Irish Papist

Irish Papist
Me and General Robert Lee

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Some Wise Words from Bruce Charlton

"The importance of Fantasy is that the everyday modern world is one of lies and triviality; so people like myself almost need the Fantasy genre in order to 'exercise' the proper priorities and evaluations."

This reflection is prompted by his reading of the Wheel of Time novel cycle, most of which I've read, but which I'm never going to finish. I rather regret sinking as much of my life into it as I did. It certainly had its moments, but the longer it went on, the more I became disillusioned by Jordan's apparent determination to add plot development to plot development, layer upon layer, character after character-- just for the love of drawing the thing out, it seemed.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against long books. The Stand and It by Stephen King were amongst the best books I've ever read. And the sheer length of those books were part of the pleasure. But I felt that they were long for a reason-- their length was warranted. The plot never stalled, and I never felt the author was simply treading water. Everything added something to the story. (Well, almost everything. Let's not talk about the Trashcan Man sequences in the unedited version of The Stand.) The Wheel of Time just felt absurdly bloated to me.

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