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Authors You Used to Love, But No Longer Read

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I'm always on the look out for new series to read, the more books, the happier I am, but sometimes an author whose books I used to love writes one so badly, or continues a series past the point it should be over, & I end up hating them. The first two I can think of are Anne Perry & Christine Feehan.

 

I loved Anne Perry's murder mysteries (just as an fyi, Anne Perry is an actual murderer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Perry) but after a while I just got tired of every book having some kind of violence against women in it. I can't remember which book it was, but the final straw was when a mother in law character who had been in a number of books suddenly came out with an abuse backstory. It felt like Perry just pulled that out of nowhere, & I gave up on her.

 

The other author I finally just got tired of is Christine Feehan. She writes a number of series, but the one that had me hooked was the Dark series about the Carpathians. So far it has 26 books in it, & #26 was the one that made me throw in the towel. She invented a whole world for her characters, including their own language, which normally is great, but she just doesn't know when to stop. Books that used to be full of plot are now filled with stupid chants in the other language (including translations) & a new "traditions" that was just made up for the book. I think the author fell so in love with her creations that she forgets to write a good story & only cares about showing the Carpathian way of life. I finally got sick of it & carted all the books to the used book store.

 

I have a few more authors that are on the bubble right now, I may be adding their names to the list in the near future.

 

 

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Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

 

I can't say I've completely given up on them - just got the newest from the library - but I used to buy their new releases as soon as they came out.  They had created a really interesting character in FBI Special Agent Pendergast and then made the mistake of using him way too much, explaining most of the interesting and mysterious things about him and giving him ridiculous powers.  Plus whenever he sits down he's described as "throwing one leg over the other"; a phrase that's repeated so much in every book with the character that I think they must be trolling the audience.  The authors killed off a fun character because IIRC, the audience wanted it?  What?  And now we are stuck with the truly contrived and awful character of Constance, who is naturally brilliant and perfect at everything, and Corrie, who is so pathetically contrived yet we are supposed to root for her when she uses property destruction and threats to make a false accusation of molestation to get what she wants.  Of course if you are rich in their books, you are automatically evil as well.  

 

I'm giving the new one a chance (even though it has Pendergast, reviews indicate he isn't overly featured) because I've skipped the few before it, the authors do come up with interesting ideas for their plots and mysteries; their individual novels are mostly enjoyable.  The excitement is long gone though.

Edited by raven

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Laurell K. Hamilton. I've felt a loyalty towards her for being my entry into the urban fantasy genre, which I know love. and she used to write well. But, I can't any more with Anita magical hoohah (guys - it's worse than Lana Lang's and Elena Gilbert's combined!!). I stuck with her when her books were basically sex scenes interspersed with introspection on how she was wronged and out of character demonstrations of that wronging arising from their jealousy? But I read the blurb of the new one that she's got coming out -and she's messing with the only good relationship she has and I'm done. 

 

I'm also out of Merry Gentry - her other series. Did not wait for years for the next installment for her to come out and

kill of the only example of a good ruler they had - I'm guessing because LKH couldn't stand for Merry not to be the best ruler available. Done done done done done.

 

I'm tired of Christine Feehan as well, but she hasn't pissed me off yet so I'm sure I'll pick one up when I'm running really short of books to read. 

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Stephen King -- loyal fan for many years, and then Under the Dome happened.  He'd been hit and miss for awhile, but UTD was the last straw. 

 

Dan Simmons -- until Black Hills.  The padding wasn't so bad (the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge) -- it was the Penthouse-style letters and sex scenes between Custer and his wife.  History tells us they were a love match, but would she really give him a blow job in some bushes while his soldiers were nearby?  I don't think so.

 

David L. Martin -- I've forgotten the title of the book that made me quit him -- something involving Native Americans.  Rushmore, maybe?  Anyway, Martin wrote this like he's the first person EVER to notice that Native Americans were treated badly. 

 

Robert McCammon -- his historical series is even more padded than King's books.  Take out the scenes where someone walks from one room to another and you'd have a pamphlet.

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Dan Simmons -- until Black Hills.  The padding wasn't so bad (the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge) -- it was the Penthouse-style letters and sex scenes between Custer and his wife.  History tells us they were a love match, but would she really give him a blow job in some bushes while his soldiers were nearby?  I don't think so.

