Vent about the Book You're Reading

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Devor, May 11, 2018.

  1. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Hey Scribes!

    This is a thread for reacting openly to whatever book you're reading. The rule here is simple: You can post spoilers only about the book you are currently reading. So be careful! If someone comes to vent about Gandalf's demise, you can't tell them about Gandalf the White.

    This is a bit of an experiment, so let's see if this takes.
     
  2. pmmg

    pmmg Dark Lord

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    Ned Stark got killed? Man....
     
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I'll edit to make it Gandalf.
     
  4. pmmg

    pmmg Dark Lord

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    What? Gandalf too?!?
     
    Devor likes this.
  5. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    i'm reading Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey and damn, I'm not liking it.

    I'm really grossed out by the dynamic between F'lar and Lessa. Let's start with that. He basically admits to himself that her first sexual encounter was "violent" and that he neglected to tell her about the mating flight on the assumption that she wasn't a virgin so it wouldn't matter. Consent still matters you absolute bent doorframe. Their relationship is less "love interests" than "girl forced into sexual relationship with guy she tolerates at best." Which i guess could have its place in a story, but F'lar is supposed to be the hero.

    What the heck is up with the apostrophes? Is it supposed to be a glottal stop? How do you put a glottal stop in F'lar? As far as i can tell they're just aesthetics and it's super annoying.

    The thing i hate the most...and hate to admit...is that i'm utterly underwhelmed with the dragons, the worldbuilding, the politics. Especially the politics. But the author doesnt really develop the relationship between Ramoth and Lessa or even spend a lot of time on the dragons at all. I guess i'm missing some of the wonder here. Everyone talks about being enchanted by these books as 12 or 13 year olds but i would have been bored as shit at that age by this. As for the world, I know from reading about the other books that this is actually a futuristic novel, but so far all i'm getting is "bland medieval vagueness"...

    Anyway. Temeraire>Pern, definitely, imo. Which i also hate to say because Temeraire is good, but far from great, and so unbearably slow.
     
    Devor likes this.
  6. Yora

    Yora Mystagogue

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    I'm rereading Conan, stsrting with The Phoenix on the Sword and its legendary opening narration that starts the whole series (and defines the genre, really).

    And then the plot begins and the whole first chapter consists of nothing but the leader of the conspiracy repeating to his enslaved sorcerer the entire conspiracy plan and the backstory and motivations of the other four conspirators who have just left to assassinate the king. This is all stuff that the sorcerer already knows! We don't need to know it.
    This is the clunkiest opening I have ever seen by a wide margin. How did this lead to a legendary classic?
     
  7. pmmg

    pmmg Dark Lord

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    The story, The Pheonix on the Sword is actually a rewrite of the Kull story, By this Axe I Rule, which is a much better story than the Conan one. While this may be his first Conan story, I though Conan's story started earlier than that. Howard is a tricky writer to evaluate, cause he would write stories, and if they did not publish, he would reuse the idea for another one. It was only after he became well known that all his works got published, and thereby, the pattern of story ideas and themes getting reused became apparent. I would not consider Phoenix on the Sword to be one of the better Conan stories.

    When I think of the best Conan stories, Red Nails, Queen of the Black Coast, the Frost Giants Daughter, and which ever one has the elephant god in it come first to mind.
     
  8. Yora

    Yora Mystagogue

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    By This Axe I Rule is better in every way in my opinion. Queen of the Black Coast is one that I see everyone love, but I found to be completely forgetable and Belit one of the most bland side characters in any of the stories.
     
  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    I just finished--so it counts!--Magician's Apprentice by Ray Feist. I think I may have glimpsed some interesting ideas away off on the horizon there, but as a story unto itself, this left me bored. I had to drag myself through it and I'm at a loss to know why a major publishing house would have read this and thought it was a winner. It was, of course, which only demonstrates why I'm not an agent or a publisher.

