Paradise Fields eAnd I d drift off to Lala Land for what seemed ages But then I d remember to Remember myself and throw off my shackles Time then for my opposition to use the heavy artilleryYou got itSo back and forth went my life just so for interminable aeons of slumber interspersed with jarringly wide awake cauchemars with all their Soul splitting bright noonday torment Awakening from history s nightmare is no picnicPride was always my stumbling block EXACTLY as it is for Thomas Covenant in the Strange and Savage Real Life Dreamworld he s been catapulted into We re all proud naturally because of our inborn need for transcendence A real radix malorum as it turns out So then the world turns to us and says You re no one special So why not just jump on theternal bandwagon of ndless 247 Desire Because it s precisely the road of fools is why the way to dusty death Death isn t real to a little kid And it s only real to us because of our illimitable desires We have to make perfect our willBut Thomas knows nothing of this So in his vividly Real parallel universe to his daily disbarred from humanity drudgery of incurable leprosy he is fighting perceived vilDon t all we outsiders do thatJust like me so Thomas a leper one set apart and nchained in a Magic Circle of Exclusion from polite society A figurative leper like the rest of us plodders who strive with very fibre of our sinews to be reconnected and justified to our rstwhile peersAs Kafka says give it up Kafka and Thomas win out Inclusion is not the point Our and their splintered life is Brokenness wins That s where we startAs the Nobel laureate Lagerkvist states Endurance is verything for only in that can there be GloryWe are ALL clinging to that accursed rock upon which we like Prometheus who saw THROUGH Lord Foul s mind games are impaled sentenced to submit to the gnawing of the gods upon our liverSo resistance as the film clich says is futileAnd submission is key The books in the immortal Thomas Covenant sword n sorcery series seem ndless and a too daunting task for a feeble septuagenarian like me to attempt But I HIGHLY recommend them to folks who like I do find the struggle for Goodness Herculean And this First one of the saga is Great For Thomas Struggle is Really Endless No getting around itIt gets better you know if we make ourselves LITTLE Then we re only chaff spinning on the Hurricane of Life And chaff is just peanuts at the Destroyer s orgiastic feastSome day we will all be able to do just that ALL of us VictimsOnce the strength of the battle subsides we will find we have been MOLDED into a vital tiny truculence that can ndure ALL the outrageous Forces of CircumstanceOn that blessed day we ll drop our guardAnd take up the ternal cloak of Humility Which will lead us to a Far Better Land than the one so ruinously despoiled by Lord Foul 2020 re readI first read this 1977 publication arly in HS so probably in the neighborhood of 1982 or 1983 I blazed through the books and then had to wait for the sixth novel White Gold Wielder to come out and I bought that book in hard back a rare The Accidental Beauty Queen extravagance for me back then I recall being so caught up in the world building it was fantastic but also very different from Tolkien or the Narnia talesMy first thoughts now is how dark the story was Donaldson has crafted a magnificent fantasy and then placed at its center a thoroughly unlikeable protagonist in Thomas Covenant so much so that it seems the author went out of his way to make Covenant ugly Covenant somehow contracted leprosy and Donaldson draws on all of the ancient fears and prejudices against that affliction Covenant s wife leaves him taking with her their infant son and this coupled with his rigid self preservation training from the leprosarium makes him an abrasive selfish and self loathing person He is magically transported to a fantastic setting and is immediately fighting for his life and in mortal dangerLEPER OUTCAST UNCLEANFinally as if that was notnough Donaldson describes a very sad horrific rape scene Speaking with other readers and many reviews here on Goodreads this was the final straw and they ither put the book down or learning about this scene never picked it up The betrayal of a beautiful young girl in a healthy land was a further stinging rebuke against an already troubling narrativeSo why did Donaldson write his fantasy in this wayI understand now that my younger self did not have the motional maturity to fully grasp the ramifications of the crime I knew then that it was a terrible act and then I just went on with the rest of the story mesmerized by the imaginative vision Donaldson had conjured But I see now that this ugliness this repugnance was xactly what Donaldson was striving for he wanted an xplosive contrast between this healthy utopian society and a sickly Crown of Stars (Crown of Stars, egocentric paranoid and mistrustful anti heroCan an anti hero become heroicTo be clear Thomas Covenant was not the charismatic anti hero of the 50s or 60s this is not Marlon Brando looking cool and confident on a motorcycle Covenant is damaged physically andmotionally and his leprosy his identity as a leper outcast from society is a central imperative in Donaldson s story Donaldson notes that leprosy is not