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Finally finished MGoH. Now I'm on to The White Order. After that, I'll be completely finished with the Saga of Recluse.

 

I accidentally read the sequel a coupla months ago, so I know what happens to Cerryl frown. Spoilering yourself accidentally is frustrating at times. The same thing happened with Magi'i of Cyador and Scion of Cyador.

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I own the whole series. Well, stopped looking for new ones five years ago or so, but I have the rest. I enjoy them more than some of Anthony's darker stuff.

 

Just found and read If I Pay Thee Not in Gold. A collaborative between him and another author. It was... odd to say the least. The ending was way too rushed. Like they had a deadline approaching or something. Idk, I enjoyed it for reading something he wrote but the story was kinda meh.

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I finished The Grapes of Wrath two weeks ago. Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors, and I refrained from reading it because I knew I'd have to read it for my Literature class.

 

I was disappointed. It wasn't entertaining, and its sole purpose seems to be propoganda and not anything meaningful. Much of the dialog is pointless, and I didn't find the story any bit interesting until I had read four hundred pages already.

 

Anyways, I'm going to start reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

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Currently rereading the Dune series. The ones by FH, not the pulp fiction written by his son.

 

Excalibur: I would advise against reading Atlas. Too long, unrealistic, and poor characters that you could not identify with- half the characters are filthy rich industrialist, and the other half raving COMMIE lunatics. I would conclude this post by linking to a cartoon I saw, but I can't find it, so I will describe it:

 

FRAME 1: John Galt: Look at them! We have deserted them, and without us the world BURNS!

 

FRAME 2: John Galt: Luckily, we are safe in our hidden mountain sanctuary.

 

FRAME 3: Industrialist: Now, we can relax, and plan our ascendance to world power with our new philosophy of Objectivism!

 

FRAME 4: John Galt: You did remember to bring the infinte supply of robot labor, yes?

 

FRAME 5: Industrialist: No, I thought you did.

 

Frame 6: (all are working in a field) John Galt: Well, this sucks.

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Managed to get all the way to Book 11 of WoT and am now about 100 pages into it. I'm trying to time it so that I finish Book 11 not too long before Book 12 comes out.

 

What I'm finding that is really odd is that I like the later books this time through. I joined up with the series in '96 or so, right around the time Books 6 and 7 came out, and up through the end of Book 6 I thought was "Wow this is amazingly awesome" quality. Books 7-9 seemed to slow down, and Books 10 and 11 were mind-ravagingly boring.

 

Then I started reading Brandon Sanderson's blog and his take on the whole series, which is that he likes the later books quite a lot. He said that there were a few things in play as far as why people probably disliked them, most prominently that the points of view proliferate so much that entire characters vanish for one or two books at a time as we catch up with all the other characters. This has the effect of seeming slow, since, for example, almost all of Book 10 is catching up with the characters we didn't see in Book 9, not moving the plot forward past where we were in Book 9. This is exacerbated by the fact that those following the series could only read each book as it came out, as opposed to what we can do now in hindsight, which is read all of them back-to-back, so in real time, it may take four years to pick up a plotline that was left behind earlier.

 

Furthermore, a lot of people misinterpreted the story of the Wheel of Time as being the story of Rand, or Rand and Perrin and Mat, or of the Emond's Field characters, or of those characters and their friends. It's not. It's the story of the ending of an age. All of the discussion that seems digressive, if what you're reading for is more Rand and more Forsaken and more Mat and so on, isn't really digressive, since it's all about how the Third Age becomes the Fourth Age, not about the Dragon Reborn, or the Last Battle, or any of that.

 

It's sort of like if you read the Iliad hoping for the story of the Trojan War. It's not about the Trojan War, and it says so right at the beginning. It's about the wrath of Achilles. Same deal here, except backwards — and that may have been Robert Jordan's mistake.

 

Re-reading it with this different perspective, and reading it straight through (as opposed to one book every 2+ years), made it much, much more enjoyable, and I agree with Brandon Sanderson at least to a degree. However, I think that Robert Jordan still somehow screwed up by writing a story that created expectations among most of his readers that weren't fulfilled — he should have conveyed from the beginning what expectations the readers needed to have, by the structure of the books — and I think that the problem was that he turned away from the characters that people thought were the most important characters. Still, I do think that WoT is very enjoyable all the way through the end of Book 11 nonetheless, and I think so because I myself have enjoyed it.

 

I still hate Faile, and the weird sexism and off-kilter gender relations are painfully irritating, and nothing Brandon Sanderson says will change that, but still, he's already won me over before I've seen a single word of Book 12, just because his take on the WoT series redeemed it for me and made it fun again.

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The library didn't have The Watch that Ends the Night, so I picked up Two Solitudes instead. It's been a good read so far, but has a moderate amount of Canadiana in it, so maybe not a good pick for international readers. However, if you want a glimpse into Quebec before the Quiet Revolution (albeit a glimpse through a Nova Scotian author's eyes), do consider picking it up.

