Soul saddened SIGHDamn damn DAMNlife can really be full of suck This book really torched my hopes and dreams NOT because it was nightmarishly horrible which it wasn t but because I wanted it to be so brimming with steaming chunks of mouth watering awesome that I could write a stinging snark filled anti anti Thomas Covenant reviewmy rant against the rantersI suspected I had a excellent chance of really liking this story because most of the criticism of the series revolves around how douchy and unlikeable Thomas Covenant the main character is Not a problem for this reader as I have no problem hating a protagonist as long they are interesting well drawn and compelling I don t enerally care if I like them In fact some of the most memorable characters I have come across have been ones that made me cringe like a baby before broccoli I despised Patrick Bateman in American Psycho Lou Ford in The Killer Inside Me Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and even at first Tyrion Lannister from A Game of Thrones I must point out that my dislike for Tyrion didn t last past the second book and I now want him to be my BFF because his awesomeness is off the chartsSo I didn t forsee that an unlikeable main character was oing to be much of an obstacle for me Plus having already enjoyed the first two installments of Donaldson s Gap series I knew the man could write so I figured I might be in for a real treat and then I would show all those Thomas Covenant haters out there cue sinister music end sinister music Well for the first 70 to 75 pages my plan was working perfectly and I was sitting suarely in 5 star territory and starting to brainstorm what insults I would hurl at the insult hurlers in my defense of what I was sure must be THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD FANTASY CLASSIC OF ALL TIME Ah if only someone would have warned me how wrong I was I even flew right through the infamous rape scene and had my explanationsdefenses already erminating in my caustic little brain I was thinking The Complete Idiot's Guide to Detoxing Your Body granted there is NO justification for rape but we have seen similar events in other novels eg The Outlander series that so many people seem to fawn over Also Covenant did express lingeringuilt over this senseless and brutal act and his remorse is something that continues to play an important part in the narrative Thus I think his deep regret and loathing of himself for what he did and the uncontrollable impulse aspect of the initial crime makes Covenant s behavior despicable while still holding out the possibility of his redemption OOOOOOOHHHH take that all you haters BRIEF INTERLUDE Those of you Covenant haters out there that are reading this and know the almost Shakespearean tragedy that was soon to befall me as my initial positive feelings for the book were horribly ripped away from me by the oncoming train wreck of its narrative problems I can only hope that you can forgive my earlier arrogance in wanting to prove you wrong END INTERLUDEUnfortunately shortly after the rape scene when I thought the story was really Silver in the Wood going to ramp up into uncharted bastions of EPICness inconsistencies in the narrative structure began to really reallyet in my way Before I can explain I need to ive a brief thumbnail description of the basic plot Thomas Covenant is a leperyes LEPER How cool is that The man has leprosy He was a best selling writer before he ot the big L and lost two of the fingers on his right hand He also lost his wife and child who packed up and moved on the reener pastures that had a little less leprosy in them So Tommy boy has been oing through the mother of all rough patches when we first meet him Oh Oh I almost forgot The leprosy has also made him impotentnice bonusSo at the beginning of the story TC is living alone in a perpetual pissed off mood and is being shunned by his entire community due to the whole leprosy is icky vibe he is putting out there Well TC as a not so subtle FU to the townsfolk decides to walk down to the power company to pay his bill in person During this excursion he has an accident loses consciousness and wakes up in the Land which is the fantasy world in which the series takes place So far so The Second Cure good Well Thomas doesn t believe he is in a strange new world He thinks he is unconscious or dreaming or in a coma etcHe is afraid to take any of the new world seriously because he thinks it will indicate his final break with reality TC srip on reality is all the important to him due to his leprosy trust me on this no time to explain Anyway all of this sounds Essential Andhra Cookbook: With Hyderabadi and Telengana Specialities great to me A fantasy character who doubts the world around him Bring it on WAITWHAT IS THATDANGERFLASHING RED LIGHTSPROBLEM AHEADSTEVE S REVIEW AND HIS WHOLE PLAN IS HEADED FOR TROUBLENO NO NO NO FULL STOPTRAIN WRECK AHEAD Note you will have to imagine the sight of my murdered dreams as I could not find a picture that truly showed the horror of my disappointment Here is where Donaldson completely lost me and I lost all of my