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Author Topic: slow starts?  (Read 8691 times)

Offline missoularedhead

slow starts?
« on: February 04, 2011, 07:56:40 AM »
What book or books have you read, and been quite happy you finished, that started out in a way that had you wondering if anything was EVER going to happen?  For me, there have been a few, mostly sci fi (The Algebraist starts out so slow paint drying would have been better…but that's the point of the story, in some way), but a few fantasy novels too, such as the beginning of the first Thomas Covenant series, Jude Fisher's series, and the beginning of Michelle West's Broken Sword series.

I ended up liking all of these books immensely, but I could've thought about putting them down.  There was something in each one that made me keep going (an interesting character, good world building, etc).

What made you keep going, despite a slow beginning?
"Well behaved women rarely make history" ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Offline Overlord

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2011, 08:10:11 AM »
I can think of a few books that have started slow and got better... one example is Heroes that I just finished reading. It had a slightly 'bland' and 'conventional' start that worried me but quickly went all out action and pulled me back... that turned out to be awesome. Most Fantasy novels these days tend to start out in the middle of some kind of action (have you noticed that?) - it seems like authors have taken notice... in fact... funnily enough, the last three books have read:


Amongst Thieves - Starts out torture scene
Game of Thrones - Starts out with three murders at the hands of monsters
Prince of Thorns - Starts off with a huge battle, blood flying everywhere, etc
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Bryndled1

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Re: slow starts?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2011, 01:51:51 PM »
Im not sure what holds my interest with a slow start. Sanderson always starts out slow and ends with a run away freight train. The thomas Covenant series.. I know I read the first 3 books many many moons ago, all I remember is the tragedy of thomas and how much I couldnt stand the books. maybe 20 more years of experience under my belt may increase my appreciation. I'm reading a couple of books that Im struggling with right now, Im going back and forth between them, but it doesnt seem to be helping =/. I think I may pick up some "mac and cheese" fantasy for a bit, and go back to visit Belgarath or maybe Haplo, its been a while.

Offline Overlord

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2011, 02:33:07 PM »
Im not sure what holds my interest with a slow start. Sanderson always starts out slow and ends with a run away freight train. The thomas Covenant series.. I know I read the first 3 books many many moons ago, all I remember is the tragedy of thomas and how much I couldnt stand the books. maybe 20 more years of experience under my belt may increase my appreciation. I'm reading a couple of books that Im struggling with right now, Im going back and forth between them, but it doesnt seem to be helping =/. I think I may pick up some "mac and cheese" fantasy for a bit, and go back to visit Belgarath or maybe Haplo, its been a while.

Mistborn went at about 5mph through to the last 1/10th of the book then went 100mph - not sure I enjoyed that really =/ Deffinetly could learn to pace things a little better - saying that, Mistborn is about 5/6/7 years old and he has released about 5/6/7 books since then so I guess I should wait a bit before being too judgemental :P
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Offline ChristinaJL

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2011, 02:37:24 PM »
I finished the Name of the Wind, which had a very slow pace all the way through.  Can't say I enjoyed it overly, but it was ok.  I tend to abandon a book if it doesn't hold my interest, as there's plenty of stuff out there to read and I don't like to waste my time reading stuff that's too slow.   :D

Offline Overlord

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2011, 02:39:09 PM »
I finished the Name of the Wind, which had a very slow pace all the way through.  Can't say I enjoyed it overly, but it was ok.  I tend to abandon a book if it doesn't hold my interest, as there's plenty of stuff out there to read and I don't like to waste my time reading stuff that's too slow.   :D

How are you enjoying Dragon Keeper?
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Offline Autumn2May

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Re: slow starts?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 02:41:33 PM »
I'm probably going to get dirty looks for this, but the one I remember, that was really slow at the beginning the first time I read it, was the first Lord of the Rings book.  ::) Of course I was pretty young at the time and I had grown up watching the Rankin/Bass Cartoon versions of the Hobbit and Return of the King which focus mostly on the cool parts of the story.  I only needed to get to the Old Forest before I was hooked and I've read them a bunch of times since then, but really the beginning of that book is really pretty slow.  Don't hurt me okay? ;)

Offline missoularedhead

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 02:43:51 PM »
No, you know…I don't disagree that the beginning of LotR is a bit…ploddish.  But I think that's a function of set up. 