 

 

Never even heard of this author, but your description makes this sound like a really interesting book LOL

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GaT, I probably would have appreciated it twenty years ago, but I've developed an aversion to sex scenes.  Getting old sucks.  :-)  There's very little sex in Simmons' other novels.

 

Simmons was one of the "big three" in horror in the 70's and 80's, along with King and McCammon.  Or maybe the big four, if we include Peter Straub.  Simmons' early books are quite good, if you like supernatural.

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Gat, get out o my head regarding Anne Perry! I was really enjoying both of her series. But after I read what she & her friend did, I stopped reading her books. What an absolute vile person she is! She has no moral compass.

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Gat, get out o my head regarding Anne Perry! I was really enjoying both of her series. But after I read what she & her friend did, I stopped reading her books. What an absolute vile person she is! She has no moral compass.

Did you ever see the movie about her & her friend, Heavenly Creatures? Kate Winslet, in her movie debut, plays her.

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I was done with Dan Simmons the moment I found out about his horrific anti-Muslim views in the wake of 9/11. The only book of his I've read is Hyperion and it's going to stay that way despite the cliffhanger.

 

I really liked Harry Turtledove for a while, until I read enough of his stuff to notice his constant use of a few particular phrases, which just made it impossible to take seriously. Most of all "as if to punctuate what was just said."

 

On the subject of Heavenly Creatures, Perry/Juliet Hume had actually managed to hide her past for several decades, until that movie's popularity launched a campaign to discover what had become of the girls. It's particularly fun reading the "about the author" sections of her books, which are quite suspicious in their refusal to say anything except the other books she's written.

Edited by Eegah

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Danielle Steele. Loved some of her earlier books and still re-read them. I gave up when she not only started recycling plots but (and I'm sure if I'm going to say this in a way that makes sense) she started to repeat herself every other page.

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Stephen King for me. When I was in high school you'd be hard pressed to not find me with one of his books in my hand. It wasn't so much his stories, but his style of writing that kept me hooked. Whenever his latest work was published I'd buy it right away. But right after Everything's Eventual I completely lost interest and haven't read any book of his since, unless I reread some of his earlier stuff. 

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Not sure if this counts because he's passed away, but State of Fear really soured me on Michael Crichton, especially in the way he backed his anti-climate change position with a lot of supposed scientific facts and figures that he'd cherry-picked or purposely interpreted incorrectly to back up his point (in other words, he did exactly what he'd accused others of doing). Add to that a protagonist who cheats death more than most superheroes and a screamingly stereotypical celebrity type who is eaten by cannibals at the end, and...let's just say I prefer to think of the excellent Pirate Latitudes as Crichton's final novel.

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Peter Straub.  I loved his earlier work.  But lately his books seem too surreal and over stylistic.  To the point that even his short works had become a slog for me.

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Martha Grimes - I loved, LOVED, her Richard Jury/Melrose Plant books, own several of the early ones and occasionally re-read them, but from The Old Wine Shades on, they've almost completely lost what made them special, and she seriously should never, ever, ever, write another sex scene.  Plus, she made a huge mistake by establishing Richard Jury's age pretty firmly in the early books and then tried very unsuccessfully to backtrack when it became obvious that he was loooooooong past retirement age; she should've just kept the series rooted in the 80s or very early 90s and it might've worked.

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I'm still reading Martha Grimes, but I know what you mean. The newer books are definitely missing something, & I think she may have written her characters into a box, so now they're stuck being a certain way & can't grow. Also, I despise her non Jury books.

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And then Crichton wrote a barely disguised strawman of one of State of Fear's major scientist critics into a completely pointless scene in his next book where he's a pedophile with a tiny penis. Yeah.

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John Grisham

Years ago, I read a lot of his books until I read a couple where you didn't know who you were supposed to root for and no matter what the endin, it wasn't going to be satisfying. So I just stopped reading. His earlier stuff was great (the pelican brief, the firm, the client, etc). Maybe I hit a bad patch and should see if his later stuff got better.

Patricia Cornwell

Loved the Kay Scarpetta series, but it seemed like she was unnecessarily torturing her characters. Not a happy place to be anymore. I haven't read at least the last three books.

