Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jack the Ripper

I know. Good way to catch your attention, right?

Anyway, I'm always intrigued by a phenomenon one occasionally encounters in publishing--books with similar topics suddenly appearing (it seems) out of nowhere at the same time. Favorite example: THE ALIENIST by Caleb Carr and WATERWORKS by E. L. Doctorow, both published at exactly the same time on separate lists. Both of them dealt with a serial killer in old New York, both of them had climatic scenes at the reservoir that once stood in the place where the New York City public library now stands on Fifth Ave. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

And the other night when I was working at TKE, I noticed there are two new YA novels about the Ripper. I picked up Maureen Johnson's book THE NAME OF THE STAR, which features the Ripper haunting modern day London as a ghost. The voice is strong and surprisingly funny given the subject--Johnson is always a likable writer. The other is something called RIPPER (now that gets straight to the point, doesn't it?) by Stefan Petrucha. I don't know anything about it, but I may read that one, too.

First vampires. Now Jack the Ripper. Why am I always the last writer in America to spot a trend?

4 comments:

shelley said...

Yeah, but, do you really WANT to write a book about Jack the Ripper?

radagast said...

You are on the cusp, nay, the leading wave of a monumental pet-babysitting trend, Ann. I can feel it.

Dr Write said...

Angry mole rats are next. I'm just saying...

Becca said...

I really liked "The Name of the Star" even though I'm not a ghost-story fan, or a gruesome story fan -- but I am a fan of MJ's voice. Always.

I missed the Vampire boat. And the Fallen Angel boat. And the Slasher-Murder boat. Maybe I wasn't meant to be on boats at all.

(But I did land an agent [yay!] and hopefully I"ll have great boat-related news soon.)