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Unimpressed DomA Send a noteboard - 29/03/2010 10:50:07 PM
I would certainly have expected something a bit more elevated from someone with his credentials and background. This reads less like a good and fair review of Jordan's WOT (let alone an illuminating one) than a slightly condescending trashing of popular Fantasy and those who enjoy it in general, from someone whom I suspect ressents a bit the fact Science-Fiction itself is usually thrown in the same bag by the Literati. Speculative fiction doesn't need the Literary crowd to snob it when insiders like Roberts come and do the work for them, and with as much bad faith (deceptively disguised under pretense of giving the work a fair try) as they would!

For someone who blames a fellow writer for his "lack of originality" and his lack of depth (of course, those people generally have a fairly narrow definition of "depth";), Roberts himself has yet to raise an original point in his criticism of Jordan. There's nothing in there that hasn't been said many times before, and often in far more insightful ways.

These so far are shallow reviews, and they're already becoming more and more redundant, and he's only at book 3. This should turn into plain parody and satire before long.

Roberts should bother a bit less for his cheap humour effects and derisive "wit" to entertain the gallery and bother a bit more about doing his work properly as a reviewer, or else what's the point? If he doesn't intend to make a genuine effort to review the series, what's the point of doing it book-by-book instead of a single review of the whole? This turned into a highly opinionated and superficial read-through, not a review.

Roberts is perfectly conscious of the fact these books are not stand-alones but parts of a greater whole. I wonder how he'd react if reviewers started to criticize his own novels after reading just a few chapters instead of confining themselves to tentative "early impressions" until they've reached the end and can bitch all they want on a sure footing.

With the derisive and abrasive tone he's taken, and with his credentials as an academic and genre writer splashed at the top of the page, Roberts shouldn't be given many free passes when he's wrong in his reviews. He lost most of his credibility right from his review of the first book (quoting bad information he's lifted from Wikipedia. He'd probably crucify any students who dare do that! But Jordan isn't a writer deserving respect from a peer, he can do with unverified stuff from Wikipedia, no?) It's easy enough to criticize Jordan's decision to give the beginning of the series a very cliché, all too familiar feeling - and most reviewers do (rightly so) - but placing the whole thing under the "Tolkien rip-off" umbrella is the sort of ground level analysis you expect to get with Amazon.com reviews or in high school essays, or from reviewers whose knowledge of the genre starts and ends with Tolkien. You expect someone who writes SF to have better insight to offer than this.

If he's going to pass broad judgements so early, without bothering to read further first, then I'd expect him to have done his homeworks and get some good background information on the series to make sure to avoid saying too much inanities. Had he done so, he would not make the same mistake as Jordan's early readers and approach this series as an "epic" when the central epic is just the spine around which Jordan intended to weave a larger chronicle. Roberts doesn't have the excuse of reading WOT in the early 1990s to miss the point as much as he does (especially with TGH. Sheesh... that book is awful enough as it is without having to invent flaws while overlooking many of the more obvious ones!)

I have little patience with reviewers of Fantasy who still make the intellectually lazy implication (they all know better than to make a statement abou that) that Tolkien is the father of the Fantasy's Hero's Journey. They give Tolkien a free pass for all his borrowings from myth and legends and the hero's journey (he was hardly the first to do so, only LOTR's popularity made him appear "seminal" in this respect - and if not for the zeitgeist and the hippies on campuses Tolkien's work might well never have emerged from the fringes to become a wide audience success), but everyone else is just copying Tolkien, his critters, his settings, his plot... This isn't the 70s anymore Toto. Fantasy is a diversified, well-commented and analyzed genre, I'd expect reviewers to have deeper insight to offer about one of the best selling work in the genre than the worst LSD-tripping-days worn out platitudes about Tolkien and how everyone else since is just a clone. The worst is that Roberts gives the impression he doesn't have too high an opinion of Tolkien's epic, or epic fantasy, in the first place. It's so much shallower than Science-Fiction, of course (and don't you dare mix it up with space opera)!

There's hardly any Fantasy novel more derivative than Tolkien's own epic, and Tolkien was very proud of that, as he was very proud of his archaic and conservative storytelling and archetypes, of his creatures that resonated with old folklore and myth, when they didn't come straight from them, with cosmetic changes. He confined his few female characters to traditional roles because the last thing on his mind was to make any allowance to "modernity". He found the English people sadly lacking in literary roots and despised much of the medieval (the "French" Arthuriana) and renaissance output (Shakespeare's bastardized use of folklore etc.), envying the Irish, Saxon, Welsh, Norse their "pure" archaic texts. He ended up (largely by accident, aiming for a humble sequel to a children's book) creating his own heroic epic to fill the void, rooted his previous/ongoing attempt (this one not accidental) to give England an imaginary mythical/poetic cycle, their own Book of Invasions, their own Norse myth.

