1. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England

    Read all their Works?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Lemex, Apr 4, 2014.

    Who are the writers you have read everything published by, or essentially everything?

    I must admit, I like to try to read all of a writer's output. Or as much of it as I can. I guess this is my collector-nerd side coming out (long repressed, in a cage inside me, being poked by a hideous monster) so to name a few I have read:

    -every known work H.P. Lovecraft ever published.
    -all of Virgil's known output (not including the apocrypha)
    -every poem and most letters by John Keats
    -most of George Orwell, including all his books, essays, letters, and even his diary.

    How about you? I hope I am not the only one who does this!
     
    Graphics solution likes this.
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Nope, not the only.

    For one thing, I find prospecting for good writers frustrating. I get annoyed by all the hacks I encounter in the process. So when I find someone whose writing is fresh and warm, I want to go back and read more. Often, I can even see the evolution of the writer's style from the earliest slightly awkward energy of the breakout pieces to the meandering self-indulgence of the seasoned and overconfident past-prime writer.

    Sometimes I do sour on a writer as a result. I like Heinlein's earlier works more than his later tomes. Asimov remained steadier over the years, but even so, some of his most recent works had a bit more eloquence but less spark. Larry Niven's Known Space stories, earlier in his career, shine far brighter than his work in the pst couple decades, and the original Ringworld remains forever out of reach of the sequels.

    On the other hand, there are writers like Sue Grafton, who always seem to surpass themselves with each new release.
     
  3. outsider
    Offline

    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    609
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Not much of a completist, I'm afraid. I always mean to read more of a writer's work if I've enjoyed something and I do, up till a point, but then get distracted and go off on a different direction. Variety is the spice of life and all that. Even with music, which really was always my first love, there's relatively few artists that I own their entire back catalogue.
     
  4. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I used to do this with science fiction writers when I was a kid. I read all of Arthur C. Clarke up to Rendezvous With Rama, but I think I've skipped everything since. I read all of Heinlein's stuff (except a few of his juvenile things) up to Time Enough for Love. I got more interested in my dad's bookshelf after about 1974 and started being more diverse. Some Steinbeck, most Hemingway, some Burgess, Kipling, Conrad. Eventually I'll get completist about those writers, but probably not many others.
     
  5. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I would say Harper Lee, but she published a bunch of articles back in the 1960s that I don't think I'll ever read. I've read Salinger's only novel and a bunch of his stories, but again, there are a bunch of obscure things of his that I'll probably never read.

    If you think about it, it's really hard to read all the works of a particular writer because not everything is published or made available to the public. In some cases, like with writers who lived thousands of years ago, works have been destroyed and lost to history.
     
  6. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    I have several authors whose books I automatically buy. Like Cogito, I find it really hard to find new writers that I really enjoy, so when I do, I stick with them until they start getting complacent. Luckily, that's only happened a couple of times over the years.
     
  7. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    I'm not sure if it counts, but I've read all of my works. ;)
     
  8. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    David Drake, David Weber, Jim Butcher, Donald Hamilton, Robert Adams, Christopher Stasheff, James White, Andre Norton, Alistair MacLean, Simon Hawke, James P Hogan, H Beam Piper, Richard Kadrey, James H Schmitz, John Ringo, Larry Correia, Allan Cole+Chris Bunch. I'm sure there's more that I've momentarily forgotten. Others I didn't read all their short stories or particular series.
     
  9. Xueqin-II
    Offline

    Xueqin-II Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    24
    Sadly, in my teens I thought I had a thing for Chuck Palahniuk. It was purely situational, as I was indeed an angry young person, far too angry to read anything taxing on the nervous system. Since then I have trailed his books in hopes of finding the same assuaging tones from Fight Club, but with every work I was the more mistaken. At the very least I can say that he had about three books I don't regret reading. The hack to end all hacks nowadays, him.

    It's a good thing I read A Clockwork Orange and To Kill a Mockingbird directly after regaining my full consciousness.
     
  10. peachalulu
    Online

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    If I find a writer whose style I love I'll search down all their works. But I don't necessarily read all. If I can't get into the story, I won't read it just cause so-and-so wrote it. I've got nearly all of Nabokov's works and even read some of his letters and lectures - but I couldn't get into a couple of his earlier books. I forced myself to read some of them just to see how much his writing has changed - however, it felt more like homework.

    Plus, some writers I feel are stuck in a groove saying the same things over and over and so I stop reading them once I've heard all I want from them. I felt this way about Atwood, Dennis Cooper, and Francesca Lia Block.
    I think genre is the easiest to read a writer's entire list because the books ultimately don't have an agenda other than to entertain. If I could find every Ruby Jean Jensen I'd read them all, ditto Joy Fielding.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  11. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    7,299
    Location:
    Scotland
    All of Joe Abercrombie, Margaret Elphinstone, James Welch, AB Guthrie, Mary Stewart (even her final couple of books which weren't a patch on the bulk of her stories) most of Kage Baker, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Fred Gipson (I think) Wayne Johnston, Alastair MacLeod, Robertson Davies, and currently working my way through Richard Wagamese and Terry Pratchett. These are all authors I sit down to with a great deal of confidence because I know I will enjoy what they write. I look forward to more books from these authors who are still alive, and mourn the passing of the ones who aren't - especially those like Kage Baker and James Welch, who went WAY way way too soon.
     
