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Leanan-Sidhe
08-23-2005, 07:48 PM
--spoiler alert--

I was wondering if anyone could give me their opinion on the book. I believe the second installment in the series, Eldest, came out today, and evidently it's a big thing, with millions of copies sold and the movie deal and everything. I do own the book and admit it was a fairly interesting read. But is it just me or does anyone else think its a star wars plotline in a lord of the rings setting with a dragon thrown in. We've got the orphaned farm boy whose uncle is murdered by the Empire. He's mentored by a mysterious old man who dies saving him and turns out to be the last of the dragonrider order. Then with the help of a rogue he rescues a princess and joins the rebellion against the empire...Maybe its just me... And the setting is straight lotr, from the dwarves living in a mountain to the elves coming over from the sea. I was just wondering, it seems rather cliche but is a huge hit. What does everyone here think?

arodriguez
08-23-2005, 11:11 PM
hmm, never heard of it...

TheIT
08-24-2005, 12:10 AM
I haven't read it either, but you might want to put "Spoiler Alert" in your message before you give away plot points. Eragon is always on prominent display in the Young Adult section of my local bookstores. I like the cover art.

Vomaxx
08-24-2005, 12:45 AM
There seems to be general agreement that the book is highly derivative fantasy, but it was written by a young author (15 or so when he started) who seems to promise great things in the future. It is a YA book.


Also of note is that it was originally published as -- gasp -- a POD book. The author's family devoted themselves to publicizing it and were eventually rewarded by a contract with a major publisher. As a result, Christopher Paolini is an icon to all POD authors.

Leanan-Sidhe
08-24-2005, 03:43 AM
I haven't read it either, but you might want to put "Spoiler Alert" in your message before you give away plot points.

sorry about that. will do.

lxstanto
08-25-2005, 10:50 PM
I managed to get about half way then I kind of have up. He is an all right writer, it's just his characters' dialogue all feel the same, like they are coming from one person. His plot line has been used to death, and I don't really think he has done anything incredibly different from previous authors. It's just kind of bland to me. That's my opinion anyway.

fallenangelwriter
08-26-2005, 06:19 AM
I read it, and like it. against all reason.


yes, the plot is incredibly formulaic; yes, the wiritng did not overawe me; yes, he has elves and dragons, even elves from an isolated island, referred ot as "fair folk".

however, the main character seemed appealing, the elves were really quite uniquely handled (had he not called htem elves, he could have gotten away with making them a species of his own invention), and, for some reason, i was quite entertained.

lxstanto
08-26-2005, 06:31 AM
Haha, nothing wrong with being entertained. Just wasn't entertaining enough to me.

Titus Raylake
09-01-2005, 09:38 AM
Yes, I've read the book. Here's what I thought:

1. The author did not take "Show, Don't Tell" into mind, and his writing style can be painful at times.

2. The main character is a cardboard cut-out. If you were to take the, "Eragon said," out, you would not know who was talking.

3. I should admit that there were some characters, such as "Murtagh," that worked, but many others (Eragon? Doesn't it sound like Aragorn?) I did not care for.

4. The book at least moves at a fast pace, despite its long length. But there are few surprises in the book that keep you reading. The book itself is a cliched formula.


Eragon is decent for a YA book, but most kids tend to find it more enjoyable than adults -- especially kids who have never read LOTR or watched SW Episodes 4, 5 and 6 before.

Eragon does have merit, but the author's lack of experience and amateur writing style holds it back. That said, I have no interest in purchasing Paolini's sequel after reading Eragon.

preyer
09-01-2005, 08:37 PM
but, he's only (or was) fifteen when he started. doesn't that make up for everything? doesn't that mean he's the greatest thing since terry brooks (a dubious honour, if you ask me)? doesn't the fact a 15 year old who can string two sentences together just boggle your mind?

no, of course not. i've never heard of this book before, but were i as an adult to submit it, sounds like they would have shot me down ten ways from sunday. were i a duck (i said dUck), flying merrily in the clouds, the editor would be a highly-trained squadron of anti-aircraft emplacements with computerized laser scopes and auto-tracking.

okay, yeah, i give the kid props for actually writing a book. still, though, good lawd, it's STAR WARS people! the kid just ripped-off star wars and because of his age we're to applaude him for it? hell, i'll just give my nephew my first book and tell him to rewrite it and submit it. he's thirteen, he'll be rich by the time he's 21.

how exactly do they plan on making a movie out of this and george lucas sit there and say, 'hm, why does this look familiar?' lol. lucas is so easy going he might not care, though. then again, he might not be overjoyed, either. he might just look at it as another rip-off and shrug it off because he's used to it. hell, he might even do the f/x for it. wouldn't that be something? (of course, lucas would be nothing without 'the hidden fortress' for 'reference,' as i understand it, sooo....)

okay, good for that kid. he got published. kudos. jeers to the editor for churning out formulaic drivel apparently not up to professional standards, kid or not. 'by a kid, for kids.' my cynicism has to kick in here to beg the question, 'did the parents help out with the story at all?'

is this supposed to be some sort of YA introduction into fantasy? i think what aggravates me the most is the idea that kids will read this rip-off, get a little older and turn to LOTR and think, 'man, i've already read this stuff', and put it down, neverminding the body of work that *created* the formula. *i* read LOTR in the ninth grade, didn't have much of a problem with it. i hate to think vastly superior works are undermined by a kid (!) with seemingly (from what's been expressed in this thread) no appreciable talent for telling an original story. taking two of the most popular franchises of all time and jamming them together just really doesn't impress me, to be honest. i mean, the kid was fifteen. kids are smart. the age here should only be indicative of his professionalism in telling the story, not in the plot, which, you'd think that since 'kids' are so imaginative, would be great, no? it seems, though, that his writing prowess is at an intermediate level at best.

is it entertaining? hey, it sounds entertaining. then again, i thought star wars was entertaining, too, so there ya go.

man, i *knew* i should have started publishing in the third grade.

or am i being too harsh?

