Terry Goodkind is (still) a Jackass

I also love Brooks' Word and Void books, Duoae, and feel the same as you about the latest. It could be awesome (when the big reveal occurred halfway through Armageddon's Children I almost fell out of my chair, metaphorically), but will take some careful doing. I think, though, that this trilogy linking the Word and Void with the Shannara books is something that's been in the works since at least the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara arc, and I really have some thoughts about how this linking could make the Shannara books that much more poignant in retrospect.

I've started on Tad Williams's "Shadowmarch" this week and I'm loving it; I really enjoyed "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn", his last fantasy series, and this new one is pretty good so far in the first book.

I made it all the way through Faith of the Fallen and I just can't take Goodkind anymore. It's not the size that bugs me - I made it all the way through Tad William's "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" series and didn't want to kill him by the end. I read them again when I want to wallow in a bit of darkness. Goodkind just really hates his characters. He supposedly lives somewhere around here and I'd like to find him and beat him senseless over what he does to those people. I couldn't bear to stand there and watch it anymore.

If you want to read an example of what Goodkind is trying to do only done properly, read "Tigana" by Guy Gavriel Kay. It's just one book, and it does the whole job. Don't read the rest of his stuff; this is where he managed to balance story, character, tone, and nihilism just about perfectly.

If you want to talk schlock-meisters, I read Eddings "Belgariad" et al. I have done it more than once. It's a decent piece of popcorn, but mostly because I would like to figure out how he managed to pass off five books worth of over-wrought drivel that hasn't been new since Elenaor of Aquitaine started commisioning bad poetry after the Battle of Hastings. Then he sold me the same story yet again in five more books. Then the same story twice more, told from the vantage points of two of the characters in two separate tomes. And then I bought his frickin' backstory notes. And I was actually not at gunpoint for the entire process. It wasn't just me; my kids each got caught in their own turn. If I can figure out how he did that and replicate it, I'll be a millionaire once I start writing fiction seriously. He did another good one-off I enjoy that distills all that mess into a good pile. It's called "The Redemption of Althalus". It uses a lot of the same themes and characters, but it doesn't sprawl all over the bookshelves. And I bought it, too. Sigh.

One I'm surprised hasn't been listed in the "it was cool when I was 14" list was the Xanth novels. I tried to re-read them once the kids found them and I couldn't make more than about halfway through the first one before I felt I'd had more than enough pun-nishment. I loved Aspirin, too, but those last few got awfully thin. The last one I read was the one with the vampiric cows.

I really liked Wizard's First Rule, and do agree it went downhill from there. Though, I thought his last book was on the uphill again - more focused on telling a story than making a ham-handed political statement, and focusing back on the more interesting main characters.

My only complaint about Martin is how long it takes him to finish books these days. I finally restarted the whole series so I could refresh myself enough to read the last couple.

Just started an interesting book by Jennifer Roberson called Karavans. She has some older books I've enjoyed - the Sword Dancer series (the novels of Tiger and Del), which was fairly formulaic and not overly original, but a fun first series; and the Cheysuli series, which had an interesting twist on shape-shifters. the nice thing about both of these series is that they've been reprinted in omnibus form, so you can get a couple of books at a time. Her characterization is decent - not the best ever, but enough to keep you interested.

This new book, Karavans, seems pretty original and interesting from the first few chapters. Lots of magic for those that like it.

One of my favorite fantasy authors, from a pure beautiful prose point of view, is Guy Gavriel Kay. Great characterizations, though many of his books are stand alone, so you often are left wanting to follow the characters more. The first few books (Tigana, and The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy) are more "fantasy", in that they have more magic and what not. The others after that often don't have, or have minimal magic in them, just as a forewarning. He tends to base all of his books (especially after those first few mentioned above) on an "alternate universe" version of our world in different areas and times, which makes for some interesting reads.

momgamer wrote:

He did another good one-off I enjoy that distills all that mess into a good pile. It's called "The Redemption of Althalus". It uses a lot of the same themes and characters, but it doesn't sprawl all over the bookshelves. And I bought it, too. Sigh.

Yeah, i read through the Belgariad and Mallorean a couple of times each. I didn't mind Althalus, but it only confirmed for me that David/Leigh Eddings writing style has become stale - along with the Elder/Younger Gods series - which i only barely started without finishing. My main problem with them is that they have a very simplified version of love that permeates every single character arc and plot progression - more so in Althalus. The other problem i have is that he recycles all the characters that he came up with in the Belgariad. Not that i don't like and read his books - like you said.... it's as if he's come up with the formula for book crack. Once you're hooked you're going to have a hell of a time getting off it!

