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Eragon?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Mythic Scribes, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    I actually am annoyed by the attitude that feathers make something look less badass. Lots of vicious predatory dinosaurs, including all the raptors and possibly even T. Rex, had feathers, yet they were still among the most lethal carnivores to ever walk the Earth.
     
  2. Eagles have feathers. Eagles are badass. QED.
     
  3. Tamwen

    Tamwen Troubadour

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    Eh... It not so much that it makes it look less badass. It looked awesome but it was... pointless. Why? Why change that? What's the purpose of that change? And for that matter, what was the purpose of any of the changes the movie made? Maybe they knew it was gonna be bad anyway, so "might as well hamstring any future movies by cutting out half the important characters and making another one OOC!"
     
  4. Ice Spider

    Ice Spider Scribe

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    With so few people liking Eragon on these boards, I can't help but wonder why the series was successful in the first place. Is it the fact that people on this board have usually read a lot of fantasy and have grown sick of the standard fare that Eragon mostly is? Is it because, as fantasy writers, we tend to tear others people's work apart to learn what to emulate/avoid, and so are more likely to notice the flaws in Paolini's work?

    I'm guessing it's a combination of the two, and mostly the first one. When I first read Eragon, I hadn't read much fantasy, so I enjoyed it. It's a fun, albeit derivative adventure that is a great read if you turn of your brain. I didn't think it was outstanding, and cringed at a lot of the prose (I remember him describing a woman's hair blowing in the wind like a "spray of molten copper"), but I still kept turning the pages. It was charming in that archetypal way...cozy, predictable, "safe" reading, and I'd expect that's a lot of its appeal. I'd describe him as the children's author version of Terry Goodkind (except less arrogant).

    But when you read more fantasy, things change. Those archetypes become stereotypes, and you see that other authors have done what he has better. That's not to say that Eragon is a bad book per se - newcomers to the genre could definitely enjoy it. But if you had the choice, why wouldn't you go to the original (and better) sources of those ideas?

    (Please note I'm just talking about the first book; I have not read any others. I did flip through a copy of Brisingr at a bookstore but was so appalled by the prose I put it down. It was honestly so bad it sounded more like a parody of the genre at its worst, full of overly flowery, bizzare descriptions and stilted pseudo-Medieval dialogue with no understanding of how people actually talked back then. And that is a definitely a thesaurus he was writing next to. In terms of prose, at least, it looks like he has actually gotten worse...)
     
  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy Scribe

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    I got Eragon as a present from someone. I had seen the movie and thought that was... you know, bit trashy, but it had Jeremy Irons and Robert Carlisle so it was alright. And I thought... yea why not, the books are usually better than the films right? But the book just did nothing for me. The writing... I don't know, I just didn't like it at all.

    Had no idea it was written by a teenager, but that makes sense. It reads like it was written like a teenager. Great for him to get something published when he was so young, but I really don't understand why it was so popular.

    And I'm sorry but it doesn't stack up to Twilight in terms of writing. The stories might be similar, teenager lovey dovey stuff. But Twilight is written very well, Eragon... eh. People love to hate Twilight, but that's mostly the hype around the movies. The writing is good, at least in the first book, which is the only one I've read.

    Eragon might have been OK to read if I were younger. There are some books that I read when I was younger and really enjoyed that just don't stack up for me as an adult.

    Where as something like the Harry Potter books, Tolkein and Pratchett, you can enjoy them when you're young and reread them when you're older and get a whole different perspective and enjoy them again. That's strong writing imo.

    If I had picked it up in a book shop and read the first page, I would have put it down again instantly. But since it was bought for me I felt compelled to read it.

    I'd suggest you don't bother with it. There are so many good books out there, Eragon is just... meh.
     
  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy Scribe

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    It's the prose that really kills it for me. It's almost unbearable. I kept thinking it would get better, but it just didn't. I mean how can you read Tolkein, Pratchett, Shakespeare, Rowling, Steven Fry (love his books) and so on, and then read Eragon? I could not stop cringing the entire time I was reading it. I remember the 'molten copper' thing too, that was right at the beginning of the book. Eurgh.

    No... it's nothing like Terry Goodkind either. His prose is no where near as cringe-worthy. The first sword of truth book was quite good. Unfortunately they just got stupider and stupider as they went on. The amount of times Kahlan 'almost got raped' became like a running joke. But it wasn't his prose that was the problem. It was his ridiculously stupid characters and plot lines.

    I really have no idea at all how Eragon became so popular. It's probably the same reason that kid Justin Beiber is so popular.

    I don't think we'll ever understand.
     
