"You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing." --Chris F. Holm, author of The Big Reap, The Wrong Goodbye and Dead Harvest.

"Bagley's got the poet's eye, but that doesn't mean everything is prettier in his work. It means the ugly stuff is more vivid. More intense. Like a sudden switch from analog to HD. And that's a trait to very much admire in his work." --Anthony Neil Smith, author of Hogdoggin', Yellow Medicine, The Drummer and Psychosomatic.




Thursday, July 30, 2009

Late to the Party

This is probably a strange admission, coming as it does from a writer of crime fiction, but I've just started reading my first Michael Connelly novel. I hear you out there: Are you nuts, Bagley? How can you NOT have read Michael Connelly before now?

Easy. I've always hated going along with the crowd, whether we're talking about politics, religion or books. Another reason I avoid the big bestsellers is that they're often overrated. I'll admit I'd long dismissed Connelly as just another guy who wrote serial-killer stories. But I recently read a fascinating interview with him in Craig McDonald's Art in the Blood. I began to think that maybe I've been missing out on something good by avoiding Connelly's novels.

I'm only about a third of the way through Echo Park. It's the twelfth book in the Harry Bosch series--my local library doesn't have the earliest installments. So far, I've been pleasantly surprised. Connelly's prose is terse, his characters well-drawn. On top of that, the man has something to say.

What about you? Are there any "must-read" authors you avoided, only to discover that you liked them? 'Fess up now...

3 comments:

Kieran Shea said...

OK. I admitted this last month. Lansdale. There, I said it. Naturally, I buzz-sawed through everything.

Scott Parker said...

That's ironic timing: I have my first Lansdale novel on hold from the library, too. My wife just finished reading Bosch #1: The Black Echo. She didn't like it. I do like Bosch. I've read Echo Park, The Narrows, and The Overlook. Haven't got to Scarecrow yet.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I haven't read Connelly either. I don't know why. I hate coming in the middle and I hate going back to the start. My son loves him and is always chastising me. There's others too, spend too much time on the lit stuff.