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Overrated American Authors
#1
Which American authors do you think are overrated? Why do you think they are overrated?
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#2
I'd hate to lambast anyone at this early stage in my reading. First of all I'd need to find out who the highly rated authors are. Certainly, these will be authors who have a large output and are known to have good stories (otherwise, why would their books be so well-published, right?). Of course, just because publishers like them doesn't mean the public like them. And, there was an explosion in gothic romance writing in the 60s-70s which resulted in many poorly written romances being published. I have read and enjoyed several authors but I haven't read a significant amount of their works to pass judgment. Hopefully, I will get a chance to read more and perhaps give my opinions on this.
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#3
Not sure about the Americans in the field, but I can think of a Canadian author of Gothics whom I'd consider overrated: W. E. D. Ross, a.k.a. Laura Frances Brooks, Lydia Colby, Rose Dana, Jan Daniels, Ross Olin, Diane Randall, Clarissa Ross, Dan Ross, Dana Ross, Marilyn Ross . . .

I'm not usually prone to invective, and I respect the toil and sweat of any writer who has managed to make a career of his craft, but . . . I really have to wonder how some of this man's books made it into print. I have tried to read several, and set each aside in disgust. The style and plotting were barely above the level of Scooby-Doo.

Am I alone in this opinion? Am I mistaken? Perhaps he merely wrote a few duds and I chose unluckily. The man was so prolific he must have had diarrhea of the pen. There is a vomitous quality to the prose, as if he just yakked it out onto the page and let it dry there. Still -- If anyone can recommend a Ross book they really like, I'll give him one last chance.
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#4
I have never cared for this writer myself. I find the books of his I've read poorly written, and with a sense of having been churned out, a kind of mass production quality. But I, too, have only read a handful of them. Perhaps there are a few good ones in the lot?
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#5
(07-28-2010, 09:25 AM)AliceChell Wrote: I have never cared for this writer myself. I find the books of his I've read poorly written, and with a sense of having been churned out, a kind of mass production quality. But I, too, have only read a handful of them. Perhaps there are a few good ones in the lot?

It's a pity, because the covers and concepts are appealing. Who wouldn't want to read a book called Ghost Ship of Fog Island? Yet I couldn't finish that book because it was so amateurishly executed.
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#6
Allegedly Marilyn Ross wrote more than three hundred Gothic romances. Imagine, if he had written half that many they might be twice as good.
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#7
Actually, I enjoy the Marilyn Ross "Dark Shadows" series! I have them all and just love them. Then again, I am a die-hard fan of the show as well.
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#8
(03-14-2011, 12:36 AM)debbie60435 Wrote: Actually, I enjoy the Marilyn Ross "Dark Shadows" series! I have them all and just love them. Then again, I am a die-hard fan of the show as well.

Despite my almost constant irritation while reading any Ross book, he had some good story ideas and I keep picking up his books and saying to myself, "Well, I'll give him one more chance." I tend to rewrite the awkward, amateurish prose in my head as I go. Consider the following paragraph, from The Witch of Goblin's Acres:

Quote:As it turned out, it was just as well she didn't know what lay ahead of her. At that moment, as she sat demurely in the horse car in her tiny aqua bonnet and matching dress with white lace trim, she could not guess what the interview would lead to. Nor could she dream of the danger and threat of the supernatural which would follow. She had as yet never heard of the eerie country estate known as Goblin's Acres. And by the time she learned about it and the phantom threat it posed, it was too late for her to turn back from the terrors it held!

[Meanwhile, the kids in the Mystery Machine were wondering where Shaggy and Scoob had wandered off to . . . ]

Even if one ignores the cheap Stratemeyer-factory prose style, it's pretty hard to get around the fact that Ross never learned the difference between foreshadowing and laying on spoilage with a trowel. And I wish I had a nickel for every gratuitous exclamation point he laid down.

But oh well, we can't all be Shakespeare. I'll probably go on to give Ross "one last chance" more than one last time. His books are not without their own cartoonish allure.
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#9
(10-22-2007, 06:31 PM)readertim Wrote: Which American authors do you think are overrated? Why do you think they are overrated?

Although I generally enjoy reading American authors, there are a few I'm not in love with.
Hemmingway; I struggle with his lack of descriptive language, i find it a bit dry.
Dan Brown; im not putting him on the same level as Hemmingway, but i still don't understand the appeal.
Stephanie Meyer; Need i explain?
i don't mean to rant, just my personal opinion
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#10
I would add sleazy, overrated bestsellerists Stephen King and Dean R Koontz but I don´t think they are Gothic writers...
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