  7. Ice Spider

    Ice Spider Scribe

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    I personally thought it was after book 3 when Goodkind's plots became so ridiculous/contrived and the characters so irritating it killed the series, but people seem to have different ideas about when it really went downhill. But when it came to his early, more enjoyable books, I have to disagree. The prose (particularly the dialogue) was the single biggest thing that took away from my enjoyment of the series, and that alone had me throwing down the books in exasperation and ranting in frustration in front of my friend who recommended them. Even - and I think especially - in book 1, which was the best in the series. Makes sense; Goodkind is supposed to have dyslexia.

    The dialogue was the main issue I remembered having with the books. I imagined all the characters speaking in weird affected accents because I just couldn't picture anyone talking like that in RL. They aren't fresh in my mind but I remember the phrasing being all off; he uses bad pseudo-Tolkienian syntax like "when were created" and has obsessions with odd words like "goodly" that are overused and out of place stylistically. I think his problem is not being able to feel out which words match with which stylistically. (His "sayings" and metaphors are particularly cringeworthy.) I realize my opinion differs from yours, but if you revisit the series (not that I am suggesting you should, lol) I have a feeling you might change your mind. ;) But don't get me wrong - Paolini is still worse than Goodkind when it comes to prose, no matter how you slice it.

    The distasteful obsession with rape aside, there was still something entertaining about the first three Sword of Truth books (when I first read them, anyway - which, like when I picked up Eragon, was before I'd read much fantasy). That's why I compared Goodkind to Paolini, their first books are enjoyable, standard, turn-off-your-brain fantasy fare if you haven't read much of the genre and can ignore the terrible prose. But again I add: why would you bother when there is much better stuff out there?

    Perfectly put...
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Eragon does make Twilight look like Nobel Prize material. I will only go so far as to say the writing in Twilight is average. It isn't terrible, it isn't great.

    Eragon is probably second on the list of worst-written books I've ever tried to read. The first was some old D&D book by Douglas Niles whose name I can no longer recall. I tried that one a long time ago, so my memory is a bit hazy. Eragon might be worse in terms of writing.
     
  9. cliche

    cliche Minstrel

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    For me it wasn't so much as the story but the way Paolini's 'style' of writing hasn't changed much over the years. With a lot of authors you see that they graddually get better at telling their story as time goes by, but with Paolini... he just doesn't seem to be getting any better.
    I admit that when I first read Eragon I thought it was great... until I started to read into the genre more. I read the book Dark Moon By David Gemmell and it made me realize that Eragon is not that good of a series at all.
    One of the problems with Paolini's work is that he puts so many complicated words into his novel that it seems that he was using a thesuarus for the entire length of the novel.
    Only time will tell if Paolini will further develop as a writer (especially since he has finished the inheritance series).
     
  10. mirrorrorrim

    mirrorrorrim Minstrel

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    For me, and I think for a lot of people, it was because of how young the author was when he wrote it. When I heard that a kid had published a book at 17, one that he'd started writing it at 15, I was curious. And, honestly, for a 15-year-old, the first book's amazing. Yes, it's incredibly cliched, and the writing's only so-so (only occasionally is it downright poor), but the fact that someone his age could even finish a book is somewhat incredible. At that age, most of us struggled to even write a coherent five-page paper.

    The problem, of course, is that we were expecting his writing to improve a lot in his sequels, because he was now several years older. When that didn't happen, I, for one, lost interest.
     
  11. Tera-lon

    Tera-lon Dreamer

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    Really, if people had really stuck through and read the series to the end, the writing matured as each book came out. The story had a great plot and storyline, and as the writer matured in his writing, so did the characters such as eragon. Yes, it was written by a fifteen year old at the time, but overall, it was a great series. There was parts that I did not like, but that is the case with every book.
     
  12. John Tucker

    John Tucker New Member

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    Eragon was a great opener for me that welcomed me into the world of fantasy. I remember discussing it with my best friend about the plot and how awesome the story was, but that was several years ago. As I began to further delve into fantasy, I began to realize that his newer publications didn't offer any spark, any new creativity. I like the tie between humans and dragons, but overall the story could be much more enhanced. I suppose I can't say much about Eragon, seeing as he was fifteen when he wrote it, but he is nearly twice that age now, and the series ended in a rather pathetic way -- pathetic in the sense that it could definitely have been improved, almost as if it was lazed.

    If the Inheritance Cycle has a strong suit, it is that it's a splendid introduction for new readers interested in reading fantasy. It isn't the greatest out there, but I would recommend it to novices in fantasy.
     
  13. Arkius

    Arkius Dreamer

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    I think that it is completely worth the time it takes to read and I just finished the fourth of the series and it Is amazIng. My only dislike about the series is that it ends.
     
