Terry Goodkind

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Rane Longfox

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evilchicken.jpg


*slaps own wrist*
 

nightsavior

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Ashe from evil dead versus Chicken!

Ashe: This mud village isn't big enough for the two of us friend (perks eyebrow) I feel like chicken tonight! (cocks shot gun)

Chicken: Bawk! Bawk!

Mud people: This is going to get ugly fast. Well at least our roofs don't leak.

As I said Goodkind is a great writer. I'm not lying or going to bash him just to get kudos from those that dislike him. Then again many (Not All) of the Ayn Rand rabble Objectivist sot fans are a sour elitist lot.
 
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Prefx

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I bought the first book in his Wizards series and couldn't stomach it. The plot and writing just didn't keep up with my interest.
 

jenna

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I'm just slow to judge any author based on the actions of his fans. True some of Terry's direct quotes may seem arrogant but having never met him it is hard to say "Man Good-kind you sure are a prick!" I do know he has had some hard physical problems lately which could contribute to him feeling impatient or overwhelmed. The man is human afterall. Still he is in good health now.

I have, unfortunately, met him. He is exactly as arrogant in person as he comes across in his interviews.
 

the_faery_queen

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i don't think goodkind is a good writer. i snored all the way through it. to me a good writer has a good plot, good style, good characters (good!) and he had none of that, for me

sweet chicken! :)
i didn't like richard or kahlan. their pathetic whining for each other aside (how can you admire characters so boring and self absorbed that all they think about is each other and how much they miss each other for most of a book) the way richard kicked that girl's teeth in for insulting kahlan really annoyed me. more so when i was told she was actually a child (that detail missed me) and to hear he kills innocent protestors cos they're in the way, and that's meant to be a good thing? how can anyone look up to them? he's no hero. he's not noble or good, he's selfish and driven by his own desires. and her, well she's not human. she whines abotu richard and is So weak and then when she's threatened, she ignores it as nothing. that's not normal behaviour!
 

nightsavior

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I'm sorry in your eyes the man failed Jenna. However I must accept that as your view of him not necessarilly mine. I will gladly admit that since being in "slam fests" with objectivists it has made the series less appealing for me. It's hard to stand behind books that are "sweet propaganda" for a cause I cannot at present comprehend as "noble".

I've met maybe 3 good objectivists that wern't contracending or outright mean but the rest had an "emperror on laurels" mentality I couldn't stomach.

As for their actions...

1. Violet was a mean brat. She said if her men got ahold of Kahlan she'd let them rape her and have their way with her then she'd shave kahlan bald. You also see Violet's cruelty towards Rachel and she takes glee in watching people being excuted with a marry "Off with their heads!" just like her mom. Granted she is a child...but does being a child give someone the justification to be a tyrant? I might have kicked her teeth in too.

2. Kahlan did whine alot. There were things I loved about her but she was very narrow minded and a bit dramatic for my taste. I believe her position made her naive to the world and seeing its ugliness might have driven her mad a bit. When she was threatening "suicide" for Richard's best interest I could have slapped her. But it is an extreme objectivist view if someone cannot be valuable to a cause that person is obligated to take their own life.
I like mistress Denna alot more then Kahlan but alas she's killed off (though exists later in spirit form).

3. Richard can be selfish. But alas so can we all. At the beginning he had no reason to help Kahlan but he did. Everything else is questionable. For example he gets Scarlet's dragon egg but only so she'll fly him around to find his friends. He does good things for the Mud people yet it was so their ancestors would give him information about the boxes of Orden. I did not see these subtle things at first but I do now. One could argue his "cause" was noble to stop Darken Rahl but that does not change the fact he helped everyone to get something in turn not just because it was the right thing to do. Once again more objectivist propaganda.

4. Giller the wizard was nice to Rachel. I think part of it was because he liked the fact she was a sweet girl but the other motive was he wanted her to hide the last box of orden. Would he have been "as nice" to her if he was unable to use her? I don't know but thinking about it bothers me.

5. Shota was alot like Rand. She argues everything Richard did charitable or otherwise was selfish and in his best interest. She further argued that was how it should be. Honestly I wish I never learned about Objectivism . At least in my ignorance I could enjoy the books without these parallels.


Lastly I hear Wizard's first rule was more a labor of love for Goodkind instead of a tool to champion Objectivism. Many say later his books get even more preachy . Naked empire for example is derived from an objectivist rant that "The emperror is naked!". Don't ask me what that means exactly. lol.

I still may try finishing the books. In my mind they were a nice diversion though not the best yarn I've ever read.
 
