I doubt that James Patterson can actually write

Promise me you will not think badly of me. This is something I’ve been wanting to write for a long time, but certain things has kept me from doing it. Everything is in the eye of the beholder, right? And I am also pretty sure that we all agree that one person’s trash is another person’s gold. Reading Suey’s (of It’s All About Books) post True or False: 90% of Everything is Crap gave me the final push to do this post.

Suey writes an excellent post about how and why some critics hate and bash very popular books like The Twilight Series. Can it really be true that 90% of Everything [we read] is Crap? There are a lot of great comments to that post, and in my own comment I write that bashing of Twilight (and Dan Brown and Harry Potter etc etc) is the same when I hear people (in Denmark) bash a phenomenon like Facebook, and still almost half the population is on it – there must be something about being on FB when so many people are on it! Its also like how its become a popular sport to bash Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy – not so many years ago everyone I knew loved it. Now they simply hate it.

Anyway. I digress a little here, plus I am basically just copying what has already been said on Suey’s site. I just want to stress that:

  • I read many books which without a doubt is considered complete crap by this undefined group called book snobs.
  • I reserve the right to consider whatever books I want crap, even though its popular, and fully accept that my crappy reads are another reader’s gold.
  • I’m not into hate. This post is meant as more of a pet-peeve thing.

That said, I can return to my headline: I doubt that James Patterson can actually write. This has been a pet-peeve of mine for ages. Taking a tour on my blog will reveal that I’ve read some of Patterson’s books. Here is what I wrote in 2006 about the book London Bridges:

I usually enjoy James Pattersons’ Alex Cross stories. I am not a die-hard fan, but I have always found myself entertained when reading most of the previous novels. But London Bridges hit rock bottom almost from the very beginning. The story is made from the same formula the past 3-4 Cross-stories has been, and you can almost guess what will happen in the super-short chapters.

But I have actually read many more in my pre-blogging days. I used to like the Alex Cross-series, and actually found the first ones to be rather good and entertaining reads. Then something happened. Perhaps it was Mr. Patterson’s collaboration with an endless stream of other writers, perhaps it dawned on me that James Patterson is a bad writer. Because he is still (presumably) writing the Alex Cross-series on his own.

Okay, then. Maybe his books are not deeply literary. I usually couldn’t care less about that. James Patterson’s books are not meant to be that, and the main part of the books I read are not considered literary anyway. But his writing is bad. His style is non-existent. His co-authors equally bad. The plots are bad. Everything about his books is bad, bad, bad.

Come on, I hear some of you saying, we read for our entertainment and enjoyment, and if nothing else, Patterson’s books are easy and entertaining. Nope, I say, they are not even that. At least not to me. I have serious doubts that any author is able to write 5-10 books a year, no matter how fabulous a writer they are and no matter how many co-authors they have, and still keep an acceptable quality in their writing. That is mission impossible. I guess James Patterson is laughing all the way to the bank, and that is absolutely fine by me. How I wish I had come up with his ideas and how I wish I could make a living writing (less than mediocre) books. Oh yes. I wouldn’t care what critics said about my books if I made gazillions. I don’t think James Patterson cares.  So what exactly is my problem with this rant? I even admit that I could easily be found reading another James Patterson any day – and I can definitely be found reading “crap” any day. I don’t know. I just don’t like his books and I honestly think they are of less quality than most other things I read.

Maybe it is that I feel so alone with this. Okay, glancing over reviews on Amazon, I see a lot of readers complaining about Patterson’s books and their lack of quality and his endless co-authors. But every time I see one of his books, I feel annoyed and I feel the need to bash the book, and it seems all others are loving it. I guess that is what pet peeves are all about.

This is a post made for the Blog Improvement Project # 2 which was about pumping up post titles. Now lets see if this post will generate any interest or discussion. I would welcome that.

Also – I am trying to go after the ball instead of the man. James Patterson has done a lot to get people to read with special programs and fundings, and I applaud that. He is also just one out of several “pet peeve authors” of mine, whose work I can’t stand whose work I sort of get a kick out of bashing a bit.