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Here's the thing... fionwe1987 Send a noteboard - 02/04/2010 10:11:18 PM

Well, Roberts is known for his snark in reviews, which I did note when I posted this thread originally :P

Can I claim RJ is known for his long winded stories, and that should be evident given the lengths of the books? :P

Snark is all very well, but when that all there is, calling his pieces reviews or commentaries seems silly to me. Its like submitting all those Goodkind threads on Westeros (I don't know why, but that comparison just keeps coming back to me) as a PhD thesis on The Sword of Truth!

And yes, some of his complaints are repetitive, but perhaps some of those are due to certain perceived "defects" cropping up throughout the series? The prose certainly never gets to the "sparkling" level at any point that I recall; it did feel a bit padded throughout, to be honest. That is something that could be raised as a point about each individual volume. Whether you agree with it or not is a different matter :P

Of course there are criticisms that will run common to all the books. If I were to review them, I'd have positive things to say that will repeat too. But the overall structure of review is more or less the same, with more or less the same set of complaints, with barely anything new being added by the reviewer. If the point being made is that all the books are padded, full of clumsy prose and completely lifted-off from various authors the reviewer has read, then why have 12 reviews? Wouldn't one review after all the books are done with be better?

It isn't like there aren't other elements he cannot comment about. Even if he wants to be exclusively negative about the books, there are issues he has barely raised which many other readers have complained about. What about a look at the gender imbalances portrayed in the books? That is pretty glaringly obvious by this book. Is Jordan's whole premise ridiculous? Or is it just shoddy execution?

What about the whole savior-as-destroyer aspect of Rand that becomes so obvious in this book? Far from Jordan's invention or anything, but certainly a departure from the Tolkein-spawn fantasies of the time.

And for someone who admittedly read it hurriedly, that's grounds for dismissing his point that there are indeed those similarities? It's little different than reviewers of various epic fantasy works noting the similarities (and possible derivations) between works. Yes, it is quite likely RJ wanted to have those similarities in there to serve a different purpose than what Roberts appears to concede, but there are quite a few of them, if I recall.

Come, this is a ridiculous argument. If you gave a student a copy of the Silmarillion to review, and he skimmed through it and all he could say is that the whole fall of Morgoth story was similar to Paradise Lost, you're not going to excuse him are you?

The Dune parallels are there. So are the parallels to the Jains, and a host of others. Almost certainly, some of these also played a part in Herbert's own portrayal of the Fremen. But Robert's chose the intellectually lazy way out and simply pointed out the easy parallel.

Why then is his review in any way worthy of reading or commenting upon? The author clearly has no time for the book, no time to read it, no time to think about it a little before commenting. What then makes it different from the host of Amazon reviews out there except the length and the admittedly better language? Are we to read this because it is a good review, or because a Cambridge professor and author with a penchant for snark decided he needed a book to deride?

I think it's more of a case where there is a more graphic description of warfare and suffering (and quasi-bondage scenes later in the series) than there is a deeper exploration of the coming-of-age issues that the characters have. The emotional/romance/love parts are perhaps a weak PG compared to the PG-13 to almost R-rated violence. That is something that is interesting, to say the least. But it's probably been discussed to death here over the years, I guess?

Not really, because, as FT pointed out, in the new era of "gritty" fantasy, the Wheel of Time is fairly tame when it comes to violence.
The few times there is sex on screen, the issue is skirted about, yes. While it is certainly worth exploring why Jordan felt he needed to do that, while showing a greater (but nowhere close to gratuitous) level of detail with the violence, that is not what Robert's talks about at all. He is evidently bored by the fight scenes, which are way below the lofty levels in which his nose resides. But some raunchy sex would do very well, thank you.

