Author Topic: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?  (Read 7529 times)

MrMLK

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I haven't read any of the Wheel of Time books yet, but I am a big fan of Brandon Sanderson's works.

I am not sure if I want to read 11 books just to get to his. Is it worth the time to try to read some sort of web summary of the first 11 books to prepare for The Gathering Storm, or am I just not going to have enough of an idea as to what it is going on to make it worthwhile? I am currently in the middle of a different 1000-pages-per-book series (Masters of Rome) and I am not sure if I have the inclination to start another one.

I realize that this is a question that should be sent to the author directly, but I didn't want to bother him while he is working.

Thanks for the help.

Regards, Michael


Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2009, 06:21:53 AM »
You're gonna be completely lost.

Brandon's agent read it cold. By the second half of the book he could enjoy it because it was a good story, but he spent a long time before that confused, and even after that there was no way he could appreciate the significance of many events.

As for summaries, I haven't read through any of them so I can't say whether they'd do a good job catching you up. But even if they do a good job getting you up to speed on the plot, plot is only a small part of a book. Why you'd care about what's happening to the characters is something you can get only from the books themselves.

I personally have experienced all but two of the books as audiobooks. It's something I recommend if you have a few hours of mindless activity each week (such as driving or Photoshop work).
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Roberts

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2009, 07:42:55 AM »
It would be impossible! You'd be about two or three years into the story if I remember correctly. I would definitely recommend starting with book 1 when you have time.

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2009, 01:10:29 PM »
If you read a good online summary, you won't be totally lost, but you'll miss out on the details and foreshadowing of the first books. wotmania used to have chapter summaries for most of the books, but I don't know what happened to them when they died. If you can find those, you'll get almost the same information as you would actually reading the books. You'll still be missing some details, but you'll know as much as (if not more than) most people who've read the books.

Snoop around DragonMount and see if somebody won't dig those summaries out for you. :D
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IngtarWhoStoleChristmas

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2009, 02:21:51 PM »
I agree with everyone else, completely lost, but if you want to give it a go....

http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=13372

That will get you up to Lord of Chaos before Gathering Storm comes out, but you'll still have a few missing books. The WOT Help topic in this forum has some nice recaps by JoeC that might help you get the gist of it. Would still recommend reading the whole story.

Vatdoro

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2009, 03:48:09 PM »
Yes, it would be a waste of time to read The Gathering Storm without reading the rest of the series.

MrMLK

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2009, 04:47:15 PM »
Thanks everyone.

I guess I will have to either read them all or skip the new ones.

My other problem with reading the whole set is the way they were described to me by a good friend (who is also a big Sanderson fan).

When I asked him what he though of the WOT series, he said something like, "1 through 6 were great, 7 was pretty good, 8 and 9 he had to push himself to get through, 10 was terrible, 11 was fair." (I may not have the exact book numbers right.). Does this match the general consensus, or is my friend just too picky? I like a long book, but slogging through 3 or 4 1000 page books just to get through them doesn't sound like fun.

I have to think it over, and to finish my current big series.

In any case, thanks to all for the help.

Regards, Michael

TyranAmiros

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 05:57:38 PM »
When I asked him what he though of the WOT series, he said something like, "1 through 6 were great, 7 was pretty good, 8 and 9 he had to push himself to get through, 10 was terrible, 11 was fair." (I may not have the exact book numbers right.). Does this match the general consensus, or is my friend just too picky? I like a long book, but slogging through 3 or 4 1000 page books just to get through them doesn't sound like fun.

That's more or less the consensus, though I personally think 7 is the funniest book and 11 would be considered a great book if it hadn't followed 8-10.  Getting through book 3, however, I find rough.

If you do decide to try TGS, the Encyclopedia WoT (http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/) has the best set of complete chapter summaries on its site, though the tor.com read-through is far more in depth.  I will say though that most people who *have* read all the books can't keep all the characters/places straight--I remember Brandon saying he was surprised by all the tiny details fans have noted online.

