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Change of name on the Books and Younger readers

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Hey guys

I’ve noticed since Darren re-released the books (again) under the name Darren Shan (As opposed to Darren OShaughnessy or DB Shan) that more and more libraries and shops are putting the City series out in the Young Adult, Teenage and even Kids sections. Probably, I’d guess, because the librarians/shop assistants haven’t read the books, and see the name Darren Shan, and put them with all the other Darren Shan books.

So, in essence what I’m asking is, do you guys think this is okay? What age were you when you read the books and thinking objectively- don’t just say “I think 10 year olds can read them because I’m 10 and I want to be able to read them”- do you think more should be done to make sure that they’re known to be adult books?

I personally think the name change was a bad idea. I don’t know why they felt the need to change from Darren OShaughnessy at all, really. Its obvious that the change to DB Shan didn’t work, because it didn’t last very long, but I still feel that some distinction between the adult books and childrens books was a good idea, although I can also see why an affiliation between his childrens work and adult work would be beneficial, because he has a lot of exposure for the Saga etc, and it’d probably help to sell the City (to parents, or whatever).

Anyway, thoughts?

Leah

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I was about 18 or 19 when I first read the first in the trilogy but I never knew about the trilogy before the rerelease and probably wouldn’t have made the connection in the first place until I’d read the book. But I agree that it might be a bit of a mistake putting them in the teenage/kids section. As for Young adult it would depend on how the shop defines Young adult- if teenage then again maybe not but if it is defined more as 16+ then in my view that would be fine- by then you’ve probably heard worse language and actions but that is just my opinion.

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It does depend on the reader, I’m 16, and I love them. Anyway, on the back cover it does say “for adults.”

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well Ive seen and read a lout worse stuff then whats in this book

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I was 16 when I read Procession of the Dead and I found it grand, but I don’t think its really appropriate for younger readers.

Like no 12 year old (with the exception of Danny :P) should pick up the book and read it due to the staircase scene and bits of strong violence. And worse still for someone working in a book shop to put it in a childrens section just by association.

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I’m 13 now, I was 12 when i started listening to avenged sevenfold, and i know it’s a rubbish comparison, but their songs do have a lot of swearing and some sex references. i was a bit shocked at first, but now i’m used to it. Also, i think it depends on the person, i haven’t read the books, but from what you have said, nothing in the book would really disturb me, especially not mindless violence, I’m used to it in books.

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But then again on the back of the Demonata it says “Warning: Seriously scary”...

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And the demonata is not seriously scary, you must admit!

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i think i was about 14 when i first read one of his books

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I think Leah means the City Trilogy, not just any of his books as the City is directed more so for adults than early teen years

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i was 13 when i read the series im only 14, but i think if you ave a sense of humor you could read it. .. but it is wrong for librarians to put them in sections without readin them first. not darren’s fault of course

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Danny - 28 October 2010 07:08 PM
Sophette - 21 October 2010 08:08 PM

It does depend on the reader, I’m 15, and I love them. Anyway, on the back cover it does say “for adults”.

I was unaware of that. :P

Well, just a touch on that for about a few words. On the back of the novels under the name Darren Shan, it does say right before the synopsis “A gritty urban fantasy for adults”. However, on the books under the name D.B. Shan, there is no such inscription. But going back to the original editions, under Darren O’Shaughnessy, again, nothing.

My opinion on that is as pretty well already mentioned, the ones under Darren Shan, younger readers will associate with the children’s side of Darren, and that is most likely the reason why they have included the quick note on the back.

However, as for book classifications, if it is put in the Young Adult section (Which here in Canada means 13-21) Than it’s pushing it, especially on the lower end of the scale. I would put a recommended minimum age on it of at least 15, But it really depends on the reader. Personally for myself, Ayuamarca (The original Procession of the Dead) came out in 1999, when I would have been 10/11. I read it then and did not have a problem with it. (The original Hells Horizon came out in 2000.) But this doesn’t go for all children.

Personally, I would have done without the name change. But seeing as how the ones under Darren O’Shaughnessy and D.B. Shan are no longer in publication, it makes them collectors items. :P

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Danny - 21 October 2010 11:56 AM

I was originally 12 when I read the first book and I have a high threshold for such material in books (I’m quite a big Stephen King fan, as Darren was), and I believe it comes down to the amount of detail that they can take in. A few scenes shocked me ever so slightly and for others aged around 10, 11, 12 it might put them off the book altogether. For example, SPOILER:

...when (sorry my memory is hazy here) that guy gets his face pounded in with a shovel. Also on the staircase and they have completely unexpected sex, this can put somebody off a book. I believe it is fine to place it in the young adult section, as long as there is a certain age boundary. Off the top of my head, my local Waterstones has little age headings over each I believe. There is a whole section to young adult, but above each are signs such as “11+” “16+” etc. So all in all, I believe as long as the book is placed in a certain age boundary ( I would recommend around 15-16+) then I personally think it’s fine to place it in the young adult section. If the young adult section is not sorted as such, it should be contained in the adult section.

I too agree the name change was a bad idea, Darren should keep his adult and children (teen) books seperate. Although some audience can handle it, not all can.

“Also on the staircase and they have completely unexpected sex” this line alone has just convinced me to order the first book on Amazon LOL

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i acidently read the third one im only a 11 and only found it was ment for adults when i asked darren shan to sign it

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Just 2 months after turning 15 and when i started reading the series and I’m now just starting Hell’s Horizon. I think because some of the scenes in the book (you know what I’m on about) are pretty detailed i think the age limit should be 15, not just because i am 15 but the thing is that after learning about stuff in Biology in first year (or whenever other schools learn it) I don’t think after that being 12 in first year would be good to actually visualise the scenes. I don’t think you should actually learn about pacific things until you hit the Key Stage 4 (forth year) year.

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I only read the trilogy recently and i’m 17

I agree that the name change was because the name Darren Shan is more recognisable but i think that he shouldn’t have changed it because mostly the people that are reading it are like me and have read Darren Shan books since i was about 12, and therefore already know about the different names and such.

I agree about the librarian thing as well, i understand why they would put it in the childrens section or young adult section because they don’t have time to read all the books but when i went looking for them in my local Waterstones and couldn’t find them i asked the lady who was working and she said Darren doesn’t have an adult series, and sure enough they were in the young adult section.