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Old 08-22-2001, 06:36 AM   #1
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A friend and I are always arguing about who's a better author, Tolkien or Jordan (author of the wheel of Time books), and I'm looking for some good arguments to use. If any of you have opinions about Jordan, please tell me.

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Old 08-22-2001, 07:03 AM   #2
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Re: Wheel of Time Books

Though my experience of Jordan is only the first 8 chapters of The Eye of The World, I'd say his writing is decidedly inferior to J.R.R. Tolkien. In only a couple hundred pages Jordan managed to introduce character after sterotypical character and creature after Monster Manual creature, all to fill an endless stream of miniplots that, together, did not add up to a whole plot. This might satisfy the average 13 year old reader, new to fantasy and eager for quanity (I may well have loved it at that age - who knows?), but it left me (not 13 anymore for a long time) tired from all the pointless action and poor story-telling. There's no sense of history, scale or grandeur that I found and still find in Middle-Earth.

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Old 08-22-2001, 09:33 AM   #3
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Re: Wheel of Time Books

Wanna know what's funny, on my copy of The Eye of The World (I'm reading it to appease my friend) it mentions Tolkien twice in the book reviews. Once on the cover, it says something like &quot;Jordan has come to dominate the world that Tolkien began to reveal.&quot; I'm still curious as to what world did Tolkien only begin to reveal. The world I can think of Tolkien revealing he seemed to me to have completed it fully.

The second mention says &quot;Women have a stronger role than in Tolkien&quot; From what I have read, it seems as if the womens' role in Jordans book is the comic relief and a piece of flesh for the men to drool over. I haven't seen any women characters who seem to be able to turn the tide of a battle by killing a Phantasmal Creature that rides a flying steed.

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Old 08-22-2001, 10:30 AM   #4
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Re: Wheel of Time Books

I don't understand any girl or woman that appreciates the female roles in The Eye of the World. Gitls are all portrayed as know-it-all sassy troublemakers with a penchant for getting themselves in trouble after not listening to directions. I got enough of that character type in Eddings' Belgariad.

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Old 08-22-2001, 10:58 AM   #5
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/redeye.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Wheel of Time Books

Yeah, that type of sassy troublemaker with a penchant for getting into trouble after not listening to directions is <u>so</u> not realistic.

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Old 08-22-2001, 12:58 PM   #6
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/redeye.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Wheel of Time Books

Yeah! And so not used in every cheesy book in the genre!

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Old 08-23-2001, 03:59 PM   #7
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/redeye.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Wheel of Time Books

Jordan's books jump around a lot- there is nowhere near the smoothness and continuity of plot that abounds in Tolkien.
Fragmentation aaarggh!

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Old 08-24-2001, 08:59 AM   #8
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Re: Wheel of Time Books

The farther I get into the book, the more and more it seems like generic Fantasy. It has very little originality, other than coming up with different names for things that have been done before.

Also, it's kinda humorous, but the friend of mine who likes Jordan read part of FoTR, but didn't finish it because he found it dull. Ha! He finds Tolkien dull, but likes Jordan. That's hipocracy at the extreme.

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Old 08-24-2001, 08:23 PM   #9
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/eyepal.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Wheel of Time Books

I have thought about reading The Wheel of Time for a long time, but the feedback that I recieved has made me hesitate. I hear a lot of things like BW said, and I have also heard that the books are to long and that the series should be 6 books shorter. So I am not going to read it.

Anyways, how dare they try to compare Jordan to Tolkien! I dont even have to read Jordan to understand how ludicrous a statement that is!

Anyways, I have read all of the shannara books by terry brooks thus far, and have enjoyed them greatly! They are not as deep as tolkien, but I do think that they are very interesting, and have some great plot twists. What do you think of Shannara? All comments are respected and appreciated.

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Old 08-25-2001, 12:35 PM   #10
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Re: Jordan

He sucks, sucks, sucks!!!

His grammar is worse than a high-schooler's, his characters are shallow, and he dra-a-a-a-a-ags out any given situation for as long as possible. I have not discovered an ounce of originality in the WOT books. They're basically a melding of every fantasy, sci-fi, and mythological epic usable.

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Old 08-25-2001, 01:44 PM   #11
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Wheel of Time

I have read all 9 of the Wheel of Time books. I have enjoyed them. No, Robert Jordan is not half the author Tolkien was, but I still found WOT enjoyable. Despite the annoying girls. Some of them get better later on. I find it funny that the Wheel of Time starts as a more gender-equality than previous fantasy, but as you go further in, the seemingly wise Aes Sedai are revealed as manipulative, (some) of the &quot;strong&quot; female characters get more and more superficial, and the main character ends up marrying all 3 of the girls who were chasing him. That last sentance was very long.

