Lists, Miscellanea, Reviews

One Too Many: A Top Ten List

I have issues with sequels and series. You might be thinking “what don’t you have issues with?”, but I hope you’re not. If you were wondering, I don’t have issues with salted caramel, people who like to read, or the month of October – I love all of those things. I do, as I said, have issues with series. I don’t like them. I don’t like the wait time between books and I really don’t like ridiculous cliffhangers. So I’m altering this week’s prompt a bit (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). Instead of only including books I wish would’ve had sequels, I’m going to list books that did not need to continue (in either sequel or series form) and books that I would’ve enjoyed seeing more of. In no particular order:

Jaws 2

How I feel about sequels.

Six books where plus one is one too many (the phrase ‘one too many’ always makes me think of this song):

10. Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis. This novel continued the story started in Less Than Zero. I like Less Than Zero, it is my second favorite Easton Ellis novel after Rules of Attraction. So…Imperial Bedrooms. I like the introduction. I like that the voice is easily identifiable. I like the self-references Easton Ellis weaves in. The rest didn’t exactly work for me.

9. The Southern Vampire Mystery Series. The series needed to finish by book ten. Coincidentally, that’s when I stopped reading it. However, I did Google spoilers for the finale, so I am all up to date on the love life of Sookie Stackhouse. Where True Blood plans to take the series I have no idea…

8. The Alex Cross Series by James Patterson. One could argue that one is one too many Alex Cross books. However, I didn’t mind the first couple of books. In particular I thought Kiss the Girls was fair enough, I enjoy books set in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I was *thisclose* to going to graduate school there. However, the later novels are truly terrible. And don’t get me started on the casting of Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross for the movie adaptation. Did no one mention to the casting director that Alex was supposed to be in his 30’s?

7. The appendix A Room Without a View by E. M. Forster. It’s always a bad sign when I have nothing to say. I suppose my defeated sign speaks for me.

6. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. I like Jean Rhys. I love Jane Eyre. And granted, Wide Sargasso Sea is more of a prequel. However, given my adoration for Jane Eyre, it’s hard for me to watch my favorite romantic hero – Edward Fairfax Rochester – essentially turn into a villain. It didn’t work for me and it took me nearly a month to get through this particular book.

5. The Regulators by Richard Bachman. This was a companion novel to Desperation by Stephen King. The characters exist in a parallel universe. Unfortunately, The Regulators isn’t nearly as strong as Desperation. Still (not surprisingly), I own it. In hardcover.

Four that could use a sequel:

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. While Wide Sargasso Sea didn’t work for me, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to read another novel set in Jane’s world. I think Jane Eyre ended perfectly, so a sequel would likely ruin it. Still…

3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I did not love the ending of the novel. Since Gaiman is already writing the sequel to American Gods, I’m cheating a bit, but that doesn’t make me any less likely to include it given the way I feel.

2. The Shining by Stephen King. I’m cheating again because Doctor Sleep releases next month. I’m looking forward to an update on Danny. I’d also appreciate an update on Kyra and Mike from Bag of Bones.

1. I’ve got…nothing. As I said, I don’t typically like sequels. Even my inclusion of Jane Eyre is questionable. You should never ruin a good thing. See Jaws 2, American Psycho 2, Wrong Turn 2, Exorcist 2, Wall Street 2, The Ring 2 (I quite liked about 90% of The Ring), The Matrix 3 (Revolutions), AND Batman and Robin.

Bonus: I’m curious about the graphic novel sequel to Fight Club that Chuck Palahniuk has planned.

Which book do you think should have a sequel? Which sequel should never have happened? I’m willing to accept book or movie for the latter question. Because, frankly, you can play the ‘never should have happened’ movie sequel game all day.

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  • http://www.bookishlyboisterous.blogspot.com Christine @ BookishlyB

    I liked Wide Saragasso Sea, but I think you’re definitely right about it tainting his character. We are definitely one the same track with our issues with sequels. They just so often seem gimmicky.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      If I had read Wide Sargasso Sea without having read (and loved) Jane Eyre, I think I would’ve liked it more. I really do enjoy Jean Rhys’s writing.

      Sequels. I feel like they are a ploy to make more money. Occasionally I actually do believe that authors wanted to continue the story, but this feeling is few and far between.

  • riverand

    Nice spin on the list. It probably would have been easier to go that way.

    One thing I have been finding is that Neil Gaiman is ending up on a lot of our “wish they were sequels” list!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      It would have, I could think of ten that shouldn’t of had a sequel no problem. It was challenging for me to even come up with three, though I am looking forward to the American Gods sequel. I’m also looking forward to HBO’s (?) adaptation of it – they’ve done such a nice job with Game of Thrones, it gives me hope.

  • http://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wordpress.com booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Totally agree about Imperial Bedrooms – am still recovering from the last few chapters of that book. Did not like it one bit.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I liked parts, but as a whole…no. Not his best effort. I am curious about Bret Easton Ellis, I occasionally feel like he has certain opinions just to be contrary and get a reaction.

