Author Topic: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)  (Read 4938 times)

Loud_G

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2011, 03:22:01 PM »
Book Ten is the worst of the bunch, but I only ever found it annoying when I read it the first time and still had to wait for book 11. On subsequent read throughs it is much more paletable because I know that Book 11 is waiting for me at the end.

It was a failed experiment yes. But the passages are still interesting by themselves. The main complaint about book 10 is there is no overarching plot or progression. The entire book is in response to events at the end of Book 9. Which while an interesting idea, in practice didn't pan out too well in written format.

But I don't have any problem reading it anymore because I don't consider them individual books anymore. It is all part of one story. One HUGE book if you will. :)
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Jason R. Peters

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2011, 03:38:00 PM »
That's encouraging because...I just finished Book 9.

And the end of Book 9 really makes me want to turn the page.

andygal

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2011, 07:42:28 PM »
the end of book 9 is epic in several senses.

happyman

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2011, 08:15:38 PM »
<I>Even books 10-11 were decent.</i>

I think you mean 11 is decent.  10 is considered the worst in the series so much that's it's more fact than opinion.

I was prepared to disagree with you (out of hopeful optimism that a horrific book wasn't still ahead of me), but I caught wind of the Amazon.com reviews of book ten. OUCH.

The top-rated five-star review is actually a tongue-in-cheek criticism.

I'm 93% through book 9. Crud.

Amen.  I've just begun reading Book 10.  The Prologue has me bored to tears.  A couple of interesting viewpoints would have been a way better choice than that smorgasbord.  Glimmers of the Pattern is trying to tell a story of 100 different people at once, and as a result, you fail to care about any.  Book 9 was better than both 8 and what book 10 is shaping up to be, as was book 11, IIRC.
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Jason R. Peters

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2011, 12:43:44 PM »
Amen.  I've just begun reading Book 10.  The Prologue has me bored to tears.  A couple of interesting viewpoints would have been a way better choice than that smorgasbord.  Glimmers of the Pattern is trying to tell a story of 100 different people at once, and as a result, you fail to care about any. 

Just started the prologue myself...made it to Gawyn's perspective.

I'm finding it more interesting after having read books 12-13 and I actually know who Rodel Ituralde is. (In fact, I did a double-take to see him mentioned as early as book 5.) I know why he matters. It made me interested in his plotline. Furthermore, Graendal's politics in Book 9 affect him, too. It feels like plot progression this time.

But the first time I read it, my reaction was:  "Uchthk. Another character to care about? I'm exhausted."

This corroborates my theory that Jordan's style works far better for rereading than just reading. There's too much you don't know or can't connect. Knowing that Corlan Dashiva was Forsaken made every chapter with Rand's private four Asha'aman more interesting.

I gave dad-in-law books 1-3 last Christmas, and I was surprised it wasn't obvious who "Selene" was in book 2. I also inquired whether he realized Rand had "channeling sickness" when he and Mat are on the road together, explaining that Jordan's infodump from Moiraine to Nynaeve is intended as a hint to what Rand is really going through. None of this is obvious on a first read, even the most blatant of double identities.

By book ten when Lanfear has had no less than six identities, it gets a little hard to keep up with.

Other plot threads are similar...Gawyn's has payoff in books 12-13, but in I remember being annoyed by most of his appearances everywhere else. The Borderlander armies and their meeting with Egwene makes a lot more sense when you consider the conclusion of that thread when Rand meets them, and it also gives more meaning to the times they are repeatedly mentioned (starting with rumors of Tenobia disappearing). But when any of these points are first mentioned, the reader wonders why he he should care.

It fits with the "one big book" comment above, but now I remember why I was so angry when these books first came out. To wait two-three years only to see a bunch of new characters introduced...yikes.

Lord Terrisman

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2011, 01:58:38 AM »
the end of book 9 is epic in several senses.

That's makes me feel a glimmer of hope.  I'm just reading New Spring in between finishing The Path of Daggers and starting Winter's Heart.  Thank you for the hope.  I, unlike most of you here, actually liked The Path of Daggers.  I thought there was some really great stuff here, though it could definitely have had some stuff cut out.  I agree with all of you guys on perrin and Faile.  I like Perrin in books 1-4, but then he just got so whipped it wasn't even funny.  I would have much preferred more scenes from Maighidin (Morgase) and Tallanvor to portray life in his camp.  I like their PoV much better.  Also Elayne continues to grate on me.  But besides those facts and a few more I still really like The Path of Daggers, especially when there was the battle with the Seanchan I though that was amazing.  I'm looking forwards to reading book9 now.  Though book 10 sounds like it's going to be one of the books that you have to get through.  Kind like how the second half of book 6 was for me.

