Humble Asskicker, on 10 September 2010 - 06:21 PM, said:
Negatives - As someone mentioned earlier, Sanderson does not do witty well. Characters like Shallon, who are supposed to be clever and have witty retorts, come off as incredibly lame, and sometimes just asshole-ish. Passages such as (in response to the comment "Young miss, you're like a morning sunrise, you are!") "'Like a sunrise? By that you mean entirely too crimson' - she pulled at her long red hair - 'and prone to making men grouchy when they see me?'" are just wince-inducing.
That sounds fatally awful (the whole scene is like that, with the other characters laughing hollowly at her "jokes"), but fortunately when Shallon is not being a wit, her story is actually interesting. The short of it is, while humor can definitely enhance a book, this is absolutely a huge weakness for Sanderson, and I'm sure that alone would turn a lot of people off.
I just ordered this book and haven't read it yet, but your comment here reminded me of a recent tour I took of the Ford Theater in Washington D.C. Booth decided to shoot Lincoln during the funniest line of the play from "Our American Cousin" to allow the laughter to mask the sound of gunfire.
...The play's most famous performance came seven years later, at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865. Halfway through Act III, Scene 2, the character Asa Trenchard (the title role), played that night by Harry Hawk, utters a line considered one of the play's funniest:
"Don't know the manners of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal you sockdologizing old man-trap..."
During the laughter that followed this line, John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor who was not in that night's cast of Our American Cousin, fatally shot President Abraham Lincoln. Familiar with the play, he chose this moment in the hope that the sound of the audience's laughter would mask the sound of his gunshot. He then leapt from Lincoln's box to the stage and made his escape through the back of the theater to a horse he had left waiting in the alley.
The tour guide recited that line to a packed theater and was met with dead silence. What was funny then, was not in the slightest now. What was really funny was just how unfunny it seems today.
When I read fantasy, I allow the world to be on a different level than our modern one. I can assume lines like Sanderson's are funny or witty in that world and have no problem that they are not in ours.
Edited by Trencher, 10 September 2010 - 09:52 PM.