It seems to me you are almost projecting your own (reasonable and more authentic, because you actually read the book) critique of the book on the Robert's review.
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Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 19/03/2010 09:30:25 PM 10177 Views
A question for Larry - 19/03/2010 09:40:37 PM 2166 Views
Roberto BolaƱo - 19/03/2010 11:09:57 PM 1914 Views
I completely agree with his review. - 19/03/2010 11:11:17 PM 2106 Views
Ouch! Somebody pull that guy off RJ! *NM* - 20/03/2010 03:47:07 AM 963 Views
Can't say that I really disagree. - 20/03/2010 05:19:26 AM 1472 Views
My problem with the reviews: - 20/03/2010 06:29:08 AM 2020 Views
Hear Hear !!! ....................... = ........................ *NM* - 20/03/2010 06:37:11 AM 920 Views
I agree - 20/03/2010 11:19:29 AM 1564 Views
You know what else I'm finding annoying? - 07/04/2010 07:29:37 AM 1489 Views
Fully Agree *NM* - 21/06/2010 12:41:05 AM 814 Views
well I agree and disagree - 20/03/2010 06:51:29 AM 1852 Views
Re: well I agree and disagree - 20/03/2010 02:12:43 PM 1375 Views
I'd say just The Eye of the World - 20/03/2010 05:26:19 PM 1374 Views
Indeed - 21/03/2010 12:34:19 AM 1390 Views
These reviews are pathetic - 20/03/2010 12:52:22 PM 1367 Views
I'm amused by some of the responses - 20/03/2010 07:20:03 PM 1736 Views
+1 *NM* - 20/03/2010 10:48:14 PM 922 Views
Are you suggesting that we are unqualified to disagree with him ? - 20/03/2010 11:21:44 PM 1539 Views
No, I said rather that it's ridiculous to make such disparaging comments about his takes - 20/03/2010 11:37:56 PM 1577 Views
I considered doing so - 21/03/2010 12:27:27 AM 1361 Views
I will reply to myself: What's the problem McFly , chicken ? - 21/03/2010 12:29:36 AM 1337 Views
My sister called me chicken once - 10/04/2010 01:18:31 AM 1356 Views
what's wrong runt... are you yellah? *NM* - 10/04/2010 10:40:16 AM 903 Views
NICE! *NM* - 10/04/2010 02:19:44 PM 772 Views
Re: I'm amused by some of the responses - 23/03/2010 04:50:42 PM 1450 Views
And I'm even more amused by this response - 24/03/2010 01:11:50 AM 1390 Views
Re: And I'm even more amused by this response - 24/03/2010 03:03:28 AM 1256 Views
Nah, TGS was the only serious review of the series I've done - 24/03/2010 04:31:28 AM 1310 Views
On a completely unrelated note... - 24/03/2010 06:15:25 AM 1177 Views
Ha! - 24/03/2010 06:34:48 AM 1315 Views
My congratulations then . *NM* - 24/03/2010 06:36:11 AM 1209 Views
You say it as if I had been condemned to hell! - 24/03/2010 07:13:45 AM 1124 Views
No. Well, maybe. - 24/03/2010 06:52:28 PM 1238 Views
! - 24/03/2010 06:54:34 PM 1277 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 22/03/2010 02:47:23 PM 1357 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 23/03/2010 01:53:16 PM 1362 Views
Wow, you guys have completely missed the point of the Wheel of Time series - 22/03/2010 05:28:07 PM 1392 Views
There's a point to it? - 22/03/2010 06:47:12 PM 1386 Views
I thought the point was to write about a bunch of stuff happening? - 09/04/2010 03:42:49 PM 1390 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 23/03/2010 04:54:38 PM 1313 Views
pfft wth-ever - 26/03/2010 12:35:53 AM 1207 Views
Dude's been up for more awards for his writing than RJ ever was - 26/03/2010 12:28:19 PM 1447 Views
