'Immortal' Author brands

Author of the acclaimed 'Bourne' series, Robert Ludlum died six years ago. Yet books published under the name of the actor-turned-novelist who specialized in thrillers built on a foundation of paranoia continue.

Twelve Ludlum books have been released since his death, with a 13th due out in September. The business is deployed now as a kind of film studio, presenting books completed by others or new ones written using his name. Since early 2006 there have been three alone: “Robert Ludlum’s The Moscow Vector,” the sixth in the “Covert-One” series of paperback originals; “The Bancroft Strategy,” and “Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Betrayal,” by Eric Van Lustbader.

Jeffrey Weiner, the executor of Mr. Ludlum’s estate said that people expected something from a Robert Ludlum book, and if they could publish Ludlum books for the next 50 years and satisfy readers, they would.

Now how would fans react to books not written by the 'master' himself? Considering the fact that quite a few have been written, its safe to assume they have been successful or at least did make a decent sum of money.

I am a fan too. I have read Ludlum's Bourne series and loved it. I have also read one the authors who's published a Ludlum book, Eric Van Lustbader. Again I have enjoyed reading Lustbader's 'originals', 'Miko', 'Shan', 'Ninja'. I still haven't read Lustbader's Ludlum novel. I wonder how its gonna be.

To me what would be fascinating to study is how readers perceive a 'non original' book written by a new author in the name of the original one. Would this 'non originality' affect the way they enjoy the book? Would it influence their opinion? Or will they objectively evaluate every book on its merit?

Somehow, I feel, readers would be affected, albeit slightly, some even more. Its difficult to maintain objectivity in such cases. The 'original' is always the 'better' one, even if 'reality' is otherwise. Remember the 'New Coke' disaster. The original was brought back in spite of the fact, that a blind test would prove, consumers would never detect the difference!
Story Ref : NY Times
Pic : www.tricity.wsu.edu


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