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Author Topic: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through  (Read 43795 times)

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #105 on: March 27, 2015, 08:31:40 AM »
Oh, I don't plan on diving into a Sanderson-reading spree, there are far too many other great books for that.
I just wanted to include a couple more during this year, since I enjoyed the others.
And yep, if they're the same story re-hashed then I'm not really that interested - Mistborn was great because it felt quite new to me (and I realise that people's opinions on this, and any other books' plots, depend a lot on what they have read before!)
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #106 on: March 27, 2015, 10:02:37 AM »
Stormlight is fairly good, you can see his writing improving in that series. What I'd recommend is what @Gariath mentioned - his shorter works. The Emperor's Soul is my favourite of all of his books, Legion has a very interesting concept, Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell (the one Gariath mentioned) is fairly decent. Sixth of the Dusk is okay, but more of his typical flaws seemed to creep in. I think it's definitely a case of him spreading it too thin in his novels, can't think of a single one that would not be a lot stronger if he cut the word count by 30%-50%  :-\
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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #107 on: March 27, 2015, 07:52:13 PM »
With the exception of The Emperor's Soul, I've actually found Sanderson's novellas and short stories are my least favorite of his works. That's not to say they're bad. I just really like them instead of absolutely loving them. My favorite is also his longest: Words of Radiance.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #108 on: March 27, 2015, 10:54:46 PM »

Interesting. I thought the plot was pretty cliché, the characters the worst mary sue and marty stu I've come across in a published work, and the setting not all that interesting... Plus the dialogue and prose in general were fairly uninspiring  ???

Mistborn had a handful of characters who were more rounded, a much more interesting plot and setting, and marginally better dialogue in my opinion :D
That's probably why Mistborn did nothing for me @Raptori. I'd already read Elantris and it had all the same flaws you picked up on, and I put it down to it being his first novel. Then I read Mistborn and got exactly the same feel from it as with Elantris and realised that for whatever reason Sanderson and I simply don't click as author and reader. However I still preferred Elantris, it interested me more overall, whereas Mistborn I struggled through.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Raptori

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #109 on: March 27, 2015, 10:59:16 PM »

Interesting. I thought the plot was pretty cliché, the characters the worst mary sue and marty stu I've come across in a published work, and the setting not all that interesting... Plus the dialogue and prose in general were fairly uninspiring  ???

Mistborn had a handful of characters who were more rounded, a much more interesting plot and setting, and marginally better dialogue in my opinion :D
That's probably why Mistborn did nothing for me @Raptori. I'd already read Elantris and it had all the same flaws you picked up on, and I put it down to it being his first novel. Then I read Mistborn and got exactly the same feel from it as with Elantris and realised that for whatever reason Sanderson and I simply don't click as author and reader. However I still preferred Elantris, it interested me more overall, whereas Mistborn I struggled through.
Yeah makes sense. He does seem to have improved at least, Stormlight is a little better. He's ridiculously prolific though, makes you wonder whether his commitment to producing quantity is impacting the quality...
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #110 on: March 27, 2015, 11:00:24 PM »

Interesting. I thought the plot was pretty cliché, the characters the worst mary sue and marty stu I've come across in a published work, and the setting not all that interesting... Plus the dialogue and prose in general were fairly uninspiring  ???

Mistborn had a handful of characters who were more rounded, a much more interesting plot and setting, and marginally better dialogue in my opinion :D
That's probably why Mistborn did nothing for me @Raptori. I'd already read Elantris and it had all the same flaws you picked up on, and I put it down to it being his first novel. Then I read Mistborn and got exactly the same feel from it as with Elantris and realised that for whatever reason Sanderson and I simply don't click as author and reader. However I still preferred Elantris, it interested me more overall, whereas Mistborn I struggled through.
Yeah makes sense. He does seem to have improved at least, Stormlight is a little better. He's ridiculously prolific though, makes you wonder whether his commitment to producing quantity is impacting the quality...
I have occasionally wondered that myself, although other authors have been prolific without impacting the quality. I immediately think of the late Sir Terry Pratchett.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Raptori

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #111 on: March 27, 2015, 11:13:17 PM »

Interesting. I thought the plot was pretty cliché, the characters the worst mary sue and marty stu I've come across in a published work, and the setting not all that interesting... Plus the dialogue and prose in general were fairly uninspiring  ???

