Apr 12 2012 8:11am

Bookish Equivalent of Jumping the Shark?

Fonzi on Happy Days

If you say something “jumped the shark,” you know exactly what it means, even if you don’t know its origin (for the record, it was an episode of Happy Days where Fonzi went water-skiing, literally jumping a shark, and that episode was the signpost for the ultimate downfall of the show’s quality).

But is there a bookish equivalent? For example, you can say a series ran off its course in recent years, or the author hasn’t lived up to the earlier books’ promise, but there’s no pithy way to say—in literary language—that a series or author has faltered.

And that is an ironic situation we should change. In comments, please give your cleverly witty bookish suggestions for how we should refer to authors or books that have lost their edge.

Your turn!

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
I don't know that I've woken up enough for such a challenge as this but I think you're so right that we *need* a phrase of our own.
Carmen Pinzon
3. bungluna
I knew it! AB is always the go-to gal when this subject comes up.

How about "burning the dead trees" or "poisoning the ink well"?

I just don't have a good imagination for this type of thing.
4. wsl0612
@cmorgan - I think you picked the right series to reference! How about "jumping the menage a cinque" (or whatever is appropriate in French) or "the final hook-up that broke the reader's glasses"?
5. lvj
How about a very simple, "jumped the page," or " blew out the binding"?
6. Theo
Pretty much any Sweet Valley book lol -- still enjoyed them though! :)
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