Monday, November 15, 2010

How to Read The Wheel of Time

Original cover of The Eye of the WorldImage via Wikipedia
Book umpteen has just been released in The Wheel of Time saga.  Since last I read, the author had died and the series was being handed off with extensive notes and plot outlines for a final book.  The said final book turned into a final three books and I am still waiting for that to be further extended. 

I have talked to many people that absolutely love this series and I have spoken to others who are disenchanted with it.  Upon countless interviews with 98.3+- .7 percent of the Wheel of Time reading population, I have determined the reason for this disenchantment and can keep it from affecting you.

I started the series in 1999 (yes 11 years ago and 9 years into the series).  The series was able to progress up to book 8 while I was reading.  I was able to read 8 books in one fale swoop.  I devoured every one of them within a year.  I then waited 2 years for book 9, a year for book 10, and two additional years for book 11.  I was completely lost in book 11.  and hadn't really enjoyed them since book 9.

In my extensive interviews I have found that 88.6+-.9 percent of the fanbase also lost interest after they were caught up with the series.  I have surmised that it is the vast amount of characters and very detailed plot that do this.  The books have an appendix they I found myself using extensively for almost every character.  The world got too complex for me to read in instalments (no easy task, I could follow 90's X-men after all). 

If you really want to get into this series, wait a couple years and it might be through and start it then.  I probably won't pick up the last three until then if at all.  I know I will need to reread the other books to fully enjoy and I don't think I am willing to commit to 9k pages of books that I have already read.  It would take a regular sized novel just to summarize those books. 

This is a series meant to be read without very many breaks.  This is the problem with series in general but expecially those that run past around 5 books. 

*all statistics are imaginary, especially the ones used in this post.


SteveB said...

Always glad to see good uses of statistics in a fantasy post...

Yeah -- I gave up somewhere in the middle "Path of Daggers" maybe? I thought the story'd become too convoluted and each 800pp booked inched it along. Gave up, don't care.

The really bad part is that I'm almost there with George RR I Can't Finish My Books Because I'm Going to All These Conventions and Signing HBO Deals Martin.

Budd said...

after 5 years without a book, I think it is safe to say the story is done.

SteveB said...

I love it that on his Amazon author page, the top thread subject is "Screw You, George Martin".