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How bad is it?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:55 am    Post subject: How bad is it? Reply with quote

I haven't read it. In fact, I just realized that it'd been released. I've read a few reviews on Amazon (and recognized a few of the reviewers), and skimmed a few topics here, and frankly the consensus isn't good. Honestly, should I bother reading it? Keep in mind that I think that both Runes and Fatal Revenant (the title of which I actually had to Google) were awful.

I feel like there might be something redeeming in having read the entire series, but frankly......I dunno.

Thoughts?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an interesting question. I'm trying to decide if my standards are too low for what qualifies as "good" when it comes to Donaldson's work based on all of the negative reaction. I certainly enjoyed it, have read it twice all the way through and in some places more than that as discussions have occurred. At some point I will go back and read ROTE and FR again and read it again before TLD comes out.

I guess I can see a lot of the complaints about the book, but I generally accept these works on their own merit as individual items (for example, I am not going to quibble about any potentially intended use of Harry Potter naming conventions) mostly because I didn't feel like I was reading the same story when the situation presented itself. Maybe that's a flaw in my reading style.

All this said, I would at least read it so you aren't wondering if you should have read it or not. And for me, I'm ignoring most of the naysayers out there unless they have some valid critique beyond raising the THOOLAH banner (nothing against THOOLAH, I just don't hate Linden...yet). twocents
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Jackson died for this book , its so bad.

How this book is perceived has every thing to with your frame of mind. Actually , this book establishes once and for all..how you think and perceive, establishes your reality. You control Your Reality.
So..Your question,,can only be answered by You.

I can only suggest a read of it. As demonstrated in my Fart Thread,,How you perceive and think , the author is at play with. Hes having fun in this book and its entirely up to the reader if they are to have any fun or not reading and thinking about this book.

Its unfortunate you thought the previous ones are awful. That thought can only prejudice further. If there is a way for you to let that go, you may find away to enjoy the book. Yet,,even if you don't enjoy this one Now..that doesn't leave out the possibility that someday in the future, you may come around to at least, appreciating it. What have you got to lose?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been ripped off by this tome and Stephen R. Donaldson, in the amount of $25.88.

I bought this book on 10/20/10, and I had the chance to buy it for $17.51 online, but I didn't, because I wanted to read it right away.

What a mistake.

In my humble opinion, Stephen R. Donaldson is running out of ideas, and wrote the Last Chronicles strictly as a money grab.

Think about it.

In 1977, Lord Foul's Bane appeared. I liked the premise of the Anti-Hero who thought that he was dreaming and that the events that were happening to him couldn't possibly be real, and that he had no idea of how to use his ring. The Covenant series was originally meant to be a trilogy, but was so successful that The Second Chronicles was released.

It was then that I noticed that these books were becoming a chore to read, and with the Last Chronicles, I couldn't wait to finish them.

Especially Against All Things Ending.

There are so many things about this book that I didn't like that it's impossible to list them all. The parade of new characters, the killing off of characters that I liked and the keeping of characters that I didn't like, how She Who Must Not Be Named just appeared out of nowhere, all of the loose ends, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Rest assured, I will wait until The Last Dark comes out in paperback before I spend my money on a Stephen R. Donaldson book again.

My two cents worth.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My major complaint with the first two LC books is that nothing happens, and what does happen is silly. And confusing. And who cares, because I don't care about any of the characters. In the first 6-1/2 books, every named character was interesting and well-realized.

I hate to spend $20 on a book that I'll read once (and not enjoy), but I guess I'm committed at this point.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the man's Covenant series, but this one was awful. It was a real chore to force myself to finish it. =(
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:26 am    Post subject: How bad is it? Reply with quote

I really enjoyed it, and I was one who didn't particularly enjoy the first two books of the LC (particularly FR, which I felt really dragged) ...

pieces start to fall into place.

there were scenes, passages, which recalled some of my most savored tCoTC moments.

also, for the first time in the LC, things happened which made me want to go back and revisit earlier set-ups and foreshadows ...

not sure how spoilered you have been Cail, but a couple of blacked-out points :

Spoiler:
* we get some chapters from TC's pov - and despite the difficulties in depicting a character who has spent millenia participating in the Arch of Time, SRD does a great job of plausibly writing our favourite leper without damaging the integrity of the story so far.

