MichaelConnelly.com Message Board
Sign up Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
runbei

Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 
I worry about the accelerated pace at which Michael Connelly's books and the Bosch series are appearing. I loved it when we could count on a deep effort every year or two. The Lincoln Lawyer was a high point for me. It was an expansive book, with a character who faced his shortcomings, recognized the need to change, and did so. I've enjoyed all of the books. But I have to worry about what seems to be happening late in MC's career. Look at what happened to Robert B. Parker whose books suffered when he was in his seventies and obviously unwell. It gave me a feeling that his publishers were driving him to write faster, even though he surely had made more money than Stephen Curry. I wondered, "Why?" Shouldn't it be possible to continue in a beautiful way, working hard but for the love of the work, and not because the blasted publishers and agents jollied the author into working to the point of soullessness? I guess I'm just profoundly grateful for the sheer craft of Michael's work, including the Bosch TV series. (What glorious casting, and what wonderful reinvention of the characters and plots.)
__________________
runbei
lewwelge

Registered:
Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #2 
You're obviously a caring and articulate person who appreciates Literature's Bibliotherapeutic benefits generally, and MC's Sage Missionary of Justice Hieronymus Bosch in the City of Angels specifically.
__________________
LAW
Janed

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,135
Reply with quote  #3 
Runbel,

Don't worry. Michael writes on the schedule he chooses. His publisher doesn't dictate that. He has never gone 2 years in between books. He's published a book a year (sometimes two) since 1992. The last time he did a 2 book year was 2011. I think he knows Harry is aging in real time and doesn't want to miss a chance to write about him as Harry is now 67 this year.  But sometimes a great idea comes along for a non-Bosch book and he jumps in... 

He writes every day because he is driven to. He loves it. Don't worry!
Jane

__________________
Jane Davis
Web Site Manager
http://www.MichaelConnelly.com
Janed

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,135
Reply with quote  #4 
I thought this might help you understand Michael's drive: http://www.michaelconnelly.com/novels/late-show/30th-novel-note-michael/
__________________
Jane Davis
Web Site Manager
http://www.MichaelConnelly.com
runbei

Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you, Jane. I was first drawn to Michael's books by his craft as a writer - he could do so much with such a simple foundation of style. I continued to read his books, adding him to the short list of authors whose books I read not only for enjoyment but as homework for my own work as a writer and editor - he's one of the best role models for writers who aim to communicate clearly. (Others include - of course! - Robert B. Parker and Robert Crais.)  I enjoyed the "30th novel" piece by Michael - thank you for that!
__________________
runbei
rgoutal

Registered:
Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #6 
On the topic of writing, good writing, and the time to do it well.

I understand runbei 's concern about deterioration generally, but I do not think it necessarily corresponds to a timeframe. In that sense, some writers make take 2 years to write a book and it's poorly done while others seem to be overly fast if two books are issued in one year and yet produce a very good result. 

Still, I think it's true that an author's books may be disappointing after a while. I would concur that Parker's books mainly disappoint after the first 20 or so (there are exceptions, and of course fans disagree about which are better, etc.). In Parker's case this is true largely because the books are so formulaic. For example you can count on every third chapter to be extended chat between Spenser and Susan as they ruminate about life and the case at hand. By the last few books, even the humor is so totally predictable that it has lost its punch.  (I am definitely a Spenser fan because of [a] the first 20ish books, [b] the early humor and snappy dialog, [c] it's mainly Boston & Boston burbs so it's local for me. I even led a tour of "Spenser's Boston" about which I posted elsewhere. But clearly Parker was not writing fresh stuff in the second half of his run with Spenser.)

I won't go into other author series where I think they kind of wear out. So far, Connelly's books do not wear out for me. BUT, they have changed; the style of the first 20 is not so much the style of the subsequent books, and especially perhaps the last 5 years. 

At his appearance in Brookline (7/19/17), Michael as much as said so himself. He was commenting on how assisting with the BOSCH series has helped him in his writing, especially with the idea that "less is more."

