We all have our favourite authors. These are those rare breeds of writers whose books we'll always buy regardless of what they're about because we're certain it's going to be amazing, but of course that isn't always the case. I have a few favourite authors myself - I'd like to read as much of Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire's work as possible and I love a lot of Neil Gaiman's stuff - but for the most part I've never been the kind of reader who will blindly buy something purely because it has that author's name attached to it.
Some readers will buy something without really knowing what it's about, only knowing that they like that author, and that's fine! In many ways I admire their dedication to show their love and respect and admiration for the author of their choice, but what irritates me are the reviews that come afterwards.
|Not 'Harry Potter and the Casual Vacancy'|
I saw a LOT of Harry Potter fans immediately buying this book, and then being somehow surprised that The Casual Vacancy was nothing like Harry Potter. Because of course it wasn't, and Rowling never said it would be.
The Casual Vacancy has ended up getting some pretty shoddy ratings that, to me, seem completely unfair because they're ratings given by people who didn't really seem to acknowledge what the book was about. All that seemed to matter was that it had Rowling's name attached to it.
I'm sure I'm generalising a lot here; there are plenty of people who didn't buy The Casual Vacancy, and then there are plenty of people who bought it because the premise did interest them and it was a story they wanted to read. This is something I've seen happen a few times, however, and it's always grated on my nerves.
If you love an author, that's great, but if you read all of their books expecting them to be just like one book/series then you're always going to set yourself up for disappointment, and you're probably hindering the author more than helping them with a negative review.
What are your thoughts?