hopes of turning the hate against the haters Instead the read became a waking nightmare that haunted me and began slowly crushing my will to live You see Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever is only partially and occasionally an unbeliever and only when his unbelief can be used to some kind of dramatic effect Otherwise he seems to take the world very very seriously This is THE central plot device of the entire series and it is inconsistent than a politician during campaign season In fact I could probably open the book up anywhere during the last 300 pages and find an example of this inconsistency but I will at least mention a few so you know what I mean At one critical point in the story TC vows to stop eating because he believes that by starving he will force the illusion of the world to be revealed Soundsood but do you know what ole TC is doing when he makes the vow to ignore foodhe s The Sorcerer's Apprentice grabbing the freaking wine skin and taking a swig HUH Food is illusion but I might as well believe in the wineI need some help on this one Once I started looking for this I found it everywhere I asked myself whenever Covenant did anything if you are dreaming and you know it why are you bothering to do X Y and Z I NEVERot a Eagle's Gate good answer AND HERE IS THE BIG ONE Covenant doesn t believe in the world and tells this to everyone who will listen AND YET he continues to follow the course laid out for him by Lord Foul at the beginning of his dream throughout the entire time he is there Again HUH Despite his complete lack of belief in the reality of this fantasy world TCoes through extreme hardship and turmoil to travel the length of the Land because he conveniently tells himself that continuing to move forward is the key No No No Mr Donaldson that makes no sense The truth is it is just too inherently difficult to have a main character in a fantasy world not participate in the story You World War Z. La guerra mondiale degli zombi got yourself stuckBottom line if TC doesn t believe where he is than he should ACT like it Don t just tell us and then occasionally say I won t do such and such because none of this is real Be true to your lack of convictions TC because otherwise you just come across as a failed literary experiment which unfortunately is what I think you areAnyway that is where the story lost me I would add to the above majorrievance that the narrative was also too disjointed and Donaldson was never able to really make the world come alive despite the fact that some of the world building elements were pretty interesting Thus while I liked the idea of the Land and some of the secondary characters especially the iants they came across too much like set pieces iven the rather undefined nature of the world Overall I think that Donaldson had a very interesting idea for a story but it just suffered from the fundamental flaw of being almost impossible to pull off in the context of a coherent narrative20 stars heavy sigh This isn t so much a review of the book as a response to other reviews I have read by people who hated it and hated it specifically because they see the protagonist Thomas Covenant as unlikeable weak whiny and self pitying andor because of the rape scene included in it My position is essentially this You can hate a character for many Who Is Muhammad Ali? good reasons but having no clue who he really is is not one of themSome readers seem to want to excuse Covenant to some extent as an anti hero but I think this misses a larger point his Chronicles of which this book is the first are a kind of anti fantasy Oh this is still escape literature but it lacks intentionally the complete abandonment of a Lord of the Rings It doesn t allow the reader to simply wish themselves into a magical new world Like and because of Covenant it fights back It asks the reader to consider the distinction between reality and fantasy or as Covenant would put it between sanity and madness This tension makes the Chronicles uniue providing a different kind of depth to the storyBriefly Lord Foul s Bane recounts the first part of an epic battle between theood people of the Land and the evil that would destroy it Lord Foul Specifically it tells the story of Thomas Covenant a leper whose disease has cost him his wife his child and the succor of society his sexual potency two fingers of his right hand and the nerves in his fingers and toes The psychological cost has been no less extreme His disease reuires his full attention if not directly for example through freuent visual surveillance of his body searching out any cuts or abrasions that because he can t feel them could uickly become dangerous then indirectly In a world that hates and fears lepers Covenant is compelled to undertake the hardest of all tasks to ive up all hope of health and love and meaningful human contact This is the man who after an accident wakes up in the Land a place of magic where health can not only be seen but restored as he soon discovers his leprosy is cured and only his missing fingers are not returned to himNaturally he rejects the Land and all its inhabitantsAnd here is where the story and Covenant too begins to pall on some readers For
