Rand is the New Sisyphus
2005-06-29 - 2:30 p.m.

So, another journal has revealed to me that Robert Jordan has released yet another volume from the Wheel of Time series. Ok, so file this under dorky sci fi/ fantasy entry right now, go ahead. Now I will continue. I have mixed feelings about this. I actually do like his writing style and the characters and places he’s created and, ultimately, I do want to know what happens to them. On the other hand, the BIG other hand, just how damn long can he drag this thing out? Each book is turning into a season of 24 here (though without the fast moving plotline). Next he’s going to be describing the characters sleeping habits just to stretch it out one more book. The plot has completely stalled and at this point there are so many characters and subplots I spend half the book just trying to remember who the hell everyone is. I appreciate the intent of creating a complex story, but come on now. The entire last book (over 1000 pages) covered, I think, maybe a week and NOTHING HAPPENED in the main plot line. That is really is a bit much, Mr. Jordan.

I also have trouble figuring out if he really is a raging misogynist or if he’s trying to make some kind of statement by using stereotypes as a metaphor. If it’s the second, he is failing. At the beginning I just sort of wrote it off, the majority of the female characters were rather young and trying to behave like they were “grown ups,” just like the boys. Now, however, they’ve had a chance to grow and develop, and while a few have, most are still shrill, nagging, domineering hen-peckers intent on controlling men’s lives without much else going for them, even if they are obviously also smart and talented it is overshadowed by the first traits Almost all of the females he has added in the other books behave this way as well. The ones who are not as bad as the others tend to be the tomboys or otherwise “less feminine.” I know that’s a bad way to describe it, but I can’t think of a better term right now.

As for not being able to remember who is who, well, I do have that problem with most book series; even Harry Potter has tripped me up a few times. I’ve also been reading George Martin’s series and that one always throws me off. When I have to wait a year or more for the next book, that’s plenty of time to forget who’s who, especially among those pesky minor, yet extremely vital, characters. In fact, Martin would do well to put a “our story thus far” recap in the beginning with the characters and what they are doing and who they are with. My point is, as frustrating as that is, I’m used to it, but Jordan just throws in new people willy nilly with no introduction or explanation. I need reminders on old characters and introductions to new ones at this point. You are outnumbering War and Peace with the number of people I have to keep track of here. Throw me a damn bone.

Anyway, I haven’t decided if I want to read this book yet. I probably will, as I said before, I do want to know what happens to the characters eventually, but if I do read this one and nothing happens yet again I will be very, very pissed off. I started reading this series when I was in Europe. It was good because the books were sizable, so it took me a while to finish, and popular, hence easy to find in English, so I only needed two books for the whole three weeks and I was able to give my first one to another hosteller, spreading the good travel karma. So, I have a bit of an attachment to the series, and it disappoints me that it is unraveling at “Attack of the Clones” proportions. I hope maybe it was just a bit of a stall, a calm before the storm if you will, and he’ll be back on track with this one. Though something tells me I really shouldn’t hold my breath. I think he intends on retiring on these bad boys and will drag it out as long as humanly possible. Poor Rand won’t get a chance to fight the Dark One until he’s eighty and leaning on his walker muttering about how kids these days don’t know how good they have it while Nynave trails behind swinging at him with her cane telling him to hurry up already. Sigh.

OK, was that nerdy enough for all of you?

I am so happy this weekend is a holiday. I can totally use that extra day. I need to get things back in order and it will be very nice to just be able to relax a little without any commitments, at least so far. J Maybe I’ll finally finish the book I’ve been trying to get through. Anyway, I do have things I need to get through here, so I should get on that.

when we last left our heros… - in our next exciting installment…