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Topic: Stephen R Donaldson -- actually good, or theoretically good?

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Subject: Stephen R Donaldson -- actually good, or theoretically good?
Date Posted: 6/24/2010 12:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,083
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So, I read the Thomas Covenant chronicles (and the Gap series) a long time ago (when I was still a teenager) and I found them hard to read and hard to get into. I read them mostly because I thought I "ought to" because they garnered so much critical acclaim.

I've been wondering if I read them again now, would my opinion change. (Sometimes I think those books might be like the New Yorker magazine... when I was a younger teenager I picked it up frequently because I thought that I should read it, but I just couldn't read any of the articles thru ... mostly because I lacked the perspective to really understand the history, social commentary, etc in the articles. Now it's one of my very favorite magazines to read, but of course, I have the perspective to understand and apreciate the articles now.)

So, anyway, what do you guys think? Is he a great author, or just one of those authors everyone says is great but no one actually reads because the books are too literary?

I will add here that I can appreciate a literary book but I like some entertainment to it, too. Else it just feels like too much work to read the darn thing ...

Date Posted: 6/24/2010 7:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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Never enjoyed his stuff, always thought he was vastly over-rated...

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
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I really liked the Thomas Covenant series, have read it three times over the years and still enjoy it, although I have to say the hero's attitude often frustrated me, but I think that was the point.  Enjoyed  the Mirror of her Dreams duo, oh and his short stories.  I went to the trouble of collecting the whole Gap series (gotta have them all before I start) and didn't like the first one at all, so didn't continue.  You could try the 1st trilogy of Thomas C, they are complete as written and if you like it go from there.  Yes, often our perspectives change over the years, teenagers are not much into introspection - I say try 'em again!


Date Posted: 6/28/2010 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,539
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I read the Covenant series when/as it first came out and to this day 25+ years later it is one of the more memorable series for me.  I don't know if it was the storyline, that it was one of the first long series other than LOTR I read or that it was the time in my life (starting college, etc.) but I still think about re-reading it someday and wonder if it would change it for me, now that my perspective is different.  I used to compose poetry/song lyrics using the tempo/cadence of the songwriting giants in the series and something about their long lives resonated with me.  In the second series when time had passed and all the things had changed I found it all very poignant and heart-wrenching to read.

Subject: Reread???
Date Posted: 8/22/2010 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/12/2010
Posts: 12
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Subject: Re-read??
Date Posted: 8/22/2010 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/12/2010
Posts: 12
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I also read it a long tyme ago. Recently I bought the omnibus and plan to re-read the series. Don't remember it all that good. I plan to give it a shot..............

Date Posted: 9/11/2010 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 25
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I wasn't able to get into the Covenant books years ago, but it is on my shelf again waiting to be read.  As for the Gap series - I thought the first one was OK, had to plow through the second one and the first half of the third one.  After that, I couldn't put it down and the series remains my favorite to this day.  It was certainly worth getting through everything to get to the last book.  Mirror of Her Dreams was also very good, and shorter.  I did have to read a bunch of it to get into the flow, but once I did I couldn't put it down.  

Date Posted: 10/12/2010 1:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2009
Posts: 300
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I enjoyed the covenant series but was far from amazed.  It is different.  The hero isnt a knight in shining armor or the underdog you root for and even his allies are a bit difficult to like at times but worth reading.

Date Posted: 11/6/2010 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/11/2010
Posts: 7
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Read the first trilogy because I always like to finish a series, then read the second. It was like a reality series in that there was no point. Quit on Donaldson after that - when one sentence is a half page paragraph its just too much trouble to try and figure out what is being said. You have to parse a sentence that long - a : here, comma there, ; ; . Never read him again.