#Covenant S Rejection Is #s rejection is a polite one Worse for many of these readers it is incomprehensible How could he reject this wonderful ift How indeed could he not wholeheartedly embrace itThe answer of course is that Covenant is not in fact a weak man but an exceptionally strong one A weaker man would do exactly as many of these readers seem to want he would embrace the Land and charge off to help the ood uys defeat the bad And because he carries with him a power eual to the task the white old with which his wedding ring is made he would succeed Then truly this book would be as bad as they think it isBut thankfully that isn t Covenant For him the Land is no ift it is a curse He comes from our world the real world where places such as the Land are fantasy And fantasy is dangerous if you begin to believe it That way lies a life of institutionalization and madness Yet it seems so real so full of beauty and wonder friendship and love it takes a man of extraordinary character to resist its temptationsReader complaints of whininess and self pity seem to me to lack an appreciation of Covenant s dilemma and perhaps simple human empathy He believes and as a man of our world he has every reason to believe that he is fighting for control of his own mind And against impossible odds Of course he despairs Yet he perseveresHow exactly is this man unlikeable Because he clings to sanity Because he refuses to allow figments of his imagination to drive him mad Because he doesn t say please and thank you From what I can ather many of these one STAR REVIEWERS NEVER DID READ ABOUT reviewers never did read about Covenant they read about a Hero who wouldn t bow to their own desire for wish fulfillmentIt s ironic They come off sounding like the people in Covenant s town who hate him so much they want him to stay locked up in his house alone forever Except that instead of leprosy they cite the behavior and mode of thinking reuired by his disease as the reasons for their loathing Significantly they don t uestion the townspeople s reactions but they don t follow that through either It s as if they re saying Okay sure everyone hates youbut there s no need to be bitter about it They don t seem to understand that Covenant doesn t want to be the way he is but that he has no choice that if he doesn t build walls between himself and the outside world he will lose hims. 1977 1st Ed.
Stephen R. Donaldson ¼ 1 CHARACTERSStrating spiteful ugly tormented cynical dark brooding and infuriatingly self pitying He is every bit the Unbeliever he names himself And Stephen R Donaldson wants him to be that way He needs him to be that way Covenant has to fight his belief in the Land at every turn because the Land is impossible and as a rational man suffering from leprosy in 20th century North America all that allows him to cling to his life is his rationality and sanity no matter how tenuous both are But the Land at least in this first book of the Chronicles is unbelievable It has to be one of the strangest most frightening and surrealistic fantasy worlds ever created Donaldson describes it with achingly beautiful prose and sometimes that beautiful prose is dense and slow and plodding mirroring the motion of Covenant through the Land itself to reveal wonders that are just slightly different from everything we ve seen before in every high fantasy that Tolkien ave birth to but Donaldson s slight shift in perspective his offering of the place through the decaying lens of a leper his constant overturning of expectations makes his fantasy world uniue His iants are not what we d expect nor are his wraiths nor his Cavewights nor his landscape nor his weather nor his incarnadine corrupted moon nor his magic And the most disconcerting difference between Donaldson s Land and the other fantasy realms we know is that his Land feels entirely unpopulated Covenant never stops travelling as he tries to escape his dream yet his contact with the Land s denizens is minimal He passes through four centers of population Mithil Stonedown a town of Gravelingas who are rich in stone lore Soaring Woodhelvin a tree town of Lillianrill who are rich in wood lore Revelstone the seat of the High Lords and the Plains of Ra where the nomadic Ramen serve the Ranyhyn a kind of uber horse He sees reat sights bizarre rituals and happenings and he interacts with a person here or there but the first two towns seem home to mere dozens of people Revelstone seems empty and the Ramen are so hidden in their poisonous plains that we never et a sense of how many there are And even those people and races Covenant spends much time with such as the Haruchai Bloodguards and his Giant friend are isolated from their vital populations Two score set out to fight Lord Foul s desecration Where is everyone else The Land feels empty and this is another disconcerting moment in an already disconcerting novel But that s why I love Lord Foul s Bane It isn t easy Donaldson challenges us whenever and however he can And he does it with transcendent prose and