Niesta
09-02-2005, 02:55 AM
I found it a mostly tedious, unintentionally funny read. Unfortunately, I'd heard how young the author was, which caused all kinds of guilt on my part: was I just JEALOUS? Or was I being more lenient with it than it deserved because "for a teenager" he wrote pretty well? There was no way to judge it on its merits, knowing that.

dragonjax
09-02-2005, 05:28 AM
Couldn't get past the first page.

preyer
09-02-2005, 07:41 AM
niesta, that's a great way of putting. no, i'm not jealous. why should i be when clearly the only supporting feature about this book as to why it should be published *is* the kid's age? the reason why kids start off writing fantasy so often is because they don't know squat about real life that would shine through in, say, humour. i think the fantasy genre is a shield for a lot of adult writers, not just a very young writer. it is disappointing to be beaten out by clearly inferior works (again, i'm trusting in y'all's assessments here) due to factors that should really have no bearing in getting published. it's almost akin to being set aside for an author who looks better on the back cover. he's a novelty, a gimmick.

this is a series? well, hopefully, the kid can handle the criticism, learn from it, and grow into a great writer... one that writes better plots than this. and i hope he doesn't let it go to his head. i can see him college now: 'you know, baby, *i'm* a published author.'

maestrowork
09-02-2005, 07:48 AM
This country is youth-obsessed. The fact that the author was 15 when he wrote it, 19 when he "self-published" it (through his parents' small press, so technically it's not really self-pub), and got picked up by a major publisher... all has that "miracle" feel to it. That kind of hype sometimes overshadows the actual quality of the book. It's not to say the book is bad (I haven't read it -- YA Fantasy is not my thang) -- but many books are probably better written, but do not get that kind of publicity and sales number. Had it been written by a 35yo housewife, do you think it would have enjoyed such media blitz and publishing success? After all, the kid's age and the "story" behind it did get many of you to buy and read it...

Titus Raylake
09-02-2005, 09:45 AM
and i hope he doesn't let it go to his head. i can see him college now: 'you know, baby, *i'm* a published author.'

I think it's too late for that :). Christopher Paolini was quoted saying, "I strive for the quality of Tolkien at its best."

The author is arrogant, and he apparently did not follow the advice of reviewers because I've heard that Eldest is of a poorer quality than Eragon.

preyer
09-02-2005, 02:06 PM
well, he's still a kid. 'tolkien at his best'?

bwahahahahahahaha!

okay, he said he'll strive for that. and it's not unheard of for an author to strut around with a bit of arrogance. hopefully he won't go the way of the childhood star.

here are some of his other awesome projects:

~ young people with special abilities that causes people of their respective towns to fear and despise them retreat to a school for the 'gifted' where magicians train them to hone their skillz. an older rogue pops in every now and then to save the school from the local baron trying to destroy them and their ways. further complicating the situation is the rogue interfering with two of the teacher's love affair. will the main character discover the baron is the same person who killed his parents and gave him the scar on his arm in time?

~ aboard a giant flying ship on its maiden voyage, a virginal female thief stows away so she can reach home where her sick mother awaits for the special serum she's carrying from faraway lands. she starts to fall in love with a spoiled prince who's traveling with his witchy fiance who he has to marry in order to spare their kingdoms from war. the prince carries a dowry of a huge blue diamond with curing abilities. the magicians making the ship float in the clouds are tasked into making better speed when, out of the clouds, appears a tall rock spire ripping open the side of the vessal. the boat is going to go down in flames as onlookers gasp in horror, spouting sayings like, 'oh, the human toll of it all!'

~ after a strange magickally insipid, er, inspired storm which sends an impoverished ex-ranger and his trusty sidekick/pet pokibacca into a brightly coloured fantasy realm/alternate universal (aka 'the universal dream factory'), he finds himself the owner of a tavern in a war-torn land when his ex-girlfriend from his real life shows up with magickal abilities. troubles arise when the witch chasing her and her boyfriend, who suddenly shows up, tries to stop them from getting back to their world. in the end, though, the ranger decides to stay and face the witch after he puts his love and her fiance onboard a 'return dream spell.'

anyone seeing a pattern here?

E.G. Gammon
09-02-2005, 02:20 PM
Here are some quotes from the Entertainment Weekly Review of Eldest (the sequel to Eragon):

"The sequel to Eragon is not only derivative but dull"

"I swear on Helzvog's stone girdle that I have not for many a year read anything so mind-numbingly silly as Eldest, the endless, over-heated sequel to Christopher Paolini's best-selling 2003 Lord of the Rings knockoff, Eragon"

"Malarkey like this [referring to the description of the book] might be forgiven if it were hitched to a fast-moving narrative. But Paolini dawdles, with long, self-indulgent asides about the proper components of a dwarfish bow (Feldunost horns, skin from the roof of trout's mouths) and Eragon's romantic yearnings for emerald-eyed Arya, an enigmatic elf who 'set his insides churning with a mixture of odd sensations he could not identify.' Ugh. Or as the dwarfs say, 'Werg.'"

