Booking Through Thursday: Jumping the Shark

If you read series, do you ever find a series “jumping the shark?” How do you feel about that?

And, do you keep reading anyway?

I have to say, I don’t encounter this particular phenomenon in books as much as I do in television (I stopped watching House and Heroes for this reason). Authors, especially authors sitting on a well-received book series, don’t have that same sort of desire to desperately grab an audience; their audience, they and their production teams reason, is loyal and built-in. I have to say, though, that I don’t often pursue the open-ended series that might be tempted to jump the shark; I prefer a series with an end in mind.

That being said, I think Breaking Dawn, the last installment in the much-reviled Twilight series, is the only piece of shark-jumping I’ve encountered so far. But it didn’t just jump the shark, it played jump rope with it, and I was delighted by how the series collapsed in on itself and revealed its true colors (complete wish fulfillment, with added werewolf pedophilia). I’m actually, when I can get some time, writing a paper on the series. Usually, however, if a book appears to have jumped the shark, I’ll finish that book and then drop the series.

15 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Jumping the Shark

  1. Agreed 100% about Breaking Dawn. The very definition of jumping the shark! I still am a fan of the series. By fan I mean “I dig it” but not “I think about it in great depth and defend it till the end”…because I fully recognize that if I ever gave it some serious thought, I’d realize I actually hated it. 🙂

    • Twilight is a deconstructionist’s dream, with all its cracks and contradictions. It’s quite fun to poke some serious holes in. (And horrify people. A girl in class today told us to stop regaling the professor about the birthing scene before she threw up.)

  2. Thanks to Stephanie Meyer, I am now short a few brain cells. The writing was so awful but for some reason I kept reading; mostly because I found them funny. Just bad. So bad.

  3. I’ve stopped reading anything by Laurell K. Hamilton because nothing ever seemed to happen apart from more and more weird sex… Boring.

    Would like to read your paper on the Twilight series though.

    • My Sunday Salon this week is on how to properly write a series; formulas have nothing to do with that.

      And thanks! It’ll be fun to write, but I need to check out the entire series from my college library (of course my women’s college has all of them).

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