the kind of disease that can be romanticized and likewise he does not glamorize Covenant but describes him in less than complementary ways throughout the book He wakes up in a wholesome bountiful land with a magical history and he names himself Unbeliever thinking he is dreaming or has gone insane A magical lement found in the land cures him of his disease and the re awakening of his nerve cells of his ability to feel touch and have sensations leads him to act in an abhorrent fashion rather than being thankful for this unexpected blessingMost notably when describing the critical scene and one that has certainly polarized readers since publication Donaldson shifts the perspective from Covenant to the victim Lena and we xperience her thoughts and fears about what has happened to her and by a man she not only trusted but that she believed had a prophetic power to provide some benefit to the LandWhen I read Vladimir Nabokov s Lolita I like very reader who
Gets Through The Outrageous through the outrageous must come to terms with the xperience It is foremost an This Forsaken Earth exceptionally written book with masterful prose and from a writer gifted in the ability to make language do what he wants with color and wit It s also about a child molester How are Humbert and Thomas Covenant different and how do the authors ofach use this highly unorthodox protagonistDonaldson talented as he is is not Nabokov the literary giant he s telling a very good fantasy story with some xceptional nuances Truth be told in this second reading I thought of a comparison with Gene Wolf with its dark tone and intricate magic rules While Humbert Humbert is an unrepentant sex offender Covenant is a confused tragic hero coming to terms with the contrast between the harsh reality of his severe illness and the fantastic healthfulness of the land In his struggle to understand what has happened to him he acts as a monster but there is good in him I ll leave it to the reader to decide if Covenant is fundamentally good or bad but he is drawn by Donaldson to be a decidedly complicated person Similarly Nabokov described Delores
a dynamic complex light the victim in both stories is provided a sympathetic humanistic portrayal In this way Donaldson s literary ambition to tell than just another sword and sorcery fantasy is at least in part realizedThe LandDonaldson s world building is what drew me to this story decades ago and it is still impressive in its scope and design Most noteworthy is the intrinsic health of the land from its strong people who do not know disease to the magical dichotomy between the cological well being of the land and of the Satanic like antagonist Donaldson has crafted a world where the vigor of the land is tied to the people and vice versa There is an intricate system of laws and oaths and pledges and all is well in the land as long as its people uphold their lawfulness There is a history of desecration where the land was destroyed literally but also metaphorically by desperation hopelessness and lawlessness Covenant the outworlder the Leper is starkly contrasted with this health and part of Donaldson s story is how Covenant struggles for acceptance of the Land and of his reluctant heroism Covenant s wedding ring is of white gold and this alloy is given special significance in the land wild magic and Covenant as the wielder of this wild magic seems to be at chaotic variance with the liturgical observance of the many laws of the land The UnfetteredIn the world building residents of the Land can go to a place of learning called the Loresraat where they can study ancient rites and magic and may someday become a Lord a leader and steward of the land and a member of the Council of Lords A student who graduates and does not want to become a LordIn A Dynamic Complex Light
And Earthfriend Can Take TheEarthfriend can take the of the Unfettered to be allowed to independently continue to devote themselves to a single mystery of the Land without the responsibility of being a Lord When I first read this the concept was attractive and I thought about the Unfettered since Re reading now I still see this as an appealing idea but now also see this as an important lement in Donaldson s narrative Just as Covenant is a kind of bottom of the barrel anti hero being rejected and in turn rejecting much of the law and order of society both from his world and the Land s the Unfettered serve as a metaphor for 60s and 70s counter culture they drop out and live off the grid for their own purposes While like Covenant they can be seen as self centered and contrary to collective society they are also a demonstration of individuality and self determinism Donaldson may also have been signifying a rejection of collectivist conservationist s for a classically liberal libertarian thosTolkien Narnia and Game of ThronesStephen R Donaldson very deliberately created a fantasy that was NOT in the Tolkien Lewis mold Like Narnia we have a real world protagonist who is transported to a fantasy world Unlike Narnia this brings the real world ugly to the fantasy It s like if Edmund got his own fantasy series While LOTR was like GOT in that they are both self contained Campfire epic fantasies Covenant may have anticipated GOT with its focus on mature