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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 9773 Views
A question for Larry - 19/03/2010 09:40:37 PM 2033 Views
Roberto BolaƱo - 19/03/2010 11:09:57 PM 1801 Views
I completely agree with his review. - 19/03/2010 11:11:17 PM 1963 Views
Ouch! Somebody pull that guy off RJ! *NM* - 20/03/2010 03:47:07 AM 867 Views
Can't say that I really disagree. - 20/03/2010 05:19:26 AM 1349 Views
My problem with the reviews: - 20/03/2010 06:29:08 AM 1896 Views
Hear Hear !!! ....................... = ........................ *NM* - 20/03/2010 06:37:11 AM 841 Views
I agree - 20/03/2010 11:19:29 AM 1417 Views
You know what else I'm finding annoying? - 07/04/2010 07:29:37 AM 1363 Views
Fully Agree *NM* - 21/06/2010 12:41:05 AM 736 Views
well I agree and disagree - 20/03/2010 06:51:29 AM 1711 Views
Re: well I agree and disagree - 20/03/2010 02:12:43 PM 1255 Views
I'd say just The Eye of the World - 20/03/2010 05:26:19 PM 1249 Views
Indeed - 21/03/2010 12:34:19 AM 1262 Views
These reviews are pathetic - 20/03/2010 12:52:22 PM 1253 Views
I'm amused by some of the responses - 20/03/2010 07:20:03 PM 1602 Views
+1 *NM* - 20/03/2010 10:48:14 PM 824 Views
Are you suggesting that we are unqualified to disagree with him ? - 20/03/2010 11:21:44 PM 1418 Views
No, I said rather that it's ridiculous to make such disparaging comments about his takes - 20/03/2010 11:37:56 PM 1460 Views
I considered doing so - 21/03/2010 12:27:27 AM 1240 Views
I will reply to myself: What's the problem McFly , chicken ? - 21/03/2010 12:29:36 AM 1188 Views
My sister called me chicken once - 10/04/2010 01:18:31 AM 1245 Views
what's wrong runt... are you yellah? *NM* - 10/04/2010 10:40:16 AM 822 Views
NICE! *NM* - 10/04/2010 02:19:44 PM 685 Views
Re: I'm amused by some of the responses - 23/03/2010 04:50:42 PM 1339 Views
And I'm even more amused by this response - 24/03/2010 01:11:50 AM 1261 Views
Re: And I'm even more amused by this response - 24/03/2010 03:03:28 AM 1146 Views
Nah, TGS was the only serious review of the series I've done - 24/03/2010 04:31:28 AM 1181 Views
On a completely unrelated note... - 24/03/2010 06:15:25 AM 1054 Views
Ha! - 24/03/2010 06:34:48 AM 1203 Views
My congratulations then . *NM* - 24/03/2010 06:36:11 AM 1095 Views
You say it as if I had been condemned to hell! - 24/03/2010 07:13:45 AM 1023 Views
No. Well, maybe. - 24/03/2010 06:52:28 PM 1108 Views
! - 24/03/2010 06:54:34 PM 1168 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 22/03/2010 02:47:23 PM 1217 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 23/03/2010 01:53:16 PM 1228 Views
Wow, you guys have completely missed the point of the Wheel of Time series - 22/03/2010 05:28:07 PM 1281 Views
There's a point to it? - 22/03/2010 06:47:12 PM 1274 Views
I thought the point was to write about a bunch of stuff happening? - 09/04/2010 03:42:49 PM 1265 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 23/03/2010 04:54:38 PM 1193 Views
pfft wth-ever - 26/03/2010 12:35:53 AM 1061 Views
Dude's been up for more awards for his writing than RJ ever was - 26/03/2010 12:28:19 PM 1306 Views
bla bla bla - 29/03/2010 06:17:07 AM 1175 Views
Usually, it's spelled "blah" - 29/03/2010 07:03:51 AM 1198 Views
