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Author Topic: Randian Fantasy--don't laugh  (Read 1967 times)

azcoyote

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Randian Fantasy--don't laugh
« on: January 21, 2009, 01:04:51 am »

I just finished the final volume of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series.

If you like decent fantasy fiction, this does the trick. If you like Ayn Rand, this does the trick.

The first half of the series reads like straight forward fantasy. Book 6, however, takes an extreme Randian turn and culminates in book 12 with a speech worthy of (but shorter than) John Galt.

When the author finally came out of the closet in The Pillars of Creation a part of me said "Oh geez, what a Fountainhead rip-off." But another part of me, which knew these books were making the NYT bestseller list, went "Hhhmmm."

Now that I finished it up, I'm tempted to go back and re-read all of them to look for the author's philosophical clues. I kinda think he left out the message in the beginning to sell the books. Once it took off, then he could write what he wanted. How sad, but at least he did get it out, and to a lot of people.

The syndicated TV series Legend of the Seekeris based on these books. I've only caught a couple episodes. It's not great but not absolutely awful either. We'll see if they incorporate the message or just keep it a fantasy-action kind of thing.

The first 3 books are good fantasy--characters you care about, well defined world, good plotting. Books 4 and 5 started to lose me as I thought maybe he was pulling a Robert Jordan and just lengthening things out to sell books. Then he went hard-core Randian and pulled me right back in. i still think maybe he dragged things out a bit too long, but I will forgive him for the message he put out there and the number of people he reached with it.

I did find it odd that he was espousing Randian ideals in a world where magic exists. The magic our hero uses is all very logical, but still...I'd be interested in other folks' comments on this. He obviously slams religious fanaticism (think Taliban), but I'm not sure how Richard's magic is different. Other than the fact that it works and is not just based of blind faith but on strict rules of use. Gotta think on that some more.

What I find very heartening is that 2 of my young co-workers have read and liked these books. We have not--yet--gotten into a discussion on the philosophy. I intend to start probing them about that soon. i also am heartened by an article in the WSJ that reading is up particularly in the 18-24 demographic due a lot to the Harry Potter books. Maybe there is hope for the future yet.

Coyote
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MamaLiberty

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Re: Randian Fantasy--don't laugh
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 04:58:57 pm »

Thanks for the summary! I'll take a look.
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mutti

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Re: Randian Fantasy--don't laugh
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 05:23:12 pm »

Quote
I just finished the final volume of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series.

Hm. I liked the series before you pointed out the Randian aspect - now I will have to re-read them to see what exactly I missed.
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azcoyote

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Re: Randian Fantasy--don't laugh
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 12:11:22 am »

Sorry about the italics thing. It's odd, when I try to preview a post, it disappears into a black hole. Probably the NSA gobbles it up. Anyway, I'll trust the system more and try not to let it happen again.

Coyote
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Always keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. Robert A. Heinlein
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