subjects and by not shying away from ugly scenesTolkien and Narnia with a fewxceptions also stick to fairly My Little Blue Dress easily defined characters While there may be some complexities Narnia s Edmund again stands out and also Thorin Oakenshield and maybeven Gollem from Tolkien for the most part we have Hurrah For The Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars either good or bad While most in the Land as Donaldson has drawn them areither good or bad our main protagonist Thomas Covenant is morally ambiguous with many disagreeable ven despicable ualities Not until the Game of Thrones characters do we see such a wealth and diversity of good bad and ugly sometimes showing up in the same character In this way Donaldson and Martin after him leads fantasy writers away from an thically or idealistically binary alignment system to one where the lines are blurred and the concept of unreliable narrator takes a bold new courseIn a Dungeons and Dragons alignment is Covenant Chaotic Good Neutral Good Neutral or Crazy Love even Neutral Evil I ll leave that toach reader to ponder onDruids Immunization and Kung Fu PandaThe people and the Land live together in synergistic harmony and Donaldson has described both land and people in terms of health vitality and power The trees and forests are vibrant the animals are strong and the people are charged with vitality Covenant can sense the health of the land Annual Editions: Technologies, Social Media, and Society even as a stranger and the people live in close connection to the natural properties of the land and not from it Wood gives off light but does not burn pottery and stone can be shaped witharth magic It s as though we are reading about an ntire society of druids who safeguard and steward the land in all aspects and the land in turn provides for the people There is an tiuette of communal protocols and hospitality and mutual respect among the peopleAnd then this asshole Covenant shows upThomas Covenant is like immunization He is the small but powerful sample of disease and illness from an unhealthy and corrupt place that the land needs to properly deal with the corruption and waste personified by Lord Foul and his minions In several scenes the people lack ven a word to understand disease in their tongue and xperienceThe 2008 animated film Kung Fu Panda features a rotund panda named Po who is voiced by Jack Black Po wants to be a hero but his meager abilities are overshadowed by other animals with greater fighting talents Yet he is chosen as the Dragon Warrior mainly because he can take a punch and keep going He s not the best fighter but he is the one most likely to survive Thomas Covenant likewise for all his failings and they are many is a survivor His training and status as a leper have made him that from his rigid system of self Black Heart, Red Ruby examination to detect injury to his freuently hostile attitude aimed at keeping others at bay he has made himself to keep moving and to survive which stands in contrast with the civil polite society he discovers in the landA difficult book in many ways and Stephen R Donaldson asks much of his readers this is also to me at least one of the best fantasies in the past 75 years and well worth theffort. Olt Winston. I ve often lamented that five star rating systems such as the one used by GoodReads don t allow for ratings lower than one star Were it possible I d give this book negative stars I think it actually sucks the uality away from books shelved near it and generally makes the world a less joyful less intelligent place to beYou might assume from the previous statements that I dislike this book Given that dislike is a pretty mild miluetoast term on the sliding scale of affection you would be wrong I loathe this book This is one of the very few novels I ve ver literally thrown across a room once I d finished it and if I had the chance I d cheerfully do so again preferably at Donaldson himself were he within rangeWhy Let s start with the protagonist and please don t ven try to sell me on the notion that he s an anti hero Thomas Covenant is one of the most loathsome self involved creations New Plant Parent: Learn the Ways of Plant Parenthood ever tomerge from a writer s psyche and the fact that he himself would agree with that assessment alleviates his repulsiveness not one bit Covenant is whiny to the point of self parody self pitying to the point of Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman's Buddhist Journey ego collapse and constantly uses his admittedly real hardships as justification for not accepting responsibility for anything including a heinous act of sexual violence which Donaldson thoughtfully sketches out for us justnough to make sure we don t miss the point yes Covenant really does rape a character after she s just healed him of his leprosyLadies and gentlemen Our HeroOf course that s merely the most glaring flaw in a book chock full of awful Donaldson s writing style gives new depth and nuance to the concept of purple prose and his God's Pocket epic story reads like an overcooked pastiche of Tolkien with some cheery realism for which read late 20th century self involvement stirred in for flavor I d go on further but honestly there s only so long I can stomach