Friday, May 14, 2010
I have found some of his work to be chilling. He knows how to engage readers and is able to take the mundane and make it horrifying. His book "Blood Crazy" had me ripping through pages, jaw slack with horror, eyes green with envy over his skill. His book "The Tower" wasn't as creative, but still it was a worthwhile read. I also applaud "Night of the Triffids", "Vampyrrhic", and "Nailed By The Heart"
Yes, he can write. Yes, he can scare the poop out of you. However, Mr. Clark has been churning out work these last several years, and I am sure he is doing well in sales. What concerns me though, with the quantity of output, is the effect it might have on quality.
Currently, reading "The Ghost Monster", a potentially outstanding ghost story, I am stumbling over some clunky writing. It almost feels rushed and mailed in. I've felt that way with some of Stephen King's work and other authors who produce a tidal wave of titles.
Is it possible for an author to produce too much too quickly? Can a market be saturated? Can someone lose his touch? As much as I loved both Robert B. Parker and Donald E. Westlake, I am sure no one will argue that there were books later in the careers of these authors where it seemed that the writing was shallow and uninspired.
Not that I'll ever write such quantity or quality as the above names, but it makes me stop and think about when a writer should take stock of what he or she is churning out, taking into account what is owed to the reader. It also makes me appreciate the work of Jim Butcher. He continues to write his Dresden novels and they continue to deliver. Maybe they're a little predictable at times, but dammit, when you're a fan of Dresden, you know what you want and Butcher makes sure you're satisfied.