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Old 08-25-2001, 06:00 PM   #12
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Re: Wheel of Time

I very much enjoyed the first 6 books of the Wheel of Time. I had to set them aside for a while. When the series is finally finished, I will read them all through at one time. It is too hard at this point to wait so long for the new books to come out as I forget all the characters during the interim. Not everyone who loves Tolkien hates Jordan.

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Old 08-26-2001, 01:54 AM   #13
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re

I found the first book unbearably Tolkienesque but as you proceed with the series, Jordan develops his own rather enjoyable style. One of the main flaws is that there are 9 books of about a thousand pages each and still going strong. However, there can be no comparison between Tolkien and Jordan. Tolkien is by far the better of the two.

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Old 08-26-2001, 04:28 PM   #14
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Re: re

I was reading more of Eye of the World (or whatever it's called) today, and noticed something else that was wrong. It seems as if new things are introduced about the character's that do not have any thing to back them up whatsoever (and in some cases, contradictory to earlier material.) Also, Jordan can seem to pick a pov.

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Old 08-26-2001, 05:27 PM   #15
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Re: re

I don't dislike him because he's compared to Tolkien by some; I dislike him because I feel that he's careless with...I was going to say his grammar, but it's also his situations and characters. <img src=wink.gif ALT="">

Darn split infinitives....

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Old 08-27-2001, 02:50 PM   #16
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Re: re

I rather enjoyed the first Jordan book. Tried the second and found it slower than a yak-drawn cart. Just couldn't make it through. Nothing much happened, or if it did, it took forever. Terry Brooks took a lot of flack for his first book being derivative of Tolkien, but I think his books have gotten better as he grew older. Try him. Or try David Gemmell.

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Old 08-28-2001, 03:05 AM   #17
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re

Swords of Shannara was LoTR under a different name.

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Old 08-30-2001, 02:15 PM   #18
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My grade 10 English teacher gave me all the Shannara books. All 9. Books 5-8 are good and I recommend them. The first 4 are a Tolkien rip-off and repetitive.

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Old 08-31-2001, 02:29 PM   #19
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Re: Wheel of Time Books

Though I am not very familiar with Jordan's work here is probably the best argument of why tolkien is a better author.
Tolkien's works are far more influential than Jordan's.
Cite examples of: A movie trilogy, three animated films two which were produced solely for Prime Time United States television(how many t.v. pilots never make it there?), action figures, Role-Playing Games(the creations of middle-earth are pretty much the basis for any fantasy RPG ever made), board games, Lead miniatures, comic books, and how many people would actually buy 11 volumes of author's notes of Mr. Jordan's books. Iv'e known people who only marginally read the LOTR and named their pets after characters, there is a community development in Gainseville florida called Hobbiton or something like that, Prime time sit-coms have made reference to tolkien works(&quot;Just Shoot Me&quot; character saying I don't have time for your Hobbit riddles! as an example) and finally...
I don't see anyone writing a biography called Robert Jordan- Greatest Author of the 20th Century.
Tolkien has influenced far more people with his writings than Jordan and in the end is't that what all writers want to do?
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Old 09-05-2001, 06:41 AM   #20
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Re: Wheel of Time Books

Well, first post in a long while, but here goes, anyway.

I`ve read all nine volumes of the Wheel of Time and enjoyed them greatly. Jordan is not a patch on Tolkien, but I think he is a decent storyteller. The problem with WOT is the length of time it is taking for the damn thing to finish. I first read The Eye of the World in 1990, eleven years later and I`m still waiting! I reckon there are at least three more volumes to go, so at Jordan`s current rate of one book every two and a bit years, I`ll have to be patient until 2007.

I used to worry that Jordan would die before he finished the series, now I think I might die before I get the chance to read it.

BTW, Aldaron, you and I seem to be the only people who have ever given David Gemmell a mention here (although I seem to recall BW buying one of his books), but at the risk of repeating myself, I urge anyone looking for new fantasy to read to give him a try.