kicking this dog of a novel before I feel the need to wash the taste of Donaldson s florid writing and his hero out of my brainI regretver reading this book and I am absolutely flabbergasted that it has ЯED enough readers and fans to have led to seven countm seven seuels as of this writing I mean sure I know there s no accounting for taste but damn Thomas Covenant had it all a good family his first book was a New York Times bestseller his second book was in the progress Suddenly he developed leprosy his wife left him taking his son with her people avoid any kind of contact with him turning him into a self loathing bitter whining person He is a leper outcast uncleanSome high powers brought him to magic land where he is destined to ither help fight Great Evil or destroy verything the choice is his The problem is he does not really believe the land is real this is only his mind affected by his leprosy which plays tricks on him As a result he does not really care about the Land this is an actual name of the place or its inhabitants He is a leper outcast uncleanThis is my second attempt to read the series The first time I read it I was really put off by one of Covenant s actions in the Land people who read this know what I talk about Still considering the fact that a lot of people call this the best fantasy The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs ever I was curious to finish this Oh in case you forgot Thomas Covenant is a leper outcast uncleanNow that I finally finished the book I am underwhelmed The most GR ratings for it areither 5 stars or 1 star I guess I will be in minority with my rating I found this book to be a slightly above average Tolkien clone with a very unlikable protagonist After all he is a leper outcast uncleanuite a few of the scenes can be asily attributed to Tolkien s classic with simple change of names Thomas Covenant has a ring with unknown great powers does this ring a bell Sorry for a bad unintended pun He needs to get to Rivendell sorry I mean Lord s Keep from where The Fellowship of the Ring sorry uest is formed from different people I can go on and on but will stop here to avoid further spoilers The only really original part is that the main character is a leper outcast uncleanThe book was probably shocking in the time it was written but if one compares it to modern fantasy it is very mild with the xception of the scene I already mentioned but Monsieur Pain even that is not THAT shocking nowadays it just strengthens reader s revulsion for Thomas Covenant who is a leper outcast uncleanSpeaking of the main character he is NOT an anti hero as some readers call him For goodxamples of anti heroes please refer to
by Michael Moorcock Lady Chronicles of the Black Company Gerald Tarrant from Black Sun Rising or countless others Thomas Covenant is just a whining jerk and something worse which I will not mention here as it will give a spoiler I know uite a few real life people who had it as bad as or A Spark of Light: the fearless new novel from the Number One bestselling author even worse than him but they managed to remain good humans Thomas Covenant is a very pitifulxcuse for a human being He is a leper outcast uncleanDid you notice that I never mention anybody What If except for the main character The reason for this is thatvery single person in the Land is a typical Mary Sue without any The Exhaustion Breakthrough exceptions and thus are fairly indistinguishable fromach other and not very interesting The Exhaustion Breakthrough: Unmask the Hidden Reasons You're Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good except for a leper outcast unclean characterI thought about giving 2 star rating to this book but the verynd was interesting Supplemental Book enough to warrant anxtra star after all I would not read the next book in the series with the first one having just 2 stars In this case this book was good Hark! The Herald Angels Scream enough for me to proceed to the next oneven though Thomas Covenant is a leper outcast uncleanOne last note if you think I overdid on the whole leper outcast unclean thing Thomas Covenant calls himself like this at least once per page if not often so if somebody wants to read this for the first time get used to it He keeps whining like this non stop Wow I really didn t like this bookI think it was in large part due to the fact that I found the main character so utterly unlikable Heck he s Colloquial Polish: The Complete Course for Beginners even despicableSome people can read andnjoy a book despite not being able to mpathize with the characters I m not one of those people I actually like to care about my fictional characters It s pretty hard to give a flying fickle about some cranky jerk who rapes a woman in the first book I didn t bother reading to find out if things improved from there Soul saddened SIGHDamn damn DAMNlife can really be full of suck This book really torched my hopes and dreams NOT because it was nightmarishly horrible which it wasn t but because I wanted it to be so brimming with steaming chunks of mouth watering awesome that I could write a stinging snark filled anti anti Thomas Covenant reviewmy rant against the rantersI suspected I had a xcellent chance of really liking this story because most of the