We're barely in the same universe as Robert Jordan, who nods to Tolkien's epic certainly but had totally different goals and interests as a storyteller. And very different influences... Jordan wasn't writing an archaic epic à la Tolkien, he was writing a Fantasy version of 19th century-style sagas like War and Peace mixed with the mood and style of the unpretentious adventure novels of the like of Twain, L'Amour, Alexandre Dumas. I wouldn't expect Joe Blow high-school student to notice this different angle readily, but a cultured reader who writes SF should have caught this up by now... He might still hate it and criticize Jordan for his old-fashioned 19th century style and overly descriptive, leisurely pace - or for his prose falling short of the truculence or brilliance of the masters of that time - but so far it appears he's not even spotted these influences, nor has he made the connection yet between Jordan and the Irish folk storytellers, you know.. the sort of guy that would be literally at the gates of death and still captivate an audience spinning his tale for them an evening.

Jordan's pace would be crawling in an epic, it isn't that much in the context of a feuilleton-like chronicle. His disgressions, his sub-plots and ton of minor characters are perfectly understandable and expected in that genre. Who blames Tolstoy for not sticking to the military events around Napoleon? Roberts wonders how the heck Jordan can go on for 12 books... but he's apparently too busy making fun of the disgressions and parodying the style to have figured out yet that much of these dreaded "infodumps" must be somehow part of set-ups for later books, that this is why the central story of Jordan's early books is so simple, because he's peppered it with the "irrelevant" groundwork for the later books.

By book 3, it was more than apparent that Jordan's aim was not to center on "the epic" that was just the spine of his series, advancing slowly enough to create all the room Jordan needed to tell the rest he wanted tot tell. The more the series goes on, the more personal Rand becomes. More and more he reflects Jordan's own demons as a war veteran. That's not obvious (nor very interesting) yet unless you know the man's biography, but what's obvious already was that Jordan was as interested if not more in creating the vast chronicle of a world and its people while those epic events were going on, and how the world, the lives, got affected by it. WOT isn't Lord of the Rings, it's not the Trojan War or the Odyssey. WOT is mainly about all the ripples at the periphery. If Roberts doesn't enjoy that, and he seems not to, he might as well quit now (and preferably not use the lame excuse of the bashers "we want to know the ending!" It ends with a big battle against the bad guys and the Dark Lord, who will lose. Happy now? Now move on or stop bitching about the slow journey). A world like Tolkien's understands History as Annals. His ancient wars are painted on the broad epic scale, evoked more than told (even in the Silmarillion). His heroes (the hobbits aside) are already rising toward the greater-than-life and the mythic when they entered the story. Jordan rather sought to de-mythified the epic and its heroes, to show us their daily lives. The "grand events" like the Tower conflict will always remain more the story of how the characters lived through them than the "epic tale" of these events in themselves. If you're looking for Malden or the Tower Coup to be told like Helm's Deep, you're in the wrong book. Jordan's series owes more to daily life history and historical chronicles and "sagas" than to History condensed as broad survey centuries later. Roberts is missing the point in the way he approaches Jordan so far. He might still dislike it, very much, and he wouldn't be alone. But as long as he insists on seing WOT as "an epic" much of his criticism will completely miss the target, just like he's missed so far all that was fairly original in Jordan's approach. Right now, he's bitching that Pepy's Diaries falls short of the perspective, broad strokes and literary flights of a Gibbons. Jordan's fault or the reviewer looking at his work with the wrong perspective.

Then, there's the whole superficiality of Roberts' associations between Tolkien and Jordan which shows either his laziness - jumping at the first reference that came to his mind, not bothering to question the likelyhood or depth of the association (he's basically accusing Jordan of plagiarism, so it's his duty to ponder his comments carefully), or else the narrow scope of his culture in myth and folklore. Or it's a mix of both. It's like he's prejudiced about popular Fantasy in general and has switched his brain to off to read these books. Eh, it's not Nabokov, so I can be excused for being lazy, no? Eh, it's YA literature (another erroneous affirmation. Jordan is definitely suitable for YA, but it was never aimed at them specifically. Very late in the game Tor even put out a YA edition in the hope of attracting that audience, put off by the length of the first books).

