Transitions

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.

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Southern Vampire Mysteries.

I just finished reading all the available Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. It’s my first experience with this author, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’m always a bit nervous with the new authors. But I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

She’s very creative. She’s very funny. I love the way she writes. I absolutely devoured all the books. I got them for Christmas and started reading them on Jan 5th. By January 16th, I’d read through all seven books. I immediately wanted more.

I was really happy to discover that there are two more books in the series coming out this year. I can’t wait to read them. Charlaine leaves her books on the most wonderful cliffhangers. I found myself shouting “ARG! Dammit!” at the end of each one, wanting more.

I really enjoy her character of Sookie, and the trouble that she gets in. The books are angsty, but not in an unrealistic way. All the angst that comes, comes in a natural way on a path that real life angst would follow.

I also really like the fact that Sookie isn’t a giant whore. That these books aren’t all about the sex. The sex happens when it happens, and it isn’t all overly flowery, and neither is it overly graphic. It’s a natural transition for the characters AND the reader.

It’s definitely a nice change from other authors and their rabidly slutty main characters *COUGH*ANITA BLAKE*COUGH*.

Charlaine also understands the way that clothes actually work, and doesn’t seem to be stuck in the 80’s in terms of “what’s cool”. I should really stop comparing Charlaine and her books to these other books, because she’s above and beyond. I admit that I went in wondering if there would be any similarities, and glad that I found that the author I loathe to mention by name couldn’t even stand up to Charlaine.

The characters beyond Sookie are also well rounded and fleshed out. And she never leaves anything hanging that she can’t explain later. There are no holes. No spots where I have to stop and question if she really meant that because I was sure that she’d said something different earlier.

I am 100% happy with Charlaine Harris and the Southern Vampire Mysteries.