Spoiler:

* as I mentioned before, there are some moments which made me want to go back and re-examine scenes from earlier books, involving Esmer and the manacles, or Stave's son

Spoiler:
* lastly, there are some great call-backs to the two earlier series which made me realise SRD hasn't lost his grip on his own creation - sure, this story is very very different, but AATE made the LC more in-step with what has gone before, imo ..


I was really dreading that AATE might be the final nail in the coffin for tCoTC as far as I was concerned. But now I am back on board - alas I must wait 3 long years for the conclusion to a story which has finally grabbed my interest and commitment ...
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it, I like it a lot.
It's not perfect.
I understand some of the criticisms, and say 'well, yes, but...'
Some I understand and think are just plain wrong.
Some I don't understand at all.
Most of the things dlevere hated are the things I liked.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AATE did not end as poorly as TOT in which the questors got their asses kicked and then they skulked away defeated. And three of the Haruchai "red shirts" were lost in that book for one reason or another. That was a real bummer.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoyed it and can't wait for the last installment. The books I enjoyed the least of the covenant series were TOT and Illearth War. And I have never been a fan of Linden. But I especially like how Donaldson is explaining the history of the land in these books.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've said in another thread that this book is my favorite of all the Covenant books so far.
It's even made me forgive SRD for Runes. Shocked Big Grin

Why?
I could give you examples but since you haven't read it yet what's the point?

But, it's like all the little pieces and clues and bits from all the previous books PLUS a TON on new information that all blends in together slowly gathering and building up to a giant fantastic ending.
And that ending is still building up!

Anyone that was disappointed in AATE will appreciate it more when the series is done, I bet.

Spoiler:
And.....there's something else that I can't mention at this time without first entering some kind of witness protection program...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved it.

For me, the whole idea of the Last Chronicles makes this entire saga something of a phenomenon in the writing world. I don't know of another author who let ideas for a series marinade in his mind for 20 years.

The tale is his and is most assuredly not a money grab. SRD is transcending the original uniqueness of the first Chronicles into something truly special in the world of literature.

I love and appreciate him and his story for that reason among many many others.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wryberg1 wrote:
I really enjoyed it and can't wait for the last installment. The books I enjoyed the least of the covenant series were TOT and Illearth War. And I have never been a fan of Linden. But I especially like how Donaldson is explaining the history of the land in these books.
Those were two of my favorite books! Maybe that explains it ... Very Happy

I'm more disappointed with AATE the farther I get into it. It's really becoming a chore to read. I'm slowing down quite a bit and not posting as much in the Reading Along thread, where I was participating in a "mini-dissection." I'm a little more than halfway through, but I think FR was better at this point. The best part of the book (so far) was the direct consequences of the end of FR. In fact, if the first 4 or 5 chapters of this book had been tacked onto FR, I would have thought that book was as good as--if not better than--any book of the first two Chronicles (well, maybe if you cut out the journey to Andelain in FR and just got right to the Resurrection), even if adding those chapters would have made for an anticlimatic ending.

The most disappointing aspect for me has been when major characters meet for the first time. We get some pretty important confrontations in this book, confrontations which have been building for two books, and they are just wasted opportunities, imo.

I do think the writing itself, the prose, is strong. I'm amazed by some of the things Donaldson has to say, and the sheer amount he has to say. Unfortunately, he has both too much and too little to say: the book could have been a lot better if it was cut by 100-200 pages (too much), and at the same time I'm bored by the story and most of the characters (too little). They spend waaay too much time sitting around and talking. And talking. And sometimes sleeping. Maybe eating. And fretting. And not telling each other what's important. And then giving a speech. And then laughing at stuff that isn't funny. And then telling each other how special they are. And having group hugs (I kid you not--wait until you see just who it is having a group hug ... you'll be shocked).

Hopefully the end, or the last 1/3, will redeem it for me.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a lot of criticisms I've read could have been written by people who haven't read it just as they could have been written by people who had.... it really doesn't seem to talk about the actual story or book.

You've heard all the same criticisms with other authors you've enjoyed. So and so is running out of ideas, I don't like how so-and -so meets their fate, this author is ripping off of "X", it's not written how I would have written it if I could get off my fat-ass and do something with my life....