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the_faery_queen

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im sorry, but she's a CHILD. children say stupid things. you don't kick in the teeth of a child, who doesn't really understand what rape is (and i only remember her saying she would cut kahlan's hair) you just don't do it. and if you DO do it, you should feel bad about it. he didn't! and kahlan is threatened with rape. she's totally indifferent. even after what happened to her sister, she's in different. she doesn't feel bad for her, she takes the throne and nothing more is said about it. these aren't realistic people. they're actions. just characters that do trhings. they're not actually people.


we can all be selfish, yes. but rarely are people this selfish and self asborbed and if we are, well, we often don't have friends. i like to read about people who are nroaml. i mean, look at martin's song of ice and fire. nearly EVERYONE in that book who isn't dead, is selfish, is after themselves. i don't hate them. i don't hate reading abotu them. i love it! because they're human. they're good and bad. goodkind's characters are put forward as being TOTALLY good and noble, and yet, they're selfish and self absorbed and whiney. and his bad guys, well totally evil, to a ridiculous level. there's nothing realistic about any of them, nothing good and human and interesting, and if they're not realistic, or interesting, why read abotu them? none of them have a good side. none of them do anything for the sake of doing something becase it's right, yet they're continually forced on us as the great heros against a lot of evil people. it's such a shallow world of good verses evil and in that sort of world you need heros that at least have SOME good in them. these don't

i read four of his books. they weren't preachy, but i was turned off by the high level of needless and very graphic violence towards women. and the characters just didn't get any more appealing. i just think goodkind is a very bad writer. he hasn't created vivid characters with human traits we can relate to. he's created shallow composites for good and evil, who do what they do because they have to, not because they want to, not because they care, but because they need something else from what they're doing. neither side has anything i can relate to, or that inspires me. they're just awful!
 

nightsavior

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The problem was Violet was a child in power. Her evil values would just be spread after she took the place of her mother. She could have hurt Kahlan as she said because her mother most likely would have given her permission to. That made her a very dangerous threat. I would have felt differently if Violet didn't have the power to be evil. If she was a normal girl that said something like that I would have just given her a spanking or screamed "That's it missy go to your room no dinner for you until you apologize to our guests!" Then again if violet had good parents she never would have said it anyway. Alternativelly Richard could have devised a way to kill the mother instead and simply undo all the sycophantic brain washing in Violet's head until she was a nice little girl. But for one the poor man was being tortured by a Mord sith and two he didn't exactly have his marbles at the time. I may not like Objectivism but face it heroes don't always act perfect. If they do act perfect it's hard for me to relate to them.

There are children in ghettos that carry heat. I've seen a little boy with a real glok in the park near my old apartment. My first reactionary thought was "What the frak?!" Now if that little boy shoots out my knee cap and presumes to pee on me to impress his friends is it ok "just because" he is a young boy? There is a loop hole in that belief that children are always innocent and exempt from punishment.

By the way if Goodkind's writing was so awful why read 4 of the man's books? At the time did you have nothing else good to compare them to? I'm not being patronizing but if I dislike something or a series I usaully can't get past the first few pages. lol.

You're right there was alot of violence towards women. In a way it made the world more realistic but at times I really wish Goodkind toned it down. I can see how he could have gotten the same points across without all the gore and random rape romping.

I too wish at least some of his heroes seemed more down the earth or did something nice or heroic just because it is the right thing not because they needed something. For example if I helped Scarlet get her egg it would be on the premise dragons are rare and beautiful not because I wanted a ride. I would have helped the Mud people with their roofs for giving me food and sheltar and because they are friendly not because I needed them to risk their lives and call down their ancestors to get information. I hate it when even the "good guys" always have ulterior selfish motives. Sometimes anyone is selfish but all the time? That's over shooting things alot and making selfishness into a golden virtue when it's not.
 
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the_faery_queen

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i read them because at the end of them they got interesting. not well written, not good characters, but interesting enough for me to go woo, and finish it. then i'd get the next one and be bored most of the way through, until another little thing made me go woo and i'd enjoy it. there was maybe 100 pages in each of the 4 books that i found interesting, towards the end. but in the end, it wasn't enough. i didn't like the tacked on plots, the, we need this, and then the next book was all about that thing, when there was never a mention of it ever before. (no running plot threads basically) and the whining of kahlan and the worshipping of her by richard was making me ill. but ultimately it was the rape and misogny that did it. personally, i don't believe that the rape does make it realistic. rape is a power thing. men rape women for power over them. but goodkind's rapists were only raping 'bad girl's (other than kahlan's sister) it seemed more like a punishment for women who didn't behave themselves than anything else. and it wasn't just the rape, there were so many other scenes where women were humilated and hurt, through sex, that were so unneccessary. not to mention the leather wearing, lesbian mord sith. it just read like one man's perverse fetishes, where 'bad' girls are raped or humilated in sex, and everyone else is either a nice virgin or a lesbian who wears leather!