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Old 09-23-2001, 04:02 PM   #21
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Old 09-24-2001, 01:00 PM   #22
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Tolkien

The more I read of Jordan's books, the more and more I see a character that just sticks out at me as a character from Tolkien. One example is the ogier, who seem rediculously similar to Ent (one, bigger, two, very long lived, three, meetings that last for months or years, etc.) And that's just one example! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
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Old 09-24-2001, 06:54 PM   #23
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Yes, I noticed a lot of that too. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 09-25-2001, 10:24 AM   #24
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Sting

Yes, I remember pointing that out in another thread. Ogiers seem like ents with a different name.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:29 AM   #25
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Tolkien and Jordan

You know what. All of you need to just cut it out. I am a huge Tolkien fan, but I've also been reading the WoT books by Jordan, I'm in the ninth book now and completely love the storylines and plots. His world is nothing like Tolkien's and for some reason people always want to compare the two but they are like night and day. I read Tolkien first and I'll admit that when I first started reading The Eye of the World, I was looking for comparisons to LoR. There just aren't any, they are nothing alike. Tolkien created histories, languages, and a world that will never be outdone. Jordan's character development, plot twists, and storyline will never be outdone. They are both geniuses in their own right and should be put upon a pedestal next to one another.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:23 AM   #26
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You know what. All of you need to just cut it out.
I believe they did cut it out...

about nine years ago.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:47 AM   #27
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I too have experianced all of the WOT up to the current volume, though to be tecnical I really have only read part one one book (the problem is that the whne I came upon my copy of The eye or the world it was in the form of an audiobook as were the next five or so I came across, by the time I was done with those I was so used to how the audio reader pronounced the names and places (which is not neccarily the most obvious pronouciation as they are written out) that I franky found trying to read the books and connect them to what I had already heard too confusing so I have gone with the unabridged audiobook for ever since (besides, it's nice to sit and listen to someone tell you a story).
I I have one beef with the late Robert's work it is the lenght of the serios. No, I take it back the length is just fine with me (I've gone through Alan Dean Fosters Flinx books, and there are probably as many of those as there are volumes of WOT, though they are shorter.) My read problem is the fact that as the series keeps going and the books get longer, the amount of in-story time covered by each book gets shorter and shorter. I'm faily sure that the events of the fistpages of book 13 and those of the last pages of book 15 (that's about 3000 pages of text) take place only about 2 weeks apart within the story. I understand that due to the nature of the plot all the events are coming to a head and the varios story threads are interweaving but it is getting waay too complicated. The long text versus short time problem also means that events that are of siginificane to a bit in the current book often perdicate on very minor one line bits in a book ten or twelve volumes ago. In Tolkien the reading of the books that come before can give you a deeper insight into the events of the current book, but each book can sort of stand alone as a cohesive novel. You may not understand everything of Reurn of the King if you haven't read Fellowhip and Two Towers and the Hobbit and the Silmarillion, but you wont be totally lost. Jodans work on the other hand is reach that point, the point where the only way to make sense of the current volume is to have read all of the previos ones, and probably(unless you have a superb and near photographic memory) have re-read them all immediately before starting the current one; repeating this process before each new volume. now that there are someting like 15000 pages of text, this is a daunting task.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:06 PM   #28
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Skip Jordan. There are other, better works out there.

I've reread LotR a gagillion times, but never read a WoT novel twice - too painful. Like I need to read text describing how a person straightens her skirt one more time...
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:03 PM   #29
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diservern, welcome to the Downs– that is, if you're not a new type of spambot that actually reads books, which would certainly be an interesting development. I ask because... well, why are you getting so riled up over such an ancient thread? Most of those people aren't even around to reply.

–Myself, I rather like the Wheel of Time series, at least the earlier books. After that, as other posters have already complained, it does get tied up with trivial details and minor subplots, so that one begins to suspect the author's written himself into a corner with the main plot and is now just stalling. (Supposedly, though, Jordan did work out an ending before he died.)
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:10 PM   #30
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I would like to make my apologies, I came across this thread by pure accident and I didn't pay attention to how long ago it had ended. I suppose I will just have to agree to disagree about the WoT series. I have not been lost at all throughout the entire series and feel that Jordan knew exactly where he wanted the series to go and through foreshadowing he has shown that, even from the very first book. I realize that some readers don't enjoy many different storylines, but if you are an LoR fan, I know you have to love detail. That is what I love about the WoT. I love all of the characters and that they all have their parts to play. Sure there are characters that you don't like, but that is what makes a great story, more than just one antagonist and one problem.

Oh by the way alatar, about you ignorant little comment, LoR had plenty of moments that I could have done without too. I have to skip over everytime someone sings in the series. It drives me out of my mind. That doesn't mean that I don't love LoR though. It just means that Tolkien's writing isn't perfect.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:36 PM   #31
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Oh by the way alatar, about you ignorant little comment, LoR had plenty of moments that I could have done without too.
Alatar was stating his opinion, and he's welcome to it. Personally, I agree with his sentiment that Jordan often times is tediously meticulous in belaboring a minute (and senseless) point. Referring to his opinion as "ignorant", however, is unacceptable.

Disagree, if you must, but save the personal attacks for some other forum. Or at least couch your derision in a manner which implies the same thing but is not so outwardly contemptible.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:06 AM   #32
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All of you need to just cut it out.