Vomaxx
09-03-2005, 01:50 AM
Well, striving for the quality of Tolkien at his best is not arrogant. I just hope he never thinks, or says, that he has achieved it.

preyer
09-03-2005, 05:21 AM
not able to resist any train wreck, i visited the kid's site for a minute. remarkably, there were quite a few glowing reviews from some pretty major sources. since it was close by, i went to amazon for some real reviews. minus out the complete raves and rants of a few idiots, and the positive reviews tended to centre around the notion that, 'for a kid, this is really good.' put against any critical analysis, it falls apart fast.

i'm sure they'll make the trailers for the movie look great, though. methinks the movie may have some script doctors working on golden time to pull it all together, lol. hopefully he doesn't peak too young. and gets his head on straight. and magickally aquires a lot of talent.

Saanen
09-03-2005, 05:49 AM
hopefully he doesn't peak too young. and gets his head on straight. and magickally aquires a lot of talent.

Lol, well, just think back to when you were his age--I know the stuff I was writing in my late teens was absolute rot not fit to publish. I haven't read the kid's books and don't intend to. I'll wait another decade or so and then I'll give his mature work a try.

Titus Raylake
09-03-2005, 10:43 AM
With his second book, Paolini had a chance to sweep us off our feet, and prove that he was a great writer. He made such wild claims that his sequel would be so much better, and I think most people believed it, since he was young when he wrote his first book.

But now, what excuse does Paolini have? He is -- what, 21? 22 years old? And he is very immature no matter what age he may be. He has childish fantasies about him (Eragon, who is described having the same looks as Mr. Paolini) and Liv Tyler (Arya). Everything about this author seems to strike me as unprofessional.

And I am not jealous of him either -- honestly, I would not want to be in his shoes right now. His books have given him a bad reputation, and his boasts about his writing make him an embarrassment to himself.

Paolini has achieved fortune -- but are you surprised that there is a best-selling book that has not won any notable awards? I am not, because his writing is of the poorest quality -- most fan fiction is probably better than Eragon.

I think it's about time this author grew up. His extreme over-estimation of his own writing skills, and his childish fantasies, hold him back from becoming a great writer. Somebody (his editor, I should say) needs to send this kid an honest critique of his work. Maybe then, he can learn from his mistakes and stop trying to leap from an inexperienced writer to a master of the fantasy genre.

preyer
09-03-2005, 01:22 PM
'Lol, well, just think back to when you were his age--I know the stuff I was writing in my late teens was absolute rot not fit to publish.' ~ well, i was always the darling of whatever writing teacher i had in school. my ninth grade teacher like to tear her hair out trying to get me to publish some stupid horror story, but i just wasn't interested. still, impressing teachers who read garbage all day wasn't terribly difficult, lol. i'd say it was just to motivate me were she not the only teacher. i'm not quite sure why i had a reputation as a 'writer' in school.

time for confessions and true stories....

i've written for money before. that is, a few times my schoolmates would commission a story from me for their creative writing class that they weren't interested in doing, always with the caveat, 'don't make it too good.'

one i apparently did make too good, for my best friend no less. he wasn't exactly the best and brightest. he actually needed the creative writing credit to graduate, which absolutely blows my mind. anyway, knowing how critical it was, his *mother* paid me to write a story for him to turn in. i wrote it, she paid me, he turned it in... and was rejected by the teacher. she thought he plaigarized it out of a magazine. so i had to go talk to her and tell her i helped him with the story. she wasn't stupid, she knew exactly what was going on, but she was pretty cool, too, and pretended to buy it.

i earned a couple of bucks in school writing for other people to turn in as their own work. i was almost busted big-time once as i used one story for a class, let my friend borrow it for another, who in turn let someone else borrow. problem was all three separate teachers taught their respective classes in the same damn hallway! fortunately, the story was altered just enough to avoid getting suspended. i'm positive that certain teachers expected more out of me in certain ways than they did the other brainless twits staring blankly back at them.

so while i've 'enjoyed' a certain kind of dubious success and reputation while young, i also learned some of the pitfalls, too, especially when, while in the course of self-publishing my book, i got bit by a dog. sad but true.

okay, i didn't graduate high school at the age of 15, *but* that a kid that age *began* writing a *bad* story that got sold, well, i have to be less than awed. i feel as if i could have done the same. i mean, i was writing bad stories long before that, lol. i remember in sixth grade i used to write a story a page at a time while my friend read them, so once he got through my horrible hand-writing i'd have another page done. now, while he was rather impressed by that, i never was with my own 'abilities,' such as they are/were. difference is my old stories were conan-based rip-offs while this guy's is star wars/LOTR/dragonlance/anne mccaffrey.

i know a lot of people don't start writing until later, but i started in the third grade one day as i was sick as a dog and bored out of my mind. it was a sci-fi story whose bad guys were called the 'grahams' because i couldn't think of a better name and i was eating graham crackers at the time (a practice i'm embarrassed to admit to still practicing: care to guess where the name 'ola' comes from?). (if ever i find those faded pages, i'll copy them down.) the point is, not everyone starts late: some start early. but, that doesn't mean it's worth reading, and the real story here is a kid finished a 544 page *novel*. short stories are *completely* unimpressive.

