Friday, October 14, 2005

Drag it out

It's a little time out for a book reviewish thingee:

About 10 years ago, my mom brought me home a book. Knowing that I mostly read fantasy and sci-fi (a sad fact that I have thankfully remedied since), she took a recommendation from the twentysomething employee and picked me up The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. You may have read it; you may not have. All I can say is that I rue the day she brought it home, because for the past 10 years, off and on, I've been reading through the series. The latest book, number 11, just came out, and I'm debating whether or not to go get it.

Robert Jordan is not a great writer. His characters aren't always three-dimensional and he repeats himself incessantly. Some of the 400-plus page books I've read have done little to move the plot of the series forward at all. There is a cast of dozens in the books by now, and far too much effort is expended flailing about with nonessential characters.

However, what Jordan has done with the series is nothing less than create an entire world, and one that is relatively unique from so many other traditional fantasy staples of elves and dwarves and other things that people probably dress up as when they go to conventions. It's the world itself that is interesting, drawing from mythology and history with a good dose of imagination. The world is the most interesting character of all, multilayered and descriptive.

So I'm here deciding- do I get the book? Do I continue reading this story which has many characters who I have forgotten, whose personalities somehwat disinterest me, now that I have succored on more substantial authors? Do I forego the three or four thousand pages that I've already read?

I don't know. On one side, I've committed myself this far. It would be like running half a race and then quitting. There can't possibly be that much left. The series has taken the standard fantasy epic storyboard: Boy learns he is the "Chosen One"; Boy has adventures proving his status as the "Chosen One"; Boy gains power/prestige because of his status; Boy wails on Big Bad Guy; Boy returns as King of the World.

I'm indecisive, and that probably means I'm getting the book. Only a little longer...just a little longer


At 4:55 PM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

You HAVE to get the book! But don't wait 10 years... :)

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At 3:00 PM, Blogger sheriff of nothing said...

The book sounds like a bad Soap Opera - the kind that people tape and watch when they get home from work. It is a must.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Robert Jordan took a good idea and made it work for about 6 books and then it just never quite got moving again. Very disappointing.

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