Why do you keep reading??

Discussion in 'David Eddings' started by Harleyquin, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Harleyquin

    Harleyquin Well-Known Member

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    From the dizzy heights of the Belgariad through to the abyss of the Dreamers we’ve doggedly stuck by Eddings.

    Nobody can argue (at least sensibly) that The Malloreonwas not a re-write of the Belgariad with some tweaks… that the Elenium was a not re-write of the Belgariad… Tamuli = Malloreon.

    Every character from the Belgariad was the same in every series after it – sure their names changed a little but their base characters where clearly evident, like Your reading the Eleninum and you KNOW Sephrenia is Polgara etc...

    You can see the end coming a mile away – you KNOW that in the next “instalment” of the series (such as the Malloreon) the plot will basically ignore the whole basic plot of the first series - the whole setting the universe correct forever – oh hang on it wasn’t “quite” done so lets do it again but THIS time its actually the last time – honest guv.

    So why oh why do we love him so? (Ok confession - I actually believe in my heart it was leihs stories but David put them into real englished and embelisehd the basic plot to it expanded into a book rather than short story)

    I totally adored the Belgariad – maybe because I was just in my early teens when I was reading it. Maybe for the first time I saw really good female characters (very rare tbh), maybe it was just a nice easy read where you didn’t have to engage brain too much but got lost in the beautiful language and the world mythology – actually what I think it was for me was the Begarath / Polgara bits – I was expecting the story to be typical where they would be antagonists – the goodie and the baddie – then u discover there a lot like a real father and daughter tend to be, bickering and squabbling, Pol always berating belgarath but underneath the bluster she loved every last grey wisker on him - and when Poledra appeared and basically put Pol in her place by dispelling certain long held views was just a laugh riot

    Don’t get me wrong I hated some things – I was very disappointed by Belgarath the sorcerer book – poor at best and was little more than a prelude to Polgara the sorceress, and do not get me even started on the Dreamers drivel...

    But despite the last flawed work I have to say I would always be excited like a schoolgirl when I discovered a new Eddings title on the shelves.

    So here I am wondering how others felt – we darn well know the books are little more than re-wries of each other.. that the characters are all the same with different labels, he breaks his own rules when it suits him and you can see the story coming from a million miles away – yet depite this still love reading and re-reading the Belgariad through to the Tumili (even athalus had some redemable qualities)

    Does anybody else find this conflict in themselves – the rational intellectual telling you they should be picked apart and the books thrown to a dusty corner but you set aside the rational part of your brain and become 12 again and just love the story and ignore the other stuff???
     
  2. Talysia

    Talysia Lady of Autumn

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    I'm the same. One of the first fantasy series I read was the Belgariad, and after that I read just about everything Eddings, even though they were extremely similar in characters, storyline and other bits and pieces. But I stilll enjoy reading them in spite of that. It's perfect for when you want to read something which you won't be surprised or shocked by, something that isn't too dark or brutal, or something that doesn't take too much brainpower to figure out. Well, that's the way I look at it, anyway.:)

    I know that there are better books out there, but I don't mind that. I keep reading them because they bring back good memories, and because I enjoy the stories, even if they are rehashes of each other.
     
  3. white_wanderer

    white_wanderer Auditor of Reality

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    The stories are easy to read, with a hidden depth to them. With each new read, it reveals a small plot point early on that you didn't notice the first time.
    The stories still keep me captivated, although I prefer some to others.
     
  4. Giovanna Clairval

    Giovanna Clairval Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean. I really do.

    Last month we were packing a lot of stuff, because we were about to move into a new flat (an unfinished, nightmarish business) when my daughter laid her hands on a stack of Eddings’ books.
    She’s always looking for good reads, so she asked me: ‘You have so many of these… You must love them. What are the stories about?’
    I went: ‘Er… hem… I don’t remember… But it’s nice (!)’.

    So I reflected on that and, before reading this thread, I came up with the following.

    I really enjoyed the Belgariad (the others… everything has been said here) for three reasons:

    1) the beginning, especially the very first sentence of book I. Check it out, if you don’t remember it: it’s perfect. Sorry, my copy is still unpacked, or I would have posted it here.

    2) The sharp, cheeky dialogues between Pol and Bel. It was original at the time, and I learned a lot from them.

    3) The language (neat, elegant).

    It’s more than can be said of many authors. Now, of course, there is the new generation of F and SF writers; our palates are jaded.


    Those are the very good reasons why I used to read Eddings. Today, to convince me to buy another of his novels, one of you guys should come up with a very good review. Then, the unabashed me who so much loved reading E. will shut up the intellectual me…
     
  5. The Ace

    The Ace Scottish Roman.

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    Don't blame me, I voted, "Yes."
    I still believe Eddings ran his career backwards. I've had a look at the Elenium and Tamuli, but was unimpressed. I've never really progressed beyond the excellent Belgariad and acceptable Malloreon.
     