i'd probably have an ego, too. and with the money to go with it, i'd have completely self-destructed. he really can't win here. assuming he never grows into a great writer (which isn't assured by any means), but becomes just an average one, people will get bored with his fantasy novels, and he'll get a reality check if he expands out of sci-fi/fantasy. my advise for him is to invest well: people can be fooled by a kid, but now that he's 21 (according to his website), you're now playing with the big boys, and, like the saying goes, if you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. we'll see if he proves capable of writing like an adult.

doesn't look good, i'm afraid, lol. you know, except for his money, fame, and women, i'd almost hate to be him. :)

Saanen
09-03-2005, 04:38 PM
High school teachers are so used to kids who can't even put a coherent sentence together that when someone comes along with real talent, it's like they've discovered the next Shakespeare. Of course they want to encourage it, but they're not editors/publishers and they don't really know what to look for in a story. But sometimes they're right. Gordon Korman wrote his first book at 13, it was published by Scholastic (and read by me at 12--I was very awed and jealous and tried very hard to write a book of my own by age 13) and he's gone on to have a long and successful career as a writer of YA books.

One of the interesting things about Korman's books is that they're not fantasy. I believe someone else, either in this thread or one in the Novel Writers forum, pointed out that many young people write fantasy because they don't have experience with the real world and they can make everything up in fantasy. Korman wrote exactly what he knew about, two buddies in a boarding school, and the book (and all his other books) are believable, down to earth, and funny. Too bad that Eragon kid didn't do the same--his book might have been a lot better.

maestrowork
09-03-2005, 05:35 PM
I hope he's not reading any of these reviews. For a guy his age (he's 21 now, I believe), he probably couldn't handle the quick fame and criticism at the same time.

lxstanto
09-03-2005, 07:55 PM
well, he's still a kid. 'tolkien at his best'?

bwahahahahahahaha!

okay, he said he'll strive for that. and it's not unheard of for an author to strut around with a bit of arrogance. hopefully he won't go the way of the childhood star.

here are some of his other awesome projects:

~ young people with special abilities that causes people of their respective towns to fear and despise them retreat to a school for the 'gifted' where magicians train them to hone their skillz. an older rogue pops in every now and then to save the school from the local baron trying to destroy them and their ways. further complicating the situation is the rogue interfering with two of the teacher's love affair. will the main character discover the baron is the same person who killed his parents and gave him the scar on his arm in time?

~ aboard a giant flying ship on its maiden voyage, a virginal female thief stows away so she can reach home where her sick mother awaits for the special serum she's carrying from faraway lands. she starts to fall in love with a spoiled prince who's traveling with his witchy fiance who he has to marry in order to spare their kingdoms from war. the prince carries a dowry of a huge blue diamond with curing abilities. the magicians making the ship float in the clouds are tasked into making better speed when, out of the clouds, appears a tall rock spire ripping open the side of the vessal. the boat is going to go down in flames as onlookers gasp in horror, spouting sayings like, 'oh, the human toll of it all!'

~ after a strange magickally insipid, er, inspired storm which sends an impoverished ex-ranger and his trusty sidekick/pet pokibacca into a brightly coloured fantasy realm/alternate universal (aka 'the universal dream factory'), he finds himself the owner of a tavern in a war-torn land when his ex-girlfriend from his real life shows up with magickal abilities. troubles arise when the witch chasing her and her boyfriend, who suddenly shows up, tries to stop them from getting back to their world. in the end, though, the ranger decides to stay and face the witch after he puts his love and her fiance onboard a 'return dream spell.'

anyone seeing a pattern here?

Quick question, where you find those other "awesome projects" at?

First, one seems like I guess you could say Harry Potter influence although I thought immediately was X-Men.The second one is Titanic. And, I have no clue on the third one. Anyone have a guess? It would be sad if he could just keep ripping off other stories like this and still get the praise he has for his that and his awful flowery writing style.

E.G. Gammon
09-03-2005, 08:08 PM
Quick question, where you find those other "awesome projects" at?

First, one seems like I guess you could say Harry Potter influence although I thought immediately was X-Men.The second one is Titanic. And, I have no clue on the third one. Anyone have a guess? It would be sad if he could just keep ripping off other stories like this and still get the praise he has for his that and his awful flowery writing style.

When I read that post, I thought preyer made up those descriptions - making it clear that they were reworkings of something we're all familiar with - and was being sarcastic when saying they were Paolini's future projects (making fun of the fact that so many readers and reviewers say his series is a ripoff of The Lord of the Rings). But, I could be wrong...

lxstanto
09-03-2005, 08:12 PM
Oh, well damn, I feel stupid now...........hahahaha

Saanen
09-03-2005, 08:48 PM
And, I have no clue on the third one. Anyone have a guess?