Wow. That post was more entertaining than Mr. Roberts' review. Thank you *NM* - 29/03/2010 08:23:41 AM 1029 Views
You must have low standards for entertainment - 29/03/2010 08:54:03 AM 1161 Views
Re: You must have low standards for entertainment - 29/03/2010 09:13:44 AM 1274 Views
I know you were, thus the at the least of my comment - 29/03/2010 09:19:30 AM 1158 Views
Unimpressed - 29/03/2010 10:50:07 PM 1515 Views
Thank you - 30/03/2010 12:35:39 AM 1097 Views
*Standing ovation for DomA* - 30/03/2010 07:36:59 AM 1293 Views
Yes. Also, Roberts is a wanker. *NM* - 05/04/2010 09:28:57 PM 849 Views
Re: Dude's been up for more awards for his writing than RJ ever was - 29/03/2010 04:32:23 PM 1265 Views
Might want to re-read their Wikis again. - 29/03/2010 07:07:11 PM 1159 Views
Awards - 29/03/2010 07:42:03 PM 1138 Views
That link is out of date - 29/03/2010 07:54:56 PM 1109 Views
Re: That link is out of date - 29/03/2010 08:22:03 PM 1242 Views
This is a battle of win/lose? - 29/03/2010 08:47:54 PM 1165 Views
Re: This is a battle of win/lose? - 29/03/2010 09:03:07 PM 1219 Views
*considers employing the Chewbacca defense* - 29/03/2010 09:28:06 PM 1199 Views
Re: *considers employing the Chewbacca defense* - 29/03/2010 09:44:58 PM 1228 Views
The final point explains the "defense" - 30/03/2010 12:24:56 AM 1078 Views
Re: The final point explains the "defense" - 30/03/2010 01:33:04 PM 1075 Views
No, no, no - 30/03/2010 06:38:41 PM 1144 Views
Re: No, no, no - 30/03/2010 07:51:34 PM 1194 Views
Still continuing, huh? - 31/03/2010 02:10:13 AM 1190 Views
Re: Still continuing, huh? - 31/03/2010 03:56:57 PM 1116 Views
Those were polls - 31/03/2010 08:46:07 PM 1136 Views
Re: Those were polls - 05/04/2010 03:22:13 PM 1069 Views
Does it gives him right to insult me? - 13/04/2011 02:10:32 PM 1088 Views
I wouldn't know. Was he speaking directly to you? - 14/04/2011 11:28:16 PM 1250 Views
He's now reviewed the third book - 26/03/2010 12:27:16 PM 1307 Views
Well, this time I must disagree with him . - 29/03/2010 07:31:40 AM 1139 Views
I don't think he was claiming that RJ was alone in doing that - 29/03/2010 07:44:07 AM 1104 Views
Hah! - 29/03/2010 06:07:28 PM 1104 Views
Well... - 29/03/2010 06:52:10 PM 1091 Views
Differing perspectives, I guess. - 29/03/2010 07:58:13 PM 1168 Views
I suppose - 29/03/2010 08:50:43 PM 1106 Views
Re: I suppose - 30/03/2010 12:18:30 AM 1264 Views
True - 30/03/2010 12:23:28 AM 1098 Views
Hey, DomA, do you know why the Shienarans randomly speak in the Old Tongue? - 30/03/2010 12:52:01 AM 1011 Views
Re: Hey, DomA, do you know why the Shienarans randomly speak in the Old Tongue? - 30/03/2010 07:45:08 AM 1146 Views
But why only them? - 30/03/2010 08:07:00 AM 1180 Views
Re: But why only them? - 30/03/2010 03:56:54 PM 1124 Views
Re: But why only them? - 30/03/2010 08:29:37 PM 1209 Views
I really liked a lot of the minor characters in The Great Hunt. - 30/03/2010 12:49:03 AM 1188 Views
I barely thought twice about those, to be honest - 30/03/2010 06:39:55 PM 1163 Views
I can't wait what he's going to try to do with TFoH and beyond - 28/03/2010 08:18:59 PM 1202 Views
Glad you enjoyed it - 29/03/2010 09:33:43 PM 1040 Views
The Shadow Rising review - 02/04/2010 09:42:53 AM 1292 Views