and again, i don't think kicking a child's teeth in is ever a good thing to do! she was a CHILD. she may have gornw up differently. not all kids stay the same and not all kids go the way of their parents. they can be brats when young, and bad parenting doesn't help but some grow out of it. you can't condem a child like that. i dont' believe kids are innocents. i hate the way that they're protected in law and adults aren't (everyone should have their name hidden until found guilty) but i do think that allowances have to be made for the fact that their emotions and sensibilities and awarenesses aren't neccessarily full developed. and even if they are, isn't it more heroic for a man to take the crap from someone and kill the mother, than kick in a child's teeth. and yes, he didn't have his marbles, perhaps, but he never once regretted it when he found them did he? i NEVER saw any regret in richard. i never saw ANY sense of thinking back from anyone. kahlan is threanted with rape. richard was raped (apparantly. i dont' remember that) kahlan's sister certainly was, but kahlan shows no fear of rape, doesn't ever think abotu the threats. Richard doesn't seem to be affected by what happened tohim either. when his ex gf dies, he seems indifferent. they're so cold and self absorbed that they just dismiss everything that they do and everything that happens to them as not important because they're just too full of themselves to acknolwedge that anything bad ever occured to them. they seem to live in a bubble world where bad things never happen, even when they do!

the books are just ridiculous really. characters are unrealistic. plots are contrived and seemed tacked on and the writing style is medicore. i read them because i had nothing else and for that short bit, towards the end, where i wanted to know what happened next, but i never really cared about anyone. there isn't a single character i liked, and that's pretty bad!
 

nightsavior

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You seem to be dodging the fact Violet was in power. Most little girls can't do horrible things. Violet could and did. If I'm evil does my age determine whether I get away with it or not? Kicking her teeth in? Pretty harsh but many of us would explode the minute someone threatened a loved one and had the leverage to do it.

I've had insensitive girls say cruel things to me in High school and college. I never really entertained hurting them just for spite. Then again those girls had no power to order me executed or hurt someone I cared about. All they could do is talk and talking isn't a true threat to my well being.

It has been estabalished how you feel about the characters and the over rife sexaully violent content which I have already agreed holds merit in many ways. In fact I too don't like how the heroes always have an ulterior selfish motive for helping others . I wish there would have been more scenes in which they did something nice just because they wanted to instead of saving the day just to get item A to solve problem B.
 

nightsavior

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Yeah, if I would have kicked a child's teeth in my first thought afterwards would have been "She was a brat sure...but ...I got a sick feeling in my stomach all the same." In Richard's place I would have strangled Milena the mother. Motivation is simple. Milena made Violet the way she was. Then Violet and I would have had a talk. I would have berated her for being a spoiled pompous twit. I would have punished her for bad behavior when she exhibited it. And I would reward her for caring good behavior. Over time most likely she could have been reformed. But that's the problem Richard has a one track mind. My argument before hand was he was tortured. I really don;t know how "I" would have reacted towards Violet in his place but I do think even bordering on insanity I'd have far more contempt for the mother. Thus Faery you had a good argument.

Another scene I did not like was with Denna. Rahl's condition for Richard leaving was he had to kill Denna. We come to know deep down Denna is a good person. Of course it says how Richard "forgives " her and the heart ache of having to kill her but he is a murderer. He could have perhaps formulated a plan for him to escape with Denna. But in the end he sacrificed someone else for his own interests. Denna wasn't even really guilty. She was ordered by Rahl to torture Richard. If she didn't Rahl would have killed her.
 

the_faery_queen

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i don't remember denna, to be honest. but i'd not be surprised if he killed someone for his own sake. he is that selfish and self absorbed! i just don't know how anyone can think he is a good hero. to me a hero isn't someone who does things for their own ends, but because it's the RIGHT thing to do. in other books it's ok to have men who are selifish and shallow and out of rhtemselves, as the hero, because those books are often not put forward in this same way, as good verses evil. george r martin, for instance. big war, everyone out for themselves. no real good or bad sidwes, ok some people are more 'bad' than others, but everyone is a meanie to some extent. but this is meant to be good verses the massive evil jalangalan who has women raped and enslaved and people killed all over for no reason, and the person to stand up against him, a selfuish, shallow idiot who only cares about himself. it's just not very inspiring. if i want to read a good verses bad epic, i want the good side to at least have SOME element of good in them! not to me selfish and shallow and only doing good because it suits themselves. i guess i like to see a little nobility, in my heros. they don't have to be ridiculously shallow shining prince charmings who never do anything wrong, that's boring, but i also don't want someone totally selfish either. if i think of heros that i like, waylander, for instance. he was an assassin, he was fairly selfish, in a fashion, a killer for hirer, but he helped out a priest, he helped out th women on the road, he became a hero. the same way that rek did in legend. a man who slept around and got drunk, a coward, and he became a hero. these people overcame their problems to do what was right for other people. they still had their bad sides, but they fought for what was right because it WAS right, it was something to admire and that made the books enjoyable.

