The NEW BFB Members Rankings List

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Derk of Derkholm, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I found it an unengaging book and I'm far from unused to reading challenging books (degree in English lit). I found it slow and tedious and hard to read. Many others have, too - the reviews evidence that.

    150 pages is enough to tell me if I like the author's style - no - am engaged by the story or characters - no - and likely to enjoy the rest. 150 is close to half of an average-length book. It's not a sample.

    Also, if a reviewer feels something is pretentious, they're not wrong. They're stating their opinion. That's what reviews are - opinions.

    You obviously really like the book, as do many others. But many others really don't and their opinion is equally valid. But it does, perhaps, go some way to explaining why it's not higher on the list. Because a fair number of people find it slow, pretentious (I'm not sure I'd go that far but she does choose a distinct style of writing and did, to my mind, focus on that very clearly, to the detriment of flow for me), and not for them. (Whilst recognising the skill and attention to detail in it)
     
  2. moonspawn

    moonspawn Journeyed there and back again

    Well saying something is pretentious is almost always a losing argument anyway. People usually use that when they don't have a better argument to justify their tastes and so need a way to discredit the work in question. I mean if it's pretentious then....so what? What exactly is that supposed to mean? Whether or not a book is pretentious will probably differ from person to person based on their own reading experiences. A lot of excellent writers are highly, highly pretentious and Susanna Clark is not one of them. Her sentences are too simple and are just in general not showy enough to say she's pretentious. James Joy's Finnegan's Wake though is probably the most pretentious book of all time but yet there are some literary professors who act like it's the best book ever. To me it looks interminably painful to read.
     
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  3. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    An interesting one. Joyce didn't write it to be read, but to be listened to. He was celebrating the oral tradition of Irish storytelling - much of Ireland's ancient stories only survived by the oral tradition, for a really fascinating read on that I recommend An Dunnaire (my spelling might be far out) The Poems of the Disposessed. Reading Finegan's Wake is an ordeal. Listening to it read by a Gaelic speaker who could capture the flow - it blew me away. So pretentious is as pretentious does. ;)
     
  4. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Oh man, James Joyce...

    Have you read Ulysses? The most difficult book I've ever read. It was a bizarre experience. Quite rewarding, but I wouldn't call it fun. It was hard work.
     
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  5. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Ha! No, I haven't put myself through that, yet. If I do read it, I'll pop down to Dublin for a few days and do the tour of the places at the same time - it's supposed to be a better way of reading it and makes more sense.
     
  6. ofer

    ofer Journeyed there and back again

    Agreed. Both Ulysses and The Dubliners were quite a hard read, although the winner of my all-time most difficult read was Marcel Proust. In Search of Lost Time very soon lived up to its name. ;)
     
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  7. Placida

    Placida Owns a Ring of Power

    My most difficult book was "Moby Dick" and I eventually resorted to audiobook to get through it. I could zone out during some of the detailed narratives on whale blubber.

    Which makes me question myself whenever I am rating a book that I listened to instead of read. For one, I can't fall asleep while listening to a book, mainly because I'm driving, so that's unfair. And, as per Moby Dick, it's easier to listen to overly descriptive paragraphs than to read them. I might audiobook Ulysses.
     
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