Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Triskele

How Good is Robert Jordan?

Recommended Posts

I did do a search and there are 500 Jordan-related threads.

So my question is simply, what do people think of this guy? I know he's one of the biggest sellers, I'm aware he battled disease and died young. But being a great seller doesn't mean much considering the Yeard right? Please give me your insite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The short story: basically average until you get to the action at the end of the book when he takes off like a rocket. He lost control of his story and/or sold out and his later WOT books are mostly filler.

I read Eye of the World at the general suggestion of the now absent Maester Luwin and was not impressed at all. I could not really get into it. Until the end. The ending fight scenes had me riveted so I got the second book. The stuff till the end was a little better than EotW but not by much. Then the end came and I was blown away. Same thing with third book. The 4th book was the only one I really enjoyed for the middle of the story and that was due to the development of a supporting character into a bad-ass. I am currently on the 9th book and struggling to finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have mixed feelings about Jordan. Back when I was a youngin' I really enjoyed his books... They were pretty much what all the fantasy nerds at our school would sit around and talk about during lunch breaks, so I've got some fond memories. :P It's a standard fantasy romp, but its fairly well done. Unfortunatly after book 6 or so they really start to get bad... The pace really slows down and you start getting book after book in which really nothing happens. I haven't read any of his books from the past 5 years or so. Some people say they got better, others say they got worse, so i donno :dunno:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good, but not great.

He's no Martin or Bakker.

But he's definitely worth trying out if you like Fantasy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm, I don't know what I'd consider 59 to be dying young. As for what I think of Jordan, he told a great story, but unfortunately, I think got caught up in the details and didn't quite manage the right pace. Which is doesn't make the story bad, just that it could have been timed better.

What I meant was, he died of something other than old age, which many would consider to be "before his time." I was in a coffee shop reading ACOK and some girl who worked there was a GRRM fan and started talking to me about it and asked what I thought and she said if I liked that, I should read Wheel of Time.

But to read WoT, I would have to get non-descript covers on the books. They are the ultimate embarrassing covers. Goodkinds are less bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did do a search and there are 500 Jordan-related threads.

So my question is simply, what do people think of this guy? I know he's one of the biggest sellers, I'm aware he battled disease and died young. But being a great seller doesn't mean much considering the Yeard right? Please give me your insite.

You didnt get your answer from 500 threads? What makes you think the 501st thread would lead to profound insights on Robert Jordan?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RJ opinions have been done so often I'll just summarize mine without getting into too many details:

Prose: Average

Characters: Gaping hole in the 'realism' department. Also, quite often annoying as hell. Average or below average.

Plot: Standard good vs evil nonsense with the added bonus of Jordan losing grips with the plot about mid-way. When I first read the series I remember how everyone ranted about how the first books were amazing, then they sucked. Well, my opinion is that they start out bad and get worse. It's very clear that Jordan is a writer not prone to rewriting and revising for the highest perfection he can reach even down to the nuances of spending time on every sentence. He just writes whatever pops into his mind, which unfortunately is shit more than not.

World building: He has some interesting ideas, and overall his

world is fairly well built. I'd say world building is his strongest talent.

Intrigue/politics/depth: Nonexistent minus some humorous attempts that just come off as showing that Jordan obviously isn't the deepest fish in the sea, but more a goldfish floating in the shallows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must agree with Senshou about his characters. They are some of the most unrealistic out there. Constantly make you want to :bang:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm gonna warn you that this will get harsh. People here are about as biter about WOT as they are about, say, BSG or Lost.

Like I said, good not great. You should try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His first 4 or 5 books were good enough to get me very interested in fantasy. Up to then I had read the occassional fantasy book but I wasn't hooked in the genre or anything. Unfortunately, whatever his first books promised, he never delivered. They kept getting worse and worse, with so many holes in the plot and with his characters becaming laughable.

Then he went and died, leaving the series unfinished, full of loose ends and right before where everything would come into place and the Final Battle would take place. His wife will probably publish some sort of last book sometime... won't be same though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to be among the minority in that I don't think the latter books of the Wheel of Time are that bad. I tend to simply accept what the author puts out as how it happens, I'm not extremely critical. Some people think Perrin turns into a complete sissy because he falls in love. I don't, I think he is one of the most developed characters in the series. That being said, Mat Cauthon is one of my favorite characters in either movies or books. I don't really think you can go too wrong with Jordan, unless you absolutely hate having a main character that is pretty much the best at everything super wizard/swordsman type. People get annoyed at the details, and I've even seen some people complain about the sword forms, which I thought were really clever and liked alot.

..P.S. you spelled "indulge" wrong ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My take?

-they all suck.

-Jordan's a terrible writer

-there are other books far more worthy of spending your time reading

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I seem to be among the minority in that I don't think the latter books of the Wheel of Time are that bad. I tend to simply accept what the author puts out as how it happens, I'm not extremely critical. Some people think Perrin turns into a complete sissy because he falls in love. I don't, I think he is one of the most developed characters in the series. That being said, Mat Cauthon is one of my favorite characters in either movies or books. I don't really think you can go too wrong with Jordan, unless you absolutely hate having a main character that is pretty much the best at everything super wizard/swordsman type. People get annoyed at the details, and I've even seen some people complain about the sword forms, which I thought were really clever and liked alot.

..P.S. you spelled "indulge" wrong ;-)

I'm with you, don't worry.

