The NEW BFB Members Rankings List

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
Those reviewer's who call it pretentious are wrong. It took the author something like ten years to write it and all the work and research she put into really shows in the in-depth details on fairy lore and the Napoleonic wars.



Sure it's slow but it's by no means a difficult book. The characters also become more likable as the book goes on and at 150 pages, well that's a bit too early to tell.
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)
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
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)
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.
 

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
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.
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. ;)
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
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. ;)
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.
 

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
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.
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.
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
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.
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. ;)
 

Placida

Owns a Ring of Power
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.
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.
 

ABatch

Ran bridges next to Kaladin
So here they are, the series that have currently been ranked by 44 board members so far (Status: 9 May, 2015).

"Ranked" means that each of these series received at least 3 ratings from board members - those are numerical rating ranging from 1 (very bad) to 10 (very good).

I seem to have some issue to upload the images, so the new rankings are only available in text form (To see more details, download the ranking sheet for all the information!):

1
1: Stormlight Archive, Brandon Sanderson : 9.05
2: A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin : 8.63
3: Kingkiller Chronicles, Patrick Rothfuss : 8.42
4: Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien : 8.25
5: Liveship Traders, Robin Hobb : 8.22
6: Dresden Files, Jim Butcher : 8.18
7: The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien : 8.07
8: Gentleman Bastard Sequence, Scott Lynch : 8.05
9: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Steven Erikson : 8.00
10: Dracula, Bram Stoker : 7.99
11: Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson : 7.96
12: Good Omens, Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman : 7.91
13: Immortal Treacheries, Allan Batchelder : 7.90
14: The Stand, Stephen King : 7.89
15: Raven's Shadow, Anthony Ryan : 7.89
16: Lightbringer Series, Brent Weeks : 7.85
17: Long Price Quartet, Daniel Abraham : 7.83
18: First Law World / The Heroes, Joe Abercrombie : 7.81
19: First Law Trilogy, Joe Abercrombie : 7.81
20: Dagger and the Coin, Daniel Abraham : 7.81
21: Malazan Empire, Ian Esslemont : 7.77
22: Chronicles of the Black Company, Glen Cook : 7.75
23: Tales of Dunk and Egg , George R. R. Martin : 7.75
24: Conan, Robert E. Howard : 7.72
25: Tawny Man Trilogy, Robin Hobb : 7.63
26: Farseer Trilogy, Robin Hobb : 7.63
27: The Dark Tower, Stephen King : 7.55
28: Riyria Revelations, Michael J. Sullivan : 7.45
29: Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson : 7.45
30: Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan : 7.44
31: Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne, Brian Staveley : 7.43
32: Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling : 7.41
33: Bas-Lag, New Crobuzon, China Mieville : 7.41
34: Bartimaeus series, Jonathan Stroud : 7.38
35: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, Tad Williams : 7.37
36: Shadow Campaigns, Django Wexler : 7.35
37: Master and Magarita, Michael Bulgakov : 7.32
38: Dune Chronicles, Frank Herbert : 7.25
39: Drenai Series, David Gemmell : 7.22
40: Fevre Dream, George R. R. Martin : 7.17
41: Tales of the Kin, Douglas Hulick : 7.16
42: Mistborn: Alloy of Law, Brandon Sanderson : 7.14
43: Acts of Caine, Matthew Stover : 7.14
44: Codex Alera, Jim Butcher : 7.13
45: Magicians trilogy, Lev Grossmann : 7.12
46: Tigana, Guy Kavriel Kay : 7.11
47: Discworld, Terry Pratchett : 7.04
48: Elantris, Brandon Sanderson : 7.03
49: Chalion Series, Lois McMaster Bujold : 7.00
50: Broken Empire, Mark Lawrence : 6.98
51: Princess Bride, William Goldman : 6.98
52: I am Legend, Richard Matheson : 6.98
53: American Gods, Neil Gaiman : 6.98
54: Reckoners Series, Brandon Sanderson : 6.85
55: Salem's Lot, Stephen King : 6.84
56: Silmarillion, J. R. R. Tolkien : 6.84
57: The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis : 6.82
58: Swans' War Trilogy, Sean Russell : 6.81
59: War of the Flowers, Tad Williams : 6.76
60: Elric Saga, Michael Moorcock : 6.75