I wonder if this borders on trolling - 02/04/2010 02:29:58 PM 9899 Views
You want complaining? You got it... - 02/04/2010 06:38:09 PM 1195 Views
That would be a mistake - 02/04/2010 09:16:25 PM 1369 Views
Re: That would be a mistake - 02/04/2010 10:28:56 PM 1086 Views
I agree, Roberts is more and more coming across to me as just bitter - 10/04/2010 01:24:52 AM 1228 Views
Little late to this one as well - 10/04/2010 11:12:04 AM 1271 Views
Perhaps you should have led with this bit - 10/04/2010 02:52:23 PM 1327 Views
Re: I wonder if this borders on trolling - 04/04/2010 09:16:22 AM 1173 Views
What review? I couldn't find one... - 02/04/2010 08:00:45 PM 1364 Views
Re: What review? I couldn't find one... - 02/04/2010 09:22:13 PM 1333 Views
See my comment below - 02/04/2010 09:32:54 PM 1328 Views
Re: See my comment below - 03/04/2010 09:31:22 AM 1750 Views
Sorry I'm late in responding, but I've been quite busy this week - 07/04/2010 09:45:48 PM 1543 Views
Yes, I can probably agree with what you say here. - 08/04/2010 12:29:16 AM 1056 Views
- 08/04/2010 12:32:53 AM 1142 Views
I agree completely. *NM* - 02/04/2010 09:53:44 PM 731 Views
Speaking of irritation - 02/04/2010 10:50:04 PM 1312 Views
Commentary, then? - 02/04/2010 09:27:18 PM 1149 Views
Here's the thing... - 02/04/2010 10:11:18 PM 1148 Views
Re: Here's the thing... - 02/04/2010 10:31:56 PM 1026 Views
Re: Here's the thing... - 03/04/2010 01:34:05 AM 1063 Views
I somehow overlooked this last week, it seems - 10/04/2010 11:01:17 AM 1346 Views
Indeed - 02/04/2010 10:34:00 PM 1015 Views
Re: Commentary, then? - 05/04/2010 03:44:07 PM 1111 Views
for a man that bitterly complains about an author who is padding his work - 08/04/2010 09:41:07 PM 1261 Views
1400 words is long-winded? - 09/04/2010 10:07:41 AM 1312 Views
since you can sum up those 1400 words in about 25 yes that's longwinded - 09/04/2010 01:36:16 PM 1176 Views
Except I didn't really sum it up, as I left out quite a bit - 10/04/2010 11:15:42 AM 1242 Views
You are very defensive over this - 10/04/2010 01:54:15 PM 1021 Views
Nah, more of a devil's advocate than anything else - 12/04/2010 03:57:12 AM 1090 Views
Re: Nah, more of a devil's advocate than anything else - 12/04/2010 05:30:53 PM 1028 Views
You sound like a Goodkind webmaster from a couple of years ago - 12/04/2010 06:58:42 PM 1107 Views
You don't come across as a devil's advocate - 30/03/2011 03:07:32 PM 1052 Views
Well Larry I have started reading Gradsil by Adam Roberts - 07/04/2010 08:59:28 PM 1206 Views
I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 07/04/2010 09:50:39 PM 1144 Views
Re: I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 08/04/2010 01:06:20 PM 1017 Views
Which Invisible Man? - 09/04/2010 09:58:44 AM 1213 Views
Re: Which Invisible Man? - 09/04/2010 01:26:42 PM 1127 Views
I have a very different take on that book - 10/04/2010 11:17:13 AM 1095 Views
Re: I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 09/04/2010 01:45:44 PM 1172 Views
Hrmm... - 10/04/2010 11:19:01 AM 977 Views
Re: Well Larry I have started reading Gradsil by Adam Roberts - 12/04/2010 05:37:36 PM 1196 Views
He brings up some interesting points, if in an unnecessarily rude manner - 08/04/2010 12:42:25 PM 1148 Views
