Thanks to everyone who took the time to weigh in about the books they have most eagerly anticipated. Lots of diversity and some real surprises to go along with the titles I expected to see.
And yeah, I'm giving suck-up points to both Stephen Parrish and David Cranmer for stroking my ego. I think the three of us men are secure enough for me to use the words suck and stroke in the same sentence.
My curiosity about highly anticipated books stemmed from a conversation about the Harry potter series. And yes Book 7 makes my own personal list. I didn't start reading the series until the hullabaloo surrounding book 4, but once I caught up with the frenzy and finished Goblet of Fire I was already anticipating and speculating about the finale of the series.
I'll just come out and say it. I was disappointed with the actual book. (SPOILER ALERT -- Read no further if you have yet to read the end of the series, but think you might.) All that time in that damn tent and the ease with which Voldemort went down in the end. Matter of fact I can't even recall the exact scene know that how unmemorable it was for me. Seems like some spell bounced off a shield or something. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. And that epilogue. I understand Ms. Rowling didn't want to leave the door open for someone to later pull a Sherlock Holmes and resurrect her characters but the whole thing was a bit too tide for me taste.
Maybe my disappointed stemmed from the fact I was wrong. I always guessed that Harry would remain a tragic hero right to the very end. I didn't necessarily think he'd die, but I thought he would be forever changed in some way. Maybe lose his magical abilities for example. In the end I felt as if Ms. Rowling changed her direction. Gave into pressure and gave the world the Disney-esque happy ending. I recall an earlier interview in which she said, and I'm paraphrasing People will be shocked and quit likely angered by the ending. Frankly there was very little in the ending that could be confused for shocking or angering.
But having said that, I wondered if myself and the entire world had built the series up to the point that there was no way for her to write it that wouldn't be disappointing. Maybe the mere fact the phenomenon was over would have made the ending anti-climactic.
So that got me to thinking ... what other books have I anticipated.
EVENTIDE by Kent Haruf -- I loved PLAINSONG so when I heard about the novel's sequel, EVENTIDE I was stoked. And guess what? Despite my eagerness I liked the sequel even more than the original. Critics didn't give it as high a kudos, but I literally grieved when one of the principal characters died. I felt that last breath leave him and I was saddened by the loss just as if a friend from my real life had died. I didn't just read that highly anticipated sequel I felt it. I can only hope that once again Mr. Haruf takes me to their world with another novel.
Richard Russo is my favorite contemporary author so when Bridge of Sighs came out I was at the bookstore when it opened that morning. And? I wasn't exactly disappointed but his latest novel didn't stack up with my Russo faves. The Risk Pool, Nobody's Fool, or Empire Falls. Now I hear he is working on a sequel to Nobody's Fool and I am salivating at the thought of reading about those characters again. But will the book measure up.
So here's my questions. How have the books you waited on the most measured up? Do you think anticipation puts unfair pressure on an author, or is that kind of eagerness from readers the very thing every writer should hope for? Do you holed a disappoint book against the author or do you easily forgive and get just as excited about their next book?