Mistborn had a handful of characters who were more rounded, a much more interesting plot and setting, and marginally better dialogue in my opinion :D
That's probably why Mistborn did nothing for me @Raptori. I'd already read Elantris and it had all the same flaws you picked up on, and I put it down to it being his first novel. Then I read Mistborn and got exactly the same feel from it as with Elantris and realised that for whatever reason Sanderson and I simply don't click as author and reader. However I still preferred Elantris, it interested me more overall, whereas Mistborn I struggled through.
Yeah makes sense. He does seem to have improved at least, Stormlight is a little better. He's ridiculously prolific though, makes you wonder whether his commitment to producing quantity is impacting the quality...
I have occasionally wondered that myself, although other authors have been prolific without impacting the quality. I immediately think of the late Sir Terry Pratchett.
Isaac Asimov also springs to mind. I guess it just depends on the writer.  :-\
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #112 on: March 27, 2015, 11:16:30 PM »
A lot of the older ones were prolific. In some ways I think it may have been because a lot of their work was serialised in the pulps and they were paid by the word. Alan Dean Foster shocked me when I looked at how much he had actually written, over 100 books in all, and that's just the novels. In the 80's he was regularly releasing 3 - 4 books a year, and they weren't all tie ins. Seanad McGuire is another one who seems to hit the 3 novels a year mark.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Raptori

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #113 on: March 27, 2015, 11:21:04 PM »
Yep, plus in a lot of cases they were pioneering their genre, so it's possible that they didn't have to work as hard to come up with something original. Nowadays if you think of something cool, chances are it's already been written... :-\
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #114 on: March 27, 2015, 11:22:14 PM »
Yep, plus in a lot of cases they were pioneering their genre, so it's possible that they didn't have to work as hard to come up with something original. Nowadays if you think of something cool, chances are it's already been written... :-\
I think there's a saying that there are only 5 original ideas and they've all been done. Everything else is a variation.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Raptori

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #115 on: March 27, 2015, 11:24:43 PM »
Yep, plus in a lot of cases they were pioneering their genre, so it's possible that they didn't have to work as hard to come up with something original. Nowadays if you think of something cool, chances are it's already been written... :-\
I think there's a saying that there are only 5 original ideas and they've all been done. Everything else is a variation.
That's probably more a fact than a saying  :P
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #116 on: March 27, 2015, 11:26:25 PM »
Yep, plus in a lot of cases they were pioneering their genre, so it's possible that they didn't have to work as hard to come up with something original. Nowadays if you think of something cool, chances are it's already been written... :-\
I think there's a saying that there are only 5 original ideas and they've all been done. Everything else is a variation.
That's probably more a fact than a saying  :P
It's kind of like the one about good songs only have 3 chords and great ones only having 2.

Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #117 on: March 27, 2015, 11:29:26 PM »
Yeah makes sense. He does seem to have improved at least, Stormlight is a little better. He's ridiculously prolific though, makes you wonder whether his commitment to producing quantity is impacting the quality...

I don't think there's any issue with the quality. It's probably just a matter of reader taste. No author is going to appeal to every reader. That doesn't mean they're necessarily a bad writer, especially when they're as popular as Sanderson.

For example, I don't get on with Malazan, but that's more because it's not my type of story or writing style. For people who enjoy that kind of thing, Erikson does a great job.

It might just be that Sanderson isn't your cup of tea, and that's fine. There are a lot of writers out there for everyone.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #118 on: March 27, 2015, 11:36:41 PM »
Yeah makes sense. He does seem to have improved at least, Stormlight is a little better. He's ridiculously prolific though, makes you wonder whether his commitment to producing quantity is impacting the quality...

I don't think there's any issue with the quality. It's probably just a matter of reader taste. No author is going to appeal to every reader. That doesn't mean they're necessarily a bad writer, especially when they're as popular as Sanderson.

For example, I don't get on with Malazan, but that's more because it's not my type of story or writing style. For people who enjoy that kind of thing, Erikson does a great job.

It might just be that Sanderson isn't your cup of tea, and that's fine. There are a lot of writers out there for everyone.
That's just the thing - I like Sanderson's books. But whenever I read one of his novels, the flaws in his writing grate a little. Less so with his more recent books, hence my feeling that his standards are improving.  :-\
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Highly Regarded Books that You Have Struggled Through
« Reply #119 on: March 28, 2015, 08:22:49 AM »
With the exception of The Emperor's Soul, I've actually found Sanderson's novellas and short stories are my least favorite of his works. That's not to say they're bad. I just really like them instead of absolutely loving them. My favorite is also his longest: Words of Radiance.

Not replying specifically to you, but this post highlighted something important for me: I don't care much for 'short books' (<200-300 pages). I've realised that if I read a book in a couple of days (and not the intensive reading of a lot of hours in the day), I just don't connect with the characters, don't care, they go in and out of my brain very quickly, without the chance to touch the emotional chords...

Of course then what I do also has some downsides: I finish a huge trilogy, 1500-2000 pages later, and I look around the world and it's hard to integrate again, hehe
(for example, it happened with the Liveship Traders, and with the Lightbringer's first 3)

But thanks for all the ideas you've put in me about Sanderson.
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