Emond's Field is a rip-off of the Shire? Shadar Logoth of Moria? Caemlyn is "definitely Elvish"? Padan Fain is Gollum? Is that all he could see, all he could come up with? Give me a break... EOTW is on purpose very derivative in a very heavy-handed way, and personally I found that aspect irritating as hell in the three early books (and I still do), but Tolkien is but one of the sources Jordan sought to evoke in EOTW, second to others more important ones like Arthuriana for example. Emond's Field owes far less to the Shire than it does to Irish-american folklore and good old Americana. EF is a thoroughly unoriginal 17th-18th century American village, its stereotypes and its mix of American stubborness and independent spirit and puritan-tainted mentality - early Charleston coloured with a bit Salem - through loving, not mocking eyes. The comparison to the Shire stops at the bucolic nature of the setting and its seclusion of the area from the world at large. Otherwise, trust a Brit to throw Puritan America and Tolkien's glorified and whimsical pre-industrial revolution English countryside with little people living in holes like rabbits into the same bag without distinction (Roberts has not said a word yet about the unexpected early modern setting Jordan chose for WOT. Jordan is one of the first who freed post Tolkien fantasy from the faux-medieval setting).

Shadar Logoth owes virtually nothing to Moria, it's meant to evoke the haunted ruins and Djinns of the arabic tradition. Call this heavily derivative of episodes out of Sindbad or the Thousand and One Night tradition, but presenting the episode as a simple rip-off of Tolkien is lazy and off the mark. Peter Jackson gave Moria its Harryhausen mood, not Tolkien!

This gets worse with his comments on Caemlyn. "Elvish" indeed. There is nothing of Tolkien there - the professor would have been totally horrified by the comparison.

Caemlyn, the encounter with Loial, the Ways are a mix of Arthuriana, Irish fairy lore and European fairy tales (Grimm, Perreault and others) with some Elizabethan varnish, fairly shallow still in EOTW (not nearly as bad as the laughable pseudo Versailles era French culture meets the more cliché-than-Clavell Edo-era Japan in The Great Hunt, or the Shienaran culture in EOTW, mind you. The best days of Jordan as a worldbuilder were still a few books away at that point). Jordan was hardly subtle with all his jokes and nods, it's barely forgivable of Roberts to have missed or overlooked the peppering of Arthurian names (Elayne, Gawyn, Morgase, Bryne, Galad, Mordeth etc.) or stuff like the poor shepherd falling in the garden of the Princess who cares for little wounded birdies and go instead with a lazy and totally irrelevant "it's Elvish! Tolkien rip-off" accusation. What's "Elvish" about a stone city built by Giants anyway? Someone has not paid great care while reading his Tolkien...

Moiraine is no Gandalf. She's not even portrayed as the same archetype by Jordan, the wise old mentor or wizard (the closest character Jordan has in the series is Thom). She's the archetypal irish fairy Queen. Seductive, mischevious, deceptive and sly, perhaps dangerous, ill-tempered when questionned or provoked too far. You never know if she's really the helper and friend she pretends to be or a foe who ensnared you and will take your girls away to fairyland. Derivative certainly - Jordan didn't intend to go much beyond the most basic fairy stuff with the Aes Sedai in EOTW itself, but she's no Gandalf in silk dresses, that's another high school level comparison. Of course, if you say Blue Fairy the first thing that should come to the cultured mind is "TOLKIEN RIP-OFF !!!!" and not a nod at fairy tales like Pinnochio, or to Irish myth and folklore with the Aes Sidhe...

I think I'm gonna bite the next reviewer who equates Padan Fain and Smeagol. Even in EOTW he doesn't even play Smeagol's functions. Padan Fain is Irish to the bone. He's the evil murderous peddler/tinker of folktales who's made a pact with the devil. Jordan even gave him an irish name, for heaven's sake. It takes more than being scrawny and insane and a tool to be Gollum...

