September 2005


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Archive for September 14th, 2005

Will it never end?

Posted in Media on September 14th, 2005

One fine summer day, a young man was visiting a friend’s house and spotted an interesting book on the friend’s shelf. For a paperback, it was frelling huge – over 800 pages. Being the voracious reader the young man was, he figured this would keep him busy for a few days and borrowed the book.

Three days later, he borrowed the second book. Hooked! Equally huge, the books kept him happily reading for almost a solid week. He eagerly awaited the third book in what he assumed was a trilogy.

The third came and went, with the plot still unresolved. “Excellent! A five-book cycle!” he thought. The years rolled by, and at unequal intervals, books kept coming. After book 5, the series almost ground to a complete halt. New characters were added that did nothing for the story except strain the reader’s memory trying to keep them all straight. Each new book would drag on endlessly until the last 50 pages, which would suddenly rock into action – “could he finally be ending it?”

But no, the book would cliffhanger every time. Book 6. Book 7. Book 8. Book 9. All in excess of 600 pages, and the author can’t get anywhere with the plot. The young man’s shelves groaned from the weight of the hardcover editions. Book 10. Surely, this is the last one! He can’t drag it out any more!…

Yes, he can.

Then the bastard goes and spends over a year writing a ‘prequel’ book instead of the next installment. Plans are hatched to hunt the author down and go ‘Misery’ on his ass.

15 fine summers later, I got an email today from Amazon: “Pre-order the 11th book in Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series – “Knife of Dreams” On sale today!”

From Publishers Weekly

…While more recent entries have maintained that beauty and scope, the pace has slowed to a crawl as the central characters dispersed in six directions. In contrast, the latest explodes with motion, as multiple plot lines either conclude or advance, and the march to Tarmon Gai’don—the climactic last battle between the Dragon Reborn and the Dark One—begins in earnest…

And thus we are faced with the question: Go we once more into the breach? Do we read it now, or wait until he finishes the blasted thing so we can get it all over in one marathon session?

One thing is certain: I’m going to beat Pax the next time I see him for loaning me those first two books.