And also, since TGS is not the last WoT book, you can always start with Eye of the World and be all caught up by Towers of Midnight or A Memory of Light!

schneb

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2009, 07:30:52 PM »

When I asked him what he though of the WOT series, he said something like, "1 through 6 were great, 7 was pretty good, 8 and 9 he had to push himself to get through, 10 was terrible, 11 was fair." (I may not have the exact book numbers right.). Does this match the general consensus, or is my friend just too picky? I like a long book, but slogging through 3 or 4 1000 page books just to get through them doesn't sound like fun.



It matches a lot of people's opinion, but I don't think you can call it a general consensus. As stand alone books after 2-4 years of waiting, they aren't that great, but in a straight read through (1-11) they fit in nicely. The first time I read book 10, I thought it was bad, but that was coming after waiting forever for it to come out. After having re-read it a couple of times, I can't remember why I didn't like it the first time. I'll be starting book 10 again about the day after tomorrow so that I can have the series completely re-read by the release date.

3-4 1000 page books is stretching it a little. I think the longest in that sequence still comes in at under 700 pages (discounting the glossary).

ErikHolmes

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2009, 07:52:06 PM »
When I asked him what he though of the WOT series, he said something like, "1 through 6 were great, 7 was pretty good, 8 and 9 he had to push himself to get through, 10 was terrible, 11 was fair." (I may not have the exact book numbers right.). Does this match the general consensus, or is my friend just too picky? I like a long book, but slogging through 3 or 4 1000 page books just to get through them doesn't sound like fun.


I personally wouldn't agree with that statement. The earlier books were better then the later books, but even the later book were much better then most other fantasy books out there. The characters are always entertaining, but I think in the later books you get a little let down by the plot not moving ahead as much as you want.

But I've never had to "push myself to get through" a book in the WOT series.

My advice is to just read Eye of the World and see what you think. Read it until you get to where the Trollocs attack at least.
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MrMLK

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2009, 08:49:24 PM »
My advice is to just read Eye of the World and see what you think. Read it until you get to where the Trollocs attack at least.

Done. I will give it a try.

Regards and thanks to all, Michael

douglas

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2009, 09:01:15 PM »
My personal opinion on the subject of the later WoT books is that the real problem was the time period covered in each book compared to the time between each book release. By that point in the series there are a large number of plot lines going on at once, and even a large book can only make so much progress when its pages are split over as many different things as those books cover. So, when people got a book they'd been waiting two or three years for and found it only advanced the timeline by a week or two (I think that's actually literally accurate for one of them), with an appropriate amount of stuff happening for such a short period, they were understandably disappointed. When it happened again for all the same reasons two or three years later, and another time two or three years after that...

Cut out the multiple years wait between books and the problem suddenly gets a lot smaller. Now you can just read them all as fast as you like, and the books you do have to wait for are supposed to come at just one year intervals and are at the point in the series where plot lines are converging, resolving, and getting less numerous so each book can cover more time and be more eventful.

Also, some of the major plot lines in the much criticized books are primarily political, and a lot of people don't like that. I found it interesting, but many people seem to view that as boring filler.

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2009, 09:11:04 PM »
I liked both Crown of Swords and Path of Daggers though Winters Heart and Crossroads of Twilight suck untill you read 11 after that you realize how well written they are.. 11 is one of the better books.... my top three are Eye of the World (1.), Dragon Reborn (3.), Knife of Dreams (11.), probably in that order 1 and 3 go back and forth
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Casco

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2009, 06:52:43 PM »
The first 2 books feels like another story.. but read from the 1 book so you dont miss the two river feeling..and the escape of the youngsters :) The story grows in a epic way...and the complete story up to book 12 is just awesome. There are some weak books..but as a whole they are wery mutch needed. Book 11 is the best book (so far) Mat is just a great young man to read about. Mats character development is just amazing. Can anybody NOT love him :D

Start read (or lissen to audiobooks, faster) from book 1 and prepeare for a epic ride :D

(sorry for my bad english, im sweed)

MrMLK

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Re: Haven't read WOT - Is it a waste of time to try to read Gathering Storm?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2009, 07:57:52 PM »
Start read (or lissen to audiobooks, faster) from book 1 and prepeare for a epic ride :D

I find that I read at least twice as fast as I can listen to audiobooks. Also, I can devote more hours in a row to reading. But thanks for the advice.

Regards, Michael