Active Users:120 Time:05/04/2020 10:43:49 PM
Sounds like you value prolixity for the sake of prolixity, to be honest Larry Send a noteboard - 13/04/2010 04:41:07 PM
It depends on one's patience and willingness to dive into such a big story. Maybe people (like Adam Roberts?), who normally rather read short series, stand-alone novels or short-stories are simply overwhelmed by the many details, plot-lines, foreshadowings, characters, factions, riddles, etc., in the WoT. They call for resolutions even already in the middle of the series, because they can't see what the point of such a detailed story is (especially if they already seem biased against the books from the start). That Roberts apparently thinks that EotW is a better book than TSR or TFoH, is in my view completely incomprehensible. Maybe the special but intentional format of these "monster-fantasy series" simply doesn't work for such people with a shorter attention span. Likely Roberts also couldn't bear to see six seasons of Lost to get to the resolution, but already skip the series after the second or third season, because (naturally, though!) few things are resolved till then. It also would be interesting to see how e.g. his reviews of the Malazan books would look like. I guess that he would be even more confused, and thus describe the story as even more pointless than WoT, simply because it's such long and detailed.


I don't believe the WoT series is as "big" of a story as you make it out to be. Complicated series, with tons of minor character "moving parts"? Yes. But certainly not an overly complex tale. If it were, I highly doubt it'd have a massive following, to be honest. Don't know why you think it's "incomprehensible" that Roberts (or others) would think the first book was better than the fourth and latter books: it does have more defined plot structure and flow to it. The latter books begin to meander so much that one may be pardoned if s/he wonders if the point had been lost among so many secondary subpoints. Doubtless, there is an argument to be made that all these subplots might make for a tapestry, but at what cost? Having millions of words devoted to creating all these subplots risks overshadowing the primary plot and the lack of focus on the forest for just a few quaint trees. It's not that readers who dislike the series increasingly as it putters along are "confused." It's rather that for many, the series appears to be more and more of a mess with each passing volume, as the author(s) struggled to tame the brambles of these branching side stories. As is the case with a volume such as CoT, the action became choked up in the having to account for all the minor details that could have been shorn from the series without hurting the potential power of the closing narrative.

Even if there are - as a matter of course - slower parts in a work like WoT, I'm still overall entertained, because in my view there are gripping scenes in every book and I especially like RJ's ideas of "mythical engineering" (IIRC, RJ used this term) or the Pattern, etc. . Besides that, I'm convinced that there will be a grandiose finale in the last book. Of course, I'm aware it isn't highest literature, but in the end I think one can only judge WoT's worth after the last book is completed to see what was necessary and what redundant. However, it's clear that Roberts actually doesn't really care about seriously reviewing the positive and negative aspects of WoT, but is simply trying to make a few, mainly lame jokes or sarcastic comments. Things like the heroes hiding in a circus or the villains wearing black & red are certainly clichés. On the other hand, if one recalls that RJ's clever idea was that the plot of the series is supposed to be the base of our various myths, it makes perfect sense again that he uses such motifs, because e.g. many of myths of our world also associate black and red with evil. If Roberts criticizes this, he doesn't seem to understand RJ's aim at all.


The "mythical engineering," in my honest opinion, is vastly disappointing. There is little subtlety to it, as entire "real world" cultures are borrowed nearly whole cloth without any major alterations made. Having a mishmash of French, Spanish, Persian, Japanese, Tudor English, and a few other cultural elements thrown together in a fashion that depends upon a reader's stereotypical views of those societies/locales gets rather wearisome over time. Perhaps it's because I have a grad degree in cultural history and I see through the parlor trappings and feel the laziness and faults in the portrayals. The settings are a sham to me. Trying to retro-"engineer" disparate myths into a fantasy setting is rather ham-handed, considering the narrative acrobatics RJ had to do just to shoehorn in references to stories whose actual origins had to deal with very different matters than the ones he tried to imply. It just felt silly and rather stupid, to be honest. Perhaps some enjoyed it, but I wouldn't be surprised if for those who had a grounding in cultural traditions that the seams were so visible as to make the entire affair risible.

