Nov. 6th, 2010

liaku: (caution this is sparta)
Day 05 – A book or series you hate

I'm going for a series, because that seems more to the spirit of things. Twilight's too easy. Same goes for Eragon. I have a special fondness for Harry Potter and choose to remember it for its better moments. Most of the shallow pulp fiction series aren't that poorly written and are a fun read anyway. And honestly, writing a series isn't all that popular amongst non-children's/YA and non-genre fiction.

So here we are with Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. As an ASOIAF fan, this is probably an even less inspired choice than Twilight would've been. GRRM fans don't tend to be Goodkind fans and vice versa.

I'll say this first: they're not actually poorly written. Are they well-written? No. But poorly? That's too much. It's quite repetitive and longwinded and mind-numbing though, but his editors kept that checked within reason at the start. The first book is actually quite enjoyable if you're just looking for a romp in a fantasy world, and the second is a typical mediocre sequel. The rest embarrass the genre. (I only made it as far as Faith of the Fallen, but I hear it only goes downhill from there.)

The rest are only the disastrous creations of an author that ejaculates as he preaches against the terror of socialism and writes the rape and/or humiliation of every female character in sight. Our leading man spends his time waxing and waning between emo and "heroic" while his (female) entourage become freakishly slavish and co-dependent upon him. I use the word heroic in quotes because our leading man is touted as having the most superior of moral fibres, yet he condones rape, murder, terror, casual violence, not to mention plain old stupidity.

My deepest condolences if anyone on my FL's a Sword of Truth fan.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (im on a horse)
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time

RED is a play by John Logan, premiered last year in London and then closed in New York. I'm not sure if it's kosher to use a play to answer this meme, but it's published as a script in book form, so I think it counts as a book, though it certainly doesn't count as a novel.

RED is a one act play with only two characters: the artist Rothko and his new assistant Ken. Rothko's been commissioned for his Four Seasons paintings, the most expensive commission of all time, and he's going to talk about it. A lot. (Though he still doesn't talk as much as the General in Embers, that'd take some doing.)

Rothko's infamous for his egotism and humorless vanity, and in RED, he often speaks of seriousness in art, all grand sweeping monologues about Art and Immortality and Significance and Tragedy, but that's peppered still with fatherly love for his paintings, his creations, the necessity of treating them well and protecting them. There's discussion of light and color, movement, intensity, sanctity, painting, preparing, and everything you'd expect in a play about art--yet I don't think you need to be an art critic to find these dialogues spell-binding, even if it's only because Rothko's own passion is contagious.

My friend saw the play at my recommendation and thought it was passably decent at best, reminding her of two drunken art students debating a stream of consciousness that really amounts to nothing more than extravagant philosophizing over their favorite pastime. Needless to say, I disagree, and so do the Tony awards. However, I do think it may come across this way in text alone. Like any play, it has a hard time standing on its script alone since that's not how it was meant to be experienced. That being said, I still think it's a worthwhile read anyway, even if the reading isn't bolstered by memories of the live performance.

the rest of the meme )


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