At work (and everywhere else, for that matter), I'm an outspoken critic of everything James Patterson does. If he were to cure cancer tomorrow, I would say, "okay, who really cured cancer -and- why is James Patterson's name all over it?" Not that I've ever read any of his books -- because I actually like to read things that stimulate my brain, not numb it -- but he writes pure crap. It's the same fucking story over and over again, with a new title and new character names and places. Why do people keep buying his books? Well, in my opinion, it has mass appeal, and the average consumer that falls into this "mass" group is an idiot with no regard for actual literary accomplishment.
The man publishes at least five books a year! How can there be any creativity whatsoever in those books, when he is spitting them out at such an obscene rate? [Rhetorical]. Well, there is an actual answer to that question: he gets his named printed in large print on the cover of the books, but he didn't actually write the whole thing, if at all. (To the best of my knowledge) he provides outlines for ghostwriters to produce more and more literary garbage. This year (2008) a book was released by Hachette, "Against Medical Advice" by (most noticeably) James Patterson and Hal Friedman. J.P. provided guidance for writing this biography, but his name is clearly marked on the book; in fact, it's the first name you see on the book when you look at it.
And you know that he is in the book business for the sake of actually producing good books, and not just pieces of crap that will sell sell sell and provide him with a gargantuan paycheck. "You know I've always loved that word, gargantuan. I so hardly ever get a chance to use it in a sentence." I once saw a video interview with J.P. at his multi-million dollar home (in Palm Beach, Florida. I wanted to spit at the television, or whatever electronic device that was projecting the video. The interviewer showed the viewers his "office" where he had nearly 15-20 stacks of manuscripts that he was finishing up. There is no author in the world that can be simultaneously working on 15-20 manuscripts and NOT have them be pure crap.
He has more books coming out in 2009 (release dates tentative):
"Run for Your Life" - February 2nd
"MAX" - March 16th
"8th Confession" - April 27th
"Watch the Skies" - August 10th
"The Murder of King Tut" - September 10th
"Cross Fire" - November 17th
Every time James Patterson sells a book, a kitten dies. Think about that.