And again, remember that Roberts is not writing a formal review. I would imagine he would have had a lot more to say if he were writing those reviews for say Strange Horizons (where he just had an interesting review of Philip K. Dick's VALIS novels posted last week).
Illusions fall like the husk of a fruit, one after another, and the fruit is experience. - Narrator, Sylvie

Je suis méchant.
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Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 19/03/2010 09:30:25 PM 10071 Views
A question for Larry - 19/03/2010 09:40:37 PM 2117 Views
Roberto Bolaño - 19/03/2010 11:09:57 PM 1874 Views
I completely agree with his review. - 19/03/2010 11:11:17 PM 2056 Views
Ouch! Somebody pull that guy off RJ! *NM* - 20/03/2010 03:47:07 AM 929 Views
Can't say that I really disagree. - 20/03/2010 05:19:26 AM 1428 Views
My problem with the reviews: - 20/03/2010 06:29:08 AM 1975 Views
Hear Hear !!! ....................... = ........................ *NM* - 20/03/2010 06:37:11 AM 898 Views
I agree - 20/03/2010 11:19:29 AM 1509 Views
You know what else I'm finding annoying? - 07/04/2010 07:29:37 AM 1446 Views
Fully Agree *NM* - 21/06/2010 12:41:05 AM 786 Views
well I agree and disagree - 20/03/2010 06:51:29 AM 1799 Views
Re: well I agree and disagree - 20/03/2010 02:12:43 PM 1336 Views
I'd say just The Eye of the World - 20/03/2010 05:26:19 PM 1329 Views
Indeed - 21/03/2010 12:34:19 AM 1343 Views
These reviews are pathetic - 20/03/2010 12:52:22 PM 1327 Views
I'm amused by some of the responses - 20/03/2010 07:20:03 PM 1681 Views
+1 *NM* - 20/03/2010 10:48:14 PM 889 Views
Are you suggesting that we are unqualified to disagree with him ? - 20/03/2010 11:21:44 PM 1499 Views
No, I said rather that it's ridiculous to make such disparaging comments about his takes - 20/03/2010 11:37:56 PM 1537 Views
I considered doing so - 21/03/2010 12:27:27 AM 1323 Views
I will reply to myself: What's the problem McFly , chicken ? - 21/03/2010 12:29:36 AM 1285 Views
My sister called me chicken once - 10/04/2010 01:18:31 AM 1318 Views
what's wrong runt... are you yellah? *NM* - 10/04/2010 10:40:16 AM 877 Views
NICE! *NM* - 10/04/2010 02:19:44 PM 745 Views
Re: I'm amused by some of the responses - 23/03/2010 04:50:42 PM 1410 Views
And I'm even more amused by this response - 24/03/2010 01:11:50 AM 1347 Views
Re: And I'm even more amused by this response - 24/03/2010 03:03:28 AM 1213 Views
Nah, TGS was the only serious review of the series I've done - 24/03/2010 04:31:28 AM 1260 Views
On a completely unrelated note... - 24/03/2010 06:15:25 AM 1137 Views
Ha! - 24/03/2010 06:34:48 AM 1279 Views
My congratulations then . *NM* - 24/03/2010 06:36:11 AM 1171 Views
You say it as if I had been condemned to hell! - 24/03/2010 07:13:45 AM 1088 Views
No. Well, maybe. - 24/03/2010 06:52:28 PM 1185 Views
! - 24/03/2010 06:54:34 PM 1246 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 22/03/2010 02:47:23 PM 1305 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 23/03/2010 01:53:16 PM 1312 Views
Wow, you guys have completely missed the point of the Wheel of Time series - 22/03/2010 05:28:07 PM 1357 Views
There's a point to it? - 22/03/2010 06:47:12 PM 1352 Views
I thought the point was to write about a bunch of stuff happening? - 09/04/2010 03:42:49 PM 1351 Views
