I don’t believe in favourites. I don’t have a favourite band or recording artist. My first couple of posts in this challenge weren’t hard to write-up per se but I did have to consider it. I’m just not a favourites type of person. I like what I like, depending on my mood. I don’t have a list set in stone.
Writers are a hard thing to judge, because you might like one book or series by one, and then hate everything else that they do. Likewise, how do you judge an author? Do you take in the overall story, the characters or do you look at the nuts and blots of the text – the way they actually write things. Should I judge the classics and contemporary books separately?
Anne Rice is probably the best technical writer that I’ve ever read. Like I said in my last post, the way she writes is amazing. She just has a magic to her prose that I’ve not encountered before or since in a modern book.
George R. R. Martin writes strong prose, if a bit too much of it, but I love ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ because of the way he incorporates reality into his fantastical story. I love the way that the books are hard to read because of all the pain and death the characters suffer through.
Anne Bishop is not very strong with prose. She tends to repeat phrases again and again. However, with the ‘Black Jewels’ she created really lovable characters. Complex characters like Daemon Sadi are very rare and are compelling to read.
Trudi Canavan is an interesting writer. In her first trilogy ‘The Black Magician Trilogy’ her writing style is pretty bad. The first book said trilogy ‘The Magicians’ Guild’ suffers from too little plot. It does not do justice to the rest of the series. Both ‘The Novice’ and ‘The High Lord’ are emotional reads. The plotting is excellent. You don’t know who is good and who is bad. ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ (prequel to the BMT) has better writing, and a complex plot.
In terms of classics I think Gaston Leroux’s ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is a great read. The pace, plot and tone are great. I read the translation though so who knows?
‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins has a great plot too. I may be wrong but it was one of the first detective type novels and it is very well written.
Naturally, I think Emily Bronte is great – I listed ‘Wuthering Heights’ as one of my favourite books. The prose creates the atmosphere that I love.
I have read several plays by Shakespeare. All of them were good. He is probably the greatest writer of all time – but academics argue if he even wrote down what we read today. I love plays like ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ because even though they are hard to read they have these great conflicts. As a reader you feel conflicted when you read about Shylock being kicked but wanting a pound of flesh, or as you watch Macbeth spiral from a good man into an awful human being.
I guess the answer for today is not that I have no favourite authors, but that I have too many, and in no particular order.