criticism of the series revolves around how douchy and unlikeable Thomas Covenant the main character is Not a problem for this reader as I have no problem hating a protagonist as long they are interesting well drawn and compelling I don t generally care if I like them In fact some of the most memorable characters I have come across have been ones that made me cringe like a baby before broccoli I despised Patrick Bateman in American Psycho Lou Ford in The Killer Inside Me Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and Bidadari yang Mengembara even at first Tyrion Lannister from A Game of Thrones I must point out that my dislike for Tyrion didn t last past the second book and I now want him to be my BFF because his awesomeness is off the chartsSo I didn t forsee that an unlikeable main character was going to be much of an obstacle for me Plus having alreadynjoyed the first two installments of Donaldson s Gap series I knew the man could write so I figured I might be in for a real treat and then I would show all those Thomas Covenant haters out there cue sinister music nd sinister music Well for the first 70 to 75 pages my plan was working perfectly and I was sitting suarely in 5 star territory and starting to brainstorm what insults I would hurl at the insult hurlers in my defense of what I was sure must be THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD FANTASY CLASSIC OF ALL TIME Ah if only someone would have warned me how wrong I was I ven flew right through the infamous rape scene and had my La strada delle croci explanationsdefenses already germinating in my caustic little brain I was thinking granted there is NO justification for rape but we have seen similarvents in other novels g The Outlander series that so many people seem to fawn over Also Covenant did xpress lingering guilt over this senseless and brutal act and his remorse is something that continues to play an important part in the narrative Thus I think his deep regret and loathing of himself for what he did and the uncontrollable impulse aspect of the initial crime makes Covenant s behavior despicable while still holding out the possibility of his redemption OOOOOOOHHHH take that all you haters BRIEF INTERLUDE Those of you Covenant haters out there that are reading this and know the almost Shakespearean tragedy that was soon to befall me as my initial positive feelings for the book were horribly ripped away from me by the oncoming train wreck of its narrative problems I can only hope that you can forgive my The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth earlier arrogance in wanting to prove you wrong END INTERLUDEUnfortunately shortly after the rape scene when I thought the story was really going to ramp up into uncharted bastions of EPICness inconsistencies in the narrative structure began to really really get in my way Before I canxplain I need to give a brief thumbnail description of the basic plot Thomas Covenant is a leperyes LEPER How cool is that The man has leprosy He was a best selling writer before he got theElric By Michael Moorcock Lady
Big L And Lost TwoL and lost two the fingers on his right hand He also lost his wife and child who packed up and moved on the greener pastures that had a little less leprosy in them So Tommy boy has been going through the mother of all rough patches when we first meet him Oh Oh I almost forgot The leprosy has also made him impotentnice bonusSo at the beginning of the story TC is living alone in a perpetual pissed off mood and is being shunned by his ntire community due to the whole leprosy is icky vibe he is putting out there Well TC as a not so subtle FU to the townsfolk decides to walk down to the power company to pay his bill in person During this xcursion he has an accident loses consciousness and wakes up in the Land which is the fantasy world in which the series takes place So far so good Well Thomas doesn t believe he is in a strange new world He thinks he is unconscious or dreaming or in a coma Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, etcHe is afraid to take any of the new world seriously because he thinks it will indicate his final break with reality TC s grip on reality is all the important to him due to his leprosy trust me on this no time toxplain Anyway all of this sounds great to me A fantasy character who doubts the world around him Bring it on WAITWHAT IS THATDANGERFLASHING RED LIGHTSPROBLEM AHEADSTEVE S REVIEW AND HIS WHOLE PLAN IS HEADED FOR TROUBLENO NO NO NO FULL STOPTRAIN WRECK AHEAD Note you will have to imagine the sight of my murdered dreams as I could not find a picture that truly showed the horror of my disappointment Here is where Donaldson completely lost me and I lost all of my hopes of turning the hate against the haters Instead the read became a waking nightmare that haunted me and began slowly crushing my will to live You see Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever is only partially and occasionally an unbeliever and only when his unbelief can be used to some kind of dramatic ffect Otherwise he seems to take the world very very seriously This is THE central plot device of the ntire series and it is inconsistent than a politician during campaign season In fact I could probably open the book up