My favourite Eddings were the two sparhawk series: The Elenium and Tamuli, more so the first. There was just something about the age i read them at and the grittyness that's missing in the rest of the books.

Has anyone read Monument by Ian Graham? It's a bit of a strange book and quite dreary in a decent way. Or perhaps Stan Nicholls' Orcs? Still need to finish that one

Duoae wrote:

Has anyone read Monument by Ian Graham? It's a bit of a strange book and quite dreary in a decent way. Or perhaps Stan Nicholls' Orcs? Still need to finish that one

Nothing like an violent, cowardly, alcoholic, mean-spirited homeless man as your main character to create the "feel good" fantasy of the year.

I'd never heard of the Orcs series before, but the Amazon listing sounds interesting. Is it any good?

Farscry wrote:

I've started on Tad Williams's "Shadowmarch" this week and I'm loving it; I really enjoyed "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn", his last fantasy series, and this new one is pretty good so far in the first book. :)

Man, I haven't thought about that in forever. I was active in the Shadowmarch community back when it was Tad's big attempt at an online serial novel. Of course, it didn't turn out to be all that lucrative for him and some publisher wanted a shot at it so it came out as a conventional novel anyway. I never did get around to picking it up, but I imagine my name is in there somewhere with all the rest of the shadowmarch.com crew.

I hate you all. I love goodkind's work. I'm such goodkind fanboy.

KillerTomato wrote:

I'd never heard of the Orcs series before, but the Amazon listing sounds interesting. Is it any good?

It's a decent read so far - i'm about 2/3 through the first book (but since you can buy all three in one binding for as much as a normal book you may as well do that). I only stopped because i hit a literary wall. Sometimes you can read too much.

[edit]

It's along the lines of The Elenium in content and style of writing. Another anti-hero kind of book that blurs the lines of what's considered good and bad.

Mordiceius wrote:

I hate you all. I love goodkind's work. I'm such goodkind fanboy.

Furthur proof that no matter how bad something is, someone, somewhere, loves the crap out of it.

Tim Power's The Anubis Gates was the first fantasy book I've been able to read in a decade. It was also one of the best I've ever read.

Mordiceius wrote:

I hate you all. I love goodkind's work. I'm such goodkind fanboy.

I'd give his books a shot if he wasn't such a condescending jackass. But he is, and there's plenty of other books and authors out there, so I have no need to ever touch his stuff.

I read the first, and I got about 100 pages into the second. Just seriously not my type of book. I'm mostly a horror or sci-fi kind of person. I do like the Ringworld series though.

Though, works aside, as a person, I have to agree that Goodkind's asshattery is far above the normal level. He needs a statue in his honor. (The Narcissus awards!)

A good friend of mine once said: "Don't show me a werewolf and call it a f*cking romance movie."

Also, a quote from another friend, Stephen Graham Jones: "Elmore Leonard's a great writer the same reason Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is: they don't lie to themselves about what they're doing, and never indulge themselves at the expense of the story. it's a small class of writers that can - though probably wouldn't - claim that."

Hmm, never saw this original thread, and I'm much too lazy to read more than this last page. I will say that I dropped this series about, um, after five books? It got hopelessly tedious. It's a rant about the evils of socialism with a thin veneer. Feels kinda Ayn Randish too; superheroic protagonist that never makes mistakes, not EVER; if he looks like he's making a mistake, that's just a plot device.

There is some good stuff in the first book or two, I did enjoy those, but it's a soapbox now, not a story.

I think of it internally as "Horatio Alger buckles some swashes", even though it has nothing to do with piracy at all.

I tried reading Wizard's First Rule because a roomate kept on raving about it (but, then again, he also raved about Magic: The Gathering books ), but had trouble getting into it.

I have read some of the George R R Martin stuff and enjoyed it a good deal.

The last fantasy series I tried to read was the first book in the Deathgate series, which was chock-full of silly childish names and a none too compelling plot.

Thread Necromancy Powers GO!

Now that Legend of the Seeker is airing, a lot more people are expressing interest in Goodkind's books. This is unfortunate, since this means Goodkind will get more money. And some writers deserve to starve. Goodkind is amongst those authors.