Jason R. Peters

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2011, 02:44:30 AM »
the end of book 9 is epic in several senses.

That's makes me feel a glimmer of hope.  I'm just reading New Spring in between finishing The Path of Daggers and starting Winter's Heart.  Thank you for the hope.  I, unlike most of you here, actually liked The Path of Daggers.  I thought there was some really great stuff here, though it could definitely have had some stuff cut out.  I agree with all of you guys on perrin and Faile.  I like Perrin in books 1-4, but then he just got so whipped it wasn't even funny.  I would have much preferred more scenes from Maighidin (Morgase) and Tallanvor to portray life in his camp.  I like their PoV much better.  Also Elayne continues to grate on me.  But besides those facts and a few more I still really like The Path of Daggers, especially when there was the battle with the Seanchan I though that was amazing.  I'm looking forwards to reading book9 now.  Though book 10 sounds like it's going to be one of the books that you have to get through.  Kind like how the second half of book 6 was for me.

For me, book 6 was where things began to slow. I found book 7 atrocious, but like you, there was much in book 8 that I enjoyed, including some points you mentioned.

Book 9 was enjoyable, very enjoyable, but too long.

I'm in book 10 now and everyone is right...it's terrible. REALLY terrible.

But if memory serves, Book 11 was significantly better, and in my opinion books 12 & 13 were significantly higher quality than anything else in the series except for books 2 and 4 (which they match, except with a more epic scope).

Lord Terrisman

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2011, 06:04:45 PM »
I agree with you on book 6...book 7 I feel was OK after you got through the first 300 or so pages (which is just outrageous) and thank you for the hope of book11,12 and 13.  Now I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel when I'm reading CoT.

old aggie

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2011, 02:17:36 AM »
I totally could not read beyond book 6 - had to force myself to get that far.

From there on, I've used the online synopses - and now Leigh Butler's Re-Read - to get up to speed for Brandon's books.

By book the end of 6, I hated all the characters and wanted them all to die - or maybe grow up, or get counseling, or join a 12-step group, or something.

Really, I'm a Brandon fan, not a WoT fan (hey, you can't like everything), so I fully confess that I'm in the minority in this thread. If Brandon hadn't stepped in, I'd have never read any of these books, so it's better than nothing, eh?

While I'm happy for my many friends who are hard-core WoT fans, I just lost patience with the repetitive incidents of hazing (naked people beating each other with sticks; I wondered a little if it was related to Jordan's time at VMI) and the excessively florid descriptions.

Now I realize that these are things that draw some people in to Jordan's style - if that be the case, more power to you.

I'm just thankful to all the folks (including you TWG readers) who've contributed to the Encyclopedia, etc., because you have saved me a boatload of pain.

Morsker

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2011, 10:02:37 AM »
While I'm happy for my many friends who are hard-core WoT fans, I just lost patience with the repetitive incidents of hazing (naked people beating each other with sticks; I wondered a little if it was related to Jordan's time at VMI) and the excessively florid descriptions.

I'm a WoT fan, but I agree with you about the "hazing", and I think this issue doesn't get the criticism it deserves in WoT fandom. (Discussion of gender tends to drown out all other issues.) The story glorifies every form of hazing. Somewhere in the background, there's the idea that taking hazing too far "breaks" people and is wrong, but that's only a fig leaf, or disclaimer. There's just a ridiculous amount of hazing in WoT, it never traumatizes anyone, and only makes people stronger.

I noticed a real contrast in Way of Kings, where a minor character was traumatized by abuse, instead of being made stronger. While it's only the most minor part of WoK, and the topic is unpleasant, I'd read so much Wheel of Time that I immediately noticed the contrast. Wheel of Time goes to such lengths to censor every negative consequence of hazing from the narrative that the contrast to any story without the self-imposed censorship is tangible.

maxonennis

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2011, 03:42:03 PM »
I'm a WoT fan, but I agree with you about the "hazing", and I think this issue doesn't get the criticism it deserves in WoT fandom. (Discussion of gender tends to drown out all other issues.) The story glorifies every form of hazing. Somewhere in the background, there's the idea that taking hazing too far "breaks" people and is wrong, but that's only a fig leaf, or disclaimer. There's just a ridiculous amount of hazing in WoT, it never traumatizes anyone, and only makes people stronger.