  • http://thereadingdate.com Lucy

    The Shining is definitely sequel worthy! Looking forward to checking out Doctor Sleep. And yes the Southern Vampire series needed to end long ago. I made it to book #11 :)

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Someday, if I am really bored and have no books on my TBR list, I am going to finish that series. It just became clear to me where she was headed and I did not like it one bit. That being said, I’m glad everyone’s happy, but why drag it out 13 books just to get there.

  • http://picturemereading.wordpress.com/ picturemereading

    Totally agree on Room With A View and WWS!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I knew I could count on you for Wide Sargasso Sea agreement. Antoinette/Bertha being the victim (and Edward the villain) just didn’t work for me.

  • Daphne

    i definitely agree with Alex Cross. I read a lot of them and just got burned out, despite the action and (the real pull for me) super short chapters. i didn’t know King was releasing a book updating Danny, I might have to reread the shining just for that.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      It didn’t seem like he was even writing them anymore (and rumor has it he wasn’t).

      I’m excited for Doctor Sleep, but also insanely curious where King is going to take the story. There’s a book trailer out there that I’m going to have to hunt done. Maybe it has clues…

  • http://cheapthrillsbookblog.wordpress.com Charleen

    As far as movies go… any direct-to-video sequel ever. (I feel like this is cheating, but I’m drawing a blank on “legitimate” sequels.)

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Wall Street 2, Blair Witch Project 2, Spiderman 3, etc. There are a bunch. The bigger question is, when I so thoroughly hate them, why am I watching them?

      But agreed, any direct to DVD sequel is not good (i.e. Wrong Turn 3).

  • http://musingsonfantasia.blogspot.com Liesel Hill

    Jane Eyre made my list as well, but I agree that many sequels have a negative effect. They aren’t books, but I generally HATE Disney sequels. You know when they do Aladdin 2, Cinderella 2, Lion King 2, etc? They always suck and often ruin the ending of the original. I feel ya. 😀

    My TTT

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Cars 2 was awful. It was like the Mater show. I don’t even know why I watched it! And yet I did…

      The original Cars was cute. And I agree, all of those you listed suck.

  • http://btweenthecovers.com/ Heather

    I’m a non-sequel type, too. If the original book was meant as a standalone, and the sequel came as a second-thought, it’s bound to be terrible.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      It is! And it can ruin what was wonderful about the original (this, in particular, is why I don’t like Wide Sargasso Sea).

      Planned series can be good, I just hate the ‘life hanging in the balance’ cliffhanger. I don’t want to wonder for a year if someone died.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Even though, I should add, if it’s a series where the protagonist’s life hangs in the balance, you know they are not going to die because that would mean the end of the series (and end of the money). I need to stop now, I sound SO cynical (and I’m not normally).

      • http://btweenthecovers.com/ Heather

        Hahaha! No, I get exactly what you’re saying. This is the very reason why I refuse to read The Song of Ice and Fire series until Martin finishes it. I saw what my husband went through and I just refuse. Heh.

        • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

          I’ve been reading the appropriate book right before the season starts on HBO. That way I know what’s going to happen and I’m not blindsided like I was when I watched season one unprepared. At the rate GRRM is producing books, we’ll be lucky if he’s even able to finish the series in his lifetime.

          I don’t like when other writers finish series for the original author (as in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or The Godfather series).

          • http://btweenthecovers.com/ Heather

            Yes, I also don’t like other people finishing series. I haven’t read beyond Mostly Harmless (which I liked), and I refuse to read any more of the Dune series beyond the sixth one.

  • http://wordsforworms.wordpress.com Words for Worms

    Agreed on the Southern Vampire Mysteries. The last few books felt forced and weird. I was happy she wrapped it up the way she did, but it could have come a couple of books earlier.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      If she had wrapped it up with giving Sookie a HEA, I think the whole Sookie loving world would have hunted her down. At any rate, 10 books would have been plenty. I think that was the original plan, so why didn’t she stick with it? This is when I worry that author are ONLY in it for the money. It’s okay to do it partly for that, but wholly…I’m not going to read those books.

  • http://mylittleheartmelodies.com kristinshafel

    I’m with you—not really into series and sequels in general. Especially with movies now, it just seems like a way to generate more revenue by rehashing the same old bits. Eh.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I hate that if a movie makes a certain amount on opening weekend, it qualifies for a sequel. It’s how we end up with atrocities like G.I. Joe 2. G.I. Joe, despite being absolute rubbish, made enough money to warrant a sequel.

      And the Scary Movie franchise – okay, it was sort of funny the first few times, but then enough already.

  • http://loveatfirstbook.com RebeccaScaglione – Love at First Book

    First of all I LOVE your spin. Seriously, it’s awesome.

    You are stumping me. I’m sitting in Dunkin Donuts trying to brainstorm sequels I disliked. I haven’t read any of those sequels, and half of them I didn’t even know HAD sequels. Although there are a few books that I refuse to read the sequels to. But seriously. . . I’m stumped.