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Pamela Morsi.  I loved her historical romantic comedies.  Then she decided to write contemporary fiction.  They just don't work for me at all.

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Laurell K. Hamilton. I've felt a loyalty towards her for being my entry into the urban fantasy genre, which I know love. and she used to write well. But, I can't any more with Anita magical hoohah

 

LKH was the first author who came to mind for me too. I liked Anita as a kick-ass monster hunter, but the series just turned into porn without plot, and if I want to read that kind of story, lots of writers do it better.

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And the whole thing where her husband cheating on her caused her to abruptly turn the character she'd based on him into a raging asshole out of nowhere.

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I haven't read any of J.K. Rowling's post-Harry Potter books. I was as into the series as any teenager and even frequented the discussion boards speculating on what would come next. But I haven't sought out The Tales of Beedle the Bard or any of the non-Wizarding World stuff. Reviews of the latter were pretty negative, which surprised me, because I thought (based on her depiction of the Dursleys) that she would be good at social satire. Has anyone here read The Casual Vacancy or her crime novels?

 

Interesting that people commenting on this thread have focused thus far on series that went bad. I thought J.D. Salinger would come up for sure. 

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Has anyone here read The Casual Vacancy or her crime novels?

 

 

There are not enough words to tell you how much I hated The Casual Vacancy. Hated, hated, hated, HATED it. Completely turned me off of her as a writer, & I swore never to read any of her adult novels. I wouldn't even consider her mystery novels until the end of last year when I had an excess of 20% off coupons from Barnes & Noble & someone told me that the books had an Agatha Christie feel to them, so I bought the first one &, surprise! I really liked it. So I bought the second one & I liked it too. I'm looking forward to reading more of them from the series, but I will be very cautious about anything she writes that isn't part of it.

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Has anyone here read The Casual Vacancy or her crime novels?

 

 I'm looking forward to reading more of them from the series, but I will be very cautious about anything she writes that isn't part of it.

 

I read The Casual Vacancy a few months ago which was long overdue, but a lot of the mixed reviews turned me off from reading it right away. I always have a TBR list miles long any way. I didn't love it, but I can see some good aspects to it. Most of my book friends hated it and like GaT, love the mystery series. I haven't started those yet, but I already think I'll like them because I like JKR and Christie. I wouldn't recommend TCV to most people. It was the rebound and exact opposite of everything the Harry Potter series was. As a literary and writing exercise, I didn't hate it, but as an enjoyable novel, nope. 

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Lara Adrian is now off my list of authors I read. I used to love the Midnight Breed series, but they've gotten so boring I'm done. There's barely any plot anymore, what little there is is only there to get you to the point where the couple have sex. Over, & over, & over. SOOOOOOO bored. This feels especially true about books after the time jump, so I'm done.

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I'm still reading Martha Grimes, but I know what you mean. The newer books are definitely missing something, & I think she may have written her characters into a box, so now they're stuck being a certain way & can't grow. Also, I despise her non Jury books.

I am the opposite I like her books like Hotel Paradise and the character of twelve-year old Emma.  I have not read the Jury novels because I read Debra Crombies' series and did not think I wanted to read another british mystery series.

 

So the movie Beautiful Creatures is true.  Could someone please explain, maybe some more detail. Thanks.

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So the movie Beautiful Creatures is true.  Could someone please explain, maybe some more detail. Thanks.

 

It's Heavenly Creatures, to be precise. Here's the wiki about the murder: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker–Hulme_murder_case

I'm so glad you clarified that Black Knight, because I've been trying to figure out how Beautiful Creatures was true, & my mind just wasn't going for it LOL. As a former Anne Perry reader, I knew about Heavenly Creatures, & that makes a lot more sense. :-)

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Danielle Steel.  I read her books voraciously as a teen but then came to realize that not every woman is stunningly beautiful (but doesn't know it) and not every man is a prince in and out of bed.  Plus I started to notice that there seemed to be 3 or 4 plots that were recycled.

 

V.C. Andrews.  I was obsessed with VCA and her books as a teen.  They were amazingly gothic and cheesy and awesome until the ghostwriter took over and they just aren't the same.  I'll still reread the VCA originals though from time to time.

