City Paper is not for tourists
Next week marks the publication of Stone Cold, the 14th novel by insanely popular Vienna thriller author (and former People magazine Most Beautiful Person) David Baldacci. It will be the second novel he’s published this year, as well as the 14th novel of his I haven’t read. The copy happened to cross my desk just after I came across this post on Encyclopedia Britannica’s blog (hey, they gotta do something to compete with Wikipedia) poking some fun at genre fiction.
I don’t have a problem with genre fiction per se—-there are plenty of noir novels and Stephen King tomes stacked on my creaking shelves at home. Still, is it too much to ask that genre writers come up with titles that aren’t blatant cliches? Stone Cold may be a wonderful, wonderful book. (It can’t help but be better written than the jacket blurb, which promises a finale “as explosive as it is shattering.” Uh, what’s the difference?) But the title practically screams, “Hi, I’m a bestselling author who’s not even trying anymore!” And it’s not a new problem for Baldacci. Below is a list of book titles; some are Baldacci works, while others are works in the Harlequin NASCAR series of romance novels. Good luck telling which is which.
Full Throttle Absolute Power Total Control The Rookie The Winner Saving Faith Almost Famous Last Man Standing Legends and Lies Danger Zone Back on Track Split Second