Going against the grain

I just finished reading Wizard’s First Rule, the first book in Terry Goodkind’s Sworth of Truth book series. I started reading it because of my interest in Legend of the Seeker (which I’ve already talked about).  You know, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have read it.  Mainly because I’m not sure how it’s going to affect my opinion of the television series.

Truthfully, it’s not that great of a book.  And Terry Goodkind isn’t that great of a writer.  Well, maybe that’s not fair of me to say because I haven’t written a dozen or so highly successful books with a strong (cult?) following.  It’s always easier to be a critic than to be a creator.

Besides what I’ve already written about it, I finally came to the realization that the book is a man’s fantasy.  Only women of power are allowed to wear long hair. Sounds a lot like men’s fascination with long hair.  *rolls eyes* Descriptions of sadistic violence and sado-eroticism become common, particularly in the latter part of the book.  And what started as a tale of ancient wizardry and magic becomes a cartoon.  I didn’t so much mind the talking wolf, his backstory was interesting.  But a talking dragon?  And a female one who clutches a claw to her breast?  I could only think of Rauol, the big gay Supernatural dragon at Television Without Pity.

But most of what bothered me was the loss of innocence of our hero.  Of course, any story has to have character growth, and we know all along that Richard Cypher is someone special.  But the fact that he’s special because he’s magical (even if he doesn’t yet know it), cheapens his heroism in a way.

I do know that the tv series is going to follow the book with Richard’s parentage, which is only proper, I suppose.  But I fear I’m going to regret losing Richard Cypher.

I have no plans to read any of the rest of the books.  At least for now.


3 thoughts on “Going against the grain

  1. That’s interesting.

    Your post reminded me of when I admit I don’t like the books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and that I liked the screen adaptation of “Love in the Time of Cholera” much better than the book. I can hear the cries “How can you dislike ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’?” I can; I realize it is well-written, but I still don’t like it.

    Gailann, don’t worry about your saying that you think ‘Wizard’s First Rule’ isn’t that great of a book and Terry Goodkind isn’t that great of a writer. It is your right to say so, if that’s your opinion, even if you haven’t written a dozen or so highly successful books with a strong (cult?) following. I’m aware that it’s always easier to be a critic than to be a creator, but a good literary critic must be above all a great reader rather than an author.

    I wonder if those paid to write reviews would still have their jobs, if only authors, directors and actors were entitled to write about books or movies. 😉

    • Thanks, Francesca. You know, I didn’t care that much for Love in the Time of Cholera either. Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes lovely prose, but a lot of his story gets lost on me. I don’t know if I should admit this, but I haven’t yet seen the movie. 😮 It’s on my NetFlix list, though. Does that count?

  2. I admit that I had my fair share of doubts about whether to go and see ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ or not when it was released. In spite of my usually liking the projects its director and cast are involved in, I liked the book it was based on so little that it was only because a friend of mine (who loves the books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, differently from me) insisted that I went.

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