Wizard of Oz and Narnia?

preyer
09-04-2005, 07:02 AM
~ young people with special abilities that causes people of their respective towns to fear and despise them retreat to a school for the 'gifted' where magicians train them to hone their skillz. an older rogue pops in every now and then to save the school from the local baron trying to destroy them and their ways. further complicating the situation is the rogue interfering with two of the teacher's love affair. will the main character discover the baron is the same person who killed his parents and gave him the scar on his arm in time?

x-men and harry potter

~ aboard a giant flying ship on its maiden voyage, a virginal female thief stows away so she can reach home where her sick mother awaits for the special serum she's carrying from faraway lands. she starts to fall in love with a spoiled prince who's traveling with his witchy fiance who he has to marry in order to spare their kingdoms from war. the prince carries a dowry of a huge blue diamond with curing abilities. the magicians making the ship float in the clouds are tasked into making better speed when, out of the clouds, appears a tall rock spire ripping open the side of the vessal. the boat is going to go down in flames as onlookers gasp in horror, spouting sayings like, 'oh, the human toll of it all!'

titanic, a little hindenburg and some some old-fashioned cliches

~ after a strange magickally insipid, er, inspired storm which sends an impoverished ex-ranger and his trusty sidekick/pet pokibacca into a brightly coloured fantasy realm/alternate universal (aka 'the universal dream factory'), he finds himself the owner of a tavern in a war-torn land when his ex-girlfriend from his real life shows up with magickal abilities. troubles arise when the witch chasing her and her boyfriend, who suddenly shows up, tries to stop them from getting back to their world. in the end, though, the ranger decides to stay and face the witch after he puts his love and her fiance onboard a 'return dream spell.'

oz and casablanca. hey, if you're going to steal, steal big, eh? at the same time, if you're going to steal, steal *good*. indiana jones just plays so well into this kind of stuff. hm, what other great story could i jam the indy character into and slap on a fantasy setting? go ahead and name a famous movie and i'll crush the two into pulp, mix 'em up, and puke it out into a paragraph summary.

interesting (to me) to note that for all the books this kid's read, that hasn't made him a good writer.

Titus Raylake
09-06-2005, 09:59 AM
The lives of 99.9% of fiction writers: We read numerous books on the craft of writing, and work our hands to the bone to deliver the best quality of manuscript we can possibly write. Then, we submit to publishers, and receive countless rejection letters, usually not because our work was bad, but because the editor believed we did not have enough prior experience. So, we submit to magazines -- and face more rejection. But eventually, after endless jumping through hoops, we get published. The editor asks for (usually) a huge revision, and we must do so. We do all of this, for a $3,000-$10,000 advance and a couple of small royalty checks.

For the other 0.1% of fiction writers: A person like Paolini comes along, with a poorly-written manuscript far exceeding the length of what most editors accept. The author receives a six-figure advance, a campaign is launched for advertising his book, and he becomes rich and famous within a few years.

Does it sound like I'm exaggerating? I am not. This is the current state of the publishing industry.

E.G. Gammon
09-06-2005, 11:00 AM
The lives of 99.9% of fiction writers: We read numerous books on the craft of writing, and work our hands to the bone to deliver the best quality of manuscript we can possibly write. Then, we submit to publishers, and receive countless rejection letters, usually not because our work was bad, but because the editor believed we did not have enough prior experience. So, we submit to magazines -- and face more rejection. But eventually, after endless jumping through hoops, we get published. The editor asks for (usually) a huge revision, and we must do so. We do all of this, for a $3,000-$10,000 advance and a couple of small royalty checks.

For the other 0.1% of fiction writers: A person like Paolini comes along, with a poorly-written manuscript far exceeding the length of what most editors accept. The author receives a six-figure advance, a campaign is launched for advertising his book, and he becomes rich and famous within a few years.

Does it sound like I'm exaggerating? I am not. This is the current state of the publishing industry.



I think Paolini's success is - clearly by the reviews - not the result of his talent but the result of having a family member who KNEW someone in the business (which didn't GET his book published, but got it through the system faster) and having an angle - a clear selling point: his age.

Titus Raylake
09-06-2005, 12:07 PM
*Sigh*, I wish I was 15 again. I wouldn't have as much experience back then, but most teenagers with great writing skills (a quality that Paolini lacks) could write circles around that 21 year old who makes a living ripping off LOTR.

preyer
09-07-2005, 04:34 PM
wish i had his bank account number and password.

were it at least on par with a professional novelist, that'd be something. but reading his site a bit and he comes off as almost arrogant at times. that just kind of pissses me off.

is there cosmic justice? we'll see. seems his fanbase are kids. kids grow up fast and will not tolerate bad books for long. unless he gets a clue, the next time we talk about him may go something like, 'hey, remember that kid who wrote those bad fantasy books? i hear he's living in a run-down trailer next to the river and can't pay to get his books published.'

if i felt the need to feel jealous of anyone's apparent undeserved success, i'd look no further than 'the da vinci code.'

Titus Raylake
09-08-2005, 12:01 AM
were it at least on par with a professional novelist, that'd be something. but reading his site a bit and he comes off as almost arrogant at times. that just kind of pissses me off.

Same with me, preyer. As I pointed out before, the author is quite arrogant. He also gives advice to other writers on how to *improve* their writing :crazy:.



is there cosmic justice? we'll see. seems his fanbase are kids. kids grow up fast and will not tolerate bad books for long. unless he gets a clue, the next time we talk about him may go something like, 'hey, remember that kid who wrote those bad fantasy books? i hear he's living in a run-down trailer next to the river and can't pay to get his books published.'

Paolini is digging himself into a deeper hole right now. Unless he finally learns something and his next book is spectacular, I don't think there is much hope of a permanent career for him in writing. Paolini better get out the spatula and fry cookers now :).