anywhere during the last 300 pages and find an The West Transformed example of this inconsistency but I will at least mention a few so you know what I mean At one critical point in the story TC vows to stopating because he believes that by starving he will force the illusion of the world to be revealed Sounds good but do you know what ole TC is doing when he makes the vow to ignore foodhe s grabbing the freaking wine skin and taking a "swig huh food is illusion but i might "HUH Food is illusion but I might well believe in the wineI need some help on this one Once I started looking for this I found it verywhere I asked myself whenever Covenant did anything if you are dreaming and you know it why are you bothering to do X Y and Z I NEVER got a good answer AND HERE IS THE BIG ONE Covenant doesn t believe in the world and tells this to veryone who will listen AND YET he continues to follow the course laid out for him by Lord Foul at the beginning of his dream throughout the ntire time he is there Again HUH Despite his complete lack of belief in the reality of this fantasy world TC goes through xtreme hardship and turmoil to travel the length of the Land because he conveniently tells himself that continuing to move forward is the key No No No Mr Donaldson that makes no sense The truth is it is just too inherently difficult to have a main character in a fantasy world not participate in the story You got yourself stuckBottom line if TC doesn t believe where he is than he should ACT like it Don t just tell us and then occasionally say I won t do such and such because none of this is real Be true to your lack of convictions TC because otherwise you just come across as a failed literary xperiment which unfortunately is what I think you areAnyway that. 1977 1st Ed. Is where the story lost me I would add to the above major grievance that the narrative was also too disjointed and Donaldson was never able to really make the world come alive despite the fact that some of the world building lements were pretty interesting Thus while I liked the idea of the Land and some of the secondary characters The Complete Polly and the Wolf especially the giants they came across too much like set pieces given the rather undefined nature of the world Overall I think that Donaldson had a very interesting idea for a story but it just suffered from the fundamental flaw of being almost impossible to pull off in the context of a coherent narrative20 stars heavy sigh I read Lord Foul s Bane once in grade seven the same year I first read Macbeth and Lady Chatterly s Lover and The Lord of the Rings for a second time It was a good year for me and reading And an important year for who I would become But I didn t know until now how important Lord Foul s Bane was to all of thatThis story has stuck with me in the most amazing ways After nearly three decades I recalled an amazing amount of detail in the pages I reread I remembered minute details about Thomas Covenant s attitude towards his leprosyspecially when it came to the VSE Visual Surveillance of Extremities rituals that sustained him in our world and the new rituals he developed during his time in the Land I remembered Atiaran s stone knife and the way Covenant tempted the fate of his leprosy with its keen VOYAGES DE GRANDE CROISIERE edge thedge that never dulled I remembered the way Covenant hero anti hero villain weakling coward simply flawed raped Atiaran s daughter Lena I remembered the diamond draught of Stoneheart Foamfollower and the image of the impaled Waynhim in the Waymeet and the death of the Unfettered One trying to save the beautiful wraiths of the Andelainian Hills and the wedge formation of the ur Viles I remembered it all with the sort of clarity one has when they read a book dozens of times or reread a book very shortly after having put it down but I didn t A Riesling to Die expect to have anywhere near the clarity I had all these years later Thomas Covenant himself has stuck with me He is frustrating spiteful ugly tormented cynical dark brooding and infuriatingly self pitying He isvery bit the Unbeliever he names himself And Stephen R Donaldson wants him to be that way He needs him to be that way Covenant has to fight his belief in the Land at Pookie-Pie: A Sweet Bedtime Story every turn because the Land is impossible and as a rational man suffering from leprosy in 20th century North America all that allows him to cling to his life is his rationality and sanity no matter how tenuous both are But the Land at least in this first book of the Chronicles is unbelievable It has to be one of the strangest most frightening and surrealistic fantasy worldsver created Donaldson describes it with achingly beautiful prose and sometimes that beautiful prose is dense and slow and plodding mirroring the motion of Covenant through the Land itself to reveal wonders that are just slightly different from verything we ve seen before in very high fantasy that Tolkien gave birth to but Donaldson s slight shift in perspective his offering of the place through the decaying lens of a leper his constant overturning of xpectations makes his fantasy world uniue His giants are not what we d xpect nor are his wraiths nor his Cavewights nor his landscape nor his weather nor his incarnadine