I got about ten pages into Wizard's First Rule before I realized Goodkind was an idiot and that I wasn't going to be able to finish his book. So I just started skipping through it, reading random bits and pieces. The only good thing I can say about this book is that it has re-inspired me to write my own fantasy novel. If this Jackass can get published then so can I.

It's basically bad, unimaginative half-rate fantasy garbage with a heavy handed application of Objectivism, one of the most obviously idiotic and wrong philosophies out there.

The Wizard's First Rule, that "People are stupid," is the sort of asinine thing that self-absorbed arrogant nitwits believe applies to everyone but them. And Goodkind exemplifies this sort of arrogance combined with a frankly pathetic lack of self-awareness.

At one point Zed tells Richard that Richard and Darken Rahl are exactly the same, men of complete and utter conviction, the only difference being that Richard is 100% right and Rahl is 100% wrong. When I read this I actually laughed out loud. How f*cking stupid does an author have to be to assert something like that? And this guy deludes himself into believing he is writing philosophy?!?

But I think the worst part, and it blows me away that no one mentions this, was having a group of people living a tribal/early agarian lifestyle and basing all descriptions of their culture on description of African tribal groups, and then calling them Mud People.

Really? REALLY? Mud People is a term used by Christian Identity and Aryan Nation members to describe people of color.

Terry Goodkind isn't just a sh*tty writer, he's a crapsack of a human being, and he deserves a swift kick in the balls.

UndeadDM wrote:

Really? REALLY? Mud People is a term used by Christian Identity and Aryan Nation members to describe people of color.

I didn't know that. That's actually a pretty funny term. If I was black I'd be laughing too hard to be offended
I'll ask the black guys I work with if they've heard it before.

Running Man wrote:
UndeadDM wrote:

Really? REALLY? Mud People is a term used by Christian Identity and Aryan Nation members to describe people of color.

I didn't know that. That's actually a pretty funny term. If I was black I'd be laughing too hard to be offended
I'll ask the black guys I work with if they've heard it before.

This won't end well...

Running Man wrote:
UndeadDM wrote:

Really? REALLY? Mud People is a term used by Christian Identity and Aryan Nation members to describe people of color.

I didn't know that. That's actually a pretty funny term. If I was black I'd be laughing too hard to be offended
I'll ask the black guys I work with if they've heard it before.

Oh, I wouldn't do that, were I you. It's a really, really offensive term. It's worse than the "n" word. When used, it implies a lack of humanity, as though races not Aryan are animals, and worth even less. It's truly, truly offensive.

Yikes. Ok I stand corrected. It'll go no further.

Ah, memories. This was the thread that I registered to GWJ to post in. (Literary discussion, on a gaming forum?! SOLD!)

Someone at work in Boise was big into Goodkind books. Funny thing was, he expressed a deep desire to kick him in the balls hard enough to send him into low earth orbit.

UndeadDM wrote:

Really? REALLY? Mud People is a term used by Christian Identity and Aryan Nation members to describe people of color.

Hm. Someone needs to go beat him with a large blunt object.

Also: Is it just me, or does this thread just REFUSE to die? I don't know if that's a statement about how much of an epic jackass Goodkind is, how much we love Female Doggoing about him and expressing unrealistic desires to crush vital bits on him in imaginative ways, or both.

Sometimes, a book is just a book, regardless of what the author says.

In other words, Terry Goodkind is the George Lucas of fantasy novels. Just ignore him and enjoy the books. Besides, Wizard's First Rule? It applies to EVERYONE. Including you. And me.

Just ignore him and enjoy the books.

The whole point, AnimeJ, is that you can't.

Malor wrote:
Just ignore him and enjoy the books.

The whole point, AnimeJ, is that you can't.

Why not? I've read the series twice now. Once without a clue, and once having read through this thread. The difference in the two readings? I cared less about the "philosophy" the second time through.

AnimeJ wrote:

Sometimes, a book is just a book, regardless of what the author says.

In other words, Terry Goodkind is the George Lucas of fantasy novels. Just ignore him and enjoy the books. Besides, Wizard's First Rule? It applies to EVERYONE. Including you. And me.

What exactly is there in the books too enjoy? The crappy writing? The obnoxiously stupid characters? The cliched fantasy elements? The utter lack of character development? The dunderheaded and ignorant philosophizing?