JoeEkaitis
09-08-2005, 02:25 AM
But what if the books had been written by, say, a middle-aged working stiff or professional. What would the critics say then?

Hmmm. . . [harp glissando]. . .

The writing does not jive with the impeccably dressed man identified as the author. Instead, one more easily imagines a portly mid-20ish geek born too late to have been a genuine Silicon Valley nerd who still lives with his parents and wears J. R. R. Tolkien T-shirts that barely cover his pre-middle-age spread.

lxstanto
09-08-2005, 06:16 AM
Haha, great stuff Joe.


After reading or tried to read the first one, I know he is a bad author. But he still managed to get published (even if with the help of his family), and alot of people have read it and liked it. That's what bothers me. So many people love his books. And he is getting a movie made out of it! It's just discouraging. Espically if I ever create and get something published, and then everyone praises someone like him.

preyer
09-09-2005, 10:28 AM
i'm patiently awaiting the day when someone gushes over eragon and pans my stories. not that mine are great or anything, but at least there's the pretense of making them at least good with *something* meritorious about them, lol.

JE, you mean the writing equivalent of harry knowles?

atuafiu
09-09-2005, 12:15 PM
Paolini has garnered many excellent reviews of his work. This one from the Philadelphia Inquirer is pretty good.

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/magazine/daily/12449504.htm

Posted on Tue, Aug. 23, 2005

Fetching fantasy's sequel

Eldest
By Christopher Paolini
Random House. 704 pp. $21
Reviewed by Katie Haegele

I should begin by saying that I've never cared for science fiction. I've just never gotten the point of it. Why invent imaginary worlds, with people and creatures that don't exist, when the real one is so full of inspiration?

But that was before I read Eldest, the second book in Christopher Paolini's fantasy trilogy, Inheritance, which tells the story of Eragon, a 16-year-old orphan who discovers his destiny as a Dragon Rider. The first book's publishing story was almost as fantastic: Paolini wrote it at 15, and he and his parents self-published it, only to have it make every best-seller list in the country.

When Eldest picks up, Eragon learns that he is "the only hope for resisting the Empire" of Galbatorix, the evil ruler who has turned the villages of Alagaësia into battlefields. Eragon sets off on a journey to be trained as a Rider, his dragon Saphira at his side, and until he's ready to fight Galbatorix, life is treacherous in this already weird and magical place. As Eragon says to Saphira after she tells him no one will be comfortable until things return to normal: "Define normal."

It would be hard not to be drawn in by an adventure of these proportions. A true hero epic, Paolini's story borrows loosely from the tradition of Scandinavian mythology. (And Alagaësia's languages are based on Old Norse, which gives the names their strange, square quality, like words spelled backward.) At 700 pages, the novel is a feat of well-paced storytelling, utterly untouched by pop culture's short attention span, and Paolini unfolds his tale with the patience of a monk.

But the real beauty of his novel is just that - the beauty. When Eragon reaches the enchanted elf village Ellesméra, where he will receive his training, he is delighted to find a true fairyland where "the legends of old still bestride the earth." The elfin buildings blend "seamlessly with the rest of the forest until it was impossible to tell where artifice ended and nature resumed," and the (mostly) magical beings who live there fill the woods with their clear, high singing.

Alagaësia's surroundings are unfamiliar - there's the dragon roost high in the mountain peaks, and a crow that speaks in doggerel - but they come to realistic life like an exotic depiction in National Geographic. "When it rained, the clouds and the forest canopy plunged them into profound darkness, as if they were entombed deep underground. The falling water would collect on the black pine needles above, then trickle through and pour a hundred feet or more down onto their heads, like a thousand little rainfalls."

The descriptions of Eragon's dragon are the most loving. She may be scaly, fire-breathing, and ready to take on Galbatorix, but Saphira is also Eragon's best friend, a kindred soul who communicates with him telepathically, flicks her tail to show her disapproval, and offers a wing to curl up under on lonely nights. Like Edward Gorey's amusingly recognizable fantasy creatures - his lazy feline boggersloth comes to mind - Saphira Brightscales could be the creation only of a true animal-lover.

While a novel of this caliber needs no qualifiers, it really is astonishing that a 21-year-old wrote it. Through Eragon, Paolini demonstrates an awesome, and sometimes awe-struck, knowledge of all the wonderful things the world has to offer, from farming to metalworking, to linguistics, philosophy and art.

That's when you realize: This writer hasn't abandoned the real world at all. He's in love with it. And just as his fantastic world was influenced by our real one, you may find that traces of Alagaësia remain with you, changing the way you look at your cat or the singing of the cicadas on these long summer nights.

Those who are eagerly anticipating the follow-up will be thrilled with this rich, sophisticated novel. And to those who have never considered reading a book with something like a dragon on its cover, Paolini may make a believer of you yet. I, for one, can't wait to find out what happens in book three.