Re: Author Adam Roberts tackled the WoT. - 23/03/2010 04:54:38 PM 1276 Views
pfft wth-ever - 26/03/2010 12:35:53 AM 1161 Views
Dude's been up for more awards for his writing than RJ ever was - 26/03/2010 12:28:19 PM 1385 Views
bla bla bla - 29/03/2010 06:17:07 AM 1247 Views
Usually, it's spelled "blah" - 29/03/2010 07:03:51 AM 1271 Views
Wow. That post was more entertaining than Mr. Roberts' review. Thank you *NM* - 29/03/2010 08:23:41 AM 1077 Views
You must have low standards for entertainment - 29/03/2010 08:54:03 AM 1234 Views
Re: You must have low standards for entertainment - 29/03/2010 09:13:44 AM 1346 Views
I know you were, thus the at the least of my comment - 29/03/2010 09:19:30 AM 1222 Views
Unimpressed - 29/03/2010 10:50:07 PM 1586 Views
Thank you - 30/03/2010 12:35:39 AM 1158 Views
*Standing ovation for DomA* - 30/03/2010 07:36:59 AM 1359 Views
Yes. Also, Roberts is a wanker. *NM* - 05/04/2010 09:28:57 PM 903 Views
Re: Dude's been up for more awards for his writing than RJ ever was - 29/03/2010 04:32:23 PM 1344 Views
Might want to re-read their Wikis again. - 29/03/2010 07:07:11 PM 1223 Views
Awards - 29/03/2010 07:42:03 PM 1216 Views
That link is out of date - 29/03/2010 07:54:56 PM 1183 Views
Re: That link is out of date - 29/03/2010 08:22:03 PM 1312 Views
This is a battle of win/lose? - 29/03/2010 08:47:54 PM 1240 Views
Re: This is a battle of win/lose? - 29/03/2010 09:03:07 PM 1292 Views
*considers employing the Chewbacca defense* - 29/03/2010 09:28:06 PM 1267 Views
Re: *considers employing the Chewbacca defense* - 29/03/2010 09:44:58 PM 1312 Views
The final point explains the "defense" - 30/03/2010 12:24:56 AM 1151 Views
Re: The final point explains the "defense" - 30/03/2010 01:33:04 PM 1151 Views
No, no, no - 30/03/2010 06:38:41 PM 1222 Views
Re: No, no, no - 30/03/2010 07:51:34 PM 1267 Views
Still continuing, huh? - 31/03/2010 02:10:13 AM 1266 Views
Re: Still continuing, huh? - 31/03/2010 03:56:57 PM 1183 Views
Those were polls - 31/03/2010 08:46:07 PM 1216 Views
Re: Those were polls - 05/04/2010 03:22:13 PM 1169 Views
Does it gives him right to insult me? - 13/04/2011 02:10:32 PM 1161 Views
I wouldn't know. Was he speaking directly to you? - 14/04/2011 11:28:16 PM 1320 Views
He's now reviewed the third book - 26/03/2010 12:27:16 PM 1391 Views
Well, this time I must disagree with him . - 29/03/2010 07:31:40 AM 1213 Views
I don't think he was claiming that RJ was alone in doing that - 29/03/2010 07:44:07 AM 1180 Views
Hah! - 29/03/2010 06:07:28 PM 1179 Views
Well... - 29/03/2010 06:52:10 PM 1170 Views
Differing perspectives, I guess. - 29/03/2010 07:58:13 PM 1239 Views
I suppose - 29/03/2010 08:50:43 PM 1181 Views
Re: I suppose - 30/03/2010 12:18:30 AM 1336 Views
True - 30/03/2010 12:23:28 AM 1182 Views
Hey, DomA, do you know why the Shienarans randomly speak in the Old Tongue? - 30/03/2010 12:52:01 AM 1084 Views
Re: Hey, DomA, do you know why the Shienarans randomly speak in the Old Tongue? - 30/03/2010 07:45:08 AM 1223 Views
But why only them? - 30/03/2010 08:07:00 AM 1245 Views
Re: But why only them? - 30/03/2010 03:56:54 PM 1199 Views
Re: But why only them? - 30/03/2010 08:29:37 PM 1288 Views
I really liked a lot of the minor characters in The Great Hunt. - 30/03/2010 12:49:03 AM 1258 Views
I barely thought twice about those, to be honest - 30/03/2010 06:39:55 PM 1239 Views