bla bla bla - 29/03/2010 06:17:07 AM 1294 Views
Usually, it's spelled "blah" - 29/03/2010 07:03:51 AM 1309 Views
Wow. That post was more entertaining than Mr. Roberts' review. Thank you *NM* - 29/03/2010 08:23:41 AM 1102 Views
You must have low standards for entertainment - 29/03/2010 08:54:03 AM 1284 Views
Re: You must have low standards for entertainment - 29/03/2010 09:13:44 AM 1386 Views
I know you were, thus the at the least of my comment - 29/03/2010 09:19:30 AM 1263 Views
Unimpressed - 29/03/2010 10:50:07 PM 1628 Views
Thank you - 30/03/2010 12:35:39 AM 1195 Views
*Standing ovation for DomA* - 30/03/2010 07:36:59 AM 1404 Views
Yes. Also, Roberts is a wanker. *NM* - 05/04/2010 09:28:57 PM 932 Views
Re: Dude's been up for more awards for his writing than RJ ever was - 29/03/2010 04:32:23 PM 1386 Views
Might want to re-read their Wikis again. - 29/03/2010 07:07:11 PM 1265 Views
Awards - 29/03/2010 07:42:03 PM 1257 Views
That link is out of date - 29/03/2010 07:54:56 PM 1225 Views
Re: That link is out of date - 29/03/2010 08:22:03 PM 1359 Views
This is a battle of win/lose? - 29/03/2010 08:47:54 PM 1283 Views
Re: This is a battle of win/lose? - 29/03/2010 09:03:07 PM 1332 Views
*considers employing the Chewbacca defense* - 29/03/2010 09:28:06 PM 1314 Views
Re: *considers employing the Chewbacca defense* - 29/03/2010 09:44:58 PM 1365 Views
The final point explains the "defense" - 30/03/2010 12:24:56 AM 1194 Views
Re: The final point explains the "defense" - 30/03/2010 01:33:04 PM 1208 Views
No, no, no - 30/03/2010 06:38:41 PM 1263 Views
Re: No, no, no - 30/03/2010 07:51:34 PM 1306 Views
Still continuing, huh? - 31/03/2010 02:10:13 AM 1308 Views
Re: Still continuing, huh? - 31/03/2010 03:56:57 PM 1225 Views
Those were polls - 31/03/2010 08:46:07 PM 1258 Views
Re: Those were polls - 05/04/2010 03:22:13 PM 1214 Views
Does it gives him right to insult me? - 13/04/2011 02:10:32 PM 1210 Views
I wouldn't know. Was he speaking directly to you? - 14/04/2011 11:28:16 PM 1359 Views
He's now reviewed the third book - 26/03/2010 12:27:16 PM 1432 Views
Well, this time I must disagree with him . - 29/03/2010 07:31:40 AM 1250 Views
I don't think he was claiming that RJ was alone in doing that - 29/03/2010 07:44:07 AM 1220 Views
Hah! - 29/03/2010 06:07:28 PM 1226 Views
Well... - 29/03/2010 06:52:10 PM 1211 Views
Differing perspectives, I guess. - 29/03/2010 07:58:13 PM 1289 Views
I suppose - 29/03/2010 08:50:43 PM 1224 Views
Re: I suppose - 30/03/2010 12:18:30 AM 1376 Views
True - 30/03/2010 12:23:28 AM 1226 Views
Hey, DomA, do you know why the Shienarans randomly speak in the Old Tongue? - 30/03/2010 12:52:01 AM 1138 Views
Re: Hey, DomA, do you know why the Shienarans randomly speak in the Old Tongue? - 30/03/2010 07:45:08 AM 1264 Views
But why only them? - 30/03/2010 08:07:00 AM 1286 Views
Re: But why only them? - 30/03/2010 03:56:54 PM 1243 Views
Re: But why only them? - 30/03/2010 08:29:37 PM 1329 Views
I really liked a lot of the minor characters in The Great Hunt. - 30/03/2010 12:49:03 AM 1294 Views
I barely thought twice about those, to be honest - 30/03/2010 06:39:55 PM 1284 Views
I can't wait what he's going to try to do with TFoH and beyond - 28/03/2010 08:18:59 PM 1323 Views
