RURALITY/BLOGS

 

By Eric Poor

I just finished reading Robert B. Parker’s latest western “Revelation” and I have to say I’m absolutely amazed at how prolific this author is, considering he’s been dead for seven years now. His ‘Parker’ novels and westerns just keep on coming. It puts a whole new spin on the term “ghost writer.”

Parker isn’t really writing from beyond the grave, of course. It just seems that way since his name still appears on the books’ covers. In fact his name is almost as big as the title. The actual author’s name is down at the bottom in comparatively small print.

Robert B. Parker isn’t the writer anymore, but he’s the brand and style. And he’s not the only author who refuses to die. Tom Clancy is still churning them out four years after passing on – with the help of a small stable of ghost writers.

It’s an interesting take on the concept of a nom de plume, if a bit schizophrenic.

If he hadn’t died I’m sure Stieg Larsson would have been proud of the success and popularity of his trio of “The Girl …” novels. I bet he’d be super surprised, too, at how he managed to write yet another one after his untimely demise.

The business (that’s the best word I could come up with) of dead-writers-writing-on makes me think about some authors I’d like to read more of. Personally I’d enjoy a bit more from Mark Twain and Elmore Leonard. How about you? Who would you like to see come back to life for just one more book? Hemingway, anyone?