Thursday, 9 October 2008

Negative thought of the day...

Taken from David Anthony Durham's review of Brisingr that appeared on the Washington Post website:

"Despite the complaints, Paolini's books -- "Eldest" followed "Eragon" in 2005 -- have sold something like 15 million copies. That number has increased by more than half a million just this week with the release of "Brisingr," the third novel of a promised four in his Inheritance cycle."

It's enough to make you puke all over your cornflakes.

It's probably just the Harry Potter crowd, lapping up these books in the throes of their Potter-withdrawal symptoms, but it still leaves a sour taste in the mouth. I mean - as much as I dislike J. K. Rowling's drama-queen antics and her growing army of lawyers - Harry Potter deserved to be huge, because it's a brilliant idea. Perhaps not original, but still brilliant.

Yet there's something inherently annoying at seeing the huge success of a badly written series that is - by all accounts - a stodgy, blatant amalgamation of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Excuse me while I hurl myself off a bridge.


T.D. Newton said...

I've stayed away from the Eragon books so far so I have absolutely no opinion in that direction.


Speaking of semi-newly-famous 4-book cycles, have you read Twilight by Stephanie Meyer? It's reached a high level of acclaim here in the States and I just recently read it myself (wondering, by the end, what all the fuss was about). Redefining Urban Fantasy for the YA generation, I guess, but it reminded me of your criticisms of Eragon and Co.

Jebus said...

It really does depress me that many people read Rowling and Paolini (although I did enjoy HP) and think that they are getting a good indication of what the fantasy genre has to offer.

I can but hope and pray that read this type of fantasy-lite steers them towards Abercrombie, Martin, Lynch, Donaldson, McCaffrey, Cook, Sanderson and many more.

James said...

TD: Nope, not read Twilight. Or anything else by Meyer. Doesn't sound like my cop of tea at all, to be honest. That it has similar problems to Eragon isn't overly surprising, as there does seem to be plenty of poorly-written YA stuff out there.

Jebus: This is a point that I'm going to write about in the near future: the problem with the YA genre today, is that not enough young readers are progressing on to 'adult' fantasy.

Chris said...

It's just as bad when said dodgy book gets turned into a horrible film. :P I know it's important to be persistent and raise the bar and rise above expectations, but with these kinds of books being released I sometimes feel like the effort put into writing by so many 'good' authors gets washed away by this ruckus, almost self-defeating. I know it's inconceivable, but there are times where I just hope for less books being published and more coordinated efforts to tighten their standards. Of course, they're swimming in the marketing success so I guess we just have to put up with it. :S

And it doesn't seem to end there at YA. Look at what K.J. Anderson and co are doing to Dune! ;_;