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I have some questions about Patterson

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    Posted: April/12/2008 at 3:57am
Hi everyone
I have just discovered this forum and this is my first post here.

I want to write a thriller and so I am reading the most famous thriller writers as research. I want to see what it is about them that appeals to so many readers.

I just finished James Pattersonís Jack and Jill and would like to discuss it. I apologize in advance if anything I say offends any fans. My intent is to have a serious, honest discussion, not to step on anyoneís toes.

Well then. I confess I am having a little trouble understanding why Patterson is so successful. I have already read First to Die and I thought it was ok but it didnít enthrall me.

I found Jack and Jill rather slow and heavy-going for the first half of the book. this may be because I donít really like serial killer plots.

I thought the book got really exciting in the last quarter where there were various twists. Well, the twists consisted mainly of the reader being led to believe one person was the killer and then we realize, no itís someone else.

I thought that was pretty well done. However I had some problems overall with this book, namely:

1. The book does not have a satisfying ending. We never find out which powerful person or group was really behind the murder of the President.

2. if your intent is to kill the President, why would you disguise it as the work of a serial killer? By killing various famous people and always repeating the threat that the President will be the ultimate target, you are simply going to put his security on super-alert and make your task that much more difficult.

Whatís the point anyway? As the book said, the conspiracies behind the JFK shooting and others were never fully explained. So you could just shot the Prez and know no one would ever be able to fully explain who was behind it. no need for that elaborate serial killing game.

3. Alex Cross said he felt the killings of the schoolchildren and those of the celebrites were connected in some way. what way? what did I miss? It was different people who committed those 2 different crimes and I donít see what the link was.

So were the killings of the schoolchildren an unconnected subplot? Seems to me the main purpose they served was to bring him together with his romantic interest.

4. the serial killer Jack had an affair with a White House insider so he could get close enough/learn enough to kill the Prez. But it turned out he was anyway married to someone very high up whose idea it all was, so did he really need another woman to help him plan the killings?

I would really appreciate it if anyone here could address my points. I find a book less satisfying when it seems to have holes in it but perhaps Iím being too picky.

I also welcome insights into why Patterson is so loved. I know people say his books are fast paced but I must confess I found Jack and Jill quite slow till the last quarter. In the beginning especially it seemed as if on every second page Alex Cross was musing over how bad he felt about the children whose heads were bashed in, how sick his work made him feel etc.

Thanks!

PS: How do I indicate I would like to be sent an email when there are replies to this post?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WhiteWolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/12/2008 at 6:51am
The Web Wiz Forum software, in its current version (the one the site owner now employs) does not have an option for e-mail notifications that I'm aware of.

I'm sorry, but I've only read a couple of Patterson books more than a few years ago, and I really just did not like either of them. They were formulaic and slimsy, in my opinion. And when I found out that Patterson doesn't even write his own books anymore, and that he actually does have a "formula" that he gives to his ghost writers, I really began to not like the guy.

There are a few people around here that still do read Patterson, namely a fellow named Breezit, but I haven't seen him around in a while. When he comes back I'm sure he'll be happy to pick up the topic with you.

In the meantime, please feel free to browse the Other Authors forum, and maybe you can pick up some discussion or ask questions about some other authors that people are reading.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote crossword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/12/2008 at 7:03am
Thanks, Whitewolf.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote breezit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2008 at 11:11am
I haven't read JACK & JILL, but my understanding is that it's not one of Patterson's best books.

Patterson is easy to read, and his books are usually fast-paced, action-dominated and filled with cliffhangers. I'm not a huge Patterson fan, but I find his books to be enjoyable.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote crossword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2008 at 3:42pm
thanks, breezit. Who would you say the good thriller writers are? Iíve read one Patricia Cornwall but thought that was pretty dull. Patterson is at least more exciting than her.

I like there to be some mystery and twists in thrillers but I found none in her. and not as many as I would like in Patterson. I loved The Jester but then Iím a big fan of historical fiction. That one really was exciting though.

Iím wondering how come thrillers are called that when so many hardly seem thrilling at all. Most readers donít seem to mind that most thrillers arenít really fast paced and donít have much mystery in them.
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