Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Sequels in Novels

It started with television series. A show that holds your attention by continuing a story from one season to the next, often with a "cliff hanger" at the end of each season.

This has become commonplace in fictional books as well. I've accepted this phenomena for digital streaming/network television content, but it just doesn't suit me in books. Sure there is that rare book that so captures my attention that I can't wait for the follow-up book, but so often the sequel doesn't match up to the first that it becomes frustrating.

Personally I think the reason for the book series concept is largely greed or laziness. The book publishers like the idea because they feel they have a committed and surefire following. The book authors like the simplicity of not having to invent a whole new set of characters and story line.

Throughout history there have been books with one, maybe 2 followup books that seem to work just fine, like Jack London's Call of the Wild and White Fang. Even there, most consider these books to be companion books. At any rate, I prefer a single story that you can savor and contemplate as you finish the last page and close the book. For me it's "one and done"!