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Books/Authors you hate

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Horror Books' started by Generalvally, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Themistocles

    Themistocles New Member

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    You also neglect the fact that, although you may not have appreciated Tolkien's writing style, it was specially constructed to resemble the Saxon chronicle authorial style, and emulates it very successfully (even more so in The Silmarillion). You also criminally overgeneralise the characters, most of whom are wonderfully developed. You call Frodo a "merry hobbit." Now he's hardly merry whilst on the plains of Gorgoroth or in Minas Morgul, is he? His character is subtly, but powerfully altered as the ring begins to have a greater and greater effect upon him. Theoden is another wonderful personality, the contrasts between desire for glory and a desperate nihilism as he sees himself the last of his line, the wish to defeat Saruman combined with worries for the safety of his people, pride and anguish in perfect balance.
    Yep, I'm a Tolkien fan! :D
     
  2. Martin

    Martin Active Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    Aragorn, how he develops from a wanderer to a warrior to a king.
    Gandalf, at first as the (somewhat) naive, impulsive, intuitive wizard, and after his 'transfomation' the serene, wizened, quieter wizard.
    Samwise, the gullible fun-loving friend at the beginning, the core of the mission and the essential hero at the end.

    I could go on.

    Cheers, Martin
     
  3. VTChEwbecca

    VTChEwbecca kickbox

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    I don't particularly enjoy Tolkien's writing style, but I agree with those who argue that the characters were better developed than Oponn would let on. And the story definitely has a plot, no matter if I like the way it is written or if I don't.

    I think Tolkien's take on how the ring affected all around it was fascinating, especially the effects upon Frodo. I don't think he could have accurately described the effects of the ring without having some sort of a plot...at least, not in the detail that he used.
     
  4. Breelander

    Breelander New Member

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    Plot: In a Europe long forgotten, the Dark Lord Sauron forged a magic ring that had the power to control all other magic rings, which were given as presents in deception to the free peoples of Middle-Earth. When he was defeated by Isildur, he was not destroyed, and he has now come back and is building an army greater than any yet known. He has learned that the Ring is not destroyed, and he is searching for it, because he only needs this Ring to bring all people under his dominion and enslave or destroy the free peoples. Through fate, the Ring was passed on to the smallest, least powerful of beings - the hobbit Frodo. Frodo alone can withstand the evil power of the Ring, which easily corrupts even the strongest warrior, but he needs all the help of his friends and allies to make it to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring.

    How is that not a plot? But as Tolkien wrote in his Forward to FOTR, "Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kind of writing that they evidently prefer."
     
  5. Martin

    Martin Active Member

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    'Nuff said.

    Cheers, Martin
     
  6. Wabbit

    Wabbit New Member

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    words! I devour them, yet still I hunger.
    That's not a plot. It's a premise.

    Take the dark lord. He is evil. Why is he evil? Why is he doing it? What is his motavation for being evil? he just is, well evil.

    OK, let's pick on somebody random. Take Gimli, ok? Tell me what are his likes? What does he want out of life? What is his favorite food? What does he like to do when he is not chasing after a ring? What are his fears? What does he love? Does he have a hobby? What does he want to do when the ring is destroyed? What is his outlook in life? Can you tell me? NO, you can't because he has no personallity except "dwarf that is in the party and hacks monsters" Same with all of the other characters. They have no likes, wants, needs, motaviations beyond the most simple aspects to make the story move.

    I admire Tolkien a lot. He was a GENIUS. His world is amazing. the man invented a whole language! But as a story teller? As a writer? i'm, sorry, I think he is very poor.

    This debate could rage for ever :)

    I think that I'll just go and throw some eggs at an orc instead :D
     
  7. VTChEwbecca

    VTChEwbecca kickbox

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    From Merriam-Webster:

    Plot: (noun) the plan or main story of a literary work



    I'm not sure what definition of plot you're working from, Wabbit. Please explain, as you seem to be considering character development the same as plot. I don't think they're the same thing....though I won't argue that the characters in LOTR aren't as well-developed as characters in some other stories, I still think Tolkien had a definite plot in his books.
     
  8. Martin

    Martin Active Member

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    Plus, have you noticed how many main characters there are in LotR?!

