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Somethings I've been wondering about...

 
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Mingqi



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 396

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Somethings I've been wondering about... Reply with quote

If a woman had written what Nicholas Sparks wrote (Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, Nights in Rodanthe), would she have become as famous? I know that his books are more inspirational romance with strong Christian themes, but what a lot of women love about his books is because they're *sigh* oh-so-romantic: do you think his books will encourage non-romance-reading women to check out romance novels or will they just stick to his books because they're more 'socially acceptable'? It just seems to me that I've bumped into a few women who seem to think that he's the only writer of romantic stories and don't seem to realize that there is a whole genre devoted to romance.

I tried reading Walk to Remember and had to skim through half of it because I had found the writing, dry and the characters 2-dimensional. But then that's my opinion.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Somethings I've been wondering about... Reply with quote

do you think his books will encourage non-romance-reading women to check out romance novels or will they just stick to his books because they're more 'socially acceptable'? It just seems to me that I've bumped into a few women who seem to think that he's the only writer of romantic stories and don't seem to realize that there is a whole genre devoted to romance.

I tried reading Walk to Remember and had to skim through half of it because I had found the writing, dry and the characters 2-dimensional. But then that's my opinion.[/quote]



Well, I think you've hit on something. As for Sparks, I enjoyed the Notebook and The Rescue, but that's about it. His books aren't interesting enough for me to read it just for the romance, when I've got a whole genre to explore, because I realize there are so many really good romance novels to choose from. I think many think they are reading romance when they read Sparks and turn their nose up at anything down the "romance" aisle of the bookstore or library. It's like there is chocolate...Hersheys (Sparks) Sure, you can stop there, but there is also Dove, Ghirardelli and Godiva (the romance genre). You know what I mean??
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Amanda



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 289
Location: the midwest

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good observation. I've only read The Notebook from him and it's one of the few times I've enjoyed the movie version better than the book. I thought the book should have had great depth, but was somehow lacking while the movie was beautifully put together and intensly emotional.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+IHS+

Minqi wrote:
If a woman had written what Nicholas Sparks wrote (Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, Nights in Rodanthe), would she have become as famous?


I think we have a bit of a Catch-22 there. I agree that much of Sparks' appeal to his readers is that he is a man--a good-looking family man, to boot--and if he had published the books under a woman's name they wouldn't have gotten half as much attention.

A similar case is Fr. Andrew Greeley, who writes books that are a strange, strong blend of Thriller and Romance and whose readers are mostly women. (Those closest to mainstream Romance, I suppose, would be his Irish series with Nuala Anne McGrail. She and her husband are like a Chicago Irish, strongly fey Eve and Roark.) Would his books have sold half as well if a layman had written them? I doubt it very much.

On the other hand, there's also a chance that Sparks offers insight into romance that one usually wouldn't get from a woman writer. So if a woman had written, say, The Notebook, it would be a vastly different book anyway. No comparison possible. Confused
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Charlotte McClain



Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 396
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Sparks Reply with quote

I think some of the appeal might be coming from the fact that he's not shelved in romance or inspirational. There are a lot of readers who crave romance, but are afraid to be seen reading it.

On that note, I'm thinking of changing my name. What do you think of Charles?
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Sparks Reply with quote

A related question:

What about Leigh Greenwood? He's a man who is shelved in Romance and is proud of it. He even served two years as president of RWA, if I'm not mistaken. He could get as much good PR as Sparks, but he is either lying low or not capturing the mass market's imagination.

I think he's a better writer than Sparks. He certainly has more charm. Though he's no prose stylist, his writing is like Southern homecooking: warm and comforting.
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Charlotte McClain



Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 396
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind that Nicholas Sparks started out vanity published. He's a salesman. Much of the attention he's gain has been because he's gone out hunting for it. There are probably hundreds of better writers, but they are busy writing instead of pursuing publicity. We all have the same number of hours in the day. He chooses to use his selling his books. I choose to use mine writing more. Financially, he's doing a lot better than me, but I'm happy with my choice.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Sparks is awful. I thought Message in a Bottle was both unrealistic and contemptuous of his readers.

I do not know if I've ever read a Greenwood or not.
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becky d



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Baton Rouge

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: totally agree - Sparks Reply with quote

I agree with most of what was said in this posting; there have been no "sparks" for me either in his novels nor in the film versions.

They seem too easy, too mild, almost like watching a simple TV movie. In the book where they had the father with Aspergers, some of what he depicted was correct and some was not... I find it difficult to read Sparks due to his simlistic writing style and boring plots (not many twists, not much depth, as another said).

Thank you, Posters, for validating my feelings!
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