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Paolini's Inheritance Cycle

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Aravelle, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    The "songs of the dead" bit is the opening line of Eldest; it's Eragon's direct thought as he observes the aftermath of battle and the mourning of those who are taking their dead loved ones to be buried. (I actually googled the quote and found a pdf copy of the book to look in.) No idea about the other stuff though.
     
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  2. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I've read those quotes in context. They're just as bad. Especially the first one. Eragon thinks that line while playing with a dead soldier's molar. A dead soldier's molar.

    Mythopoet, what I don't understand is why you're getting all defensive. We're all discussing why we think a book is badly written. This is a matter of opinion, not of logic. All of us have reasons for considering this writing bad--whether because of the purple prose, the poorly structured sentences, paragraphs, and narrative arc, the rampant cliches, or other reasons. Can this please just be a fun discussion where we analyze and critique the writing? I don't really feel up for an argument.
     
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  3. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    I'm not getting defensive. I don't particularly like Eragon. I don't care whether or not any likes it or doesn't. But I object to shoddy logic and bad reason. I argue against those things not because I'm being defensive, but because I'd really like to see more people in the world who use their minds well.
     
  4. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Quite honestly, I think that line is good. I am puzzled that it would cause confusion for a thinking human being at all.
     
  5. I don't particularly like the songs of the dead line. Perhaps I'm utilitarian in my thinking but it really doesn't do much of anything. It's just an author showing off to me. Now, if that line did something more than just be there I wouldn't object so much. Not that it's a bad line per se, I just don't like it much.

    Oh another thing that displeased me was especially prevalent in the first couple of books was how ham-fisted he was when discussing religion or any set of beliefs like vegetarianism. There was no nuance at all it felt like he was being an edgy teenager, which I suppose he was but that doesn't give him an excuse. A published book, whether by an adult or teenager needs to be as good as a published book. Seriously those chapters screamed, "ATHEISM IS BETTER THAN THEISM BECAUSE REASONS!"

    Then of course there were the vegetarianism discussions in book 2. Blah, blah, blah killing life blah, blah, blah. All life is sacred blah, blah, blah. You are bad if you eat meat you heathen. Blah, blah, blah. Made me want to eat a steak out of spite, which I did. So, I can thank him for that I suppose. But this is the seed of my annoyance.

    The over-wrought and ham-fisted nature of everything. If I wanted an opinion piece I would read a law journal, or comment sections on YouTube. If I wanted ham-fisted references I would watch YouTube parodies or the Simpsons. I wanted neither, I got both throughout the series. It frustrated me.

    Although, I didn't notice all of this until I was a much more mature reader and writer. I also didn't realize how much Eragon affected my writing in my first book.
     
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  6. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I didn't pull individual lines and string them together. I pulled the paragraph as a whole from TV Tropes. Whether *they* quoted correctly or in context is a different issue altogether and doesn't really reflect on my analysis. Further in my defense, the first line is literally the opening line of Eldest. So it's just as nonsensical in context. I don't have a copy of Eldest on hand, but I'd say that holds for the other lines as well. Someone who has a copy of the book back me up on this.

    EDIT: I was ninja'd. Thanks to all the posters who supported my opinion.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Found the "gray-eyed Destiny" bit -- it's in the synopsis of Eragon that's at the front of Eldest. Still looking for the bird/clouded moon line.

    EDIT: Found it. It's much later on in the book, when Eragon is apparently trying to scry on someone through a teardrop in his hand. Doesn't make it any less purple, though.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
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  8. druidofwinter

    druidofwinter Sage

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    What I think is being lost here is the effect the book has upon the average reader. The writer without the reader is nothing. Millions of people loved the books simply because they told an entertaining story. The average reader is not as well educated in the writer's craft as I am sure the members of this site are, and so do not see as many of those technical problems that we do.
    All books have faults, so more than others. But if the reader does not see them or does not care about them than they are moot.
    No one is saying Paolini is Tolkien's son. But if his book pleased a reader and made them want more than it did its job. No one could ask for more.
    I agree with Tom that this should not be a debat. Let us discuss not dissect Paolini's work.
    Sorry for typos and such, writing on a mobile isn't easy.
     
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  9. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I think Paolini sold millions of copies because Paolini's life story was compelling, not the novels.
     
  10. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    There are so many factors that go into determining the sales of a book aside from the quality of the book itself. So regardless, I don't think millions sold = high quality.
     
  11. Which I don't think Druid is saying mindfire. Druid is saying that the book did its job of entertaining and that should be enough. I disagree. It shouldn't be enough. Rather, the enough should be honed, refined, and the best we could publish at the time. Paolini might be that with Eragon but judging by the story of how his parents got the book published through their own company furst and later another company that isn't the case. A good editor would have forced paolini to change things around, rework the prose, and fix those damn ham-dusted moments. His parents couldn't be that cruel because they're parents.

    I also disagree with the dissection discussion false dichotomy. To discuss one needs to dissect. This same dissection is what we need to do to out own works. We must be cruel in order to be kind. This dudsection dhould have been done pre-publication. It wasn't. So here we are.
     
  12. StannisTheMannis

    StannisTheMannis Dreamer

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    It was publicized as more compelling than it was. If his parents weren't publishers/agents/whatever, he wouldn't be famous.

    On a side-note, does anyone remember that thirty-page duel Roran had with some Empire dude in Inheritance? I remember being frustrated that a single fight took that long, and amazed at how long it continued.
     
  13. druidofwinter

    druidofwinter Sage

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    I would like to clear up the misconception that Paolini's parents were in the publishing industry. The first edition of Eragon was self-published, which anyone these days can do.
    It got its kickstart when author Carl Hiaasen read it and recomended it to Random House, who, in turn, published it.
     
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