Katie Haegele is a freelancer who lives in Jenkintown. Her e-mail address is katieahaegele@yahoo.com

atuafiu
09-09-2005, 12:41 PM
<<how exactly do they plan on making a movie out of this and george lucas sit there and say, 'hm, why does this look familiar?' lol. lucas is so easy going he might not care, though. then again, he might not be overjoyed, either. he might just look at it as another rip-off and shrug it off because he's used to it. hell, he might even do the f/x for it. wouldn't that be something? (of course, lucas would be nothing without 'the hidden fortress' for 'reference,' as i understand it, sooo....)>>

George Lucas's Star Wars is not orginal. He took liberaly from Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress.
http://www.jitterbug.com/origins/index.html

Paolini's story conforms to Vladimir Propp's elements of folktales, [http://mural.uv.es/vifresal/Propp.htm], and Joseph Campbell's Hero Cycle; it contains the same elements that are archetypes the world over.

Titus Raylake
09-09-2005, 12:44 PM
I should begin by saying that I've never cared for science fiction. I've just never gotten the point of it. Why invent imaginary worlds, with people and creatures that don't exist, when the real one is so full of inspiration?

But that was before I read Eldest, the second book in Christopher Paolini's fantasy trilogy, Inheritance, which tells the story of Eragon, a 16-year-old orphan who discovers his destiny as a Dragon Rider. The first book's publishing story was almost as fantastic: Paolini wrote it at 15, and he and his parents self-published it, only to have it make every best-seller list in the country.

Umm... Eragon and Eldest are both fantasy, not science fiction. (laughs)

Titus Raylake
09-09-2005, 12:47 PM
While a novel of this caliber needs no qualifiers, it really is astonishing that a 21-year-old wrote it. Through Eragon, Paolini demonstrates an awesome, and sometimes awe-struck, knowledge of all the wonderful things the world has to offer, from farming to metalworking, to linguistics, philosophy and art.

Is this the first fantasy novel the reviewer has read? :)

Titus Raylake
09-09-2005, 12:56 PM
That may be one of the stupidest and most amateur reviews I've ever read. This was a freelance writer, which means the publisher probably handed out a check and asked, "Now what do you think of the books?"

atuafiu
09-09-2005, 06:27 PM
Try this one on for size, from the Nashville paper

http://www.nashvillescene.com/Stories/Arts/Books/2005/09/08/Out...

Books
September 8, 2005

Out of the Mouths of Babes

At 15, Christopher Paolini began a fantasy trilogy that’s getting deeper and stronger with each book

By Thaddeus Wert

Aside from the latest Harry Potter installment, the most anticipated children’s book this summer is Christopher Paolini’s Eldest, the second volume of his Inheritance trilogy. Paolini began writing the first book of the series, Eragon, when he was a mere 15 years old. Originally published by his family, it gradually earned a devoted audience through word of mouth and the author’s relentless book tours. Knopf picked up the title in 2003, and before all was said and done, more than 2 million copies of Eragon had been sold.

What was the secret of its success? Superficially, it’s an easy recipe: take equal parts of The Lord of the Ringsand Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, add a liberal amount of George Lucas’ Star Wars mythology, and bake until done. However, what makes Eragon greater than the sum of its parts is Paolini’s ability to develop believable, multifaceted characters that any young reader could identify with. It’s truly remarkable that an adolescent author could flesh out such emotionally compelling personalities while developing an overarching storyline that holds his audience enthralled from the first page to the last.

Of course, the big question now is, was Eragon a flash in the pan? No. Based upon the evidence of Eldest, Christopher Paolini, now all of 21, is for real. In fact, where Eragon was a knee-deep dip in the water, Eldest is a headlong dive—though perhaps not in the direction his fans may have expected.

Eragon is concerned primarily with a young man’s immediate reaction when his
narrow, comfortable world turns upside down and inside out: a dragon’s egg literally drops out of nowhere into his life, from which hatches his future soul mate. Unfortunately for Eragon, this event sets in motion other events that have catastrophic consequences for himself, his family and his village. As he seeks revenge on the creatures that wreak such havoc on his life and loved ones, his unthinking rage and immature decisions invariably get him into trouble.

Eldest, on the other hand, chronicles Eragon’s inner battles as he comes to grips with the developing relationship between himself and his dragon Saphira, his adolescent crush on the beautiful but much older elf Arya, and his growing awareness that his responsibilities are much greater than mere personal revenge. Meanwhile, Paolini introduces a parallel plot involving Eragon’s cousin, Roran, which will satisfy the young fantasy fan who enjoys lots of action and scenes of conflict.

Paolini has clearly aimed high in this second book of the series. Before Eragon has a chance to recover from the huge battle that closed the first book, he is immediately embroiled in political intrigues that are more subtle and nuanced than anything he faced earlier. He is soon walking a tightrope between the various rebel factions, but he manages to keep his independence while satisfying all those who wish to use him for their own agendas. Paolini deftly transforms Eragon from a pawn of others into a confident and powerful political actor.

In a particularly interesting twist, Paolini’s elves are not the stereotypical, impossibly good beings who exist somewhere between men and angels on the great chain of being. While they do converse in the traditional ancient language, which makes it impossible to tell falsehoods, the elves of Eldest are masters of telling only the minimum amount of truth necessary. And they are certainly not altruistic. As Eragon’s dwarf companion Orik remarks, “Never ask an elf for help; they might decide that you’re better off dead, eh?”

It’s among the elves that Eragon spends the bulk of this part of the adventure, and where Paolini’s youth and ambition occasionally get the best of him. As Eragon submits himself to Oromis, the elf master charged with training him, several of their conversations get bogged down in forced profundities and arguments for vegetarianism that sound like they were lifted from a PETA brochure. Additionally, the magic that Eragon learns to tap into and control is suspiciously similar to “the force” that runs through the Star Wars movies.