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Bernard Cornwell. I loved the Sharpe series, and learned a hell of a lot about the Napoleonic Wars from reading those books. A very good writer of historic military fiction. Sadly, after giving a couple of his other series a go, I realised that all his main characters are just Richard Sharpe. Sharpe with a longbow, Sharpe with a viking axe. And so, as someone who values character as much as plot, I found them so disappointing.

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Could someone maybe give some suggestions about a book I might like. Lately I go to the library and can't find much. I like Anne Tyler, Alice Hoffman and Sharon Mc Crumb.  I like Phillipa Gregory for royalty drama. 

 

I somehow always pick female authors, but maybe am missing out.  Anyhow thanks for any suggestions.

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Could someone maybe give some suggestions about a book I might like. Lately I go to the library and can't find much. I like Anne Tyler, Alice Hoffman and Sharon Mc Crumb.  I like Phillipa Gregory for royalty drama. 

 

I somehow always pick female authors, but maybe am missing out.  Anyhow thanks for any suggestions.

 

Have you tried Elizabeth Chadwick? She writes similar stuff to Phillipa Gregory. Most of it is too romance-driven for me, but The Greatest Knight is a really good novel about the life of William Marshal. Sharon Penman is even better, for medieval novels, but hers tend to end on downers, given the people she's chosen as protagonists (Richard III, Simon de Montfort, for example). Still, The Sunne In Splendour is just about the best medieval period novel I've ever read.

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I also thought this morning, applecrisp, of something a bit different - how about Robert Graves's I, Claudius? The royal Roman goings-on in that novel are as fun and engrossing as any royalty drama book ever written.

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Oooh! I didn't see this before, and since I see names of romance authors, I don't fear posting!

 

I'm tired of Christine Feehan as well, but she hasn't pissed me off yet so I'm sure I'll pick one up when I'm running really short of books to read. 

 

I love Christine as a person--Met her at a Nora Roberts summer signing in 2004, I think it was and got to sit with her at the Sunday brunch. Very sweet and nice.  BUT...

 

she pissed me off with the last 7 sisters series, that dealt with human trafficking but had the heroine (spoiler tagging just in case)

Magically recovered from being raped, sodomized, abused within 24 hours and able to enjoy sex with the hero.

That was too much disbelief that even I couldn't suspend.  Then another series, Ghost Hunters, just the description of the hero's face and body looking like a patchwork quilt/Frankenstein just turned me off.  I haven't read her in years. Six or seven, I think.

 

And yet another paranormal romance writers, whose early to mid stuff was great--Sherrilyn Kenyon.  But noooo, each successive story had to have a hero even more tortured, more angst than the last and just basically retconning the past/history of one character, whose story I had been waiting years for. But the last straw was her giving a story to the jealous, petty, petulant, sadistic, murdering Styxx. He didn't deserve his own happy ending, and I stopped reading her right before his story came out.  But she's a lovely person. I've met her several times over the past 10 years, and she remembers me! And actually appreciates (she told me) the fact that I'm one of her harshest critics. Well, I'm not enamored of certain characters and accidentally blurted out an opinion that I wish character X would just DIE already. And got a roomful of shocked GASPS of Horror from the other groupies/fans. 

 

And because I love my Alpha heroes, I also stopped reading Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick (name she uses for historicals) because of the emasculation of the heroes.  There. I said it.

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And yet another paranormal romance writers, whose early to mid stuff was great--Sherrilyn Kenyon.  But noooo, each successive story had to have a hero even more tortured, more angst than the last 

This is exactly why I stopped reading her. I hadn't gotten too deeply into her stuff, but the horrible torture each hero had to go through was just too much. I seriously wonder what is wrong with this woman that she can even think this stuff up.

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JD Robb is the closest for me. I mostly enjoyed what she wrote, but there was entirely too much repetition that I no longer cared too much. So much repetition. The next time I read that her eyes were the color of Irish whiskey.. I read for the story and I no longer cared.

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Anne McCaffrey.  Mostly her Dragonrider books.  I'd devour them voraciously as soon as they came out.  Once her son started co-writing, the quality went downhill, and I stopped reading them.  I realize she was probably not in good health for several years before her death, and that's why Todd started taking on more and more of the writing, but his contributions weren't nearly as good.  Plus they hooked up one of my favorite characters with one of my least favorite ones, which shouldn't have taken the bloom off, so to speak, but did.