 

Jewels: Eh, tread very carefully when reading the Xanth series. I believe Xanth came up earlier in this thread, and myself and others had more to say.

 

Kel: Good to hear. The series is far from perfect, but it doesn't deserve all the hate it gets.

 

I view the series in much the same way you do. In my last reread, I started paying more attention to parallels to our history and legends in the books (you'll want to read this). Arthurian legend features prominently (Artur Paendrag, the Fisher king), but there's so much more. Some things are just transplanted directly into the series (the Green Man, and keep a look out for references in inn names).

 

Really, what Jordan did was similar to what Lucas did with Star Wars: he directly implemented the monomyth. Not enough to stand on its own, but combine it with excellent world-building (the other pillar of the series), and you've got some good books.

 

--

 

(Oh, almost forgot! A while back, I picked up a hardcover volume containing all five books in The Chronicles of Prydain, as well as all the related short stories, in a second hand bookstore. For one dollar. Parents take note: this is the fantasy series to introduce your children to when they are old enough. It's dark in some areas, so maybe read it with them - trust me, you'll enjoy it too. Unlikely to read them again myself, but it was worth the buy, for nostalgia if nothing else.)

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I have that very same Chronicles of Prydain book, I think my dad bought it for my birthday a long time ago from the Science Fiction Book Club.

 

It was my introduction to fantasy when I was younger, and I definitely want my daughter to read it when she's old enough, and I will definitely reread it too.

 

I would also recommend Lloyd Alexander's The Cat Who Wished to be a Man, it's a very humorous book.

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I haven't found anything new to read in a while, but I did read the Prydain series long ago and liked it. And I'm reminded of my own early experiences with fantasy fiction.

 

In my 5th grade classroom I found a copy of Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light, and was absolutely blown away. For years I remembered the book only vaguely as being extremely strange. I couldn't remember the title, or anything about the author other than that his name was also strange. Several years later I hit 'Zelazny' in a bookstore and recognized the name at last, and found the book again, and it was indeed as amazing as I had remembered.

 

Around the same time as I re-discovered Zelazny, a strange 8th grade teacher recommended Titus Groan to me. I tried it, and just could not keep reading it, it was so boring. Then I tried it again a few years later, and couldn't put it down. It and its sequel, Gormenghast are classics, but ignore the third book — Peake died half-way through writing it. Somewhere I read that he wrote like a painter, sketching the outline then filling in the color. So the plot of his third volume is complete, but it's lifeless compared to the first two.

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I'm glad to see WoT getting some appreciation. I know I can't be alone in having liked it the whole way through (or up to book 9, where I stopped to wait for the series to end) given how well they all sold, but the internet is rather harsh on the series. I agree that it's a better exercise in world-building and then world-breaking than anything else, but that's what I like.

 

Lord of Light was my introduction to Zelazny as well, but I didn't actually realize it until I read the Chronicles of Amber and went looking for more books by the same author.

 

My opinions of Gormenghast are mixed. The first two books are very baroque (and Gothic, of course), but I'm not sure I actually enjoyed reading them. The characters are wonderful, the writing is excellent, but somehow it didn't come together for me.

 

—Alorael, who has determined that Victor Pelevin is an impressive author. Brimming with post-Soviet bitterness in some of his works written around the collapse of the USSR, perhaps, but Omon Ra has beautiful black humor and The Yellow Arrow is something like non-Gothic Gormenghast on a train.

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Well I love every good book out there but recently I have reread Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and continue to read the whole series which I haven't read yet.

 

I love political novels, especially Cold War era books, though sometimes historical fiction. I eagerly await the next in the Inheritance Cycle as well as Eon Coilfer's rendition of the sixth book in the Hitchhiker's trilogy.

 

Aye?

No NI!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko. I'm unimpressed. It's morally ambiguous urban fantasy that doesn't seem to bring anything new to the genre, and the main character is neither likeable nor an anti-hero. He's just uninteresting.

 

—Alorael, who thinks his Russian kick will end here. He thinks it may be time for some more Iain M. Banks. Or perhaps Iain Banks.

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I just finished the last of the Pendragon books. I'm conflicted about it. I thought it was unrealistically simple at times, but it is already pretty complicated while being aimed at younger readers, so I think that problem is that I'm just too old for the series.

 

There were a couple of other problems, though. First, the beginning had several chapters of infodumping at the beginning. No one likes to get hit with that much at once, especially since there were nine books beforehand to get some of it out. Second, I didn't like the introduction of permadeath. (The book starts with everyone dead in the afterlife before going out to fight once more, so regular death isn't a handicap.) When the fate of the entire universe hangs in the balance, you don't need to ramp up the suspense by preventing anyone who dies from this point on from getting back into the afterlife. (In fact, it would have been more suspenseful to be able to knock a few important characters off and have them be too weak to get out of the afterlife again.)