Because this is a young adult novel—like Star Wars, pitched to children as well as teens—it’s perhaps worth giving a word of warning to parents of younger readers: while the elves in general, and Oromis in particular, are admirable in terms of intelligence, creativity and graciousness, they are completely materialistic in their view of nature. As Oromis states explicitly, “We only give credence to that which we can prove exists. Since we cannot find evidence that gods, miracles and other supernatural things are real, we do not trouble ourselves about them.”

This is a curious position to take for a civilization that relies so heavily on magic for its needs, but Paolini isn’t afraid to carry it to its logical conclusion.
Eragon is forced to justify why he must overthrow the evil king Galbatorix, even it means dreadful casualties among innocent people. Throughout Eldest, terrible actions are taken by characters on the “good” side, because they believe their goal is ultimately good. The interesting question is, how far can one go before the ends no longer justify the means?

Ultimately, Eldest is a more than worthy successor to Eragon. Many of Paolini’s most entertaining creations return, such as Angela the herbalist, and Roran’s adventures almost steal the show. Without giving anything away, it is safe to say that Eragon’s and Saphira’s emotional, intellectual and physical development under the tutelage of Oromis and the elves is quite moving. Many questions about Eragon’s world are answered, while other mysteries hinted at in the first book deepen. Taken together, these two books are a remarkable achievement for such a young author. Christopher Paolini has created a saga that much more experienced writers would envy.

Phoenix Fury
09-09-2005, 06:42 PM
Try this one on for size, from the Nashville paper

http://www.nashvillescene.com/Stories/Arts/Books/2005/09/08/Out...

Books
September 8, 2005

Out of the Mouths of Babes

At 15, Christopher Paolini began a fantasy trilogy that’s getting deeper and stronger with each book

By Thaddeus Wert

...
Because this is a young adult novel—like Star Wars, pitched to children as well as teens—it’s perhaps worth giving a word of warning to parents of younger readers: while the elves in general, and Oromis in particular, are admirable in terms of intelligence, creativity and graciousness, they are completely materialistic in their view of nature. As Oromis states explicitly, “We only give credence to that which we can prove exists. Since we cannot find evidence that gods, miracles and other supernatural things are real, we do not trouble ourselves about them.”


Er...why exactly would we want to give parents of younger readings a warning here? Because someone in a book is portrayed as being materialistic?

Right. I think I now know all I need to know about the competence of this reviewer. :)

The bottom line is that Paolini's work is regurgitated Tolkien and McCaffrey, with a bit of Star Wars thrown in (I was particularly amused by the description of the elves' home in Book One, which sounded awfully like...I don't know...LOTHLORIEN...). What sold the book was tremendous marketing and Paolini's age, which people found intriguing. But as we know, the amount a book sells has nothing necessarily to do with its quality...and in a world where Barney can still be foisted on the public as good children's television, it shouldn't be surprising that something like Eragon can make the bookshelves.

P.F.

preyer
09-10-2005, 01:46 AM
'I should begin by saying that I've never cared for science fiction. I've just never gotten the point of it. Why invent imaginary worlds, with people and creatures that don't exist, when the real one is so full of inspiration?' ~ the review should end right here. 'i'm in no way an authority, so here's my review....' ?? anyway, this review is simply ridiculous from start to finish. a freelance reviewer might as well be some quote off the 'net-- it's utterly worthless from someone who's not even familiar with the genre and only marginally so from someone who's an authority. this is *not* a respectable review in terms of its honesty: that is to say, *no one* loves a book this much which is so full of nonsense. having flipped through a copy at the store today, i didn't find much to hate about it... then again, i didn't read more than a few paragraphs here and there. i was hardly 'awe-struck.'

a 700 page book? so what? i mean, really, who cares? quantity doesn't mean quality. unless you're being paid to say so.

'George Lucas's Star Wars is not orginal. He took liberaly from Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress.' ~ yeah, i know. that's why i said it wasn't totally original in a previous post, which was even quoted in the same reply making the apparent correction even more baffling.

'Paolini's story conforms to Vladimir Propp's elements of folktales, [http://mural.uv.es/vifresal/Propp.htm], and Joseph Campbell's Hero Cycle; it contains the same elements that are archetypes the world over.' ~ that's why it's cliche. this is really a moot point as there is tons of fantasy out there that conforms to the 'standard' which is just terrible. were it an automatic recipe for success, 'willow' would have turned a buck.

the second review was better. i believe that could come from a 'respectable' source such as a newspaper. i do appreciate him admitting where the story sources seem to have sprang from, though i question much of his other statements, as saying these elves aren't stereotypical because they might as well kill you. is that so original? really, elves are stereotypically brooding and secretive and indeed willing to kill intruders in more modern fantasy. five hundred years ago, elves and fairies in stories were ridiculous, being everywhere and basically a pain in the adventurer's asss, like a swarm of singing mosquitos.

'it's amazing such a young author....' oh, crap, man, what's so freakin' amazing about it that i'm missing? purple prose, typically awful fantasy names, and it admittedly based on a story structure that's been around forever... when am i supposed to drop over dead from the brilliance here? come on, now, i'm going to look at my pet differently after reading this? oh, jake on a stick, give me strength....

can we just call it what it is and cut the throat on this thing?