There are valid criticisms out there ( to give one, I think the pacing would be better for the last book, now I'm expecting it to increase, and I don't know if that's possible!). However, that doesn't have to detract what is still a work in progress. But I think a lot of criticisms out there are there because this has become high-profile stuff. Like Dark Tower, everyone has an opinion on it, but how many of them have actually read the books? What were they expecting? The propagation of it means a lot of people have to attack it so that they feel they have an identity.

The sad thing about that is that you really don't know how it is until you read it...

edited: Z posted before I did, and though what he considers weaknesses I consider strengths, his review I think would be helpful in determining how you'd like the book.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orlion wrote:
I think a lot of criticisms I've read could have been written by people who haven't read it just as they could have been written by people who had.... it really doesn't seem to talk about the actual story or book.
I thought the idea was to not spoil it for Cail by being vague.

Quote:
edited: Z posted before I did, and though what he considers weaknesses I consider strengths, his review I think would be helpful in determining how you'd like the book.
There's a lot that I like about the slow parts. I've praised these sections before. In fact, I think the first 5 chapters are better than the part where the Quest really gets going. But then the we get a repeat of this "sitting around" due to the two-part structure of these novels. If the climax of the first section had been worth it, I might be more inclined to enjoy the breather, but I feel a little blue-balled and frustrated, if you know what I mean. Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Orlion wrote:
I think a lot of criticisms I've read could have been written by people who haven't read it just as they could have been written by people who had.... it really doesn't seem to talk about the actual story or book.
I thought the idea was to not spoil it for Cail by being vague.

Quote:
edited: Z posted before I did, and though what he considers weaknesses I consider strengths, his review I think would be helpful in determining how you'd like the book.
There's a lot that I like about the slow parts. I've praised these sections before. In fact, I think the first 5 chapters are better than the part where the Quest really gets going. But then the we get a repeat of this "sitting around" due to the two-part structure of these novels. If the climax of the first section had been worth it, I might be more inclined to enjoy the breather, but I feel a little blue-balled and frustrated, if you know what I mean. Twisted Evil


Yeah, I was writing that before you posted your review. Which is why I added the edited part. As far as the criticisms I'm talking about, we'll just say I'm referring to ones outside the forum (particularly at Amazon or B&N)... you know, the kind that say that the Wounded Land is a slow read and TC spends the entirety of WGW telling people not to touch him and raping dozens of children.

And I do know what you mean...*shakes head* That better be resolved, dammit!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I,m just past the half way stage I in my humble opinion I,m actually enjoying it , I know there are some slow moments but in general I,m quiet content with my read so far havent had any struggle reading it ,the busy action sections I read quickly and with great interest,happy with the characters and keen to see the outcome of this book should be finished by the weekend . Big Grin
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:10 pm    Post subject: Not bad, but... Reply with quote

Dear Watchers,

I too have been struggling with the LC and even more so with this last installment. In some respects, my satisfaction with the story and where it might be going is dwindling. Here's why I think that is (for comparison's sake with others on the Watch):
1) The first Chron's was beyond excellent. In fact, SRD has really spoiled me for anyone else. Only Tolkien's Silmarillion compares (unless you want to count SRD's Gap Series and the first 6 or 7 books of Jordan's TWOT series). I actually read TPTP first and then acquired the other first Chron books and then read them through. I think that SRD's world building as so appealing because it was intertwined WITH the characters and its mythology was there, was a basis for the current context, but was not fully fleshed out. Therefore, it held an attractive and tantalizing mystery.
2) The 2nd Chrons was a real page turner and still had Covenant, although Linden took up a lot of the story. The Land lay in ruins, but there was hope that it would get back to how we remembered it. Old characters returned as Covenant's Dead. But here SRD started to mess with the Land's mythology. Especially those parts dealing with the One Tree and The Worm and a-Jeroth (aka Lord Foul). The story started getting too complex and internal inconsistencies were either created or the stage was set for them there.
3) The third Chrons is not really about Covenant any more. Its the Chronicles of Linden Avery. The mess-up with the Theomach and the Guardian, the imposition of the Insequent, SWMNBN, Covenant's fragmented mind, not to mention being Leper-lite, all contribute to a lot more 'shallow' literary experience with this series. I think SRD missed several opportunities here for A+ story-telling. The Harrow got killed off just as he was becoming compelling. The Ardent was useless. SWMNBN was a mistake. Esmer was a missed opportunity. His ability to squelch access to wild magic was always weird. I never understood it, nor do I think that it was satisfactorily explained. It's wild freakin' magic. It has no limits! Why bring Covenant back if he is not going to use it? Is he not still The Wild Magic? In fact Esmer and the Harrow were THE two most interesting characters in the whole story. We now don't have the two most interesting characters in the whole story! This doesn't even mention Anele. When we learned that 'Anele is the Land's last hope," I expected to see him as a character in the last book. In what way did he live out that assertion?