61: Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman : 6.74
62: Lyonnese, Jack Vance : 6.73
63: Night Angel, Brent Weeks : 6.72
64: Night Watch Series, Sergeij Lukyanenko : 6.72
65: Tales of the Ketty Jay, Chris Wooding : 6.70
66: Earthsea Quartet, Ursula Le Guin : 6.68
67: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Kevin Hearne : 6.67
68: Shattered Seas Trilogy, Joe Abercrombie : 6.65
69: Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern : 6.63
70: Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman : 6.61
71: First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Stephan Donaldson : 6.59
72: Cthulhu mythos, H.P. Lovecraft : 6.50
73: Zothique, Clark Ashton Smith : 6.50
74: City & the City, China Mieville : 6.50
75: Kingdom of Thorn and Bone, Greg Keyes : 6.50
76: Powder Mage Trilogy, Brian McClennan : 6.42
77: Troy Trilogy, David Gemmell : 6.41
78: The Witcher, Andrzej Sapkowski : 6.37
79: Warbreaker, Brandon Sanderson : 6.37
80: Macht Trilogy, Paul Kearney : 6.35
81: Chathrand Voyages, Robert V. S. Reddick : 6.29
82: Anubis Gates, Tim Powers : 6.29
83: The Dying Earth, Jack Vance : 6.28
84: The Divine Cities, Robert Jackson Bennett : 6.25
85: Sword of Shadows, J. V. Jones : 6.23
86: Emperor's Soul, Brandon Sanderson : 6.23
87: Prince of Nothing, R. Scott Bakker : 6.19
88: His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman : 6.18
89: Chronicles of Amber, Roger Zelazny : 6.18
90: Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake : 6.17
91: Bloodsounders Arc, Jeff Salyards : 6.13
92: Monarchy of Gods, Paul Kearney : 6.13
93: Shadowmarch Trilogy, Tad Williams : 6.13
94: Aspect Emperor, R. Scott Bakker : 6.05
95: Empire Trilogy, Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts : 6.00
96: Lions of Al-Rassan, Guy Kavriel Kay : 6.00
97: The Folding Knife, K. J. Parker : 6.00
98: Knights of Dark Renown, David Gemmell : 5.98
99: Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman : 5.97
100: Coldfire Trilogy, C. S. Friedman : 5.96
101: Demon Cycle, Peter V. Brett : 5.95
102: Alex Verus series, Benedict Jacka : 5.94
103: A Man of His Word, Dave Duncan : 5.93
104: Stardust, Neil Gaiman : 5.91
105: Grim Company, Luke Scull : 5.88
106: Mythago Wood Cycle, Robert Holdstack : 5.88
107: Rain Wild Chronicles, Robin Hobb : 5.88
108: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke : 5.87
109: Eyes of the Dragon, Stephen King : 5.86
110: Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman : 5.79
111: The Talisman, Stephen King : 5.78
112: Riftwar Saga, Raymond E Feist : 5.77
113: Coraline, Neil Gaiman : 5.70
114: Acacia Trilogy, David Anthony Durham : 5.70
115: The Fitz and The Fool, Robin Hobb : 5.57
116: Death Gate Cycle, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman : 5.49
117: The Belgariad, David Eddings : 5.48
118: Under Heaven, Guy Kavriel Kay : 5.47
119: Legion Series, Brandon Sanderson : 5.47
120: Crown of Stars, Kate Elliot : 5.43
121: Neverending Story, Michael Ende : 5.39
122: Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser, Fritz Leiber : 5.35
123: Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins : 5.33
124: The Runelords, David Farland : 5.26
125: Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, Stephen Erikson : 5.25
126: Inheritance Trilogy, NK Jemisin : 5.24
127: The Cinder Spires, Jim Butcher : 5.16
128: The Fionavar Tapestry, Guy Kavriel Kay : 5.15
129: Dark Elf Trilogy, R.A. Salvatore : 5.07
130: A Song for Arbonne, Guy Kavriel Kay : 5.05
131: Sarantine Mosaic, Guy Kavriel Kay : 5.05
132: Artemis Fowl Series, Eoin Colfer : 5.00
133: Braided Path, Chris Wooding : 4.95
134: Talion: Revenant, Michael A. Stackpole : 4.95
135: Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe : 4.88
136: Deverry Cycle, Katherine Kerr : 4.88
137: Imajica, Clive Barker : 4.88
138: River of Stars , Guy Kavriel Kay : 4.88
139: Soldier Son Trilogy, Robin Hobb : 4.88
140: Twilight Reign Series, Tom Lloyd : 4.88
141: Echoes of the Empire Trilogy, Mark T Barnes : 4.75
142: Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman : 4.75
143: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll : 4.75
144: Godless World Trilogy, Brian Ruckley : 4.38
145: Abhorsen Trilogy, Garth Nix : 4.33
146: Dandelion Dynasty, Ken Liu : 4.25
147: Psalms of Isaak, Ken Scholes : 4.25
148: Riyria Chronicles, Michael J. Sullivan : 4.25
149: The Mallorean, David Eddings : 4.25
150: The Elenium, David Eddings : 4.23
151: Avalon Series, Marion Zimmer Bradley : 3.92
152: Xanth, Piers Anthony : 3.86
153: Original Shannara Trilogy, Terry Brooks : 3.84
154: Dragonlance - War of Souls Trilogy, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman : 3.69
155: Sword of Truth, Terry Goodkind : 3.34
156: Demonwars Saga, R.A. Salvatore : 3.13
157: Twilight Series, Stephanie Myers : 3.07
158: Wizard Knight, Gene Wolfe : 2.63
159: Inheritance Cycle, Christopher Paolini : 2.62
Woo-hoo! Lucky 13!