19 April 2007

holy fucking shit.

O.A.R. I absolutely love this band. I can't stand it. Mark Roberge is HOT (even more so when he wears his glasses). There are T-minus 15 days and counting until I get to see them again live in concert. As incredibly corny and cliche as it sounds; I can't even find the words to describe how much I love their music.

02 April 2007

geeky book rant

So, about 6 or 7 years ago I started reading this series, "The Sword of Truth", by this author, Terry Goodkind. I really liked it. The first three or four books were really good, I couldn't get the next one fast enough. So I read the first eight books. Yes, eight. I'll admit that by the sixth book, "Faith of the Fallen", I'd gotten a little bored with it. But I finished off the series, what was there at the time anyway. Subsequently I went back to school and had to read what someone else tells me too. Except for the rare class where I got to read Ursula LeGuin's "Wizard of EarthSea" series, the majority of the books weren't what you'd call leisure reading, at least that's what I thought at the time. So I graduated with a BA in English Lit and now I have a little time before grad school to read some light weight stuff. And guess what? There's two more books in the "Sword of Truth" series and one more on the way! Of course I've learned that buying those books is silly but fortunately local libraries carry at least two copies.

Now here is the purpose of this whole rambling post. I just about can't stand Goodkind's writing style. The first thing that started to annoy me was the way characters, especially the main character Richard Rahl, would have these insanely long monologues during conversations with other characters. Its just not realistic, in a very obvious manner. You're reading along and all of a sudden you're like, "shut up already and get on with it!". He just keeps going on and on and on and on and on, I would've interrupted a long time ago.

The second thing that pissed me off will probably make most normal people cock an eyebrow and wonder what the hell is wrong with me but I swear I picked up on it immediately and it's just not right. In "Chainfire" he uses the word cacophony twice. In different forms but the same word none the less. I'm sorry but you just can't do that. I personally happen to like the word, even if it is one of those $2 GRE words, and have been known to use it on occasion in my own writing. But I've never used it twice in the same work. It doesn't matter that the book is 600 some-odd pages long, you still can't do it. Just like you can't use the word diaphanous twice in 5 pages like he does in "Phantom" to describe Shota's dress. It's pompous. Someone buy him a thesaurus and fire his copy editor.

Which brings me to my third complaint, which is probably the most serious. Have you ever seen the picture of Goodkind on the back of the books? Now, I could be totally wrong, it's been known to happen now and again, but doesn't he look like a pompous kind of guy? It comes through in his writing big time I think. ALL of his characters have the same voice, his. If you were to take away any and all references to who was speaking you would think the whole book was a monologue by one person. Seriously. You could sit there reading and just imagine that it was all coming from the authors mouth rather than the characters.

There is a redeeming quality about these last few books however. It's the message that they are trying to get across. I really do like the freedom, individual independence, anti-organized religion theme. Some of the things that are happening and some of the monologues that Richard spouts can really be directly related to the state of things in our country and the world at large right now. Which is probably why I keep reading.

An interesting thought came to me this weekend as we were driving to the other branch of the library because someone had taken the last copy of "Phantom" before I could get there. What if Goodkind's writing has been like this the whole time and I just never noticed it? Is there a possibility that my education as a literature student actually enhanced my reading abilities to the point where I would notice these things now and not back then? I'd love to find out definitively but I'm not about to go back and read all those friggin' books over again. The first one maybe, but not all eight. Instead I think I'll give the props to my lit professors and the education that I didn't realize I was getting.