Posted by: stephilepsy | March 2, 2011

Dead Letters to Living Celebrities: James Patterson

Dear James Patterson,

From what I am lead to understand you are a very popular author. I do not doubt that your books sell well. Certainly they were a fixture at the library where I used to volunteer. Frankly, it was a bit of a problem. You see, because even your old books continued to circulate, and your new books came out at an alarming clip (as it seemed, did those of your contemporaries and competitors Robert Parker, T. Jefferson Parker, and Richard North Patterson, although none of them quite matched you for sheer volume of output), it became difficult for us pages (i.e. me) to keep everything neat and orderly in the FICTION Par — Pat section.

It also did not help matters that your readers seem to be entirely unfamiliar with the English alphabet and, despite what seemed to be endless amounts of effort of my part to keep your products displayed as Dewey intended, inevitably minutes later all would revert back to chaos.

Perhaps now would be an appropriate time for me to admit that although I’ve yet to read any of your novels, I have already decided that I despise them. This, I realize is unfair. I’m not known for my fairness. In fact, it’s fair to say that those who know me well would consider me intensely judgmental. Or, you know, HARSH (hi Dad!). If it helps, I once attempted to watch a movie version of one your books starring Ashley Judd. “Kiss the Blind Mouse with Four Girls”, or something? I don’t remember; I couldn’t make it through the whole thing. I dislike that Ashley Judd. She’s far too perky.

Frankly, James Patterson, I have my doubts about you. I’m just going to come out and say it: I don’t believe you’re a real person. Once upon a time, when your “literary” career began, I suspect you were two, perhaps three people. One person (who may or may not be the semi-photogenic fellow on the book jacket who does the press tours and stars in those terrible trailers) who came up with the bare bones of the silly plots (“It should be a book about a lawyer, maybe he’s a little down on his luck, and, um, yeah there should definitely be a mysterious woman he’ll want to rescue but. . . .”) and another person (who presumably got paid far less than book-jacket man) who actually had to write the damn thing.

But now? Now there must either be a James Patterson Corporation, headquartered in the Cayman Islands, naturally, or else you, Mr. Patterson have been cloning yourself. Bad bad bad. Why do I say this? Because, even allowing for the quality of your work (which, I imagine, is nowhere near something like Ford Madox Ford’s “The Good Soldier”, say) there is no way even a team two people would be able to churn out three or four hardcovers a year. And yes, it did not escape me that upon a not-especially-thorough examination of your book covers, one would note a variety of different co-authors’ names appear beneath your own, in much smaller typeface, of course. However, you seem to be taking sole credit for your “Alex Cross” oeuvre, which seems to be the bulk of what you’re producing these days, James.

And that brings me, at long last, to the point of this letter. I’ll bet you thought I’d forgotten, hadn’t you?

“Ha ha!” James Patterson has said to himself at some point. “Since stephilepsy has had two strokes, surely she won’t ever publicly call me out on promises I have made to her and then wickedly, thoughtlessly, and cruelly have broken.”

Sorry, buddy. I underwent post-stroke rehab at Helen Hays Hospital and although speech therapy may in fact be the most mind-numbingly boring thing I have ever experienced, my memory and attention to detail is probably better than it has been in fifteen years.

How’s your memory, Jimmy? Do you even have any idea what I’m talking about?

Sigh.

It was about a year ago, maybe a little more. So that’s, like, three “Alex Crosses” ago? I think? Anyway, you (the awkward, semi-photogenic James Patterson who appears at book signings and whatnot) were on the TeeVee, promoting either “I, Alex Cross” or “Cross Country” (resorting to puns now are we? Quelle suprise, Jimbo), and you specifically told me that if I did not purchase this new book, you would kill off Alex Cross. There was no hint of sarcasm in your voice, no trace of a smirk. The music even thundered dramatically behind you. And I, seeing as not only had I zero intention of purchasing said novel but the death of this insipid character would go a long way to making my hours at the library a little easier, breathed a huge sigh of relief.

You, James Patterson, James Patterson & Co., or whomever it is responsible for churning out this inane garbage, are a liar!

I don’t ask you for much you know. All I wanted was for you to keep your word to me and the millions of other people who saw that commercial/book-trailer thingie and did not buy that Alex Cross novel. But you couldn’t do that, could you? Either because you are a greedy no-good bastard who can’t keep his promises to the reading public or because James Patterson is some giant, faceless, book-churning corporate enterprise and everybody knows they never keep their promises to anyone.

Either way, James Patterson, I’m very disappointed in you.

Sincerely,

stephilepsy

P.S. Oh, by the way, I had started laying bets on which puns you would use for upcoming “Alex Cross” book titles. Since you have totally already STOLEN “In the Cross Hairs” (I have not yet received a thank you card — typical), I figured I’d just post some for you here so they’d be even easier for you to access, you lazy sonofa–:

“Cross My Heart”
“Never a Cross Word” (could be “Never a Crossword”, if you prefer)
“Cross Walks”
“Cross’s Stitch”
“Cross Eyed”
“Fingers Crossed” (that you’ll put an end to this, James Patterson)
“Cross Beams”

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Responses

  1. Cross my Heart and Hope to Die (that’s about right for the genre, no?)
    Double Cross (surely she has a sister? a long lost twin perhaps?)

    • Ooh! That’s a good one! Twins!

      I also thought he might like to dabble into erotica (apparently the ebooks are popular?) and call it “Hot Cross Buns”.


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