Glad you enjoyed it - 29/03/2010 09:33:43 PM 1156 Views
The Shadow Rising review - 02/04/2010 09:42:53 AM 1420 Views
I wonder if this borders on trolling - 02/04/2010 02:29:58 PM 10029 Views
You want complaining? You got it... - 02/04/2010 06:38:09 PM 1323 Views
That would be a mistake - 02/04/2010 09:16:25 PM 1485 Views
Re: That would be a mistake - 02/04/2010 10:28:56 PM 1210 Views
I agree, Roberts is more and more coming across to me as just bitter - 10/04/2010 01:24:52 AM 1347 Views
Little late to this one as well - 10/04/2010 11:12:04 AM 1391 Views
Perhaps you should have led with this bit - 10/04/2010 02:52:23 PM 1439 Views
Re: I wonder if this borders on trolling - 04/04/2010 09:16:22 AM 1288 Views
What review? I couldn't find one... - 02/04/2010 08:00:45 PM 1479 Views
Re: What review? I couldn't find one... - 02/04/2010 09:22:13 PM 1448 Views
See my comment below - 02/04/2010 09:32:54 PM 1433 Views
Re: See my comment below - 03/04/2010 09:31:22 AM 1866 Views
Sorry I'm late in responding, but I've been quite busy this week - 07/04/2010 09:45:48 PM 1673 Views
Yes, I can probably agree with what you say here. - 08/04/2010 12:29:16 AM 1166 Views
- 08/04/2010 12:32:53 AM 1257 Views
I agree completely. *NM* - 02/04/2010 09:53:44 PM 818 Views
Speaking of irritation - 02/04/2010 10:50:04 PM 1429 Views
Commentary, then? - 02/04/2010 09:27:18 PM 1251 Views
Here's the thing... - 02/04/2010 10:11:18 PM 1267 Views
Re: Here's the thing... - 02/04/2010 10:31:56 PM 1145 Views
Re: Here's the thing... - 03/04/2010 01:34:05 AM 1174 Views
I somehow overlooked this last week, it seems - 10/04/2010 11:01:17 AM 1458 Views
Indeed - 02/04/2010 10:34:00 PM 1130 Views
Re: Commentary, then? - 05/04/2010 03:44:07 PM 1235 Views
for a man that bitterly complains about an author who is padding his work - 08/04/2010 09:41:07 PM 1389 Views
1400 words is long-winded? - 09/04/2010 10:07:41 AM 1431 Views
since you can sum up those 1400 words in about 25 yes that's longwinded - 09/04/2010 01:36:16 PM 1290 Views
Except I didn't really sum it up, as I left out quite a bit - 10/04/2010 11:15:42 AM 1362 Views
You are very defensive over this - 10/04/2010 01:54:15 PM 1139 Views
Nah, more of a devil's advocate than anything else - 12/04/2010 03:57:12 AM 1226 Views
Re: Nah, more of a devil's advocate than anything else - 12/04/2010 05:30:53 PM 1144 Views
You sound like a Goodkind webmaster from a couple of years ago - 12/04/2010 06:58:42 PM 1221 Views
You don't come across as a devil's advocate - 30/03/2011 03:07:32 PM 1171 Views
Well Larry I have started reading Gradsil by Adam Roberts - 07/04/2010 08:59:28 PM 1341 Views
I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 07/04/2010 09:50:39 PM 1263 Views
Re: I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 08/04/2010 01:06:20 PM 1133 Views
Which Invisible Man? - 09/04/2010 09:58:44 AM 1333 Views
Re: Which Invisible Man? - 09/04/2010 01:26:42 PM 1232 Views
I have a very different take on that book - 10/04/2010 11:17:13 AM 1219 Views
Re: I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 09/04/2010 01:45:44 PM 1278 Views
Hrmm... - 10/04/2010 11:19:01 AM 1098 Views
Re: Well Larry I have started reading Gradsil by Adam Roberts - 12/04/2010 05:37:36 PM 1316 Views
