(urth) choices

Craig Brewer cnbrewer at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 5 06:57:25 PDT 2011

There's a lot about Thomas Covenant worth returning to. I think the initial repulsiveness is the point. I don't know how many people I've heard say they stopped when they get to the rape and never come back. But Covenant is supposed to be a despicable dude. I think in the end he hates himself more than we hate him. He's not a reluctant hero, he's an unwilling and self loathing hero. The adventures themselves are often Tolkienesque, but the context is anything but.

And someone once tried to tell me that Donaldson's love of weird words was Wolfean. But...no. Donaldson just loves his thesaurus and throws in completely random vocab at odd times. Wolfe has reasons, and his words are much more calculated.

On Aug 4, 2011, at 5:09 PM, James Wynn <crushtv at gmail.com> wrote:

> 1) I remember distinctly that the Covenant Chronicles just ran out of steam.
> 2) It is a slightly veiled plagiarism of the Sword of Shanara (which was a plagiarism of The Lord of the Rings. But then so were so many other fantasy books of the late 70s.
> As a teen, I was revolted by the rape at the beginning of volume 1 and chunked the book for about a year. Then I picked it up and moved on. Ultimately, I liked it pretty well. Enough to buy book 2 with anticipation which I thought was even better. But book 3 just fell off a cliff. Total waste of time for me. I had very specific theories about why the ending failed but I can't remember what they were. However, I knew people who were absolutely crazy about Donaldson in the early 80s. Not so much now I'm afraid, which I have always credited to the dreadful follow-up trilogy. It could be that the book captured some zeitgeist at the time. I hardly ever hear about it now. I wonder how the first trilogy reads for young people who pick it up for the first time now, 35 years later.
> On 8/4/2011 4:02 PM, Sergei SOLOVIEV wrote:
>> Dear members -
>> I didn't vote (just missed the vote), but I am
>> puzzled by the fact that two of the books sometimes chosen
>> (Thomas Covenant and Elric) were truly repulsive to me. I tried to analyse why,
>> in case of Elric I concluded that it seems to me full of (slightly veiled) plagiarism
>> on the level of ideas and images, but in case of Thomas Covenant I could not find
>> a rational explanation (the same with other books by the same author). Most
>> of the rest I like very much myself.
>> All the best
>> Sergei Soloviev
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