  14. karriezai

    karriezai Scribe

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    I couldn't get through Eragon. I read quite a bit of it, too, before deciding I didn't ever want to finish. It just didn't interest me. I wanted to care because of the author's story, but I didn't.

    Maybe it's ironic, but I did always enjoy Amelia Atwater Rhodes growing up. She had a similar success story of writing her first book and getting it published very young. In middle school I looked up to her because I wanted to do the same thing, and I still read any new books she puts out and enjoy them pretty well.

    Not Paolini though. Blah.
     
  15. Argentum

    Argentum Troubadour

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    I still make jokes that Paolini is a bad writer. Lots of good things, definitely, but ... well. For instance, I did like the last book best. It was pretty good. I liked how it ended and how it all came together. The only thing is that there were a lot of things that happened that didn't need to happen. Example (spoiler, but not really spoiler), in the 4th book, Eragon is traveling to the dwarves with that one Urgal persons. Then, they have to hide and they watch some giant boars. And then there was the moment when there were wolves that almost attacked but didn't.... In the end of those situations, nothing was improved. The plot did not change, the characters were no different, it had no meaning to the overall plot. If those sort of moments were actually removed, the books wouldn't nearly be so thick as they are.

    The story was good though. I did get into the last one particularly. Another thing that kinda bothers me is that he leaves so many loose ends in the stories. Prophesies, debts to friends, etc. Then, he goes back and picks up all those loose ends. Which is good, because you want to know that there isn't anything left unsaid, but the sheer amount of them all at once... Like (I think it was book #3) there was one chapter soley dedicated to Eragon handing out three gold orbs as payment to people. I really couldn't care less that he paid off his debts to characters I didn't care for and it was incredibly boring, but at least everything was set right. So it was good he made sure to cover everything, but it probably wouldn't have been so annoying if he had not made so many loose ends/debts in the first place.
     
  16. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    I agree with what you said in the latter part of your post. I believe that by the age of 18, my age, you should be able to write fairly well.

    I am usually blunt in my opinion towards books, so I will just say that I find Paolini's rather dull and unimaginative. I don't know the facts, but I'm going to guess that his parent's are the ones solely responsible for his fame.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  17. Morgoth

    Morgoth Dreamer

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    I bought and read Inheritance recently (I preffer to finish reading a book series I've started, and admittedly out of genuine interest to see how it all ended) and beforehand re-read the other three books so I remembered everything that happened.

    I have to say I think it is a really poor work overall. Before rereading the books I would probably be in favour of them now. When I was younger and hadn't read much fantasy I did enjoy Eragon. But rereading it I realized quite frankly how bad it was. Most of the characters are dull (Eragon in particular who at times seems to have no personality whatsoever), the plot is pretty much the same as A New Hope, lots of other things copied from other fantasy works, way too much detail on unimportant things and not enough on things that actually are important, chapters where nothing interesting happens and that don't add anything to the story...

    It would be excusable (it was his first book, he was young when he wrote it) if he had actually improved with each book, which he didn't. If anything they got poorer in quality. Eldests plot was taken from Empire Strikes Back and was even more boring then Eragon, to the point that there were chapters of Eragons training that I just wanted to skip. Brisingr was even worse then Eldest...there's barely any consistent plot throughout the whole book, and the middle chapters were so boring it nearly made me skip to the end. I'd say Inheritance might be as bad or worse then Brisingr mainly because of it's ending, though it'd take up a lot of space to put down all my problems with it.

    I don't think I'll ever read any of them again, and I'd never recommend it to someone, even someone fairly young - there's just so much better they could be reading.
     
  18. Azza

    Azza Scribe

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    I personally quite enjoyed the Eragon series, and yes, I read all four XD I didn't like the ending at all, and bits of it were too predictable (I knew the ending before Paolini wrote it!) But it's a fun and imaginative world he's created which can be enjoyed be people of all ages I believe, it just depends on your taste. Some can ignore the errors while it ruins the tale for others. No harm in giving it a go, but it's certainly not one of the 'must read' series!
     
  19. I enjoyed the first three books. They had obvious issues but I didn't mind reading them; I wanted to know what happened.

    When I started reading the fourth book, I made it about two or three chapters before I gave up. I couldn't stop myself from rewriting every sentence in my head to be half as long. The prose was so distracting, I couldn't actually pay attention to the story.
     
  20. Hominid

    Hominid Dreamer

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    Eragon was what got me into fantasy in the first place. I definitely think the series is underrated. Not the best series in the world, and certainly not very original, but all four books are enjoyable reads, and the ending is not as predictable as some would have you believe.
     
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