I can't wait what he's going to try to do with TFoH and beyond - 28/03/2010 08:18:59 PM 1286 Views
Glad you enjoyed it - 29/03/2010 09:33:43 PM 1112 Views
The Shadow Rising review - 02/04/2010 09:42:53 AM 1369 Views
I wonder if this borders on trolling - 02/04/2010 02:29:58 PM 9977 Views
You want complaining? You got it... - 02/04/2010 06:38:09 PM 1280 Views
That would be a mistake - 02/04/2010 09:16:25 PM 1446 Views
Re: That would be a mistake - 02/04/2010 10:28:56 PM 1166 Views
I agree, Roberts is more and more coming across to me as just bitter - 10/04/2010 01:24:52 AM 1310 Views
Little late to this one as well - 10/04/2010 11:12:04 AM 1355 Views
Perhaps you should have led with this bit - 10/04/2010 02:52:23 PM 1399 Views
Re: I wonder if this borders on trolling - 04/04/2010 09:16:22 AM 1246 Views
What review? I couldn't find one... - 02/04/2010 08:00:45 PM 1439 Views
Re: What review? I couldn't find one... - 02/04/2010 09:22:13 PM 1408 Views
See my comment below - 02/04/2010 09:32:54 PM 1397 Views
Re: See my comment below - 03/04/2010 09:31:22 AM 1824 Views
Sorry I'm late in responding, but I've been quite busy this week - 07/04/2010 09:45:48 PM 1632 Views
Yes, I can probably agree with what you say here. - 08/04/2010 12:29:16 AM 1126 Views
- 08/04/2010 12:32:53 AM 1216 Views
I agree completely. *NM* - 02/04/2010 09:53:44 PM 794 Views
Speaking of irritation - 02/04/2010 10:50:04 PM 1388 Views
Commentary, then? - 02/04/2010 09:27:18 PM 1212 Views
Here's the thing... - 02/04/2010 10:11:18 PM 1219 Views
Re: Here's the thing... - 02/04/2010 10:31:56 PM 1107 Views
Re: Here's the thing... - 03/04/2010 01:34:05 AM 1135 Views
I somehow overlooked this last week, it seems - 10/04/2010 11:01:17 AM 1421 Views
Indeed - 02/04/2010 10:34:00 PM 1092 Views
Re: Commentary, then? - 05/04/2010 03:44:07 PM 1178 Views
for a man that bitterly complains about an author who is padding his work - 08/04/2010 09:41:07 PM 1346 Views
1400 words is long-winded? - 09/04/2010 10:07:41 AM 1383 Views
since you can sum up those 1400 words in about 25 yes that's longwinded - 09/04/2010 01:36:16 PM 1253 Views
Except I didn't really sum it up, as I left out quite a bit - 10/04/2010 11:15:42 AM 1320 Views
You are very defensive over this - 10/04/2010 01:54:15 PM 1092 Views
Nah, more of a devil's advocate than anything else - 12/04/2010 03:57:12 AM 1174 Views
Re: Nah, more of a devil's advocate than anything else - 12/04/2010 05:30:53 PM 1100 Views
You sound like a Goodkind webmaster from a couple of years ago - 12/04/2010 06:58:42 PM 1181 Views
You don't come across as a devil's advocate - 30/03/2011 03:07:32 PM 1124 Views
Well Larry I have started reading Gradsil by Adam Roberts - 07/04/2010 08:59:28 PM 1292 Views
I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 07/04/2010 09:50:39 PM 1223 Views
Re: I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 08/04/2010 01:06:20 PM 1089 Views
Which Invisible Man? - 09/04/2010 09:58:44 AM 1291 Views
Re: Which Invisible Man? - 09/04/2010 01:26:42 PM 1194 Views
I have a very different take on that book - 10/04/2010 11:17:13 AM 1182 Views
Re: I demand a paragraph by paragraph review, with footnotes! - 09/04/2010 01:45:44 PM 1242 Views
Hrmm... - 10/04/2010 11:19:01 AM 1060 Views
Re: Well Larry I have started reading Gradsil by Adam Roberts - 12/04/2010 05:37:36 PM 1271 Views