The guy below you though? Bitter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
..P.S. you spelled "indulge" wrong ;-)

Ouch, I must be one of the faux-intellectuals that my thread speaks of. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to pile on to what others have said -

The first 5 - 6 books are really good, if a bit derivative (farm boys off to save the world). The world building, as someone mentioned, is excellent. After book 6 or so, his story gets away from him - villains don't stay dead, whole books go by without mention of some of the main characters - way too much emphasis on some characters that started out as minor/background characters, and should have stayed there. Also, the mannerisms of the characters go from nice character quirks to outright annoying (braid tugging, etc.). His male-female dynamic was pretty bad from the get-go, I will say. It's as if everyone goes about their relationships as if they were 15 year olds.

At this point, I would just wait until the last one is published (my guess - about 2 years from now), and then read the whole series in one go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The prologue of the first book is better than all that follows.

Anyway, if you can stomach the childish male/female relationships, actually, make that stomach the childish reactions of some heroes over anything, forget the annoying personality quirks, forgive the plans a 5 year old could foil, and accept that main characters will never suffer the consequences of that particular brand of stupidity, then the Wheel of Time can be rather enjoyable, I hear. I myself found it mildly enjoyable up until book 3 and finally stopped at book 5 because I could not bear the annoyance anymore. Cannot comment on the awesome worldbuilding, it seemed a bit of an average tolkien rip-off so far.

also, read 20 pages of answers to your very question here. 6 pages here. A search on "Jordan" in thread titles yields 3 threads not focusing on a particular book or his illness and death. Hardly 500.

Also, it ought to be mentionned, Robert Jordan is a sellout :leaving:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently 30 pages from the end of book 2 and read book 1 a month ago, so I have fresh and unbiased thoughts.

I enjoyed reading the first book but I didn't find it so exceptional. Too many parallels with Tolkien, too derivative and the pacing is uneven. 200 pages before the end it hooked me and some more interesting characters were presented. Then it got worse, till the end that I consider one of the worse ever (on the level of the Sword of Shannara). Instead the aftermath was so good that it rose the level once again.

I wasn't impressed and I didn't plan to read the second book anytime soon. For various reasons I started it, just to read the first few chapters, but they were so good and interesting that I continued, and then decided to go till the end. The pacing of the second book is much better. It's still not fast, but it kept me hooked from the beginning to end. Every single chapter has a precise function in the plot, so every chapter was interesting and compelling to read. The plot opens up, becomes interesting, the cast expands. In particular all the parallels with Tolkien vanished from the very first page and, while archetypal in many situations, with the second book the story stands on its own, has personality enough to not feel more of the same or derivative like the first book. It's also moving forth. I was worried that each book was a repetition of the same plot with minor changes, instead it's really one big story that moves forward step by step. It flows.

Also those situations that in the first book felt like rip-offs from Tolkien acquire in the second book a precise role, to the point that not only this second book is better on its own, but it also made me revalue the first. Those plot device that were derivative, under a new light, acquire a new meaning. *Everything* from the first book has consequences showing in the second, every tiniest detail and minor character. So it gains breadth, felt more original and interesting, and had better pacing overall.

I heard things only get better up to the fourth book, then stay good up to the sixth. So there's plenty of goodness to read even if things go downhill from there.

As I wrote elsewhere you don't read Jordan if you are looking for something absolutely original or clever. Jordan writes a "classic", extremely accessible and a pleasure to read. It's made to flow and hook the reader.

The plot is intricate enough to be satisfying but there are sometimes tricks to make everything "click" into place. So there are some passages that feel a bit cheap, but overall it's interesting enough.

About the prose I think it's excellent because it's flowing. Often people complain of his writing, but it's more because of particular aspects that don't strictly depend on his prose, like story being padded or characters being stereotypes. There's a part of truth, characters are often portrayed with exaggerate reactions and often archetypal. But at least you don't mistake easily their names, they have some well outlined and different traits.

It's not the realistic, adult kind of fantasy, but it keeps a strong consistence in the world and things happening. So, again, it sticks to a classic idea of fantasy.

The number of the critics is justified because of the overexposition. Everyone reads Jordan, so everyone has an opinion. While other fantasy works filter their readers, so you get more positive feedback overall.

P.S.

What I mean is that the first book felt too much like the "typical fantasy story". Competently told and planned, but already read too many times.

Things were different with the second. It's as if Jordan had demonstrated himself he could write with the first book, and then went in his very own direction with the second. Things become fully realized only then.

Firstly he chased someone else's tail, then demonstrated he could lead himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RJ opinions have been done so often I'll just summarize mine without getting into too many details:

Prose: Average

Characters: Gaping hole in the 'realism' department. Also, quite often annoying as hell. Average or below average.

Plot: Standard good vs evil nonsense with the added bonus of Jordan losing grips with the plot about mid-way. When I first read the series I remember how everyone ranted about how the first books were amazing, then they sucked. Well, my opinion is that they start out bad and get worse. It's very clear that Jordan is a writer not prone to rewriting and revising for the highest perfection he can reach even down to the nuances of spending time on every sentence. He just writes whatever pops into his mind, which unfortunately is shit more than not.

World building: He has some interesting ideas, and overall his

world is fairly well built. I'd say world building is his strongest talent.

Intrigue/politics/depth: Nonexistent minus some humorous attempts that just come off as showing that Jordan obviously isn't the deepest fish in the sea, but more a goldfish floating in the shallows.

wow dude, ur assessment of jordan is PERFECT....

i couldnt agree more, especially the bits on depth and character.

back in school, when i got bored and had no books to read i would go to the library and borrow a WoT book to pass the time. in this way, i got up to winters heart. after that i gave up. i didnt realize the poor guy is dead. so he actually didnt get to finish WoT?? my friends and i would joke back in high school that he'd die before he finished the series. i never thought he would actually die....poor dude!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×