Thoughts on James Patterson?

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Connor B

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2015
You knew a thread like this was coming. I'm kind of on the fence about him, to tell you the truth. He's probably one of the most divisive figures in contemporary fiction, if not the history of fiction. You either love him or despise him; there's seemingly no middle ground.

I haven't read a James Patterson work in its entirely to give an accurate assessment, but I've assimilated enough to recognize his style. To tell you the truth, I'm kind of on the fence about him. I prefer his earlier solo work over the "collaborations" (if they could be called that).


We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
He certainly is prolific, for whatever that's worth.

There are prolific writers you pick up and realize that you've been missing something, and you want to devour the catalog.

Patterson is not one of those writers for me, but I probably will read Zoo.


Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
Eh. His early work (before he started writing by committee) was all right. I do think he has talent: The last one I read by him was Sundays at Tiffany's, and it underwhelmed. The delineation between what he wrote (the first few chapters and the outline) and what his co-author wrote (everything else) was so clear that it hurt. Loved what he did, meh on the rest. Haven't read one since.

carrie's younger brother

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2012
He's a brand. He was an advertising mogul before he started to "write" and he still thinks like an ad man. That's the way he approaches James Patterson: as a brand. Like skimom2 said, some of his earlier work was pretty good for what it is; but once the rocket ship to stardom took off and the money really started rolling in, he formed a stable of writing "partners" and the assembly line has not stopped since.

Disclosure: I once worked for his publisher. Enough said. :0:

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
I've only read five from him...two of those are the fabled collaboration...Now You See Her and Zoo...I liked both stories. 1st to Die, Cat & Mouse, and When the Wind Blows the others...looks like I gave em each 3-stars...enjoyed the read, wasn't blown out of the water, wasn't bored to tears or so distracted that I failed to finish. I think maybe he lacks that certain something that makes me want to read all he has out there. Dunno what that is. I did enjoy the stories I read. And I think I was awarding stars long after I'd read perhaps at the moment I'd been more impressed, but they lacked that stick-to-it-tiveness. Zoo has this "hive" theme going for it. But it also had a tad of the fashion...fashionable ideology...and if you want to send a statement, call Western Union. So...odds are I don't go out of my way to read more.


All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
Spokane, WA
I like his first 5 or 6 novels he wrote. I tried to keep up with the Alex Cross character but I told myself if he 'co-authors' one of those I will stop reading them, and he eventually did and I stopped reading his books. It's too expensive to read him as he has a new book out every 15 minutes. His early books had some depth to them but his new stuff is just fluff- something to while away the minutes while waiting at the doctors/dentists office.


Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2011
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I've only read two by him, and only one properly by him:

From a suggestion on this thread, I've been reading "Sam's Letters to Jennifer"; I'm about halfway through, and enjoying it.

I also read "Zoo" about a year ago, by him and Michael Ledwidge. I loved the premise, and thought the payoff was okay, but thought most of the book was too light: "This happened! And then this happened! And then, you won't believe it, but this happened!" I thought as I read it that it read like an action movie (this was before the TV series was announced).

I don't know what to think of his "branding". If it helps authors get published, great, although checking his bibliography, I see several authors who have co-written with him many times, maybe suggesting that he has become a crutch: his name sells the book, and then the author keeps co-writing for book sales (see the aforementioned Michael Ledwidge, who published 3 books prior to the collaboration, and then 12 as a co-writer, or Maxine Paetro, who published five novels (the last in 1992) on her own, and then took up co-writing in 2005, and has since co-written 17 novels, and no singularly written ones). I could be mistaken, but it seems like a way to play off his popularity to sell the works of other authors, which strikes me as somewhat dishonest. I don't know how much of the co-writing he does, but he's published 34 novels since the start of 2014, which, if he's heavily involved, would mean he's a cyborg.


Well-Known Member
May 27, 2011
I have six or eight books with the name James Patterson on then. I believe I've read one of them so far. I have a giant "To Be Read" pile, and they're just on the bottom, I guess. I am however going to read Zoo. The idea behind it sounds interesting and I'm supposed to discuss it with a friend. :)


Committed member
Jun 24, 2009
I love Alex Cross series, read three books...unfortunately can't find any more here, but I keep looking, I really enjoy reading these books, I kind of like James Patterson style and the plot in those books I read is pretty exciting. I remember reading Kiss The Girls and Along Came the Spider. These were great. I have also read one book from the Witch and Wizard series, they are books for kids, but I enjoyed it, too, I remember being sooo worried about the main characters :0:

Susan Hood Parker

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2015
Have read quite a few, mostly prefer the early stuff, before he co-authored. Started w/ the Alex Cross, 'Along Came A Spider'. Then, there was a series I loved about kids w/ wings, but only read some, couldn't find them all. Thought 'Zoo' was a better idea, than novel & only watched the 1st show, it lost my interest. Agree, not as in depth as our SK goodies.