When you’ve finished reading one thing, a lot of people don’t even think before picking up the next book and beginning it. I think this might be why some obviously intelligent people detest some obviously amazing work.
It’s because there are some authors you can jump between with no issue, and there are some that shouldn’t even be attempted. The authors I will use in my examples are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Charlaine Harris, James Ellroy, Bret Easton Ellis, and Chuck Palahniuk (here we get the most dramatic effect)
Going from Koontz to King is an easy jump. Back is also not an issue. But Koontz to Harris is not a good one to try, and Harris to King will fuck your brain sideways. Harris to Palahniuk would go smoothly, but I don’t think I’d try to reverse that, ever. Palahniuk followed by Ellis would be a smooth transition, as would Ellis into Ellroy. They’ve got that kind of disjointed, raw thinking style, and while Palahniuk doesn’t do that, he’s gritty and raw enough in other ares to keep up. Your head might explode if you went Ellroy to Harris, and especially if you went Ellis to Harris, however, and I can’t think of a good reason to do that sort of thing.
I have just discovered, through actions taken by me in life, that finishing a novel by King and immediately picking one up by Ellroy is not the smartest thing in the world to do. Muscle relaxers and pain killers did not help this in any way, but I don’t think it would have been an easy transition to make even without the help of narcotics.
Moving from a novel of fluid and heavy handed explanation that paints a picture even a blind person could imagine, to a novel of abrupt ends and a serrated edge was like a slap in the face with a block of ice.
I can’t really think of anything that would have made it easier other than just waiting until morning to start the new book. Give my brain some time to digest King’s work and then slowly consuming Ellroy’s.