There was a lot of positive buzz when Zadie Smith wrote White Teeth several years ago.
I resisted reading it for a while, simply because many of the reviewers struck me as standard literary types whose idea of a fun Saturday night is curling up with a novel about a darkly dysfunctional family planning a trip to the corner grocery. I finally relented and found her comic novel to be marvelous.
Her subsequent books have been uneven - I'm cautiously reading On Beauty - and that fact is a reminder of the nature of creativity. Few authors, playwrights, and directors are consistently at the top of their game. One can wonder how many of the B+ or even C efforts are needed to eventually produce an A.
Dickens, Shakespeare, and other extraordinary talents produced, at times, fine but lesser work. Were those simple exceptions or were they necessary components of a creative process?