Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Charlaine Harris shows her grace while Entertainment Weekly shows poor taste

I'll admit that I don't really read Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series anymore. It's one of those series that I've drifted away from somewhere along the line and just didn't have the time or desire to pick back up again, although there is still an interest.

I remember hearing some disappointment over Charlaine Harris' latest book in the Sookie series, Dead Reckoning, but there was still enough buzz to where the book was relatively well received by a decent amount of fans and critics.

Recently Entertainment Weekly listed Dead Reckoning as one of the worst books of 2011, which to be honest I found in poor taste. Even Harris herself admits that the book wasn't her best, but she says that she had read worse this year.

I just found EW's post to be in poor taste because if they'd done any sort of research, they'd realize that Harris suffered a great loss during the writing of this book. Her mother had been suffering from a long illness and had passed away while Harris was working on the book, which had to have taken a huge toll on her. While this doesn't completely excuse the book (since it was published, after all), I would have thought that EW would have looked into Harris enough to see that there were external influences on her life beyond her control and quietly chose another author to lambast as the "worst of". It might not have made DR any better, but I think that it deserved better than this.

One of the Sookie/True Blood fansites has a picture of the EW article, which lists Harris' book among people such as the Kardashians and Snooki. I just have to say that most of the justification behind this nomination seems to be that people were disappointed with the book and underwhelmed, not that it was exceptionally bad. I've read the Snooki book and I can't imagine Harris writing anything as bad as A Shore Thing.

In true Southern grace, Harris took to her own blog to write about her opinions about the matter. She does admit frustration, but vows that she will work harder to put out better quality work. This is pretty much the epitome of a trooper in my opinion and makes me respect her that much more.

All I can say for Entertainment Weekly is that with so many other famous authors releasing books that have been sub-par (where's Laurell K Hamilton's vote for "worst of" for any of her previous or current books?), it's pretty poor form to choose a book that was written during the death of a loved one. Shame on you.


  1. I gotta be honest and say I disagree. I'm sorry for her loss, but if the book was bad, it was bad. If it hadn't been her book it would have been someone else's, and who's to say that they didn't have personal issues to make their book bad? EW makes lists. That's what they do. And no one is exempt and I don't think external influences should matter.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree.

    As a huge fan of Harris and the series, I feel confident saying that DR wasn't the best book of the series but to compare it to Snooki and the Kardashians just seemed to me to be downright nasty.

    EW has been very pro-True Blood, and very pro a certain Sookie/Bill ship (a ship that seems well and truly sunk in romantic terms in the books)- I can't help but think the ever widening schism between book and show fans is at the heart of this.

    Whatever the reason, it seems really petty and mean... I've read some stuff this year that would seem far more suited to the "Worst of 2011" title.

  3. Though I agree that it wasn't her best of the series. I think that the first few episodes of true blood this season were awful. I didn't even really care for the season. I am a devoted TB and Sookie Series fan and I was more disappointed in the show. My fav book by far is Dead and Gone and I feel that will never play out in the series due to the direction it went. I was embarrassed on how the show potrayed the faires and their land. I was so excited for the premiere and even made my b/f watch it. He had never seen TB and he couldn't believe I liked it. I couldn't believe I liked it either. Rewatching season one I couldn't believe they are the same show. :(

  4. Honestly, I don't see the point in writing a "worst of" column in the first place. To me, it is mean-spirited and un-necessary to single out -anyone- who has made the effort to bring a creation to life. Sure, I may not like what they've done, but I'll be doggoned if I'd ever tell someone "Jeez, your book is the worst thing I've read all YEAR!!!" I think that EW copped out on this one, and I think the whole premise is flawed.

  5. I agree with what Sibilant Storm said. A "worst of" column is indeed mean-spirited. And I honestly don't think anything Charlaine Harris has ever written would belong on one, anyway.