Edited by proserpina65

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I read about Anne Perry's past a long time ago (saw the movie, too).  It hasn't stopped me from enjoying her novels.  I love the William Monk books, although the last few were not as good as the early ones.  I've just started the Thomas Pitt series.  My personal opinion is that she was convicted and she did the time.  I don't feel it's up to me to decide whether or not her punishment was enough.  I find her to be a very gifted writer and I'm glad she turned her life around and is using her talents for good. 

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Jodi Picoult. I used to look forward to every March because there would always be a new Picoult book. After Leaving Time, I'm out.

The "huge," "shocking" plot twist at the end is straight out of The Sixth Sense.

And I can only be hit over the head with language so many times before I get a concussion.

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Stephen King. His books all started sounding the same to me. I used to be a huge fan too.

For me, it wasn't that his books sounded the same, it was that his editors were afraid to edit him. His books would go off on these 100-page tangents that had nothing to do with the main story.

I stopped reading Ann Rule's true crime books after her book on Ted Bundy. I felt it was too sympathetic to the serial killer because she knew him personally.

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For me, it wasn't that his books sounded the same, it was that his editors were afraid to edit him. His books would go off on these 100-page tangents that had nothing to do with the main story..

Maybe that was it as I'm remembering trying to read one and thinking something like this. He changed after his accident. Wasn't he hit by a car while walking? I noticed a (negative) difference in his writing after that. He seemed very angry, and that seemed to be coming through in his writing. I remember wondering if he was in chronic pain.

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Jodi Picoult for me too. I liked her first few, they were easy to read and addressed interesting topics. However, I started reading her last one and absolutely could not get through it. Her books have gotten progressively worse and now that I couldn't bring myself to finish one, I think I'm done. 

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I call the romance novels my palate cleansers between heavy books and Nora Roberts was once my favorite because I love the banter between her characters. Then I noticed her books started to get more supernatural in nature and then started to become violent. When I read one romance that included a graphic description of a violent rape and murder, I asked myself if this was really the best use of my time. I may skim one of her older ones again, but I haven't read anything new since.

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I used to love the National Parks series by Nevada Barr (Track of the Cat was the first) until her books started getting darker and more graphic.  I didn't start her books to read about the perverted minds of serial killers.  She used to have such picturesque descriptions of our natural wonders (she was really a park ranger at one time).  Anyway, it's really a loss to me that her books are no longer enjoyable.

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Talking about the perverted minds of serial killers, way, way back I used to like Mary Higgins-Clark, but I feel that everyting she's produced in the past 20 years has been utter crap. Like she has no more inspiration but is just riding on her reputation/name. 

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Maybe that was it as I'm remembering trying to read one and thinking something like this. He changed after his accident. Wasn't he hit by a car while walking? I noticed a (negative) difference in his writing after that. He seemed very angry, and that seemed to be coming through in his writing. I remember wondering if he was in chronic pain.

The last book I read of King's was "The Tommyknockers." I don't know if it was before or after his accident. While I liked the book (although I believe reviews were unkind), it was his constant forays into unrelated story lines that made me decide not read another book of his.

 

When "Under the Dome" aired, I read about the book on Wikipedia. I thought it was one of the most ridiculous plot summaries ever, so I never got into the TV show, and it reaffirmed my decision to take King off my author list.

 

Talking about the perverted minds of serial killers, way, way back I used to like Mary Higgins-Clark, but I feel that everyting she's produced in the past 20 years has been utter crap. Like she has no more inspiration but is just riding on her reputation/name.

 

I used to like her too, but her books did start to get repetitive. I think her daughter was writing them with her for a while. I looked her up on Wikipedia after seeing your post. She's had a pretty interesting life.

Edited by SmithW6079

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I used to like her too, but her books did start to get repetitive. I think her daughter was writing them with her for a while. I looked her up on Wikipedia after seeing your post. She's had a pretty interesting life.

Thanks for this, I looked up her too after reading your post and she did have an intersting life, 

 

How is it that often writers who had rich lives create character much too one-note? And writers who lived pretty secluded life sometimes were able to imagine much more complex characters?

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