As someone who grew up in foster care and have been around a number of different kids who have been abused, I’ve come to the conclusion that those that are traumatized are typically the kids who were passive to begin with. Also, I would recommend you read On Killing by Lt. David Grossman. He has a whole section on the psychology of both the torturer and the one being tortured. More often than not it is the torturer who suffers from long term trauma. Plus, I think it should be added that most of the time in tWoT the hazing isn't done with malicious intent.
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mtbikemom

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2011, 06:20:47 PM »
Good points I think, Max and Mors.  Could some of the paragraphs that seemed to drown in small descriptive details have been better utilized describing the internal struggles of non-forsaken hazers and hazees?  Most definitely. We may have seen some regret in one short-lived forsaken and they all were psychologically affected adversely from their evil ways.  Maybe Brandon supplied some of that, I don't remember.  But the consequences of near-torture on the "good guys" is never satisfactorily shown, I agree.  This may have somewhat salvaged the content of some of the worst books.  RJ's military career must have played a part in this.  Did he feel strengthened by the treatment he must have received at The Citadel?  Did he haze others himself?  I'm not sure we'll ever know.  This is not something I think I'd ask his surviving relatives.     

Jordan not only missed a few consequences, he also missed one major motivation.  He never properly showed why the Two Rivers folk are basically good and moral, with a few exceptions, while the rest of Randland suffered from all the problems and evils that we are familiar with in our world.  I never bought the "isolated, homogenous societies are naturally more pure and uncomplicated than more worldly ones," which Mr. Jordan seemed to have assumed.  We were eventually shown that there was something special about Manetheren, but in my mind, this did not fully explain the particular mores of the Three Rivers natives, upon which many of the books' delightful social contrasts hinge.  They are often very delightful.

I think pockets of human goodness exist, but there is always a reason, a belief system or an example set by an unusually special leader, whose motivation is also remarkable.  Unfortunately, these societies do not often survive too many generations.  That "power corrupts" idiom takes hold, eventually.  In almost every case.

Speaking of consequences, does anyone really believe that three women sharing one man ever really works as well as RJ imagined?  I think this was a projection of his own personal fantasy.  It never rang true for me.  Despite all that, I am a fan.  If only all of WoT was as well-explained as the Aiel and the Ogier.   Those were fully-fleshed societies with clear motivations and consequences; for me, anyway. 

maxonennis

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2011, 07:21:05 PM »
Speaking of consequences, does anyone really believe that three women sharing one man ever really works as well as RJ imagined? 

*Spoiler Alert*

I think Rand is supposed to in the end, anyway. If that happened they wouldn't all be living in the same house and whatnot. I suppose that was RJ's entire point with Rand. He's going to die, so . . . why not? What could three people do to him that he isn't already going to endure? (Note: I'm not saying I approve.)
"Don't argue with ignorance. And when you argue with me, that's all you get!" Mike

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mtbikemom

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2011, 09:06:11 PM »
Speaking of consequences, does anyone really believe that three women sharing one man ever really works as well as RJ imagined? 

*Spoiler Alert*

I think Rand is supposed to in the end, anyway. If that happened they wouldn't all be living in the same house and whatnot. I suppose that was RJ's entire point with Rand. He's going to die, so . . . why not? What could three people do to him that he isn't already going to endure? (Note: I'm not saying I approve.)

Supposed to what?  Suffer consequences?

It's just that the women of WoT, especially those with power, are not generally any less jealous, petty, ambitious or competitive than real women except in this one case.  Inconsistent much?  I think so. Besides, none of Rand's internal dialogue mentions this reasoning.  At least none that I can remember.  He just seems to be reacting to opportunities of the moment.  Being controlled by women is a consistent theme in Randland, but not the lack of consequence.

Come to think of it, since he's become Min-ogamous, there has been no sharing of him at all.  Except for getting Elayne pregnant, which was a hilarious scene.  That's where there should have been more friction, though.       

Lord Terrisman

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Re: Anyone else have trouble choking down middle WOT books? (spoilers)
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2011, 10:03:14 PM »
I agree despite the fact that he is "shared" by three women he does seem more drawn to Min.  It almost seems like, he had phases where he  courted Elayne first, then courted Aviendha, but then he found Min and stayed with her.  Of course despite Elayne getting pregnant, it seemes like an almost, semi monogamous relationship.  Almost....