unflinching devotion to his problematic protagonist I d much rather read Mordant s Need It is hopeful lively real but I don t know if that makes it better In fact it probably isn t If you ve read both I ask you this especially you Jon Is Mordant s Need better I really don t know But I do know this Stephen R Donaldson is my unsung hero of fantasy reatness He is up there with the best But damn is he a lot of work THIS is a book for folks who often find life Tough Maybe you re one of em That has been My life for sureWhen I was 20 I started swimming against the Tide I had discovered Value in my life I was The Ancient Greeks: Ten Ways They Shaped the Modern World gonna hang on to it for dear lifeThe only other available option was sheer outrageSo naturally I made new friends the pleasers They sought to lull me with their nice pleasant lullabies and dropped pleasant leadingambitsWhenever in a weak moment I consented to listen the soporific would be Tricycle (HISTOIRE) gently administered and I d drift off to Lala Land for what seemed ages But then I d remember to Remember myself and throw off my shackles Time then for my opposition to use the heavy artilleryYouot itSo back and forth went my life just so for interminable aeons of slumber interspersed with jarringly wide awake cauchemars with all their Soul splitting bright noonday torment Awakening from history s nightmare is no picnicPride was always my stumbling block EXACTLY as it is for Thomas Covenant in the Strange and Savage Real Life Dreamworld he s been catapulted into We re all proud naturally because of our inborn need for transcendence A real radix malorum as it turns out So then the world turns to us and says You re no one special So why not just jump on the eternal bandwagon of endless 247 Desire Because it s precisely the road of fools is why the way to dusty death Death isn t real to a little kid And it s only real to us because of our illimitable desires We have to make perfect our willBut Thomas knows nothing of this So in his vividly Real parallel universe to his daily disbarred from humanity drudgery of incurable leprosy he is fighting perceived evilDon t all we outsiders do thatJust like me so Thomas a leper one set apart and enchained in a Magic Circle of Exclusion from polite society A figurative leper like the rest of
Us Plodders Who Strive With Every Fibreplodders who strive with every fibre our sinews to be reconnected and justified to our erstwhile peersAs Kafka says ive it up Kafka and Thomas win out Inclusion is Not The Point Our And Their Splintered the point Our and their splintered is Brokenness wins That s where we startAs the Nobel laureate Lagerkvist states Endurance is everything for only in that can there be GloryWe are ALL clinging to that accursed rock upon which we like Prometheus who saw THROUGH Lord Foul s mind ames are impaled sentenced to submit to the Let Freedom Reign': The Words of Nelson Mandela. Henry Russell gnawing of theods upon our liverSo resistance as the film clich says is futileAnd submission is key The books in the immortal Thomas Covenant sword n sorcery series seem endless and a too daunting task for a feeble septuagenarian like me to attempt But I HIGHLY recommend them to folks who like I do find the struggle for Goodness Herculean And this First one of the saga is Great For Thomas Struggle is Really Endless No Paper Crafts Magazine: Joy of Card Making (Leisure Arts getting around itItets better you know if we make ourselves LITTLE Then we re only chaff spinning on the Hurricane of Life And chaff is just peanuts at the Destroyer s orgiastic feastSome day we will all be able to do just that ALL of us VictimsOnce the strength of the
battle subsides we will find we have been MOLDED into a vital tiny truculence that can enduresubsides we will find we have been MOLDED into a vital tiny truculence that can endure the outrageous Forces of CircumstanceOn that blessed day we ll drop our Path to Sanity: Lessons from Ancient Holy Counselors on How to Have A Sound Mind guardAnd take up the eternal cloak of Humility Which will lead us to a Far Better Land than the one so ruinously despoiled by Lord Foul Wow I really didn t like this bookI think it was in large part due to the fact that I found the main character so utterly unlikable Heck he s even despicableSome people can read and enjoy a book despite not being able to empathize with the characters I m not one of those people I actually like to care about my fictional characters It s pretty hard toive a flying fickle about some cranky jerk who rapes a woman in the first book I didn t bother reading to find out if things improved from there I live in a smallish room with roughly a couple of thousand books They are everywhere I love the books but I also hate the books I d have space if it wasn t for them when I moved it would be easy if it didn t involve carrying what feels like an endless amount of heavy boxes packed with them They are everywhere The bookshelves are all double stacked There are books on top of the normally shelved books There are piles of them everywhere They fall over They are in the way