I have nothing against derision and cynicism, but the reviewer has to be careful to remain on solid ground and make sure the weapon can't be turned against him. A good example of Roberts's general lack of rigueur and depth in his reviews is making fun of Jordan's lack of subtlety with his Arthurian sword, calling Callandor an Excalibur without the Ex. Sure, Callandor is Arthurian - that's obvious again and meant to be obvious, but it's named not after Excalibur but after the "sword of light" of an Irish hero that obviously Roberts has never heard of (or perhaps believes to be a Tolkien character)... By and large, this is what Roberts does: he accuses Jordan of heavily borrowing from mythology and legends, but he confines himself only to the most blatant and cliché references as if as a reader they're the only ones he noticed (and I think that's likely the case). If you're to ridicule Jordan's so-called borrowings, show us you've seen beyond the obvious ones, pile them up! Roberts could be excused for missing the reasons why Jordan makes so many "shallow" derivative allusions in EOTW (though one of the infodumps in that book made them fairly obvious...) but by book 3 it's the reviewer who's just skimming the surface if he can't see beyond that. Jordan's allusions are meant to be incidental and shallow... that's his bloody concept that those allusions are just seeds that will be distorted or merely echoed in future legends, or dim remnants from old ones...

And again, if you're going to be derisive of Jordan's naming conventions (short on the exotic/outlandish yet far less annoying than most naming conventions in Fantasy, IMO.), don't go pick one you end up being wrong about! Mind you, it's not suprising that a Brit doesn't know that Niall is not a distortion of Neil but an old (and famous!) Irish name....

There's plently of flaws and shortcomings in WOT, especially in the first three books, but I'm still thoroughly unimpressed by Roberts's effort at reviewing the books. I would expect someone like him to catch many more of the subtleties than just Jordan's sex jokes (why should there be explicit sex anyway? That would be quite jarring with the overall tone of these books). I don't expect Jordan's mild irony and tongue-in-cheek use of clichés to have escaped him as much as it apparently does.

I'd say never trust a reviewer who begins a review of "popular fiction" by throwing in names of great writers. That's usually a good sign the reviewer understands fairly little of the peculiar magic and appeal behind works like Dumas's, Jordan's, O'Brian's, L.D. Montgomery's, Clavell and company.

There's ton of sub-quality works out there far more deserving of Roberts's mockery and vitriol than Wheel of Time. Obliviously it's easy to give a series like WOT short change and mock it, but apparently it's difficult even for a writer of SF and professor to have much intelligent stuff to say about it, good or bad. Roberts's effort would stand very well with the Amazon.com average bashing of COT. For an original educated and refreshing take on Wheel of Time, better luck next time!

