Sunday, November 19, 2006

"Fool Me-- You Can't Get Fooled Again"

It's not often I give a writer a second try.

I've given up on more authors than I care to admit, after being let down by one of their efforts. The popular-with-my-generation Chuck Palahniuk is an example of this, oddly enough-- nothing to do with prose or subject matter, his works just weren't something I was interested enough in to invest the money and time in a second try. "Fight Club" was 'eh' to me and I stopped "Invisible Monsters" after 10 pages. I fear I was spoiled by "Fight Club", the film.

Don Dellilo is another example that comes to mind here, to name another writer. And, in the musical realm, I fear this might be true with Bloc Party's upcoming sophomore effort, based upon the advance reviews of its next album based on what I'm hearing and reading.

But Steven Johnson is one author who I have given a second pass. Although I disliked his earlier effort -- "Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter", the title of which encapsulates the book's focus quite well -- I am finding his newest, "The Ghost Map", to be a real page-turner. More likely than not, it has to do with the change from theory to non-fiction.

More on this book soon. But it just struck me, as I looked at my bookshelf, how many author's full canons I have there, and few singular efforts.

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