 

But things that mattered actually happened in this book. The villain undid the the protagonists' work and was basically unstoppable at the end of the book several times in a row. Once is shocking, but any more than that and it just becomes tedious. So this book was way, way better in that regard. Also, it had raptors as a superweapon, which Dikiyoba approves of.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I read most of the Animorphs once upon a time, though not the final few ones. (I heard the last book goes on about twice as long as it should and is therefore terrible, though.) I want to get the entire main series and read them all at once. Mostly I want to see how appallingly bad and cliche-ridden they were.

 

Dikiyoba doesn't think that will ever happen, though. Mainly because Dikiyoba would remember an older version of Dikiyoba's self yelling "How could you possibly have read that?" and then smacking Dikiyoba in the face with a heavy book.

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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
I read most of the Animorphs once upon a time, though not the final few ones


Originally Posted By: Hypnotic
Still don't know if they ever won


Observe as I post spoilers. They are triple-protected, so only click if you REALLY want to.

Click to reveal..
Click to reveal
Click to reveal..
Do you REALLY want to know?
Click to reveal..
They win, but Rachel dies in the process. They become galactic heroes, Visser Three is tried fot war crimes and sentenced to 800 years in prison, the Andalites give Z-space tech to the human, and everyone lives happily ever after. However, they get tired of this at about the same time Ax goes missing. So, they refit the Blade ship, and go looking for him. He's been assimilated into a hyperpoweful being called the One. The book ends with them crashing their ship into the ship carrying the One, and curtain. We never find out who survives after that.
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Click to reveal..
Thanks Dantius. Sad that *Ahem She* passed away but I always felt she was a bit too blond at times or was that cassey, now I'm not sure.

Overall I think Tobais was my favorite. Good gravey I can hardley remeber their names. Yeerk always reminded me of Jerk, which in fact they were regardless of how they justified it.


My comment contains spoilers.
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My brother used to read those books, but I never did.

 

I recently finished Angels and Demons, and it was better than I ever expected. I'm now reading The Da Vinci Code, and I'm going through it really fast. We got my dad the newest Dan Brown book for his birthday, and he read it in one day! I can't wait!

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Heh. I read Angels and Demons before The Da Vinci Code was written, having found it on a hotel bookshelf. I thought it was hilarious from first to last. After all, here is a summary of the book's basic premises.

 

Europe is about a hundred years ahead of the US in technology. Even educated Americans are unaware of this, not because it's secret, but just because they are so incredibly ignorant about the rest of the world. Nevertheless when an ancient European conspiracy steals a deadly device, those brilliant Europeans turn to a Harvard professor for help. It turns out to be a good thing they do, because the secrets of the Illuminati turn out to be typographical tricks with modern English words.

 

The only thing that could make it all sillier would be for everything to happen in the middle of a papal conclave. Check!

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
Heh. I read Angels and Demons before The Da Vinci Code was written, having found it on a hotel bookshelf. I thought it was hilarious from first to last. After all, here is a summary of the book's basic premises.

Europe is about a hundred years ahead of the US in technology. Even educated Americans are unaware of this, not because it's secret, but just because they are so incredibly ignorant about the rest of the world. Nevertheless when an ancient European conspiracy steals a deadly device, those brilliant Europeans turn to a Harvard professor for help. It turns out to be a good thing they do, because the secrets of the Illuminati turn out to be typographical tricks with modern English words.

The only thing that could make it all sillier would be for everything to happen in the middle of a papal conclave. Check!
Congratulations! You've avoided being Dan Browned!

The only thing worse than people buying into the Roman Catholic Illuminati 'being behind everything' is the staggering amount of rebuttals published by exasperated experts from every discipline. At some point, you have to stop feeding the trolls.
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Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
Congratulations! You've avoided being Dan Browned!

The only thing worse than people buying into the Roman Catholic Illuminati 'being behind everything' is the staggering amount of rebuttals published by exasperated experts from every discipline. At some point, you have to stop feeding the trolls.


Hey, it's fiction. The guy has a page in the front saying what is fact. A single page. The rest is fiction and conspiracy. It doesn't have to be true to be good. I am well aware that most of the stuff in there is false, but I still like reading the book.
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Originally Posted By: Master1
Hey, it's fiction. The guy has a page in the front saying what is fact. A single page. The rest is fiction and conspiracy. It doesn't have to be true to be good. I am well aware that most of the stuff in there is false, but I still like reading the book.


There's a problem with that.

In my opinion, though, the most offensive thing about Dan Brown's works is that it's so poorly-written (and obviously unedited). I can imagine his publisher saying "Just print it as is, they'll buy anything." Alas, that seems to be true.
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