Reply to message
Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 19/03/2010 09:30:25 PM 9853 Views
A question for Larry - 19/03/2010 09:40:37 PM 2043 Views
Roberto Bolaño - 19/03/2010 11:09:57 PM 1812 Views
I completely agree with his review. - 19/03/2010 11:11:17 PM 1978 Views
Ouch! Somebody pull that guy off RJ! *NM* - 20/03/2010 03:47:07 AM 875 Views
Can't say that I really disagree. - 20/03/2010 05:19:26 AM 1361 Views
My problem with the reviews: - 20/03/2010 06:29:08 AM 1909 Views
Hear Hear !!! ....................... = ........................ *NM* - 20/03/2010 06:37:11 AM 851 Views
I agree - 20/03/2010 11:19:29 AM 1431 Views
You know what else I'm finding annoying? - 07/04/2010 07:29:37 AM 1373 Views
Fully Agree *NM* - 21/06/2010 12:41:05 AM 741 Views
well I agree and disagree - 20/03/2010 06:51:29 AM 1723 Views
Re: well I agree and disagree - 20/03/2010 02:12:43 PM 1268 Views
I'd say just The Eye of the World - 20/03/2010 05:26:19 PM 1260 Views
Indeed - 21/03/2010 12:34:19 AM 1275 Views
These reviews are pathetic - 20/03/2010 12:52:22 PM 1263 Views
I'm amused by some of the responses - 20/03/2010 07:20:03 PM 1614 Views
+1 *NM* - 20/03/2010 10:48:14 PM 836 Views
Are you suggesting that we are unqualified to disagree with him ? - 20/03/2010 11:21:44 PM 1433 Views
No, I said rather that it's ridiculous to make such disparaging comments about his takes - 20/03/2010 11:37:56 PM 1469 Views
I considered doing so - 21/03/2010 12:27:27 AM 1252 Views
I will reply to myself: What's the problem McFly , chicken ? - 21/03/2010 12:29:36 AM 1208 Views
My sister called me chicken once - 10/04/2010 01:18:31 AM 1253 Views
what's wrong runt... are you yellah? *NM* - 10/04/2010 10:40:16 AM 836 Views
NICE! *NM* - 10/04/2010 02:19:44 PM 691 Views
Re: I'm amused by some of the responses - 23/03/2010 04:50:42 PM 1350 Views
And I'm even more amused by this response - 24/03/2010 01:11:50 AM 1273 Views
Re: And I'm even more amused by this response - 24/03/2010 03:03:28 AM 1158 Views
Nah, TGS was the only serious review of the series I've done - 24/03/2010 04:31:28 AM 1196 Views
On a completely unrelated note... - 24/03/2010 06:15:25 AM 1062 Views
Ha! - 24/03/2010 06:34:48 AM 1217 Views
My congratulations then . *NM* - 24/03/2010 06:36:11 AM 1106 Views
You say it as if I had been condemned to hell! - 24/03/2010 07:13:45 AM 1033 Views
No. Well, maybe. - 24/03/2010 06:52:28 PM 1118 Views
! - 24/03/2010 06:54:34 PM 1174 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 22/03/2010 02:47:23 PM 1228 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 23/03/2010 01:53:16 PM 1239 Views
Wow, you guys have completely missed the point of the Wheel of Time series - 22/03/2010 05:28:07 PM 1290 Views
There's a point to it? - 22/03/2010 06:47:12 PM 1284 Views
I thought the point was to write about a bunch of stuff happening? - 09/04/2010 03:42:49 PM 1276 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 23/03/2010 04:54:38 PM 1207 Views
pfft wth-ever - 26/03/2010 12:35:53 AM 1077 Views
Dude's been up for more awards for his writing than RJ ever was - 26/03/2010 12:28:19 PM 1316 Views
bla bla bla - 29/03/2010 06:17:07 AM 1185 Views
Usually, it's spelled "blah" - 29/03/2010 07:03:51 AM 1208 Views
Wow. That post was more entertaining than Mr. Roberts' review. Thank you *NM* - 29/03/2010 08:23:41 AM 1037 Views
You must have low standards for entertainment - 29/03/2010 08:54:03 AM 1170 Views
Re: You must have low standards for entertainment - 29/03/2010 09:13:44 AM 1283 Views
I know you were, thus the at the least of my comment - 29/03/2010 09:19:30 AM 1170 Views
Unimpressed - 29/03/2010 10:50:07 PM 1526 Views
Thank you - 30/03/2010 12:35:39 AM 1108 Views
*Standing ovation for DomA* - 30/03/2010 07:36:59 AM 1303 Views
Yes. Also, Roberts is a wanker. *NM* - 05/04/2010 09:28:57 PM 856 Views
Re: Dude's been up for more awards for his writing than RJ ever was - 29/03/2010 04:32:23 PM 1275 Views
Might want to re-read their Wikis again. - 29/03/2010 07:07:11 PM 1170 Views
Awards - 29/03/2010 07:42:03 PM 1150 Views
That link is out of date - 29/03/2010 07:54:56 PM 1121 Views