    And as a side note, the movies Fast & Furious (sorry I know it’s not bookish but what number are we on now with those? 79???)

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Thanks!

      I don’t know how many Fast & Furious movies they are, I do know that I refused to see anymore after Tokyo Drift and that was years ago – so A LOT. I’d also like to throw out there: however many Die Hards are out there (4 maybe?), Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (why ruin a decent trilogy?), anything after the original Mad Max, The Last Exorcism Part 2, etc.

      I’m particularly fond of The Last Exorcism Part II. The Last Exorcism implies…last. But I guess not…?

      • http://loveatfirstbook.com RebeccaScaglione – Love at First Book

        My husband watched the last F&F and honestly, I have no clue how many there are. Are we on 5? 7? 104? Not a clue.

        You’re soo right about Die Hard! Are we on #89? How many times do we need to see Bruce single-handedly beat up 10 people at once?

        • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

          And at what point does it get just a tad bit unrealistic (just a tad, mind you)?

          I love Bruce as much as the next person (and had a massive crush on him as a teenager, despite his being older than my father), but things need to slow done in the combat department post-50.

  • http://princess-paperback.blogspot.com.au Angelica @ Paperback Princess

    I totally agree with you with Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, I absolutely loved this series but it really needs to wrap up, because readers get a bad taste in their mouths when the series just keeps going on and on without any direction but the fact that they want to make more money out of the series :(

    My TTT

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Exactly. I’m also curious to see where True Blood heads. What’s the point of adapting a show from a book series if you hardly follow any of the series?

  • http://quinnsbooknook.wordpress.com Quinn

    Ooo, I’m feeling the Stephanie Plum books are a bit much now. I love the earlier ones. They are just so much fun. But Evanovich is up to 19 now. 19!!!

  • http://froodianpseudoanalysis.wordpress.com DrFrood

    I’d love to see a sequel to Con Air. Maybe a father daughter team-up in which Nic Cage teaches his kid proper mullet maintenance and how to take on a plane full of criminals with nothing more than a fluffy bunny rabbit and a hokey accent.

    Call it Con Heir.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      You know, and it probably says something unflattering about my movie watching character, I’ve seen Con Air more than once. “Just put the bunny back in the box” makes me laugh every time.

      So I’d watch Con Heir. I probably like that title more than I should. Someone would have to promise me there’d be accents though.

      • http://froodianpseudoanalysis.wordpress.com DrFrood

        Con Air is without a doubt one of the finest films ever made. And I’d be prepared to defend that point of view in a boring, rambling 1000-word essay that no one reads if needs be…

        It can’t be a guilty pleasure if it’s just good.

        • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

          I have some doubts, but only a few. And I’d read the essay, but I’m not sure I count (as I already agree, to a point).

          Guilty pleasures are decidedly less fun if there’s no guilt involved. It’d take all the shame pleasure out of admitting that I love the shows Haven and Being Human (the American version) if they were any good…

  • http://sarahsaysread.com Sarah Says Read

    Although I didn’t continue with either, I can totally see how the Sookie Stackhouse & Alex Cross series both went on too long. I’m pretty sure James Patterson was just trying to make all the money he possibly could off of one character.

    Generally, I’m with ya. There are just too many sequels, and a sequel would probably be bad for most good stand alone novels.

  • http://twitter.com/missbonnie13 Bonnie (@missbonnie13)

    Mmm… salted caramel.
    Those Sookie books really did need to end much earlier. I still haven’t read the first last one because I haven’t felt particularly hateful towards myself lately.
    Yeah, I should really get around to reading Jane Eyre one of these days. And American Gods. But I have read The Shining so I can be excited for Doctor Sleep! The follow-up to Fight Club is going to be a graphic novel?? hmm… Will need to mull that over.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I have no complaints about salted caramel. None.

      As for the Sookie books, my masochistic tendencies have been at bay recently (reason unknown), so I’ve missed the last three books. Life has gone on nicely without them. True Blood has a hand in my loathing…

      Jane Eyre is a must. I identified so strongly with Jane when I was younger (‘poor, obscure, plain, and little’) that the novel will forever stay with me, though now my appreciation is more from a literary standpoint. Fun fact: Bronte didn’t like Austen’s novels at all.

      American Gods is a must as well. It’s imaginative and has passages that border on brilliant.

      SK. I’m always excited. I’m also thankful he hasn’t written a shit novel in years, because I’d read it anyway (and I don’t really like punishing myself).

  • http://www.bkclubcare.wordpress.com Care

    I was under the assumption that Anansi Boys was a sequel to Am Gods? Or maybe just has some of the same characters?

    And I rarely read sequels. Can’t think of any books that I might like more, but some might come to me later.

  • annabelsmith

    I must admit, I do hate waiting for sequels. I am currently hanging out for the final part of Atwood’s Madaddam trilogy, and also Justin Cronin’s The Passage Trilogy. When they come out I feel like I have to re-read the first 2 books in the series first, to refresh my memory.

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