Oh by the way alatar, about you ignorant little comment,
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:57 AM   #33
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I would like to make my apologies, I came across this thread by pure accident and I didn't pay attention to how long ago it had ended.
No problem. I like when older threads are churned up.

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I suppose I will just have to agree to disagree about the WoT series. I have not been lost at all throughout the entire series and feel that Jordan knew exactly where he wanted the series to go and through foreshadowing he has shown that, even from the very first book. I realize that some readers don't enjoy many different storylines, but if you are an LoR fan, I know you have to love detail. That is what I love about the WoT.
I too love detail. My issue with WoT is the inconsistencies with said detail, and it's probably because I've been tainted forever by reading LotR (though even Tolkien makes some blunders). To me, and it's just my opinion, LotR seems more thorough, more solid, than WoT.

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I love all of the characters and that they all have their parts to play. Sure there are characters that you don't like, but that is what makes a great story, more than just one antagonist and one problem.
Agreed. Again, my issue, especially with the later books, is that, after 600+ pages, the story then started, something happened, then I had to wait for a year or more for the next book, which followed the same formula.

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Oh by the way alatar, about you ignorant little comment, LoR had plenty of moments that I could have done without too.
Agreed. I suggest that when reading LotR, people skip the first few chapters and start at Bree.

And I apologize if I came off rudely (not ignorantly, as I have read most of the WoT series ), as that wasn't my intent. My posts lately have been shorter, more blunt, and so may come off poorly.

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I have to skip over everytime someone sings in the series. It drives me out of my mind. That doesn't mean that I don't love LoR though. It just means that Tolkien's writing isn't perfect.
Again I agree. I have the unabridged audiobook version of LotR, and as soon as a song starts...Next!
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:11 AM   #34
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No alatar, I shouldn't have said that, you made a simple comment about your opinion and I let it get under my skin. I apologize. We just see things differently, that's all.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:23 AM   #35
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Agreed. Again, my issue, especially with the later books, is that, after 600+ pages, the story then started, something happened, then I had to wait for a year or more for the next book, which followed the same formula.
Yes, the prologue might be a little more extended than what I'd like it to be. 600+ pages is exagerating a bit, but I just looked at the prologue on the one I'm reading now. It is 87 pages long, lol. I just never noticed them being that long I guess. It would probably be a little irritating if you had to wait for each new book of the series. I on the other hand haven't had to wait, so it hasn't bothered me much.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:35 AM   #36
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Agreed. I suggest that when reading LotR, people skip the first few chapters and start at Bree.
The only problem I see with that is that they would miss the The Old Forest and The Barrow Downs, two of my favorite parts of Fellowship and Bombadil is one of my favorite characters of the entire trilogy. He sings way too much but I love him anyway. LOL
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:08 AM   #37
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Alatar was stating his opinion, and he's welcome to it. Personally, I agree with his sentiment that Jordan often times is tediously meticulous in belaboring a minute (and senseless) point. Referring to his opinion as "ignorant", however, is unacceptable.
I am not picking a fight with you but I just wanted to add that nothing Jordan wrote in any books of the series, that I have read, was tedious or senseless. Everything had its purpose, whether it was character development or foreshadowing. I love meticulous detail, maybe that is why I love Stephen King so much. Many people don't like him because he is too detailed, but me, I love that sh%t. That is not to say that don't like writers who aren't as detail oriented as Tolkien, Jordan, or King. A lot of writers can be just as effective without as much detail. I digress.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:11 AM   #38
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No alatar, I shouldn't have said that, you made a simple comment about your opinion and I let it get under my skin. I apologize.
No offense taken. And if I am writing rudely, please feel free to call me on it.

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We just see things differently, that's all.
That's what makes the forum interesting.

I guess the other thing that taints my feelings towards WoT is that it seemed to have so much potential - another LotR perhaps - but, for me, it didn't deliver.

Note that I feel the same about Peter Jackson's film version of LotR.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:42 AM   #39
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I guess the other thing that taints my feelings towards WoT is that it seemed to have so much potential - another LotR perhaps - but, for me, it didn't deliver.
I realize this is probably going to get a lot of groans and possibly even a few F.U.'s, but I feel that WoT is a superior story to LotR. Okay, you can started flinging the rotten tomatoes at me.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:09 AM   #40
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Note that I feel the same about Peter Jackson's film version of LotR.
I feel the same way. I appreciate it, but he left many of my favorite parts of the books out. I understand that theatrical releases have to be limited somewhat, but because of the way they wrote the script, they weren't able to add them into the dvd releases. Example: The Old Forest, Tom Bombadil, The Barrow Downs, The Woses, The Battle of the Shire.
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