He brings up some interesting points, if in an unnecessarily rude manner - 08/04/2010 12:42:25 PM 1228 Views
To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 09/04/2010 10:05:49 AM 1248 Views
Re: To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 09/04/2010 01:28:17 PM 1759 Views
Re: To be honest, I doubt most readers of the series obsess over it that much - 10/04/2010 11:40:22 AM 1166 Views
why are you so bothered by people being unimpressed with Roberts? - 10/04/2010 02:19:08 PM 1291 Views
I don't understand it either - 11/04/2010 12:44:25 PM 1254 Views
right? - 11/04/2010 02:13:00 PM 1262 Views
Nah - 12/04/2010 04:13:44 AM 1056 Views
And in vol. 5, Roberts discovers the horrors of the circus - 09/04/2010 09:57:03 AM 1189 Views
5 reviews without saying more than "I hate the series" - 09/04/2010 01:31:13 PM 1123 Views
Basically he just states the "nothing happens"-argument... - 09/04/2010 03:26:02 PM 1112 Views
Well, what was really resolved here? - 10/04/2010 11:25:25 AM 1119 Views
Well... - 12/04/2010 05:05:20 PM 1307 Views
well exactly - 12/04/2010 05:33:11 PM 1334 Views
So very little was resolved and much was set into motion, then? - 12/04/2010 06:55:45 PM 1280 Views
Yes... - 12/04/2010 10:51:08 PM 1072 Views
Ever read Umberto Eco's How To Travel with a Salmon? - 12/04/2010 11:07:19 PM 1280 Views
I guess... - 13/04/2010 10:03:03 AM 1329 Views
Sounds like you value prolixity for the sake of prolixity, to be honest - 13/04/2010 04:41:07 PM 2479 Views
Nah... - 13/04/2010 05:29:34 PM 1083 Views
He's read and enjoyed Proust, among others - 13/04/2010 07:37:39 PM 1129 Views
Ah, well... - 13/04/2010 09:45:45 PM 1104 Views
Dismissive, much? - 13/04/2010 10:52:30 PM 1247 Views
About that bifurcation... - 14/04/2010 02:02:15 AM 1218 Views
I'm rather moderate - 14/04/2010 10:11:30 AM 1129 Views
I'm just a liberation theologist at heart - 15/04/2010 01:51:16 PM 2058 Views
So, if you don't mind... - 13/04/2010 05:51:06 AM 1205 Views
That's fine with me - 13/04/2010 06:31:41 AM 1173 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 1192 Views
I didn't find it quite that bad, but... - 11/04/2010 08:27:52 AM 1096 Views
LoC represented a sharp drop in quality!!? - 19/05/2010 03:27:21 PM 1212 Views
And ignores everything else... - 09/04/2010 05:10:00 PM 1276 Views
Inchoatus went offline a couple of years ago - 10/04/2010 11:42:26 AM 2168 Views
This guy is going to get what he deserves... - 09/04/2010 10:26:14 PM 1183 Views
I'm waiting with bated breath for his CoT review *NM* - 10/04/2010 01:00:59 PM 877 Views
Just wanted to point out that he is not reviewing the series. - 16/04/2010 04:04:49 PM 1203 Views
Lord of Chaos commentary - 16/04/2010 03:39:39 PM 1216 Views
He has reached - The Hump. - 16/04/2010 03:55:51 PM 1172 Views
Re: He has reached - The Hump. - 18/04/2010 08:08:59 AM 1381 Views
No no. It was Lord of Heaven! - 16/04/2010 05:51:11 PM 1119 Views
Yeah, I noticed that - 16/04/2010 11:16:26 PM 1038 Views
I would love the see him review Goodkind... - 16/04/2010 11:51:07 PM 1224 Views
Finally re-read that post - 20/04/2010 09:35:45 PM 1166 Views
The magic items are mostly irrelevant... - 21/04/2010 03:37:36 AM 1183 Views
A Crown of Swords - or is it deco-porn? - 23/04/2010 08:36:17 AM 1285 Views
Re: A Crown of Swords - or is it deco-porn? - 29/04/2010 06:02:28 PM 1182 Views
