Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Outside My Norm

I try to make a semi-regular habit of reading outside the genres I normally prefer—young adult, middle grade, murder mystery, thriller. (Yep, I like those fast paced genres.) But I do read other things. One of the literary fiction novels that I enjoyed recently was Peace Like a River. And I’ll read the occasional sci-fi like Ender’s Game or Dune. But aside from LOTR, I’ve never read much high fantasy. High fantasy is a genre in which everything takes place outside our normal world. But I’d read that The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan was one of the best so I gave it a go.

The first 50 to 60 pages of The Eye of the World were a slogfest. I had to force myself to keep going. I like books that immediately thrust me into the hurley-burley of their world. But I knew I should be patient—a lot of my favorite books start slowly.

Over the course of a few more chapters I got to know Rand, Mat, and Perrin, who remind me suspiciously of Frodo, Merry, and Pippin. (In fact a lot of the book is similar to LOTR, even down to Loial who’s like Treebeard.) In spite of these similarities and the fact that Mr. Jordan sometimes spends a chunk of text describing the fog, atmosphere—yes, yes, I know it’s called “world building,” but I skip those paragraphs—I really am enjoying the novel. I’ve got about 100 pages left and I’m eager to read them. And I’m wondering when I can fit the next book into my schedule—the books of this series come in at 600 to 800 pages, and I have to fit books of this size into my life. Maybe I can read the second book, To The Blight, at Christmas break. I’ve heard the series gets addictive...I think it’s too late for me. Watch out, or they may get you too.


  1. Hi Connie, Wish I had more time to read but my days are long at work and when I get home I usually have to cook and by the time all that has taken place I am pooped. I love books like George Orwell's 1984. So descriptive. I also liked Sarah Palin's Going Rogue. I have both of them in my Kindle. Have a great day.

  2. I love high fantasy and you've got me really curious. Like you, I love getting lost in a tome, but have almost no time to squeeze them in--hazards of trying to write your own novel, I guess...

  3. I had LOTR read to me as a child, but lately read through it again.

  4. You might already know this, but a word of warning- the Wheel of Time series is unfinished because of an existence failure on the part of Robert Jordan. That is to say, he's dead. They're trying to finish the series based on his notes, but I haven't heard how well that's going over, aside from every book from Brandon Sanderson now wearing the blurb: "By the dude who's trying to finish the Wheel of Time!!!"

    Oh, but I've also heard that by the time that Jordan stops breathing, he starts suffering from an extreme case of "Never Edits Anything Ever" and fills about four books with fluff and nonsense without advancing the plot or characters at all. So yeah.

  5. As for the reminding you of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien is the standard for fantasy novels, so the various characters that are like LOTR characters doesn't really surprise me.