To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 09/04/2010 10:05:49 AM 1179 Views
Re: To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 09/04/2010 01:28:17 PM 1697 Views
Re: To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 10/04/2010 11:40:22 AM 1091 Views
why are you so bothered by people being unimpressed with Roberts? - 10/04/2010 02:19:08 PM 1211 Views
I don't understand it either - 11/04/2010 12:44:25 PM 1168 Views
right? - 11/04/2010 02:13:00 PM 1187 Views
Nah - 12/04/2010 04:13:44 AM 982 Views
And in vol. 5, Roberts discovers the horrors of the circus - 09/04/2010 09:57:03 AM 1106 Views
5 reviews without saying more than "I hate the series" - 09/04/2010 01:31:13 PM 1040 Views
Basically he just states the "nothing happens"-argument... - 09/04/2010 03:26:02 PM 1023 Views
Well, what was really resolved here? - 10/04/2010 11:25:25 AM 1043 Views
Well... - 12/04/2010 05:05:20 PM 1233 Views
well exactly - 12/04/2010 05:33:11 PM 1261 Views
So very little was resolved and much was set into motion, then? - 12/04/2010 06:55:45 PM 1201 Views
Yes... - 12/04/2010 10:51:08 PM 991 Views
Ever read Umberto Eco's How To Travel with a Salmon? - 12/04/2010 11:07:19 PM 1195 Views
I guess... - 13/04/2010 10:03:03 AM 1255 Views
Sounds like you value prolixity for the sake of prolixity, to be honest - 13/04/2010 04:41:07 PM 2408 Views
Nah... - 13/04/2010 05:29:34 PM 1011 Views
He's read and enjoyed Proust, among others - 13/04/2010 07:37:39 PM 1049 Views
Ah, well... - 13/04/2010 09:45:45 PM 1028 Views
Dismissive, much? - 13/04/2010 10:52:30 PM 1175 Views
About that bifurcation... - 14/04/2010 02:02:15 AM 1138 Views
I'm rather moderate - 14/04/2010 10:11:30 AM 1057 Views
I'm just a liberation theologist at heart - 15/04/2010 01:51:16 PM 1979 Views
So, if you don't mind... - 13/04/2010 05:51:06 AM 1134 Views
That's fine with me - 13/04/2010 06:31:41 AM 1099 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 1113 Views
I didn't find it quite that bad, but... - 11/04/2010 08:27:52 AM 1025 Views
LoC represented a sharp drop in quality!!? - 19/05/2010 03:27:21 PM 1138 Views
And ignores everything else... - 09/04/2010 05:10:00 PM 1199 Views
Inchoatus went offline a couple of years ago - 10/04/2010 11:42:26 AM 2096 Views
This guy is going to get what he deserves... - 09/04/2010 10:26:14 PM 1103 Views
I'm waiting with bated breath for his CoT review *NM* - 10/04/2010 01:00:59 PM 821 Views
Just wanted to point out that he is not reviewing the series. - 16/04/2010 04:04:49 PM 1128 Views
Lord of Chaos commentary - 16/04/2010 03:39:39 PM 1133 Views
He has reached - The Hump. - 16/04/2010 03:55:51 PM 1094 Views
Re: He has reached - The Hump. - 18/04/2010 08:08:59 AM 1296 Views
No no. It was Lord of Heaven! - 16/04/2010 05:51:11 PM 1051 Views
Yeah, I noticed that - 16/04/2010 11:16:26 PM 973 Views
I would love the see him review Goodkind... - 16/04/2010 11:51:07 PM 1136 Views
Finally re-read that post - 20/04/2010 09:35:45 PM 1087 Views
The magic items are mostly irrelevant... - 21/04/2010 03:37:36 AM 1104 Views
A Crown of Swords - or is it deco-porn? - 23/04/2010 08:36:17 AM 1204 Views
Re: A Crown of Swords - or is it deco-porn? - 29/04/2010 06:02:28 PM 1102 Views
I disagree - 29/04/2010 09:34:49 PM 976 Views