i guess im old fashioned, when i read fantasy i want people that i can relate to and people that can inspire me. i dont' want a bunch of selfish people running around doing their own thing. goodkind has created a HORRIBLE world. everyone is out for themselves. and though that is also true of martin, there are some people in it who sacrifice for others, there are some noble people who die for what they believe in, that save it all from being totally horrible. i never saw that in goodkind's world. everyone was horrible, the world was all about pleasing yourself, and personally, i'd not bother trying to save a world like that!
 

hedgeknight

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Parents (in the real world) can do horrible things to their children. Our news is replete with instances of parents killing, torturing, abusing their children. As a parent, the thought of such things happening makes me naseous and I wish the worst upon those so-called mothers and fathers who take out their sadistic frustrations upon their children. I believe in an afterlife and I hope abusive parents rot in hell.
As a counselor, I've seen the effects that abuse and neglect has on children - it's horrible.

But as reader and lover of fantasy fiction, I am drawn to authors who are compelling writers that tug and tear at my emotions with their prose. I've read books that have infuriated me (Lord Foul's Bane) and I've read books that have broken my heart (The Elfstones of Shannara) and I've read books that have given me nightmares (Pet Semetary). And I loved them all, including Wizard's First Rule - yes, it was horrific and shocking in places, but in my opinion it made for good fantasy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we sometimes get on a "crusade" against an author or a book when in truth, the real world is so much worse.
Take the book(s) for what it is - a work of fiction, and read it...or not.
-g-
 

the_faery_queen

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i don't believe in that though. ok yes i know it's fiction, but i believe that what a writer writes reflects who he is, and yes the world is worse, but i don't really want my entertainment world sullied as well by ridiculously over the top bad guys and inhuman humans! bad things yes, but not so ridiculous and shallow as this is.

sides, i like to rant about them :)
 

nightsavior

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The paradox with Goodkind is he doesn't want us to read it as fantasy. Indeed "if" we read it as fantasy we can get enjoyment out of it. However he wants us to immediatly see the virtues of objectivism. Further if we happen to not interpret the books correctly or question the books he says we're ignorant and hate filled. If in his place I'd simply say "Kudos to those that buy my books as it allows me to keep going in this wonderful profession. As for those that don't like my style? I venture to say they're mostly good people that just like different kinds of literature. I cannot fault them for that."

There are ways of premoting oneself without coming off as contracending and arrogant. Goodkind may learn this down the road. I certainly hope he does. Though I know I'm biased for saying this a change in his direct moral character may be the only thing that can make me fond to the books again.

Then again after seeing how he deviously tried to make his audience believe being selfish is being good I proably won't.
 
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hedgeknight

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That's a good point and one that we would like all folks to have - if you like me, fine; if you don't, that's fine too.
What soured my taste to Goodkind's work was his growing passion for using his fiction to sermonize - he is anything BUT objective about certain social and moral issues and it comes out in his writing.
That's not what I want to read - and I agree with faery queen (with whom I've had several great conversations on this forum) in that most writers write from within themselves - certainly, Goodkind believes he is on some type of literary crusade and uses his novels as a soapbox for his beliefs. That's cool - just don't expect me (or you) to buy into it or to want to read it.
-g-
 

nightsavior

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Well hedge knight I even like when people disagree with me so long as they're civilized. Debating is pleasant it is arguing that is not. Like you I practically ate up Wizard's first rule. Yes it was cliche in many ways but it was a very good yarn of what I first perceived to be an epic struggle of good versus evil.

I loved the book so much in fact I went to the SOT official site. This of course lead me to radical Objectivists (a few o'ist on the forum are nice, not bashing everyone here.) and Terry's interviews and philosphy.

What is the saying? Oh yes! Ignorance is bliss! lol.
 

hedgeknight

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LOL!
I never visited his webpage, but I continued to read the series - finally "wised up" after book six or so. Sheesh. I just kept thinking things would get better but as we all know, they never did.
-g-
 

nightsavior

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Many say it is repetive book to book. Something seperates Richard and Kahlan, new threat that is symbolic of an anti - objectivist view such as the nasty wasty church folk, and somehow they find the one achilles heel to stop the crazed lunatics and reunite in a saturday morning cartoon happily ever after scenario. That is er, tell the next book.

I agree there are no greys in Terry's books. For example I loathe christain fundies too but then again there are good christains out there. It seems like he is demonizing anyone that believes differently from him and I just can't jive with that.
 

hedgeknight

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I hear you and I agree.
Maybe he is just sexually frustrated - you know, not getting enough or something like that. Probably has a secret porn collection or something.
After all, the religious right don't believe in having nasty sex, do they? :D
-g-
 
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