I'm not so sure about whether that results in better writing. Yes, it moves the action along faster. But... let me just say I am currently rereading the Harry books in order and am now in the midst of The Last Coyote. One could make an argument that the book could be shorter (502 pages in the paperback version I have). But that could well lead to stripping some of the best writing in this book. There are awesome, poignant chapters that help fill in Harry's character. And the best part is that it is not done by descriptions of Harry by the narrator (typically), but rather through dialog with Dr Hinojos, explosive dialog with Jerry,  actions that Harry takes, and so on. 

All the many pages of Harry working with Dr Hinojos, the time with the new love interest in Florida, and many other so-called diversions from the path of the plot all contribute to the readers love of the troubled but heroic central character. 

Some of the more recent books feel a bit more streamlined, but by now (after the first 16-18 Harry Bosch books) I am pretty hooked on Harry. Harry's matured, and he's less anguished (generally) who his character has settled down.  [God forbid that anything should happen to Maddie - I think Harry might not hold together.] So my love of the character pulls me on, even if the writing may be a little "less is more."  So far, the plots feel fresh, unlike, say, the bulk of Parker's final 20 books. The little bits of police procedural info is realistic and continues to hold my interest.

Among the many reasons why Connelly remains a good writer is his ability to create real, believable, full-dimensioned characters. The procedural realism also contributes a lot. (You can tell the difference since Connelly can draw upon 14 ? years of crime reporting and life-long relationships with police detectives. Stack that against so many other writers who rely on internet research and maybe a real detective seminar at a mystery author convention. Seriously!)

Unlike others in my mystery book club, all I ever read are mystery books in various sub-genres. Not proud of that; just trying to say - I have read a LOT of mystery authors - hundreds and hundreds. Many authors fail to grab me with the first book, like one I just completed for our club's book of the month. Others disappoint as the writing continues over the years.   But so far, unlike so many other authors, Michael Connelly has not let me down.


runbei

Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #7 
brgoutal - a VERY interesting reply. I'm toast from cleaning the deck and a trip to e-recyling and may reply at greater length later. But, for now, a thought or two. I begin the process of evaluating a new mystery writer by picking up the book and opening it to a random page and reading a paragraph or two.

If the writing is amateurish I will immediately put it back on the library shelf because I know that if I try to read it, it will be too painful. If it passes the test and I bring it home, I'll look above all for an interesting character. Oh, and if the book begins with a 10-page italicized flashback, I won't touch it, though there are writer I might give a pass on that.

By these measures, Harry Bosch and Michael Haller pass my tests, especially Michael. Lincoln Lawyer was a departure - a character who grew in the course of the book. "I can't do this anymore." Huge plus - characters who improve are very magnetic. Bosch and Spenser don't really learn in fundamental ways, but Michael Connelly's and Robert B. Parker's writing is reliably wonderful and more than adequately compensates.

Thank heaven for Titus Welliver, by the way. He is firmly implanted in my mind as Harry Bosch - as are the other wonderfully cast actors, especially Jerry Edgar and Chief Irving.

Parker's books may not have been as tightly written toward the end, but his choice of words was still a delight - though I could never get into Sunny Randall, and Jesse Stone's ex was a complete pain in the butt - thank heaven we could easily skip the chapters where she's on the phone!



__________________
runbei
lewwelge

Registered:
Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #8 
Interesting commentary, mensches. And in the "less is more" vein, the following aphoristic jewel/gem is NEARLY fundamental firmament for we Readers: "A Thing by Itself is an Unknown; to be Known It must be Compared to Something Else" (orig. attribution unknown). And we fans unanimously agree, MC is Something Else!
__________________
LAW
rgoutal

Registered:
Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewwelge
Interesting commentary, mensches. And in the "less is more" vein, the following aphoristic jewel/gem is NEARLY fundamental firmament for we Readers: "A Thing by Itself is an Unknown; to be Known It must be Compared to Something Else" (orig. attribution unknown). And we fans unanimously agree, MC is Something Else!


Nice!
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.