He brings up some interesting points, if in an unnecessarily rude manner - 08/04/2010 12:42:25 PM 1272 Views
To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 09/04/2010 10:05:49 AM 1286 Views
Re: To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 09/04/2010 01:28:17 PM 1794 Views
Re: To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 10/04/2010 11:40:22 AM 1204 Views
why are you so bothered by people being unimpressed with Roberts? - 10/04/2010 02:19:08 PM 1334 Views
I don't understand it either - 11/04/2010 12:44:25 PM 1295 Views
right? - 11/04/2010 02:13:00 PM 1302 Views
Nah - 12/04/2010 04:13:44 AM 1103 Views
And in vol. 5, Roberts discovers the horrors of the circus - 09/04/2010 09:57:03 AM 1235 Views
5 reviews without saying more than "I hate the series" - 09/04/2010 01:31:13 PM 1164 Views
Basically he just states the "nothing happens"-argument... - 09/04/2010 03:26:02 PM 1159 Views
Well, what was really resolved here? - 10/04/2010 11:25:25 AM 1161 Views
Well... - 12/04/2010 05:05:20 PM 1349 Views
well exactly - 12/04/2010 05:33:11 PM 1372 Views
So very little was resolved and much was set into motion, then? - 12/04/2010 06:55:45 PM 1324 Views
Yes... - 12/04/2010 10:51:08 PM 1117 Views
Ever read Umberto Eco's How To Travel with a Salmon? - 12/04/2010 11:07:19 PM 1326 Views
I guess... - 13/04/2010 10:03:03 AM 1370 Views
Sounds like you value prolixity for the sake of prolixity, to be honest - 13/04/2010 04:41:07 PM 2521 Views
Nah... - 13/04/2010 05:29:34 PM 1125 Views
He's read and enjoyed Proust, among others - 13/04/2010 07:37:39 PM 1173 Views
Ah, well... - 13/04/2010 09:45:45 PM 1144 Views
Dismissive, much? - 13/04/2010 10:52:30 PM 1284 Views
About that bifurcation... - 14/04/2010 02:02:15 AM 1258 Views
I'm rather moderate - 14/04/2010 10:11:30 AM 1170 Views
I'm just a liberation theologist at heart - 15/04/2010 01:51:16 PM 2096 Views
So, if you don't mind... - 13/04/2010 05:51:06 AM 1247 Views
That's fine with me - 13/04/2010 06:31:41 AM 1213 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 1244 Views
I didn't find it quite that bad, but... - 11/04/2010 08:27:52 AM 1134 Views
LoC represented a sharp drop in quality!!? - 19/05/2010 03:27:21 PM 1262 Views
And ignores everything else... - 09/04/2010 05:10:00 PM 1314 Views
Inchoatus went offline a couple of years ago - 10/04/2010 11:42:26 AM 2229 Views
This guy is going to get what he deserves... - 09/04/2010 10:26:14 PM 1226 Views
I'm waiting with bated breath for his CoT review *NM* - 10/04/2010 01:00:59 PM 902 Views
Just wanted to point out that he is not reviewing the series. - 16/04/2010 04:04:49 PM 1237 Views
Lord of Chaos commentary - 16/04/2010 03:39:39 PM 1255 Views
He has reached - The Hump. - 16/04/2010 03:55:51 PM 1215 Views
Re: He has reached - The Hump. - 18/04/2010 08:08:59 AM 1441 Views
No no. It was Lord of Heaven! - 16/04/2010 05:51:11 PM 1167 Views
Yeah, I noticed that - 16/04/2010 11:16:26 PM 1078 Views
I would love the see him review Goodkind... - 16/04/2010 11:51:07 PM 1260 Views
Finally re-read that post - 20/04/2010 09:35:45 PM 1220 Views
The magic items are mostly irrelevant... - 21/04/2010 03:37:36 AM 1234 Views
A Crown of Swords - or is it deco-porn? - 23/04/2010 08:36:17 AM 1329 Views
Re: A Crown of Swords - or is it deco-porn? - 29/04/2010 06:02:28 PM 1230 Views