Mooncheese likes to knock them over sometimes even though falling books scare her Like Juliana Hatfield felt about her sister I have the same lovehate relationship with my significant others Lately I ve been in the mindset to cull some of the books Be all JC on them and remove the wheat from the chaff I ve been a little successful I ve Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus gotten rid of about sixty or seventy books in the last couple of months but there is a problem I feel wrong aboutetting rid of books that I have not yet read This wouldn t be a problem except that a like a Rudram in Tamil geologist I cano through my shelves and re create the history of fleeting ideas and interests I had that happened to correspond to fortuitous trips to used bookstores and b I sometimes buy a lot of crap An amendment to b is that I also acuire a lot of crap for free ie I Love You Beth Cooper In some cases a and b come together Lord Foul s Bane is one of those books A few years ago I went through a brief moment where I thought maybe I should become familiar with fantasy Then I bought up some fantasy books for about a uarter a piece on a trip to the always wonderful bookstoreI love this cat he likes to sometimes sit on my back while I m crouched down looking for books in Schuylerville turning point of the Revolutionary War and home of the most disgusting home I ever stepped foot in but that is another story I ll try to fit into some other review where dog shit plays a promiment role This long and uninteresting story has no real point except that I want to et rid of books but I feel I need to read them before etting rid of them Lately that has been making me read books I have no interest in I ll look at a book that I think I will enjoy and say to myself when I finish this I think I ll want to keep it So instead of reading something I may potentially enjoy I ll see something like Lord Foul s Bane sitting in a pile and I ll KaBOOM!: One Entrepreneur's Quest to Build Community SAVE PLAY! grab this instead I didn t finish this book I made it a little than halfway through it If I spent another couple of hours reading I d be able to finish it but I just don t care to The book is bad It s written in very formal and stilted style kind of like something you hear from some drama nerd who tries to bring a little Shakespeare into their daily life The story is uninteresting It is difficult to accomplish this for me I find nothing wrong with reading a novel about a man laying in pig shit and doing nothing but thinking I can find that engaging There is nothing engaging in this book By the time I stopped reading it there was some kind of uest to bring a message to someone but I didn tive a fuck Why didn t I care Well one I hated the language I hated the characters The main character is a one dimensional leper with rage issues that make little sense except that they spring up when the author needs to create dialog The only meaningful thing he did in 252 pages was rape a irl All of the other characters are bullshit cookie cutter caricatures The whole world he created seems like just a series of seperate little communities that each have some New Age Hippy thing oing on There are the people who like the rocks the people who like the tree s the people who like the water but besides liking something they don t seem to do too muchI m Treeman of the timberpeople my made up names are only a tad dumber then the names Donaldson comes up with and we live in the treesWhat else do you doDo We live in treesYeah but besides living in trees what do you do I live in an apartment but I also do other thingsNo man you don t et it we live in trees We like trees Just like Granitehead of the Rock collectors digs rocks we dig treesI et it you like trees they like rocks but you live in a world and you have to do something besides just like trees No man you don t Who on God's Earth do you 'think' you are?: A true story about TRANSCENDING the ILLUSION of SEPARATION get it we like trees Are you retarded What baffles me about this book is that it is highly regarded It was up for a bunch of big awards Lists on place it as areat fantasy book and maybe it is My fantasy knowledge being kind of weak Besides my other misgivings the thing I hated most ok not besides I hated this the most was the motherfucking bullshit weakasfuck Dungeon Master shit that the author pulled constantly Any possible conflict could be resolved by some lame ass addition into the powers of a character or thing Maybe it s fun when you re ok Me when I was 13 and overweight and playing Dungeons and Dragons with your friend to throw all logic out the window and just let your characters kill and do anything they would like but as a novelists you can t just add bullshit constantly because you can t think of any other way out of the problems you have made your characters face you may do this if your name is Joss and your protagonist is a teenage irl who kills vampires I don t know why he ets a pass but he does no one else does though I m done with this book and this review I m Mesagerul going toive this book away and maybe learn