Reading Goodkind is like being trapped in an elevator with a mildly creative 16 year old on cocaine who has just discovered libertarianism, but has no understanding of his own ideas let alone ANYONE else's ideas, simultaneously describing the plot to Star Wars while lecturing you about how stupid everyone else in the world is, and sharing with you Too Much Information about his rape and bondage fantasies. And at the same time, you're bound and gagged so you can't ever contradict any of the bullsh*t he's spewing.

It's not enjoyable, it's infuriating.

As for the Wizard's First Rule applying to everyone: Yes, you're right. Most importantly, it applies to Terry Goodkind but he doesn't get that. That's why he can say such incredibly asinine things as comparing his books to fillet mingon or claiming he's the first to address philosophical issues in his writings.

Quick history lesson: H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Howard, generally regarded as the forefathers of modern fantasy, wrote deeply philosophical works. People tend to forget that because they're stories were so damn entertaining. But read Howard's Almuric, and you'll see the full development of his discourse on the effects of civilization on the natural man, a philosophy of rustic naturalism that runs through all of the Conan and Kull material, and underlies almost all of his work. Don't even get me started on how freaking DEEP Howard Phillip Lovecraft was.

I think a pretty solid argument can be made that Objectivism is a prime example of the sort of idiocy that people believe because they want it to be true -- Objectivism is not taken seriously in any academic philosophical settings, is partially responsible for our current economic crises (ask Greenspan, an objectivist who has recently renounced objectivism as being base don fundamentally flawed premises), and Ayn Rand is a widely ridiculed figure. Her followers are mostly complete dopes, like the morons who are currently promoting the "refuse to work" idea. There is a reason the term "Randroid" was coined, and Terry Goodkind is a perfect example of a Randroid.

The problem with Goodkind's books, the reason I cannot enjoy them at all, is because the entire book is filled with these "I'm so clever, I have it all worked out." passages where Zed explains how the world works, and every single time Zed says something wise, it's moronic drivel that anyone with a decent education should be able to see right through. That his books are popular, that people claim to enjoy them, only tells me that Americans are even dumber or less discerning than I tend to give them credit for.

Seriously, anyone who can finish a book where the bad guy in a MEDIEVAL setting gets away with BANNING FIRE is probably a dope. If that sort of nonsensical plot contrivance doesn't make you throw a book across a room, then your literary tastes are HIGHLY suspect. I'm sure you'd enjoy the Left Behind series and Battlefield Earth as well.

And I'm sure this will insult at least one person greatly, but if Terry Goodkind's writing makes you think, and you find yourself agreeing with his point of view, then you sir are a Grade A Moron, and I pray to god you don't vote.

I read the series. I did not take it too seriously. I enjoyed it in the same way I enjoy a summer popcorn flick at the movies like Transformers. So you are saying I am a moron, right?

Is anyone that finds something entertaining that you do not a moron to you?

Grow up. IMAGE(http://i.somethingawful.com/forumsystem/emoticons/emot-colbert.gif)

UndeadDM wrote:

if Terry Goodkind's writing makes you think, and you find yourself agreeing with his point of view, then you sir are a Grade A Moron.

Mordiceius wrote:

I read the series. I did not take it too seriously. I enjoyed it in the same way I enjoy a summer popcorn flick at the movies like Transformers. So you are saying I am a moron, right?

Is anyone that finds something entertaining that you do not a moron to you?

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Never mind. I don't need to get involved in this one.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

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Never mind. I don't need to get involved in this one. :)

Also note:

UndeadDM wrote:

Seriously, anyone who can finish a book where the bad guy in a MEDIEVAL setting gets away with BANNING FIRE is probably a dope. If that sort of nonsensical plot contrivance doesn't make you throw a book across a room, then your literary tastes are HIGHLY suspect.

UndeadDM wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

Sometimes, a book is just a book, regardless of what the author says.

In other words, Terry Goodkind is the George Lucas of fantasy novels. Just ignore him and enjoy the books. Besides, Wizard's First Rule? It applies to EVERYONE. Including you. And me.

lots of holier than thou stuff

IMAGE(http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k10/CityInTheClouds/Los%20Havros/why-so-serious.png)

Yellek wrote:
UndeadDM wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

Sometimes, a book is just a book, regardless of what the author says.

In other words, Terry Goodkind is the George Lucas of fantasy novels. Just ignore him and enjoy the books. Besides, Wizard's First Rule? It applies to EVERYONE. Including you. And me.

lots of holier than thou stuff

IMAGE(http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k10/CityInTheClouds/Los%20Havros/why-so-serious.png)

This is much better than what I wanted to say. Hats off, Yellek