Giant of a series, when it comes to film please call I will be waiting.
Cronicals of Thomas Covenant
I Will Be Waiting
I read the first series of "Thomas Covenant" books when they first came out, about 20 years ago. I remember finding them slightly irritating, but finishing the whole series anyway.
When "Runes" came out, I thought a long time before buying the audio book. Though my experience with the first 6 books had not been so great, I was also in high school at the time. I've changed quite a bit since then - and I thought it possible a more mature reader might appreciate the series more.
Well, I guess I haven't changed enough - "Runes" is truly an awful piece of work. The characters are angsty, helpless, frustrating ... and predictable. You *know*, without any need for forshadowing or introspection, what they will do long before they act (or fail to act, as is more often the case). Not that "Runes" lacks in the introspection and foreshadowing department. Inner dialog goes on for passage after passage, but still leaves many of the characters feeling flat, rather than giving you any insight or making you care about them.
The writing is also poor, surprising from someone who has been in the business as long as Donaldson. The florid prose comes off like really bad poetry at times. Donaldson uses a lot of descriptive language, but it is almost always cliched and trite. It frequently sounds like a parody of really bad romance novel language.
Think really, really carefully before chosing this title - if you are an absolute die-hard Thomas Covenant fan, and can stand the horrid writing, then you may find pleasure in the continuing story of The Land and Foul's plot to destroy it. But just like Donaldson's characters, you too must pay the price of despair and desolation as you suffer through the tortured landscape of cliche and bad writting, before reaching a pay-off that most of us won't find worth the trip.
If there was ever a book I wish I had bought in hardcover, it's "Runes" ... I could have returned it after 20 minutes of reading and asked for my money back.
This book is not as good as the original series was...seems some of the magic was lost..but having said that, I listened to it all and still enjoyed it...I will probably get the next one.
It's been nearly 20 years since the last time I read the Chronicle of Thomas Covenent and if feels like I skipped time and have come back home to the Land again! It's a must read for any Donaldson fan. I'm so glad it's in audio.
Obviously its not great literature like Tolkien, which it borrows from, but it is far more entertaining than Robert Jordan"s wearily drawn out muddle.
not crazy about some of the aspects of the story, but some old friends of the land make a reappearance.....downgraded the overall because the chapter breaks do not line up with the book chapters, but with the physical CDs
I have not not read the print version
Mr Donaldson has woven a vast world in The Land, not only that he has managed to rebuild and reshape The Land throughout all of the series of stories in the Thomas Covenant chronicles. I am able to visualize the people and environs of his stories with clarity. I love that he gives all of his characters flaws and foibles that make them truly reluctant heroes with depth and breadth to their personalities that you rarely see.
I have listened to many stories that Mr Brick has narrated. His voice is rich and captivating. He brings the story to life with tone, timbre and inflection, not relying on creating a special voice for each character. I really like that, because he can deliver the emotion of the lines without being distracted by trying to speak first in Bob's voice than in Mary's. When listening to an audiobook for several hours it is easy to get lost from some readers monotone. Mr Brick does not loose my attention and I am carried along the story with his readings. His voice is comforting, like listening to accounting's by an old friend.
Mr Donaldson has the skill to keep my interest because his stories move from tension to calm and back again with a rhythm that keeps my interest.
Mr Donaldson has a great vocabulary in his writing. He uses rarely heard words in his story, such as Auguries. My only problem is that he will use that same word several times throughout the story when something less impacting will work just a well. For me this gives the word and it's usage less strength, and when he uses it a third or fourth time, it just annoys me in the moment. It is like hearing the same word in the same sentence, as in "he was back on his back in the back outback."