corrupted moon nor his magic And the most disconcerting difference between Donaldson s Land and the other fantasy realms we know is that his Land feels A Warlocks Dance (The Cursed Princes, entirely unpopulated Covenant never stops travelling as he tries toscape his dream yet his contact with the Land s denizens is minimal He passes through four centers of population Mithil Stonedown a town of Gravelingas who are rich in stone lore Soaring Woodhelvin a tree town of Lillianrill who are rich in wood lore Revelstone the seat of the High Lords and the Plains of Ra where the nomadic Ramen serve the Ranyhyn a kind of uber horse He sees great sights bizarre rituals and happenings and he interacts with a person here or there but the first two towns seem home to mere dozens of people Revelstone seems mpty and the Ramen are so hidden in their poisonous plains that we never get a sense of how many there are And ven those people and races Covenant spends much time with such as the Haruchai Bloodguards and his Giant friend are isolated from their vital populations Two score set out to fight Lord Foul s desecration Where is My First Kitten everyonelse The Land feels Seeds of the Spirit 2000 empty and this is another disconcerting moment in an already disconcerting novel But that s why I love Lord Foul s Bane It isn tasy Donaldson challenges us whenever and however he
And he does it transcendent prose and unflinching devotion to his problematic protagonist I d much rather read Mordant s Need It is hopeful lively real but I don t know if that makes it better In fact it probably isn t If you ve read both I ask you this Pin-Up especially you Jon Is Mordant s Need better I really don t know But I do know this Stephen R Donaldson is my unsung hero of fantasy greatness He is up there with the best But damn is he a lot of work OMG that was a rather difficult book to get into I mean most of the time I had keep re shifting the gears in my head to see what might be valuable and good about this book and for a great 200 pages I was wondering if I had stumbled into another Eddings slogfest full of completely predictable situations and heroes with only the main character being a bit out of the ordinaryAnd then I had to remind myself that this came out in 1977 and the cult fantasy favourite as opposed to the mainstream fantasy favourite was LOTR We ve been inundated wit I live in a smallish room with roughly a couple of thousand books They areverywhere I love the books but I also hate the books I d have space if it wasn t for them when I moved it would be asy if it didn t involve carrying what feels like an ndless amount of heavy boxes packed with them They are Loyal to His Lies everywhere The bookshelves are all double stacked There are books on top of the normally shelved books There are piles of themverywhere They fall over They are in the way Mooncheese likes to knock them over sometimes The Favorite Daughter even though falling books scare her Like Juliana Hatfield felt about her sister I have the same lovehate relationship with my significant others Lately I ve been in the mindset to cull some of the books Be all JC on them and remove the wheat from the chaff I ve been a little successful I ve gotten rid of about sixty or seventy books in the last couple of months but there is a problem I feel wrong about getting rid of books that I have not yet read This wouldn t be a problemxcept that a like a geologist I can go through my shelves and re create the history of fleeting ideas and interests I had that happened to correspond to fortuitous trips to used bookstores and b I sometimes buy a lot of crap An amendment to b is that I also acuire a lot of crap for free ie I Love You Beth Cooper In some cases a and b come together Lord Foul s Bane is one of those books A few years ago I went through a brief moment where I thought maybe I should become familiar with fantasy Then I bought up some fantasy books for about a uarter a piece on a trip to the always wonderful bookstoreI love this cat he likes to sometimes sit on my back while I m crouched down looking for books in Schuylerville turning point of the Revolutionary War and home of the most disgusting home I Fitness for Geeks ever stepped foot in but that is another story I ll try to fit into some other review where dog shit plays a promiment role This long and uninteresting story has no real pointxcept that I want to get rid of books but I feel I need to read them before getting rid of them Lately that has been making me read books I have no interest in I ll look at a book that I think I will njoyCan And He Does It
