[LMB] The Ultimate Booklist OT:

Sylvus Tarn sylvus at rejiquar.com
Tue Jul 11 23:22:54 BST 2006

On Tue, 2006-07-11 at 10:20 +1000, Tracy MacShane wrote:
> Not wanting to sound provocative, but are there any *female* TC fans?

> Aside from the r*pe that takes place in the first book, I mean.

>   Perhaps someone would be willing to give it a go at explaning. It's
not the rape per se - although, as a woman, you're generally more likely
to find that event challenging on a *personal* level - it's the
self-pitying way TC went about making some poor uninvolved woman the
receptacle of his effed-up-ness. Just the assumption that that was an
"understandable" action on his part gives me the icks. And that attitude
persevered throughout (as far as I read, personally).

I remember glomming the early books as they first came out, and then
gradually losing interest. ---I had forgotten the `rape' scene until
another poster mentioned it, and even now cannot remember the specifics,
though I'm sure there was some subliminal, if not positively conscious,
discomfort with it.

However, I note that although I have always technically been a feminist
(equal pay for equal work; reproductive rights) I've really only
embraced the *label* recently.  And I read those books as a college
student 20-odd years ago, sigh.  I put up with a lot chauvenist stuff
back then I won't tolerate now.  The lack of interesting women
characters in LotR is one of the reasons I think I've never been able to
reread those, either.

As someone else pointed out, the world-building in terms of the cultures
and so on is well done.  ---In fact, I'd say they were relatively well
written, with a flawed, but dimensional main character.  I also liked
the idea of featuring an imperfect hero---`half-hand', infected with
leprosy.  You have to admit, that's kind of unusual for a heroic
fantasy.  The idea that the symbol of his *failed* marriage---the white
gold wedding band---as the source of his power---was sorta cool, though
as a metalsmith I couldn't help cringing a bit, since white gold (or red
or green) merely results from a different alloy;  gold is gold is

I also recall that I had to read the books with a dictionary on my lap,
which for me who tested at college-level vocab by 6th grade was a rather
humbling experience.  But it was from those books I learned the word

But I'm still not a good data point, because I didn't *stay* a fan of
Thomas Covenant, and lost interest by end of the 2nd trilogy, possibly
before.  Bujold, otoh, just keeps growing on me, and the books just seem
to be progressing in their appeal as both the author and I get older.

sylvus tarn

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