Books I Loathed discussion

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Loathed Titles > Covenant saga - hated then loved ( The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever)

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message 1: by Seth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:20PM) (new)

Seth At a trustworthy friend's urging, I started The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever 3 times before I made it past the rape scene.

I don't like rape scenes in general (who does?) but the idea of going another 1200 pages with an already-unlikeable protagonist who had just unrepentently comitted a rape was unconscionable.

Many months later, the same friend tried again and specifically said my concerns would be addressed. He really should have said at the beginning that the wrongness of his early actions, especially the rape, was the subject of the series as a whole. When I realized that I loved the series.

Actually, he could have said "Camus' The Stranger gets dropped in a fantasy world and never gets arrested; rape replaces murder; character development follows."


message 2: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:20PM) (new)

Rindis | 18 comments I got through the entire first book, and enjoyed the later parts of it where Covenant had started being a good approximation of a decent person.

Then I started the second book, discovered that he was back at square one, and put it down, unwilling to go through that all over again.

Your comments actually explain the appeal, and is something I haven't heard before.

Still don't think I'm willing to put myself through that kind of torture to get to the ending though.


message 3: by Cassiel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:31PM) (new)

Cassiel Tortured myself reading through the first set of books (apparently there is a second installment in the Chronicles god forbid).

It did tickle my fancy a bit that Donaldson managed to kill off every one of his appealing characters. At least he was consistant.

I managed to soldier through this depressing tale only because the writing is fairly good.

Not true of another of Donaldson's novels, a leaden work which I couldn't finish. Something about an alternate universe that lies behind mirrors in our world.


message 4: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:33PM) (new)

Rindis | 18 comments Mirror of her Dreams and A Man Rides Through .

I actually enjoyed those, I think there was a lot of... 'grey mood' overlaying everything that keeps it from being as enjoyable as they could be, but it is a well-done story of a person struggling to break out of her self-imposed isolation and self-reflection (pun intended... by Donaldson no doubt).

I think the difference for me was I could tell the main character wanted change, something that I wasn't getting from Covenant.


message 5: by Seth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:35PM) (new)

Seth I liked the Mirror books (Mordant's Need is the name of the series); they read like good first novels. It's easy to think of Covenant as fever-induced and Mordant's Need as his first "actually written" fantasy, although I don't know what he'd think of that view.

Covenant didn't want to change. In fact, he thought change was impossible for him. But whassername was in th opposite situation: whereas Covenant was convinced no one but he existed, whassername was trying to convince people that she was human and was willing to grow to do it. Made for a nice (and pretty different) character arc. Even the villains were interesting, since many of their actions were quite justifiable if you believed she was a simalucrum.

The book had some decent, if not spectacular, court intrigue. On the other hand, I loved the was magic worked in Mordant's Need. Extremely creative approach to magic and how it can be used.

these books are easy to dismiss as light and fluffy, but there is a little more meat on them than the first half of the first book indicates.


message 6: by Cassiel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

Cassiel Funny Seth! Fever induced for several, many hundred pages?! That was some illness. I hope that Donaldon's all better now after purging his system.


message 7: by Michael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

Michael I've always struggled with the problem of recommending this series to people. On the one hand, I am not the person who loathes the books. On the other hand, when you preface your suggestion with 'and something horrible happens early on, just keep going' ... you're forcing the reader to have an intractable opinion about the main character if not the whole series.

Like I said, I struggle with this, because I love the Covenant books. (I love them enough to avoid this discussion henceforth, actually.)


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