, because the REAL Clarice Starling would never (Never in a million, trillion years! Never, never, never!) act like the Starling depicted in HANNIBAL. (It was the only book I’ve ever thrown against the wall in disgust, with the clear intention of causing it damage—the book, not the wall.)

And I’m not the only one who felt betrayed by that book—it garnered 702 one-star reviews on Amazon. (If you think my mini-rant is pointed, try reading some of those reviews!)*

I mean, turning Starling into a character who would act like she does in this book would be like turning Atticus Finch into a racist!**



*I don’t usually bad-mouth an author’s work, but in this case, I’m justified. I felt betrayed, I tell you, betrayed!

**I haven’t actually read GO SET A WATCHMAN


Unknown said...

I feel your pain, Alan. I felt deeply betrayed by Gone Girl, having enjoyed the first half of the book only to have it screw me out of a satisfying conclusion - 3,355 people agree with me on that one!

Bill Cokas said...

Your rage is palpable, Alan! Shamefully, I've read NONE of those three books by Harris, but I just finished a book ABOUT "Silence of the Lambs" (nominally) called "The Story Grid" by Shawn Coyne. He deconstructs the whole novel scene by scene and holds it up as an example of the perfectly structured/paced thriller. Since Coyne's book has helped me so much, I almost owe it to him to read SOTL. Is it possible that Harris didn't write "Hannibal?" Is it the Godfather III of the trilogy?

Alan Orloff said...

Karen - Don't you hate it when a book goes off the rails? (I haven't read that one yet--if I do, I'll stop halfway through.)

Bill - I loved RED DRAGON and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (and BLOODY SUNDAY, too, from Harris). That's probably one reason my reaction to HANNIBAL was so strong! I never read the fourth Lecter book, HANNIBAL RISING.

Unknown said...

I can't say I felt betrayed by Gone Girl, just stunned. I disliked it almost from the first page and kept reading only because I couldn't believe a book this bad had sold so many copies. I kept expecting it to get better. It got worse. The solution to the big mystery seemed so obvious that I thought there HAD to be an amazing twist coming. No, no twist--just the obvious solution and then layer upon layer of absurdities and a completely ridiculous ending. So I'm left with my original question: How did a book this bad sell so many copies?

Alan Orloff said...

Bonnie - I, too, started GONE GIRL but didn't get past the first few pages. I guess I'm glad I did, although I kind of would like to know what all the fuss was about.