  12. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Hmmm...

    Ernest Hemingway - everything except Across the River and Into the Trees.
    James A. Michener - all of his fiction except The Fires of Spring, The Bridge at Andau and Rascals in Paradise (written with A. Grove Day) and most of his nonfiction
    Leon Uris - everything except Battle Cry
    C. P. Snow - the entire Strangers and Brothers series. As far as I know, he only wrote one other work of fiction (don't recall the name).
    Herman Wouk - everything except Marjorie Morningstar and Youngblood Hawke (currently awaiting me on my book shelf).
    Allen Drury - I read his entire Advise and Consent series, but nothing else (well, I started A God Against the Gods but dozed off before the end of Chapter One).
    Anthony Trollope - all six Palliser novels and Barchester Towers.
    Elizabeth Kostova - both The Historian and The Swan Thieves. I'm enjoying watching her writing style mature.
    James Thurber - pretty much everything he ever published in book form.
    John Jakes - the entire Kent Family Chronicles (for reasons known only to God - at least I learned how not to write historical fiction).
     
    minstrel likes this.
  13. sunsplash
    Offline

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    159
    Location:
    Between the Magic City & the Conch Republic
    If I find an author I really like I'll read most but not always all. Especially if they write more than one series...there are many times I get attached to one but am disconnected from another. Anne Rice, for example. I loved her Mayfair Witches series but only got three books into the Vampire Chronicles one. Elizabeth Peters is an author who supplied my beach reading for many summers but again, I had a series I cared for (Amelia Peabody Emerson) more than some of her other stuff. I'm picky with subjects so if it doesn't sound interesting to me, I generally won't read it (or might try and not finish) no matter who it's by. As for reading anything and everything by someone, it's usually the classics...Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, Plato, Virgil. What started out in school studies spilled into recreation. I have an 1895 copy of Virgil's ├ćneid (not old by collector's standards, but old to me) that I just treasure. I've also read all of Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Poe, and Hemingway.
     
  14. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Do you include the posthumously-published work in this? Hemingway seemed nearly as prolific after his death as before. ;) He said once that he'd published everything he wanted to publish; he didn't want people going through his papers after his death and publishing what they find there, because it wasn't finished to his satisfaction. I know his family and editors took some flack for finishing and publishing some of that posthumous material, especially the last couple of books (True At First Light was the last one, I think - the bottom of the barrel has been scraped clean).

    But I did enjoy A Moveable Feast.
     
  15. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    No, I didn't. Good point.
     
  16. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    If we're not including works published posthumously, then I've read most (perhaps even all) of Kafka's works.
     
  17. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I don't know if we are, I'm just saying I didn't. :oops:
     
  18. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Why not that novel? Sure it wasn't very good, but still.
     
  19. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Just haven't gotten to it.
     
  20. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    @Lemex I'm currently struggling with the Unknown Kadath - leaving me only with the bulk of H.P.'s poetry that I'll skip for now :)

    Completed bibliographies...hm...
    . Most of Dostoyevsky (except for all those letters, journals, articles etc)
    . Most of Tolstoy (except for a couple of his later short stories, and plays - nobody reads Leo's plays)
    . Kafka - 100% (just about everything - there isn't that much of it, unfortunately :( )
    . Asimov (my teen love)
    . Most of Gene Wolfe (can't get my hands on his first and his last two novels - nobody reads him, btw)
    . Ian McEwan (for no other reason than a lazy summer and my local library having his complete bibliography)
    . do "ancients" count? I think that I've read most of the surviving A.Greek poetry and drama (including the Cyclops, yay!), at least everything translated; and Catullus, we learned his carminae by heart on the faculty...though I was never a completionist of other Latin poets...
    . do poets count? :)
    . Ivo Andric (if you know who he is - you know why)
    And a couple of guys I guess nobody here ever heard of:
    Milos Crnjanski
    Borislav Pekic
    Mesa Selimovic
    Dobrica Cosic
    :)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  21. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I assume you mean just his fiction. The man wrote 500 books, and some of them were pretty darn large! I would have been willing to bet that nobody (except Isaac himself, obviously) had ever read everything he wrote!
     
    Burlbird likes this.
  22. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I tried to read all of Graham Greene when I was younger. Never did read them all.
     
  23. Selbbin
    Offline

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,234
    Likes Received:
    1,804
    Location:
    Australia
    Eek. I was trying to think of someone but even the Author's I like I rarely end up reading even one of their books entirely. Normally I take in a few chapters and I'm done. I read a few of Bill Bryson's books to the end while I was on a long distance walk, but not even close to all of them and I wouldn't read anymore now. My favorite Author is Bukowski, and I've read Women, Ham on Rye, and Factotum. But that's all.
     
  24. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    @minstrel you're right, of course - his bibliography is mind-boggling. It's been awhile since I've read any of his stuff (oh well, second decade closes :p)
     
  25. McConnaughay
    Offline

    McConnaughay New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am currently in the process of reading all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work. It's a long process, but I have everything that he ever did for Sherlock, and I am working on getting everything else besides that.
     

Share This Page