    Cheers, Martin
     
  9. Breelander

    Breelander New Member

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    You bet it can. You sound more like you're basing your conceptions of the characters on the movies rather than the books, which have less time to develop character. To pick on Gimli again, he is not so simple as you make him out to be. He cares deeply about his people and was horribly upset to find that Balin (his cousin) was dead. He was very excited to see the Mines of Moria and all of the work of his ancestors. Though he has a love of riches as most dwarves do, he bypasses these in favour of a wearisome journey to aid in destroying the Ring. He was also in love with the lady Galadriel, and was deeply touched when she spoke words in the ancient dwarf language, because he saw in an enemy understanding. He also was very prejudiced against Legolas and elves in general in the beginning, but by the end of the book, he is willing to die to save Legolas, who becomes his best friend in the Fellowship.

    The Dark Lord was not always evil. He used to be good, but he was corrupted by a love of power and a will to dominate.

    A lot of background info on characters is found in the appendices to the books and in the others of his books other than LOTR. You've picked on plot and characters, and both criticisms are unfounded. What's next? Bring it on.
     
  10. Wabbit

    Wabbit New Member

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    words! I devour them, yet still I hunger.
    Unfounded? AHEM, say you!

    So the dark lord has a personality because, let me get this... "he used to be good but not he is evil" that's it is it?

    As for Gimli. So going "OHHH MORIA!" and "OH dear I must quest for the ring coz I worry about my people" is character to you, is it?

    I have to utterly disagree with you.

    Well, each to their own, right? We all like different things. This is one debate that could go on forever! I just don't like Lord of the Rings and I REALLY tired. It took me like five attempts to read the thing. I really wanted to see what all the fuss is about. That is way each time I gave up then I tried again to try to see why it was supposed to be so good. And, im sorry, I just can't see it. It just bores the pants of me :D

    I am glad you like it, but sorry to say that I don't :) We agree to disagree, huh? :)
     
  11. Oponn

    Oponn New Member

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    Hey people, as has been commented this debate could go on and on. I don't hate Tolkein, I don't really hate LotR, but I find the worship status it has attained completely incomprehensiable.
    (Allow me to apologise now for refering to people as "someone" etc, I don't want to have to trawl through the topic looking for names)
    Someone (;)) gave a defination of plot. This would appear to be one of the areas of misunderstanding. Forgive me, I am not using my first language here and this might be causing problems. Obviously every novel has a plot in the sense of the word as the main devise in the literary work. However, when I say LotR has no plot, I mean it has nothing that sustains any kind of interest from me. I within a couple of chapters of the start I could have predicted, fairly accurately, what would happen in the course of the books. If a new book was released with a returning Dark Lord as the villian and the central plot being the quest to destroy a dangerous magical object, it would be laughed at by critics everywhere. However people seem it accept it with LotR. Why? I have absolutely no idea. Some, many in fact, claim that it was Tolkien who first implemented these plot devises - pure bull. Even if it was true, why would that make a difference. Do people love old computers because they did things first? No, they're respected, but people buy newer and, frankly, better versions. Why should this situation be any different?
    Someone, I regards to prose, mentioned that Tolkein was emulating the "Saxon chronicle authorial style" in writing LotR. Should this somehow make me enjoy the writing more? Personnally (and give me for being crude) but I couldn't give a **** what way Tolkein was writing, still doesn't ignore the fact that I didn't enjoy the writing style. There are plenty of history textbooks out there you can read if that's what you enjoy, maybe you're in the wrong genre.
    Now, no doubt, many of the readers were rolling their eyes in exasperation when I said that Tolkien's descriptions of trees bored me. I can imagine the thoughts - that I somehow can't appreciate beautiful writing, an all action boy. This would be incorrect, I have many prose based novels and found they're lyrical and flowery styles extremely enjoyable to read. I can't stand a poorly written piece. However, this doesn't negate the fact that, in many places, LotR was just damn boring.
    Now many people have rised issues on my comments on Tolkein's attempts at characterisation. I can't really say anymore than I already have. I can only assume that we have very differing opinions on what constitutes a deep and well-constructed character. People, read any other fantasy book released today. Write a character analysis of the main character and compare it to what you can write on Frodo.
    I conclusion, I think LotR defines the term overrated. People get caught you on the hype and blind themselves to its flaws. Whatever floats you boat I suppose.
     
  12. Themistocles

    Themistocles New Member

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    If you learn some of the back story, you will discover that Sauron is evil because he was one of the many Maiar corrupted by the evil lord Morgoth aka Melkor, who himself was evil because he developed a brooding jealousy of Eru Iluvatar and wished to himself be able to create such things. Though in several cases he pretended to reform (to Celebrimbor and the elven smiths, and to the kings of Numenor), each time he was manipulating them to his own will, and even passed some of his sadistic evil into them in the case of the Numenoreans. He has been defeated several times by the Alliance of elves and men, and is utterly consumed by his desire to dominate them.