  6. dustinzgirl

    dustinzgirl Mod of Awesome

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    Because nobody new has published better?

    And, as humans, we flock to the familiar, the categorical, its in our nature.

    :D
     
  7. Ryden

    Ryden Winter is Coming

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    Bah, I don't stick by him. I liked the books when I was 11 something and bought them all, but in time I realized how lame all his books are compared to Wheel of time or A Song of Ice and Fire. So I gave them all away to some kid my mum knows.
     
  8. Princess Ivy

    Princess Ivy Damsel in this dress

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    i love eddings first four (ok, two :D), and will re-read them like visiting well loved toys from my past. the stories are just as charming as they were when i first read them and i see no reason to strike them from my reading list.

    however, i won't re-read the later books, and haven't bothered to finsih elder gods - i already know how it goes.
     
  9. Zombie

    Zombie Well-Known Member

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    I agree totally with Princess Ivy.

    But I must add something .....

    Ulath.
     
  10. ghost8772

    ghost8772 Well-Known Member

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    yeah zombie, Ulath helped make the Elenium worthwhile, but he couldn't save the Tamuli. I read and reread the Belgariad, Mallorean, and Elenium, as well as belgarath, I like the writing style. But I won't read the Tamuli again. I've also skipped the elder god ones. Ryden, you sound bitter and condescending, try taking up Elric.
     
  11. Zombie

    Zombie Well-Known Member

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    Ghost, I read Tamuli just for Ulath. His best scenes are in that series. Like the leaping into the air thing. :)
     
  12. ghost8772

    ghost8772 Well-Known Member

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    whole point was that no matter how good ulath was, that entire story sucked... don't want to spoil things so not gonna go into detail.
     
  13. HappyHippo

    HappyHippo I'm so dizzy...

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    The Tamuli definitely didn't end properly. And Ulath had to have been written by a woman!

    I agree with Talysia, Eddings is a lovely, comforting, fluffy-duvet-and-hot-chocolate read. Perfect for days when my intellect and psyche can't handle a stressful book.

    And the first paragraph of Castle of Wizardry is the one I especially like.
     
  14. JagLover

    JagLover Well-Known Member

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    I really liked the Belgariad and the Mallorean and read them numerous times as a teenager.

    Later work was of a declining quality, with the same characters with different names. I stopped reading his new books after The Tamuli series since I found it not only repetitive of what had gone before but poorly written.

    By all accounts later books have been poorer still, so it was a good place to stop.

    At his best whilst his books were rather childish, and contained some of the most ludicrous battle descriptions in all of the fantasy genre, they were very entertaining full of great characters and sparkling dialogue.
     
  15. Talysia

    Talysia Lady of Autumn

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    Yes, sadly the latest series, The Elder Gods, was definitely not one of his best. I read them only because I'm the sort of person who rarely leaves a series unfinished, and partly because I'm an optimist. As it was, though...

    Still, welcome to the Chronicles, JagLover!:)
     
  16. JagLover

    JagLover Well-Known Member

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    Thank you :)
     
  17. YeOldeWolf

    YeOldeWolf Ye Olde Wolf

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    I read the Belgariad, the Malloreon, the Belgarath and Polgara books and the Rivan Codex. I enjoyed reading them all. I do not do plot analysis per se, just if I enjoy a book or do not enjoy it. I take what the author wrote and accept it as his or her work and try with all my might not to judge it by my own standards (the only way one can judge anything) because I would be judging using my opinion which is really only mine and certainly does not need to be forced on anyone else. I enjoyed Edding's writing style (Which was David and which was Leigh I have no idea and could care less so I will refer to both of them as "Eddings" in the collective sense) and found it very entertaining and quite humorous. I have read all of the books twice and will probably some day read them again. They are a pleasure to read and very relaxing after a long day. I must say that I tried to read some of their other series but I could never warm up to them. In that sense I would have to agree with Harleyquin, the same thing only different. Not that it's bad to do that; just that I couldn't finish the books. So I just put them down and didn't buy the rest of them. A simple solution. David and Leigh Eddings gave me a great time with those two sets of novels and I am thankful to them for that.
     
  18. white_wanderer

    white_wanderer Auditor of Reality

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    I find the books easy to read. I've read Tolkien, and the Ghormengast series by Mervyn Peake, as well as others who's writing style takes a lot to get in to, but I always seem to come back to Eddings.

    He writes in a style similar to Steinbeck - simple to read and easy to understand, but as you read it more, you tend to find things that you missed or overlooked the other times.
     
  19. madinno

    madinno New Member

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    Because they're good books. 'nuff said.
     
  20. Tribble

    Tribble Sci Fi/Fantasty Fan

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    Because I'm a romantic at heart, I guess ... and I like to read stories in which the characters have to go on a quest and do something exciting ... because otherwise they'd have to sit at home and grow potatoes or something ... and reading about potatoes growing ... to me isn't all that exciting :D
     
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