I don't like the Covenant books now (read 'em when I was what, 12 or 13?)…I tried to read them again, and just couldn't get past Covenant's attitude, and the rape!  YIKES.  I'd forgotten about that. 
"Well behaved women rarely make history" ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Bryndled1

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Re: slow starts?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2011, 02:50:16 PM »
Im not sure what holds my interest with a slow start. Sanderson always starts out slow and ends with a run away freight train. The thomas Covenant series.. I know I read the first 3 books many many moons ago, all I remember is the tragedy of thomas and how much I couldnt stand the books. maybe 20 more years of experience under my belt may increase my appreciation. I'm reading a couple of books that Im struggling with right now, Im going back and forth between them, but it doesnt seem to be helping =/. I think I may pick up some "mac and cheese" fantasy for a bit, and go back to visit Belgarath or maybe Haplo, its been a while.

Mistborn went at about 5mph through to the last 1/10th of the book then went 100mph - not sure I enjoyed that really =/ Deffinetly could learn to pace things a little better - saying that, Mistborn is about 5/6/7 years old and he has released about 5/6/7 books since then so I guess I should wait a bit before being too judgemental :P

No, they are all pretty much that way. It took me a good solid week to get past the first 2 chapters of " The Way of Kings " and then picked up nicely. same freight train ending as well.

Offline ganstream1

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2011, 02:55:28 PM »
I don't mind books with slow start as long as it keeps my interest going.

Offline Rhevian

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2011, 05:41:34 PM »
Well as I'm now half-way through "Name of the Wind" I'd say that it was the quality of the writing that held me through the first few chapters - a book doesn't need to have lots of action if there's an intriguing setup.

Some of my favourite fantasy novels have little or no 'action' at all - eg John Crowley's "Little, Big" and "Aegypt"

I did stall after a couple of chapters into Mark C Newton's "Nights of Villjamur" last year - it's back on my to-read pile to try again in a few weeks.

Offline Tiffany Kysis Tackett

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2011, 06:14:48 PM »
I remember being bored for the beginnings of the Hobbit, Fellowship of the Ring, and the Two Towers, and then equally as bored at the end of Return of the King, to the point that I never actually finished reading it.  I may pick it up again, since I have a lot more patience, and would like to analyze the books in a more writerly sense.

It's been a while, but I think the first Ian Irvine book that I read started really slow, too, but I kept reading in hopes it got better.  The pace picked up, but I honestly could not care about any of the characters or plot arcs, so I never finished the series.

For me, The Name of the Wind did not start slow, at least not a bad kind of slow.  I may be biased because I enjoy his writing style a lot, all the more since when I picked it up, I noticed that our sentence structures and prose were similar.  Heh.  Definitely biased.  I need to finish reading that.

Offline Overlord

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2011, 08:08:07 PM »
Well as I'm now half-way through "Name of the Wind" I'd say that it was the quality of the writing that held me through the first few chapters - a book doesn't need to have lots of action if there's an intriguing setup.

Some of my favourite fantasy novels have little or no 'action' at all - eg John Crowley's "Little, Big" and "Aegypt"

I did stall after a couple of chapters into Mark C Newton's "Nights of Villjamur" last year - it's back on my to-read pile to try again in a few weeks.

It's on my pile too, Mark is a pretty nice guy :)
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Offline frankiehunter

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2011, 08:23:52 AM »
I don't mind books with slow start as long as it keeps my interest going.

I have to agree!
For me the Painted man (sorry overlord - I know you love it ;) ) is a perfect example. to me it was all over to slow, but i kept reading because i wanted to know what's happening next. I also will read the second book because i'm curious how the story goes on.
I don't mind slow books, what I really hate are unlogical books or books who are slow and came to a sudden end!
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Offline ChristinaJL

Re: slow starts?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2011, 09:20:03 AM »
How are you enjoying Dragon Keeper?

Actually, it's not an action packed book, but I like the dragons and the characters are good, so it's kept my interest.  It seems to me that books 1 and 2 were possibly meant to be one book but got too long.  I like it though, it's well written.