I disagree - 29/04/2010 09:34:49 PM 1092 Views
I agree. - 29/04/2010 09:45:29 PM 1286 Views
Took me a moment to realize with whom you were agreeing - 29/04/2010 10:19:05 PM 1170 Views
Well, I did mention the necklines get overdone... - 06/05/2010 06:17:46 PM 1534 Views
Well, there's now also the tea to comment about - 07/05/2010 11:29:03 AM 1273 Views
A bit of a stumble this week - 30/04/2010 01:53:31 PM 1321 Views
The Path of Daggers commentary - 07/05/2010 10:39:03 AM 1306 Views
You'd think a Brit would like the tea... *NM* - 11/05/2010 04:05:42 PM 786 Views
Maybe he's just a contrarian? - 11/05/2010 07:55:43 PM 1149 Views
Winter's Heart - 21/05/2010 12:46:14 PM 1313 Views
To be fair - 21/05/2010 01:56:49 PM 1421 Views
I think WH was my least favorite of the WoT novels I re-read - 21/05/2010 04:49:31 PM 1207 Views
Re: I think WH was my least favorite of the WoT novels I re-read - 25/05/2010 05:05:09 PM 1396 Views
WH was my least favorite novel in the series, and that is saying a lot. - 28/05/2010 03:15:13 PM 1303 Views
I completely agree with his KoD post. Here is my favorite quote: - 28/05/2010 03:08:31 PM 1502 Views
CoT, you mean (link to actual post included) - 28/05/2010 04:56:10 PM 1326 Views
Yep, I meant COT. *NM* - 28/05/2010 07:02:48 PM 780 Views
Knife of Dreams - 18/06/2010 09:07:27 AM 1231 Views
Re: Knife of Dreams - 19/06/2010 05:49:38 AM 1295 Views
Agree... - 19/06/2010 05:08:44 PM 1291 Views
Roberts reflects back on WoT 1-11, with answers to questions asked of him - 25/06/2010 12:51:29 PM 1305 Views
This guy should be burned at the stake - 25/06/2010 03:22:34 PM 8712 Views
Are you done making a fool out of yourself, Mark? - 26/06/2010 06:53:37 PM 1256 Views
Oh come on... - 26/06/2010 09:06:01 PM 1375 Views
Well, the burning at the stake was a bit much... - 26/06/2010 10:19:40 PM 1372 Views
Well, really! You brought the comment to his notice... - 26/06/2010 11:34:08 PM 1330 Views
And your point is...? - 27/06/2010 12:37:00 AM 1409 Views
Well... - 27/06/2010 05:38:12 AM 1347 Views
Indeed... I think it's rather clear that Larry's goal has been to cause trouble - 27/06/2010 10:57:36 AM 1486 Views
There is no "borderline" about it. - 28/03/2011 05:17:15 PM 1223 Views
Ridiculous - 27/06/2010 06:38:46 AM 1256 Views
I like his FAQ and his overall musings on its' popularity. - 29/06/2010 06:35:10 PM 1326 Views
One year later... - 27/03/2011 03:40:29 AM 1250 Views
Re: One year later... - 28/03/2011 05:03:32 PM 1164 Views
I see you subconsciously support critical takes. - 28/03/2011 11:41:48 PM 1466 Views
No I conciously support telling you and him that you are pathetic, arrogent, & jelous. *NM* - 30/03/2011 01:40:36 PM 853 Views
Jealous? - 30/03/2011 05:20:32 PM 1219 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 763 Views
Seconded. - 30/03/2011 04:04:36 PM 1124 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 802 Views
Yep! - 30/03/2011 05:16:38 PM 1148 Views
Jeez Larry, you're starting to sound like a GRRM detractor. - 31/03/2011 03:01:38 PM 1266 Views
Nah, no detractor - 01/04/2011 03:00:41 PM 1367 Views
Could a thread be locked? - 31/03/2011 07:48:26 PM 1145 Views
Re: One year later... - 01/04/2011 02:55:02 AM 1421 Views
Yep - 01/04/2011 02:57:52 PM 1299 Views

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