Re: That link is out of date - 29/03/2010 08:22:03 PM 1252 Views
This is a battle of win/lose? - 29/03/2010 08:47:54 PM 1176 Views
Re: This is a battle of win/lose? - 29/03/2010 09:03:07 PM 1234 Views
*considers employing the Chewbacca defense* - 29/03/2010 09:28:06 PM 1206 Views
Re: *considers employing the Chewbacca defense* - 29/03/2010 09:44:58 PM 1239 Views
The final point explains the "defense" - 30/03/2010 12:24:56 AM 1089 Views
Re: The final point explains the "defense" - 30/03/2010 01:33:04 PM 1085 Views
No, no, no - 30/03/2010 06:38:41 PM 1156 Views
Re: No, no, no - 30/03/2010 07:51:34 PM 1204 Views
Still continuing, huh? - 31/03/2010 02:10:13 AM 1204 Views
Re: Still continuing, huh? - 31/03/2010 03:56:57 PM 1127 Views
Those were polls - 31/03/2010 08:46:07 PM 1146 Views
Re: Those were polls - 05/04/2010 03:22:13 PM 1086 Views
Does it gives him right to insult me? - 13/04/2011 02:10:32 PM 1096 Views
I wouldn't know. Was he speaking directly to you? - 14/04/2011 11:28:16 PM 1261 Views
He's now reviewed the third book - 26/03/2010 12:27:16 PM 1318 Views
Well, this time I must disagree with him . - 29/03/2010 07:31:40 AM 1151 Views
I don't think he was claiming that RJ was alone in doing that - 29/03/2010 07:44:07 AM 1112 Views
Hah! - 29/03/2010 06:07:28 PM 1115 Views
Well... - 29/03/2010 06:52:10 PM 1103 Views
Differing perspectives, I guess. - 29/03/2010 07:58:13 PM 1179 Views
I suppose - 29/03/2010 08:50:43 PM 1116 Views
Re: I suppose - 30/03/2010 12:18:30 AM 1275 Views
True - 30/03/2010 12:23:28 AM 1110 Views
Hey, DomA, do you know why the Shienarans randomly speak in the Old Tongue? - 30/03/2010 12:52:01 AM 1023 Views
Re: Hey, DomA, do you know why the Shienarans randomly speak in the Old Tongue? - 30/03/2010 07:45:08 AM 1156 Views
But why only them? - 30/03/2010 08:07:00 AM 1189 Views
Re: But why only them? - 30/03/2010 03:56:54 PM 1132 Views
Re: But why only them? - 30/03/2010 08:29:37 PM 1218 Views
I really liked a lot of the minor characters in The Great Hunt. - 30/03/2010 12:49:03 AM 1198 Views
I barely thought twice about those, to be honest - 30/03/2010 06:39:55 PM 1175 Views
I can't wait what he's going to try to do with TFoH and beyond - 28/03/2010 08:18:59 PM 1211 Views
Glad you enjoyed it - 29/03/2010 09:33:43 PM 1054 Views
The Shadow Rising review - 02/04/2010 09:42:53 AM 1302 Views
I wonder if this borders on trolling - 02/04/2010 02:29:58 PM 9919 Views
You want complaining? You got it... - 02/04/2010 06:38:09 PM 1206 Views
That would be a mistake - 02/04/2010 09:16:25 PM 1381 Views
Re: That would be a mistake - 02/04/2010 10:28:56 PM 1097 Views
I agree, Roberts is more and more coming across to me as just bitter - 10/04/2010 01:24:52 AM 1239 Views
Little late to this one as well - 10/04/2010 11:12:04 AM 1283 Views
Perhaps you should have led with this bit - 10/04/2010 02:52:23 PM 1337 Views
Re: I wonder if this borders on trolling - 04/04/2010 09:16:22 AM 1183 Views
What review? I couldn't find one... - 02/04/2010 08:00:45 PM 1377 Views
Re: What review? I couldn't find one... - 02/04/2010 09:22:13 PM 1344 Views
See my comment below - 02/04/2010 09:32:54 PM 1338 Views
Re: See my comment below - 03/04/2010 09:31:22 AM 1759 Views
Sorry I'm late in responding, but I've been quite busy this week - 07/04/2010 09:45:48 PM 1562 Views
Yes, I can probably agree with what you say here. - 08/04/2010 12:29:16 AM 1066 Views
- 08/04/2010 12:32:53 AM 1156 Views
I agree completely. *NM* - 02/04/2010 09:53:44 PM 740 Views
Speaking of irritation - 02/04/2010 10:50:04 PM 1322 Views
Commentary, then? - 02/04/2010 09:27:18 PM 1159 Views
Here's the thing... - 02/04/2010 10:11:18 PM 1159 Views
Re: Here's the thing... - 02/04/2010 10:31:56 PM 1036 Views
Re: Here's the thing... - 03/04/2010 01:34:05 AM 1075 Views
I somehow overlooked this last week, it seems - 10/04/2010 11:01:17 AM 1357 Views
Indeed - 02/04/2010 10:34:00 PM 1026 Views
Re: Commentary, then? - 05/04/2010 03:44:07 PM 1121 Views
for a man that bitterly complains about an author who is padding his work - 08/04/2010 09:41:07 PM 1273 Views