    As for Gimli, I would agree that it sounds as if you are basing your judgement far too much upon the books, though his character has essentially already been highlighted. He is very interesting in the way that his mistrustful, introverted nature is slowly pierced by Legolas and the two later become great friends; he reveals what he wants to do after the ring is destroyed, namely create a Dwarven realm in the Glittering Caves of Aglarond and he reveals what motivates him, a desire to see peace in Middle-Earth and remove the goblin threat.

    More detail than you attribute to it, Wabbit!
     
  13. Stewart

    Stewart Active Member

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    I thought that Lord of the Rings was a bag of tosh too. :)
     
  14. mr_michel

    mr_michel kickbox

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    wow i just jump from page 2 to page seven and you are still arguing about LotR.

    ok heres is another one that may start some arguing too

    i cant read anything sthepen king has written for lets say the last 15 years, i dont know why but when i try to start reading a new one i get bored in the first pages and drop the book, i like the plots, or at least think they are ok, but its the way he is writting, or i dont know.

    i am also dissapointed of morris west books, they finish and let you asking yourself if it was a book in 2 tomes, and you forgot to buy the second one

    by the way i liked lotR a lot, and yes i think most characters are rather plain, but its ok
     
  15. Breelander

    Breelander New Member

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    I'm going to (hopefully) finish my arguing about LOTR here. I read LOTR long before the movies even came out, so I am not caught up in the "hype" about the books. Furthermore, I forgot to mention that I even know Gimli's "favourite food", as someone insisted was an important part of characterization, though that doesn't make much sense because you probably couldn't name the favourite food of most characters who are considered well-developed (does anyone know Hamlet's favourite food? eh? eh?) He loved the elves' lembas bread, which he considered even more tasty than Beorn's bread. LOTR reads like a history book, so maybe some fantasy readers are confused by his style, but personally, I think it is always entertaining, never boring, and my only complaint is that it isn't long enough. But if you want to compare it to most of the crap that's in the fantasy isle of the book store - I can only say, there's no accounting for taste. But don't think you're going to convince many Ringers that LOTR sucks because you don't like Gimli and, all-importantly, don't know his favourite food. And Oponn, I don't know if this has something to do with English not being your first language, but what in heck do you mean that if a book came out now with a plot like LOTR, that no one would like it? What do you base that on?

    Now for Stephen King, which somebody suggested. I've read several of his books (sort of), and they always start out with really good plots that are intriguing and everything, and you expect it to have some really clever conclusion, but about 3/4 of the way through, he always seems to get carried away, and starts introducing new ideas that are rediculous, and then I have to put down the book in disgust. (Langoliers, Insomnia, etc.)
     
  16. VTChEwbecca

    VTChEwbecca kickbox

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    Unlike you state, Oponn, not all books have a real plot. Some just meander and one can never seem to figure out where they're going, and sometimes its hard to even figure out where they've been.

    I'm no fan of LOTR, myself. I just wanted to put in the fact that I do think it has a plot. I understand where you're coming from with the plot holding no interest for you. I even can see if you say the plot is underdeveloped. I just wanted to understand which definition of plot that was being used. Forgive me, as I tend to read arguments in debates and then end up fueling both sides by bring up small points that probably are only of concern to myself.

    And I don't mind you referring to me as "someone" -> its hard to keep al the names straight in these posts! :)
     
  17. Richard Rahl

    Richard Rahl New Member

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    hete is such a strong word... as im sure someone in there right mind has said already... so i dont really hate any authors, nor do i dislike any to the extreme of twisting their head to point that suggests i might not like their books- but i do dislike some plots. for example... wait... awww who am i kidding! i just came here to talk about the lord of the rings thingy- just note that although his plot was a little novice-like inb terms of writing, think of the fact that he created about three or four full languages!!!! not to mention about an 11-volume history of middle earth! that takes time, determination, and effort- all of which he gave! u gotta respect the man for that, as well as paving a way for fantasy writers to come!
     
  18. True@1stLight

    True@1stLight New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The Satanic Verses
    #%* *&$#%!!!

    DAN BROWN! DAN BROWN, DAN BROWN, DAN BROWN....Divinchi Code ...Angels and Demons....only two I can really comment on since I haven't bothered with the others.
     
  19. RainbowGurl

    RainbowGurl Active Member

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    Aww not a nice descussion! :(
     
  20. Wabbit

    Wabbit New Member

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    words! I devour them, yet still I hunger.
    OH GOD, not again :D

    Actually... I kinda liked it :) Yeah, it's not a great work of fiction but it's fun :)
     

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