Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's Wednesday morning. Do you know where your blood pressure is?

If it's on the low side, don't miss this little gem in the NY Times about cross marketing James Patterson's Maximum Ride series.

I have no problem with his books on their own (I've never finished one, but that's not an indictment of anything. Just wasn't my thing), but it's the way they're presented and Patterson himself that make me crazy. The last paragraph of the article sums it up:

Mr. Patterson said that if he simply wanted to make more money, he would have developed another adult series. “I just am convinced that there aren’t enough books like this — books that kids can pick up and go ‘Wow, that was terrific, I wouldn’t mind reading another book,’ ” he said of his “Maximum Ride” series. “The most important thing to me is that more kids read these.”
It's the conceit implicit in "I'm convinced that there aren't enough books like this. . . " Of course, authors need to believe that they have something to say and a story to tell, but Patterson takes ego several notches beyond necessity into offensive. It sounds to my ear like James Patterson is condescending to leave money on the table, turn away from his adoring adult fans, and swoop down to save young adult literature with "terrific" books with equally terrific sequels--something he alone can do. Gack!


Brian said...

Mr. Patterson? Citizen Kane called. He'd like his hubris back.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

It is pretty snotty, isn't it? That he's selflessly presenting himself to the children for the betterment of the YA section. Hm. God forbid those people like Melissa Marr and Libba Bray and Holly Black be the only bestsellers on the YA shelf . . . they need some testosterone!

Kirstin Cronn-Mills said...

Let's hear it for books that take focus and concentration--yaaay! For me, those aren't Mr. Patterson's.

debbiereedfischer said...

This makes me want to vom. It reminds me of when Madonna said she decided to write children's books because she went into a bookstore and noticed "that there are no good children's books." Really, Madonna? Zat so? And you, like Patterson, have divinely appointed yourself as the solution to the problem? Oh, how lucky we are to have you and Patterson.

J.E. MacLeod said...

Gack indeed.