1400 words is long-winded? - 09/04/2010 10:07:41 AM 1325 Views
since you can sum up those 1400 words in about 25 yes that's longwinded - 09/04/2010 01:36:16 PM 1188 Views
Except I didn't really sum it up, as I left out quite a bit - 10/04/2010 11:15:42 AM 1257 Views
You are very defensive over this - 10/04/2010 01:54:15 PM 1030 Views
Nah, more of a devil's advocate than anything else - 12/04/2010 03:57:12 AM 1104 Views
Re: Nah, more of a devil's advocate than anything else - 12/04/2010 05:30:53 PM 1039 Views
You sound like a Goodkind webmaster from a couple of years ago - 12/04/2010 06:58:42 PM 1123 Views
You don't come across as a devil's advocate - 30/03/2011 03:07:32 PM 1064 Views
Well Larry I have started reading Gradsil by Adam Roberts - 07/04/2010 08:59:28 PM 1218 Views
I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 07/04/2010 09:50:39 PM 1155 Views
Re: I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 08/04/2010 01:06:20 PM 1031 Views
Which Invisible Man? - 09/04/2010 09:58:44 AM 1227 Views
Re: Which Invisible Man? - 09/04/2010 01:26:42 PM 1135 Views
I have a very different take on that book - 10/04/2010 11:17:13 AM 1106 Views
Re: I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 09/04/2010 01:45:44 PM 1181 Views
Hrmm... - 10/04/2010 11:19:01 AM 989 Views
Re: Well Larry I have started reading Gradsil by Adam Roberts - 12/04/2010 05:37:36 PM 1205 Views
He brings up some interesting points, if in an unnecessarily rude manner - 08/04/2010 12:42:25 PM 1159 Views
To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 09/04/2010 10:05:49 AM 1190 Views
Re: To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 09/04/2010 01:28:17 PM 1706 Views
Re: To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 10/04/2010 11:40:22 AM 1099 Views
why are you so bothered by people being unimpressed with Roberts? - 10/04/2010 02:19:08 PM 1224 Views
I don't understand it either - 11/04/2010 12:44:25 PM 1188 Views
right? - 11/04/2010 02:13:00 PM 1197 Views
Nah - 12/04/2010 04:13:44 AM 989 Views
And in vol. 5, Roberts discovers the horrors of the circus - 09/04/2010 09:57:03 AM 1118 Views
5 reviews without saying more than "I hate the series" - 09/04/2010 01:31:13 PM 1051 Views
Basically he just states the "nothing happens"-argument... - 09/04/2010 03:26:02 PM 1035 Views
Well, what was really resolved here? - 10/04/2010 11:25:25 AM 1052 Views
Well... - 12/04/2010 05:05:20 PM 1248 Views
well exactly - 12/04/2010 05:33:11 PM 1270 Views
So very little was resolved and much was set into motion, then? - 12/04/2010 06:55:45 PM 1213 Views
Yes... - 12/04/2010 10:51:08 PM 1004 Views
Ever read Umberto Eco's How To Travel with a Salmon? - 12/04/2010 11:07:19 PM 1213 Views
I guess... - 13/04/2010 10:03:03 AM 1263 Views
Sounds like you value prolixity for the sake of prolixity, to be honest - 13/04/2010 04:41:07 PM 2419 Views
Nah... - 13/04/2010 05:29:34 PM 1021 Views
He's read and enjoyed Proust, among others - 13/04/2010 07:37:39 PM 1060 Views
Ah, well... - 13/04/2010 09:45:45 PM 1036 Views
Dismissive, much? - 13/04/2010 10:52:30 PM 1187 Views
About that bifurcation... - 14/04/2010 02:02:15 AM 1153 Views
I'm rather moderate - 14/04/2010 10:11:30 AM 1066 Views
I'm just a liberation theologist at heart - 15/04/2010 01:51:16 PM 1989 Views
So, if you don't mind... - 13/04/2010 05:51:06 AM 1142 Views
That's fine with me - 13/04/2010 06:31:41 AM 1110 Views
I'm sorry, but he's totally right. "The Circus" made me put down this series for 5 YEARS. - 09/04/2010 03:38:16 PM 1125 Views
I didn't find it quite that bad, but... - 11/04/2010 08:27:52 AM 1035 Views
LoC represented a sharp drop in quality!!? - 19/05/2010 03:27:21 PM 1148 Views
And ignores everything else... - 09/04/2010 05:10:00 PM 1210 Views
Inchoatus went offline a couple of years ago - 10/04/2010 11:42:26 AM 2109 Views
This guy is going to get what he deserves... - 09/04/2010 10:26:14 PM 1115 Views
I'm waiting with bated breath for his CoT review *NM* - 10/04/2010 01:00:59 PM 830 Views
Just wanted to point out that he is not reviewing the series. - 16/04/2010 04:04:49 PM 1139 Views
