Anyone who has read Charlaine Harris has probably seen the fuss over her last Sookie Stackhouse book, Dead Ever After. Others might recognize it as the base for True Blood, though the ‘based-on’ is fairly loose.
I haven’t read it yet, no spoilers, please!
If you click on the link to Goodreads, you will see some fan rage. In fact, I’d call it fan hate. Some people are very, very angry at Ms. Harris for this book. Fair enough.
Some are descending to personal attacks, which isn’t acceptable in my opinion.
On Amazon, the book has 2.1 stars; on Barnes & Noble, 2.73 stars; and Goodreads, 3.44 stars (as I’m writing this, I’m sure the numbers will change.) Every site has vitriolic comments and enthusiastic raves.
Reviews are personal opinions, but people are taking this too far.
I agree that calling it the ‘final’ novel and then publishing a ‘coda’ is… odd. You can’t please everyone–many fans wanted the series to have ended some time ago, while others wish it would continue to infinity.
Books are a good to be sold, so writers need to make them commercial. But what obligations do writers have to their fans? Should they change endings to please as many people as possible?
Part of me says ‘Yes!’ Especially when a writer chooses and ending that makes me upset. As someone who writes, I mostly feel the answer is ‘No.” It’s the writer’s story, after all, a dream that’s lived inside their heads for months or years and sometimes decades. How can a writer let someone significantly alter that?
Personally, I was less happy with Ms. Harris’ last few books, which is why I didn’t pre-order Dead Ever After. I’m waiting to read it at the library. I’ll likely get the ‘coda’ the same way.
Will I own it/them? That I don’t know yet.
As readers, we vote with our money.
We pre-order expensive hardbacks, or wait for the cheaper paperback. Sometimes we buy both. Or hunt for the book in a used book store. Or read it once from the library and never buy it at all.
We may buy related merchandise–we need a t-shirt with our favorite character, or a necklace with a recognizable symbol. We may recommend a friend buy the book, or buy extra copies to give as gifts.
How do you show your support of the authors you love?