When you’ve read a particular author’s oeuvre (or most of it), do you tend to favor the very first book you read?
I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and I think that in my case, my “first encounter novel” of a particular writer is usually the one I end up liking most.
I wonder if this is true for other people?
Of course it could be that because I liked the first novel I read, I went on to read the writer’s other novels. Rarely have I ventured to read a writer’s other novels after I disliked the first novel I read (Donna Tartt being the exception, which I really regretted).
Some of my “first encounter novel” I’ve read and liked more than the other books by the same writers are:
1. Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice. Though Persuasion is also one of my favorites, even though it’s probably the 3rd or 4th Austen book I’ve read.
2. Haruki Murakami – 1Q84.
3. E.M. Forster – A Room with a View.
4. William Shakespeare – Hamlet.
5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude.
5. Ian Mcewan – Atonement.
6. David Mitchell – The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
7. Laura Esquivel – Like Water for Chocolate.
8. Milan Kundera – The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
9. George Orwell – Animal Farm.
10. Orhan Pamuk – My Name is Red.
There are, however, some cases when my reading experience was better the second time around:
1. Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere. The first Gaiman book I read was American Gods, which I wasn’t crazy about.
2. Kurt Vonnegut – Slapstick. Vonnegut is one of my favorite writers, but his first novel I read, Slaughterhouse-5, was not as enjoyable as his other novels, namely Slapstick and Cat’s Cradle.
3. Kazuo Ishiguro – The Remains of the Day. The first Ishiguro novel I read was Never Let Me Go. The Remains of the Day I only read recently, but I enjoyed it much more than Never Let me Go.
What about you, do you tend to favor your “first encounter novel” of a particular writer?