Lord of Chaos commentary - 16/04/2010 03:39:39 PM 1142 Views
He has reached - The Hump. - 16/04/2010 03:55:51 PM 1107 Views
Re: He has reached - The Hump. - 18/04/2010 08:08:59 AM 1306 Views
No no. It was Lord of Heaven! - 16/04/2010 05:51:11 PM 1060 Views
Yeah, I noticed that - 16/04/2010 11:16:26 PM 982 Views
I would love the see him review Goodkind... - 16/04/2010 11:51:07 PM 1152 Views
Finally re-read that post - 20/04/2010 09:35:45 PM 1096 Views
The magic items are mostly irrelevant... - 21/04/2010 03:37:36 AM 1114 Views
A Crown of Swords - or is it deco-porn? - 23/04/2010 08:36:17 AM 1212 Views
Re: A Crown of Swords - or is it deco-porn? - 29/04/2010 06:02:28 PM 1109 Views
I disagree - 29/04/2010 09:34:49 PM 985 Views
I agree. - 29/04/2010 09:45:29 PM 1170 Views
Took me a moment to realize with whom you were agreeing - 29/04/2010 10:19:05 PM 1077 Views
Well, I did mention the necklines get overdone... - 06/05/2010 06:17:46 PM 1415 Views
Well, there's now also the tea to comment about - 07/05/2010 11:29:03 AM 1164 Views
A bit of a stumble this week - 30/04/2010 01:53:31 PM 1211 Views
The Path of Daggers commentary - 07/05/2010 10:39:03 AM 1193 Views
You'd think a Brit would like the tea... *NM* - 11/05/2010 04:05:42 PM 723 Views
Maybe he's just a contrarian? - 11/05/2010 07:55:43 PM 1048 Views
Winter's Heart - 21/05/2010 12:46:14 PM 1200 Views
To be fair - 21/05/2010 01:56:49 PM 1296 Views
I think WH was my least favorite of the WoT novels I re-read - 21/05/2010 04:49:31 PM 1102 Views
Re: I think WH was my least favorite of the WoT novels I re-read - 25/05/2010 05:05:09 PM 1285 Views
WH was my least favorite novel in the series, and that is saying a lot. - 28/05/2010 03:15:13 PM 1196 Views
I completely agree with his KoD post. Here is my favorite quote: - 28/05/2010 03:08:31 PM 1370 Views
CoT, you mean (link to actual post included) - 28/05/2010 04:56:10 PM 1214 Views
Yep, I meant COT. *NM* - 28/05/2010 07:02:48 PM 701 Views
Knife of Dreams - 18/06/2010 09:07:27 AM 1120 Views
Re: Knife of Dreams - 19/06/2010 05:49:38 AM 1194 Views
Agree... - 19/06/2010 05:08:44 PM 1179 Views
Roberts reflects back on WoT 1-11, with answers to questions asked of him - 25/06/2010 12:51:29 PM 1191 Views
This guy should be burned at the stake - 25/06/2010 03:22:34 PM 8579 Views
Are you done making a fool out of yourself, Mark? - 26/06/2010 06:53:37 PM 1154 Views
Oh come on... - 26/06/2010 09:06:01 PM 1279 Views
Well, the burning at the stake was a bit much... - 26/06/2010 10:19:40 PM 1264 Views
Well, really! You brought the comment to his notice... - 26/06/2010 11:34:08 PM 1220 Views
And your point is...? - 27/06/2010 12:37:00 AM 1298 Views
Well... - 27/06/2010 05:38:12 AM 1242 Views
Indeed... I think it's rather clear that Larry's goal has been to cause trouble - 27/06/2010 10:57:36 AM 1379 Views
There is no "borderline" about it. - 28/03/2011 05:17:15 PM 1126 Views
Ridiculous - 27/06/2010 06:38:46 AM 1151 Views
I like his FAQ and his overall musings on its' popularity. - 29/06/2010 06:35:10 PM 1220 Views
One year later... - 27/03/2011 03:40:29 AM 1134 Views
Re: One year later... - 28/03/2011 05:03:32 PM 1069 Views
I see you subconsciously support critical takes. - 28/03/2011 11:41:48 PM 1361 Views
No I conciously support telling you and him that you are pathetic, arrogent, & jelous. *NM* - 30/03/2011 01:40:36 PM 787 Views
Jealous? - 30/03/2011 05:20:32 PM 1119 Views
I agree, I didn't even notice it was an old post, definitely did not deserve to be revived. *NM* - 30/03/2011 02:41:12 PM 692 Views
Seconded. - 30/03/2011 04:04:36 PM 1019 Views
Now I notice as well that this is a year old. You're very silly, Larry, very silly. *NM* - 30/03/2011 04:13:38 PM 733 Views
Yep! - 30/03/2011 05:16:38 PM 1049 Views
Jeez Larry, you're starting to sound like a GRRM detractor. - 31/03/2011 03:01:38 PM 1152 Views
Nah, no detractor - 01/04/2011 03:00:41 PM 1275 Views
Could a thread be locked? - 31/03/2011 07:48:26 PM 1036 Views
Re: One year later... - 01/04/2011 02:55:02 AM 1301 Views
Yep - 01/04/2011 02:57:52 PM 1213 Views

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