I disagree - 29/04/2010 09:34:49 PM 1053 Views
I agree. - 29/04/2010 09:45:29 PM 1246 Views
Took me a moment to realize with whom you were agreeing - 29/04/2010 10:19:05 PM 1132 Views
Well, I did mention the necklines get overdone... - 06/05/2010 06:17:46 PM 1476 Views
Well, there's now also the tea to comment about - 07/05/2010 11:29:03 AM 1227 Views
A bit of a stumble this week - 30/04/2010 01:53:31 PM 1285 Views
The Path of Daggers commentary - 07/05/2010 10:39:03 AM 1263 Views
You'd think a Brit would like the tea... *NM* - 11/05/2010 04:05:42 PM 763 Views
Maybe he's just a contrarian? - 11/05/2010 07:55:43 PM 1109 Views
Winter's Heart - 21/05/2010 12:46:14 PM 1276 Views
To be fair - 21/05/2010 01:56:49 PM 1375 Views
I think WH was my least favorite of the WoT novels I re-read - 21/05/2010 04:49:31 PM 1168 Views
Re: I think WH was my least favorite of the WoT novels I re-read - 25/05/2010 05:05:09 PM 1357 Views
WH was my least favorite novel in the series, and that is saying a lot. - 28/05/2010 03:15:13 PM 1264 Views
I completely agree with his KoD post. Here is my favorite quote: - 28/05/2010 03:08:31 PM 1443 Views
CoT, you mean (link to actual post included) - 28/05/2010 04:56:10 PM 1284 Views
Yep, I meant COT. *NM* - 28/05/2010 07:02:48 PM 749 Views
Knife of Dreams - 18/06/2010 09:07:27 AM 1185 Views
Re: Knife of Dreams - 19/06/2010 05:49:38 AM 1256 Views
Agree... - 19/06/2010 05:08:44 PM 1243 Views
Roberts reflects back on WoT 1-11, with answers to questions asked of him - 25/06/2010 12:51:29 PM 1262 Views
This guy should be burned at the stake - 25/06/2010 03:22:34 PM 8661 Views
Are you done making a fool out of yourself, Mark? - 26/06/2010 06:53:37 PM 1213 Views
Oh come on... - 26/06/2010 09:06:01 PM 1338 Views
Well, the burning at the stake was a bit much... - 26/06/2010 10:19:40 PM 1327 Views
Well, really! You brought the comment to his notice... - 26/06/2010 11:34:08 PM 1283 Views
And your point is...? - 27/06/2010 12:37:00 AM 1365 Views
Well... - 27/06/2010 05:38:12 AM 1304 Views
Indeed... I think it's rather clear that Larry's goal has been to cause trouble - 27/06/2010 10:57:36 AM 1444 Views
There is no "borderline" about it. - 28/03/2011 05:17:15 PM 1184 Views
Ridiculous - 27/06/2010 06:38:46 AM 1212 Views
I like his FAQ and his overall musings on its' popularity. - 29/06/2010 06:35:10 PM 1285 Views
One year later... - 27/03/2011 03:40:29 AM 1198 Views
Re: One year later... - 28/03/2011 05:03:32 PM 1123 Views
I see you subconsciously support critical takes. - 28/03/2011 11:41:48 PM 1422 Views
No I conciously support telling you and him that you are pathetic, arrogent, & jelous. *NM* - 30/03/2011 01:40:36 PM 827 Views
Jealous? - 30/03/2011 05:20:32 PM 1180 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 734 Views
Seconded. - 30/03/2011 04:04:36 PM 1084 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 777 Views
Yep! - 30/03/2011 05:16:38 PM 1119 Views
Jeez Larry, you're starting to sound like a GRRM detractor. - 31/03/2011 03:01:38 PM 1219 Views
Nah, no detractor - 01/04/2011 03:00:41 PM 1328 Views
Could a thread be locked? - 31/03/2011 07:48:26 PM 1099 Views
Re: One year later... - 01/04/2011 02:55:02 AM 1377 Views
Yep - 01/04/2011 02:57:52 PM 1264 Views

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