I agree. - 29/04/2010 09:45:29 PM 1162 Views
Took me a moment to realize with whom you were agreeing - 29/04/2010 10:19:05 PM 1063 Views
Well, I did mention the necklines get overdone... - 06/05/2010 06:17:46 PM 1402 Views
Well, there's now also the tea to comment about - 07/05/2010 11:29:03 AM 1154 Views
A bit of a stumble this week - 30/04/2010 01:53:31 PM 1201 Views
The Path of Daggers commentary - 07/05/2010 10:39:03 AM 1184 Views
You'd think a Brit would like the tea... *NM* - 11/05/2010 04:05:42 PM 713 Views
Maybe he's just a contrarian? - 11/05/2010 07:55:43 PM 1039 Views
Winter's Heart - 21/05/2010 12:46:14 PM 1193 Views
To be fair - 21/05/2010 01:56:49 PM 1282 Views
I think WH was my least favorite of the WoT novels I re-read - 21/05/2010 04:49:31 PM 1090 Views
Re: I think WH was my least favorite of the WoT novels I re-read - 25/05/2010 05:05:09 PM 1274 Views
WH was my least favorite novel in the series, and that is saying a lot. - 28/05/2010 03:15:13 PM 1188 Views
I completely agree with his KoD post. Here is my favorite quote: - 28/05/2010 03:08:31 PM 1359 Views
CoT, you mean (link to actual post included) - 28/05/2010 04:56:10 PM 1203 Views
Yep, I meant COT. *NM* - 28/05/2010 07:02:48 PM 692 Views
Knife of Dreams - 18/06/2010 09:07:27 AM 1109 Views
Re: Knife of Dreams - 19/06/2010 05:49:38 AM 1186 Views
Agree... - 19/06/2010 05:08:44 PM 1170 Views
Roberts reflects back on WoT 1-11, with answers to questions asked of him - 25/06/2010 12:51:29 PM 1180 Views
This guy should be burned at the stake - 25/06/2010 03:22:34 PM 8568 Views
Are you done making a fool out of yourself, Mark? - 26/06/2010 06:53:37 PM 1143 Views
Oh come on... - 26/06/2010 09:06:01 PM 1262 Views
Well, the burning at the stake was a bit much... - 26/06/2010 10:19:40 PM 1254 Views
Well, really! You brought the comment to his notice... - 26/06/2010 11:34:08 PM 1211 Views
And your point is...? - 27/06/2010 12:37:00 AM 1289 Views
Well... - 27/06/2010 05:38:12 AM 1234 Views
Indeed... I think it's rather clear that Larry's goal has been to cause trouble - 27/06/2010 10:57:36 AM 1372 Views
There is no "borderline" about it. - 28/03/2011 05:17:15 PM 1118 Views
Ridiculous - 27/06/2010 06:38:46 AM 1144 Views
I like his FAQ and his overall musings on its' popularity. - 29/06/2010 06:35:10 PM 1207 Views
One year later... - 27/03/2011 03:40:29 AM 1126 Views
Re: One year later... - 28/03/2011 05:03:32 PM 1060 Views
I see you subconsciously support critical takes. - 28/03/2011 11:41:48 PM 1347 Views
No I conciously support telling you and him that you are pathetic, arrogent, & jelous. *NM* - 30/03/2011 01:40:36 PM 781 Views
Jealous? - 30/03/2011 05:20:32 PM 1109 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 689 Views
Seconded. - 30/03/2011 04:04:36 PM 1012 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 728 Views
Yep! - 30/03/2011 05:16:38 PM 1041 Views
Jeez Larry, you're starting to sound like a GRRM detractor. - 31/03/2011 03:01:38 PM 1141 Views
Nah, no detractor - 01/04/2011 03:00:41 PM 1263 Views
Could a thread be locked? - 31/03/2011 07:48:26 PM 1027 Views
Re: One year later... - 01/04/2011 02:55:02 AM 1286 Views
Yep - 01/04/2011 02:57:52 PM 1200 Views

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