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That one book

Most of us read a book and decide whether we like that author’s work. If we do, we may read more of his or her stories. But if we don’t, we generally decide never to try another by that writer.

But as I discovered recently, any single book may be a poor or a good sample of the author’s style of storytelling. I had picked up a title by one of my favourite writers and, from the first page, discovered this was by no means his best work―all the more peculiar since it happened to be his last. The story itself was compelling enough to push me to go through the odd dialogue and less-than-stellar characterizations all the way to the end. Nonetheless, I was disappointed with the book.

That got me thinking: Have I dismissed writers on the basis of one book? And have my own books been dismissed because someone did not like one of them and passed up on all the rest?

I’ll be revisiting a few storytellers from now on to see if I judged prematurely.

How about you? Will you give authors a second chance?

[Photo courtesy of  Lennart Heim of]