    The dialog is hammy, the pacing is uneven at best, the characters are all stereotypes and were when he wrote it. I think a reviewer might call the book sprawling, but to me it was merely fragmented.
     
    Heliotrope likes this.
  10. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    Yeah, Magician: Apprentice was hard to get through. I'm not even going to try reading Magician: Master. It's interesting to note that the two halves, Apprentice and Master, are basically the director's cut of the original novel. A lot of material was added back in that was left out in the original version. Makes me wonder if the original was a lot more streamlined and that's why it was a hit when first published.
     
  11. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    She was raped by the hero and I nearly threw the book into the campfire.

    Onward, I've moved to another book now.
     
  12. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Because in those days our options were limited. Feist was at his best (as my youthful memory recalls... when writing with Janny Wurts, the Empire Trilogy. I know some friends of mine who really enjoyed Magician (as one book, not two). My opinion was... okay... but after Magician and the Empire trilogy, I couldn't stomach his works. He might have improved, but I wouldn't know.

    I'd like to blame the time period, but to me... Name of the Wind flat blows. So, go figure.
     
  13. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    Nearly?
     
  14. pmmg

    pmmg Dark Lord

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    I remember enjoying these two books a long while back. I recall my biggest complaint about it was that the MC was named Pug. Which I found irksome for the whole series. Other than that, it was good epic tale, with all the stuff I might want from a fantasy book. I enjoyed the Belgaraid more...but its been many years on that one too.
     
  15. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    LOL, yeah, Pug annoyed me too. I think I was more of a fan of the Belgariad myself, too. God only knows what I would think of them now, however. It's best I don't try to read the books of my youth again.

     
  16. pmmg

    pmmg Dark Lord

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    Yeah, I don't know what I might think if I tried to read any of them today. But I don't regret that I read them, and if I had not, I feel I would have to to catch up. Of course there are a number of books I have not liked, but I don't see dwelling on them for very long. Heck, bad writing is more educational than good writing anyway. Last fantasy one I read which I really did not care for was Sword of Shannara. Maybe if I was younger when I read it, it would have been okay. But, I think it would have still bothered me even then.
     
  17. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Lore Master

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    I'm reading the first book of the Hunger Games. I am about half way through the book and I want to kill Katniss Everdeen! When is she finally going to get around to killing someone instead of hiding in trees, talk about food and not being seen and obsessing over some dude named Peeta who may or may not like her? Everything she thinks is rational and there's not so much as a naughty thought anywhere about anyone. However, I only read when I'm in the toilet so it's good to know that there's a fitting substitute.

    Maybe my opinion might change by the time I get to the end of it?
     
  18. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    Her behavior pays off big time. Let's hope you think so, too? -_-
     
  19. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    >Name of the Wind flat blows.
    Agreed. I couldn't finish it.

    As for Hunger Games, that was horrible. I could not get past the ludicrous sociology. Nor did I believe for an instant the incredibly contrived nature of the games themselves. There were so many gods leaping out of machines, it was like a Keystone Kops movie.

    Since I've let the peeves out from their cages, I couldn't stand Harry Potter either. Again, ridiculous plot contrivances, a school setting far less believable than Tom Brown's, and the most ham-handed use of Latin I ever care to see. Oddly enough, whereas the Hunger Games movies were every bit as dull as the book (I only managed one), I rather enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, save for the final duology which was a muddle. The actors saved that one. Nothing could save Hunger Games. It was as silly as the Dune movie.

    Session over? Thanks doc. See you next week.
     
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  20. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Hunger Games the book, I didn’t make it past chapter one, but my wife loved it. The movie felt contrived but I can see its popularity in that teeny-bopper sort of popcorn flick way. And the worst part, is its the best of these teen-dystopian sort of movies that I’ve seen. The glut in these types of movies and how bad they are is what makes me fear a remake of Logan’s Run, which was fun in its day.

    Potter again, can’t make it past the first couple chapters. The movies, I made it through three watching with kids... napping... but I appreeciate the Potter series for bringing young people to fantasy.
     
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