Posts Tagged ‘sharon and tom curtis’

AAR Staff Top Ten Favorites – Jean’s Picks

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

See, I knew that signing up for this blog would cause me a headache. How are you supposed to choose the top ten romances that rock your world? How? How? (At the back of my mind I have the Baha Men singing along, except it’s “How do you choose now? How, how, how, how?” Great. Hence the headache.)

Anyway, I figured the only way I can keep sane is a) recognize that I won’t hit them all, and b) acknowledge that if I am actually stuck on a desert island with only ten romance novels, I’d go crazy anyway, no matter what I chose. (Unless I chose, like, the Koran, Paradise Lost, and Journey to the West. Then maybe I’d not go all loopy.)

I decided that what I’d probably crave the most is variety, a little bit of every genre to suit every mood. It actually turned out to be relatively easy once I’d decided on this, looked at my Top 100 list, scanned my shelves, and sliced through the different categories. I’m happy with my choices – they’re all different in setting, subgenre, writing style, and character. I’ve also read each of them at least twice – I’m a serial re-reader, so I know when something works for me, when it doesn’t, and (most of important of all) when it stands up to the test of time. (more…)

Classic Romances

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

windflowerWell, I finally did it.  I’ve heard about it for years, and I’ve seen it online for lots of money.  I’ve read jealously about people who just happen to come across it for ten cents at book sales, and how it’s one of the best pirate romances ever, if not among the best romances period.  So I finally caved in.  Courtesy of an Amazon gift card, I bought and read Sharon and Tom Curtis’ cult classic, The Windflower.

I don’t know what it says about me that I spent hours wondering whether the book qualifies as a cult classic or classic – but oh well.  Not having approached this in any scientific manner whatsoever, I’ve decided it is definitely a cult classic:

  • It’s out of print, and expensive. That means supply is low and demand is high.  You can’t find a copy on the Web for anything less than $15 for one of the original mass market paperbacks, and while it isn’t the dearest thing out there, it tells me that some people (like me) want it enough to pay heap big money for bits of recycled paper that were originally worth $4.
  • It gets extremely positive, but also very selective, word of mouthThe Windflower has had a seesaw standing in the Top 100 Romances at AAR – it fluctuated between #33 and #83 for ten years, then totally dropped out of the top 100 last year.  I’m not sure that many people now have heard of The Windflower, let alone Sharon and Tom Curtis.  I’d say that’s a sign of a cult classic, not a true classic (whose names more or less never disappear).
  • “Weird as fuck.” Okay, so Urban Dictionary is crude, but it gets to the point.  A cult classic has its enthusiasts and defenders, whether it’s “so bad it’s good,” or just genuinely “good but unappreciated.”  Actually, I think The Windflower is exceptional, not for its premise or character quirks, but because of the gifted hands of its authors, Sharon and Tom Curtis, whose prose is, I think, utterly unique.

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