Now having said all of that, I am still going to finish AATE (despite reading Watch spoilers and reading ahead a little) and I will no doubt read TLD. SRD is still great. They can't all be home runs. SRD's foul ups are still better than most others' A grade work. It is my hope that TLD will bring everything together and justify what happened in the previous books.

Just some thoughts.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Not bad, but... Reply with quote

SkurjMaster wrote:
Dear Watchers,

I too have been struggling with the LC and even more so with this last installment. In some respects, my satisfaction with the story and where it might be going is dwindling. Here's why I think that is (for comparison's sake with others on the Watch):
1) The first Chron's was beyond excellent. In fact, SRD has really spoiled me for anyone else. Only Tolkien's Silmarillion compares (unless you want to count SRD's Gap Series and the first 6 or 7 books of Jordan's TWOT series). I actually read TPTP first and then acquired the other first Chron books and then read them through. I think that SRD's world building as so appealing because it was intertwined WITH the characters and its mythology was there, was a basis for the current context, but was not fully fleshed out. Therefore, it held an attractive and tantalizing mystery.
2) The 2nd Chrons was a real page turner and still had Covenant, although Linden took up a lot of the story. The Land lay in ruins, but there was hope that it would get back to how we remembered it. Old characters returned as Covenant's Dead. But here SRD started to mess with the Land's mythology. Especially those parts dealing with the One Tree and The Worm and a-Jeroth (aka Lord Foul). The story started getting too complex and internal inconsistencies were either created or the stage was set for them there.
3) The third Chrons is not really about Covenant any more. Its the Chronicles of Linden Avery. The mess-up with the Theomach and the Guardian, the imposition of the Insequent, SWMNBN, Covenant's fragmented mind, not to mention being Leper-lite, all contribute to a lot more 'shallow' literary experience with this series. I think SRD missed several opportunities here for A+ story-telling. The Harrow got killed off just as he was becoming compelling. The Ardent was useless. SWMNBN was a mistake. Esmer was a missed opportunity. His ability to squelch access to wild magic was always weird. I never understood it, nor do I think that it was satisfactorily explained. It's wild freakin' magic. It has no limits! Why bring Covenant back if he is not going to use it? Is he not still The Wild Magic? In fact Esmer and the Harrow were THE two most interesting characters in the whole story. We now don't have the two most interesting characters in the whole story! This doesn't even mention Anele. When we learned that 'Anele is the Land's last hope," I expected to see him as a character in the last book. In what way did he live out that assertion?

Now having said all of that, I am still going to finish AATE (despite reading Watch spoilers and reading ahead a little) and I will no doubt read TLD. SRD is still great. They can't all be home runs. SRD's foul ups are still better than most others' A grade work. It is my hope that TLD will bring everything together and justify what happened in the previous books.

Just some thoughts.


Your critique is a study in nostalgia. As you go farther back in time to the First Chrons everything seems better than it is in the present Chrons.

(Edit: Your critique seems to be going from "great" to "pretty good" to "downright ugly" regarding the Last Chrons. Then you ended by giving Donaldson those high compliments. Huh?)

The First Chrons was not an easy read, it had its sections where the story dragged. I agree that the Second Chrons developed the story's complexity and set the stage for inconsistencies. Some have complained that in the LC Donaldson simply pulled new characters out of his hat, but there was also some of that in the 2nd Chrons (e.g. Hamako), so again it seems there is some nostalgia at play in your critique.

The killing off of some main characters I think is essential to Donaldson's story-telling. And in particular in the present Chrons, everything is dying, so it makes sense that everybody dies. Much of this also ties in to the way Linden blames herself every time. There must be something for Linden to atone for in the end, because unlike Covenant there was nothing like a Lena rape for her to atone for. But she is the same kind of anti-heroic character who, lacking leprosy, has instead a kind of leprosy of the soul due to certain childhood issues. So in a way, the entire story is rather formulaic.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I bought it tonight. It's going to the top of my reading pile, so I'll either start raving about it or bitching about it shortly.
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