04 Dec He Said, She Said—We Said, Yes Please
Do you find it interesting how a popular book can often inspire so many copycat books?
“Copycat” has a negative connotation for the most part, but I’m not meaning it in an entirely negative way. I’m just not sure how else to explain it and copycat sounds better than saying a “knock-off” IMO.
In recent years the books that have inspired many copycats are The Twilight series, The Fifty Shades books, and of course, post apocalyptic books. Although this last one definitely has more room for ingenuity and originality than the latter two—again, IMO.
Whenever I come across a vampire book, I always think, “oh another Twilight book,” that is projecting negative thinking on to vampire-based books simply because I wasn’t a fan of the Twilight books.
On the flip-side, I come across a post-apocalyptic book and will grab it and read the back. My experience with those types of books has been far more positive.
Several post-apocalyptic books that I have enjoyed are:
1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
2. California by Edan Lepucki
3. Severance by Ling Ma
4. Run by Blake Crouch
5. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I guess from an author’s standpoint you need to judge whether or not another author’s coattails are truly worth riding. Either from a monetary and/or quality standpoint. I do think a copycat novel can be good, even great. An author simply runs the risk of a potential reader judging their book on another recent book or one from a similar genre. Does that make sense?
The genre as of late, which comes to mind most , (meaning I have read many of them, and there are tons more out there) is that of:
The He Said/She Said genre, made quite popular with the publication of:
But—my dear bookworms, this genre has been DONE.TO.DEATH !
I have read many of these types of books and I’m sure many of you have as well. Do you recognize any of the above covers?
There is something so riveting regarding the private life of a husband and a wife. We all want to be that nosy “fly on the wall,” at least while reading these books. And when one of these books uses the technique of switching back and forth between the two narratives/perspectives, it gives us our guilty pleasure.
We, as readers are largely responsible for copycat novels. Authors more often than not gauge audience interests when determining what types of books will be popular.
When a genre become so saturated, it either eventually falls flat for awhile
the ante is upped quite a bit. Meaning, someone is going to produce a book within this genre that truly stands above and alone.
As you’ve seen from this post, the whole copycat thing is nothing new. In fact, within the He Said/She Said genre, the book Tony and Susan by Austin Wright far proceeded Gone Girl, coming out in 1993. Interestingly enough, Wright passed away in 2003, relatively unknown. This was before (even though T&S had been published ten years prior) he saw any major success from T&S. The year after it was published, it was considered the Warner’s lead paperback fiction, but despite this it was still considered not as successful because it was deemed too literary for its mass market publication at that time. Twenty years after its original publication, it was turned in to a major motion picture Nocturnal Animals.
Below is the Amazon synopsis:
• Fifteen years ago, Susan Morrow left her first husband, Edward Sheffield, an unpublished writer. Now, she’s enduring middle class suburbia as a doctor’s wife, when out of the blue she receives a package containing the manuscript of her ex-husband’s first novel. He writes asking her to read the book; she was always his best critic, he says.
As Susan reads, she is drawn into the fictional life of Tony Hastings, a math professor driving his family to their summer house in Maine. And as we read with her, we too become lost in Sheffield’s thriller. As the Hastings’ ordinary, civilized lives are disastrously, violently sent off course, Susan is plunged back into the past, forced to confront the darkness that inhabits her, and driven to name the fear that gnaws at her future and will change her life.
TONY AND SUSAN is a dazzling, eerie, riveting novel about fear and regret, blood and revenge, marriage and creativity. It is simply one of a kind •
Do you like that last line? Is Tony and Susan truly one of a kind? On Goodreads it has a mix of reviews from liking to hating it, but that’s the same for all books, more or less. Read it and YOU be the judge.
“What she remembers now is not so much happiness as places where happiness occurred. Happiness was intangible, place made it visible.” —Austin Wright, Tony and Susan