Thursday, April 08, 2010

The next big book that will annoy many and please many

Tom Clancy has a new one coming out. It's called Dead or Alive and, according to the Amazon blog, is about terrorism. I'm sure the pub date of December 7 is significant. Anyway, it could be good. I still think Red Storm Rising is one of the greatest hypothetical war books ever.

The book has a co-author as well, which makes you wonder how much of it is Clancy. Clive Cussler has done quite a bit of this lately too, as has James Patterson. It's like Rembrandt and other painters who branded paintings their own, when they were principally painted by studio painters. I don't mind it really, as long as the book is good. The authors have an incentive to maintain the brand, so they should be able to keep the quality up. That said, I suspect the farmed out books are precisely tuned formula machines designed to please the fanbase. Not that people go to people like Cussler looking for literary experimentation, but it can be stripped so thin that you can see all the moving parts.

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