and say to myself when I finish this I think I ll want to keep it So instead of reading somethingsay to myself when I finish this I think I ll want to keep it So instead of reading something may potentially njoy I ll see something like Lord Foul s Bane sitting in a pile and I ll grab this instead I didn t finish this book I made it a little than halfway through it If I spent another couple of hours reading I d be able to finish it but I just don t care to The book is bad It s written in very formal and stilted style kind of like something you hear from some drama nerd who tries to bring a little Shakespeare into their daily life The story is uninteresting It is difficult to accomplish this for me I find nothing wrong with reading a novel about a man laying in pig shit and doing nothing but thinking I can find that ngaging There is nothing ngaging in this book By the time I stopped reading it there was some kind of uest to bring a message to someone but I didn t give a fuck Why didn t I care Well one I hated the language I hated the characters The main character is a one dimensional leper with rage issues that make little sense Winter Sunshine except that they spring up when the author needs to create dialog The only meaningful thing he did in 252 pages was rape a girl All of the other characters are bullshit cookie cutter caricatures The whole world he created seems like just a series of seperate little communities thatach have some New Age Hippy thing going on There are the people who like the rocks the people who like the tree s the people who like the water but besides liking something they don t seem to do too muchI m Treeman of the timberpeople my made up names are only a tad dumber then the names Donaldson comes up with and we live in the treesWhat Naked Choke else do you doDo We live in treesYeah but besides living in trees what do you do I live in an apartment but I also do other thingsNo man you don t get it we live in trees We like trees Just like Granitehead of the Rock collectors digs rocks we dig treesI get it you like trees they like rocks but you live in a world and you have to do something besides just like trees No man you don t get it we like trees Are you retarded What baffles me about this book is that it is highly regarded It was up for a bunch of big awards Lists on place it as a great fantasy book and maybe it is My fantasy knowledge being kind of weak Besides my other misgivings the thing I hated most ok not besides I hated this the most was the motherfucking bullshit weakasfuck Dungeon Master shit that the author pulled constantly Any possible conflict could be resolved by some lame ass addition into the powers of a character or thing Maybe it s fun when you re ok Me when I was 13 and overweight and playing Dungeons and Dragons with your friend to throw all logic out the window and just let your characters kill and do anything they would like but as a novelists you can t just add bullshit constantly because you can t think of any other way out of the problems you have made your characters face you may do this if your name is Joss and your protagonist is a teenage girl who kills vampires I don t know why he gets a pass but he does no onelse does though I m done with this book and this review I m going to give this book away and maybe learn my lesson that if I don t think I d Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good enjoy a book I own it may be ok to just get rid of it without torturing myself for past mistakes in book buying This isn t so much a review of the book as a response to other reviews I have read by people who hated it and hated it specifically because they see the protagonist Thomas Covenant as unlikeable weak whiny and self pitying andor because of the rape scene included in it My position isssentially this You can hate a character for many good reasons but having no clue who he really is is not one of themSome readers seem to want to Murder at the Mansion excuse Covenant to somextent as an anti hero but I think this misses a larger point his Chronicles of which this book is the first are a kind of anti fantasy Oh this is still Healing Souls escape literature but it lacks intentionally the complete abandonment of a Lord of the Rings It doesn t allow the reader to simply wish themselves into a magical new world Like and because of Covenant it fights back It asks the reader to consider the distinction between reality and fantasy or as Covenant would put it between sanity and madness This tension makes the Chronicles uniue providing a different kind of depth to the storyBriefly Lord Foul s Bane recounts the first part of anpic battle between the good people of the Land and the Seductive Surrender evil that would destroy it Lord Foul Specifically it tells the story of Thomas Covenant a leper whose disease has cost him his wife his child and the succor of society his sexual potency two fingers of his right hand and the nerves in his fingers and toes The psychological cost has been no lessxtreme His disease reuires his full attention if not directly for Seductive Surrender (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot, example through freuent visual surveillance of his body searching out any cuts or abrasions that because he can t feel them could uickly become dangerous then indirectly In a world that hates and fears lepers Covenant is compelled to undertake the hardest of all THIS is a book for folks who often find life Tough Maybe you re one ofm That has been My life for sureWhen I was 20 I started swimming against the Tide I had discovered Value in my life I was gonna hang on to it for dear lifeThe only other available option was sheer outrageSo naturally I made new friends the pleasers They sought to lull me with their nice pleasant lullabies and dropped pleasant leading gambitsWhenever in a weak moment I consented to listen the soporific would be gently administered. Holt Rineh. .