my lesson that if I don t think I d enjoy a book I own it may be ok to just Judy Blume: Fearless Storyteller for Teens get rid of it without torturing myself for past mistakes in book buying. Olt Winston. Elf entirely If he is overtly rude unlike say a shy person whose rudeness is born of an innate social awkwardness it is because he isn t naturally anti social He has had to build his defensive mechanisms himself against his natural inclinations This makes him at once rigid and heroicAnd then there s the rape a crime compounded by the youth of the victim airl of only 16 More than one reviewer in the blissful simplicity of the knee jerk reaction wanted to throw the book at a wall at this point in the story How is it possible to maintain sympathy for a man who would do such a thingWell as it turns out it is uite easy to do so provided you see the book through the lens of Covenant s dilemma If you o into this book like other works of fantasy believing in the reality of the Land and you cannot fathom Covenant s unbelief then you will have a problem with this scene But then I think you will also have missed the point completely For rape in a dream or a fantasy isn t rape But for Covenant in a dream as real as this one appears to be it is impossible to ignore And it acts on him in two ways it makes his rejection the Land difficult even as it raises disturbing uestions of his mental health outside the dream Later in the book he has a similar reaction when he kills for the first time Is he he wonders truly capable of such violenceRather than ask How could he rape a 16 year old it would be appropriate to think Even in his dreams this man has a consciencePost Script Excoriating Covenant for the rape of Lena follows a logic that would have us holding ourselves accountable for the content of our dreams If a man told a woman he had a dream in which he raped someone should the woman henceforth think of the man as a rapist If a woman told a man she had a dream in which she was raped and she enjoyed it should the man afterward believe the woman obviously wants to be raped I hope I speak for a large majority when I say Of course notBut one of the fascinating things about Covenant is that he does follow this logic He doesn t want to and he tries hard not to but the things he does in the Land the those things affect how he sees himself This is why he does so damn little This is another misguided complaint about his characterIn this sense Covenant s journey is one of self discovery Like many of us however he is afraid of what he will discover By doing nothing or as little as he possibly can he can spare himself pain He has enough pain from his disease from his isolation he doesn t think he can take any Lord Foul s Bane is I think a very ood book But it is here in the area of Covenant s self discovery that it is lacking His whining isn t a problem in itself it is a symptom of Donaldson s unwillingness or inability to fully explore the depth of Covenant s character It s interesting that the Land is mostly exactly that land While there is much to see on the surface a few deep lakes would have been nice Thomas Covenant had it all a What Am I Doing with My Life?: And other late night internet searches answered by the great philosophers good family his first book was a New York Times bestseller his second book was in the progress Suddenly he developed leprosy his wife left him taking his son with her people avoid any kind of contact with him turning him into a self loathing bitter whining person He is a leper outcast uncleanSome high powers brought him to magic land where he OMG that was a rather difficult book toet into I mean most of the time I had keep re shifting the Jimmy: The Terrorist gears in my head to see what might be valuable andood about this book and for a reat 200 pages I was wondering if I had stumbled into another Eddings slogfest full of completely predictable situations and heroes with only the main character being a bit out of the ordinaryAnd then I had to remind myself that this came out in 1977 and the cult fantasy favourite as opposed to the mainstream fantasy favourite was LOTR We ve been inundated with Lewis and Beagle and who knows what else in the fantasy field The time was ripe for a change and all the big fantasy fans have all declared this fantasy cycle as a major turning point with a textual breakaway into new territory that has stuck with us all the way to modern breakaway into new territory that has stuck with us all the way to modern which I have to say I now adoreBut did I really et into this book Is it even possible The answer is yes with a pretty huge caveat It s pretty obvious that the entire book is an exploration of a
uote by John Milton in Paradise Lost The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heavenby John Milton in Paradise Lost The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven hell a hell of heavenPutting that firmly in mind now read our self hating Thomas Covenant in his American home being treated as a Leper because he is one and see America as Mordor He s in hell And then he More scary stories for sleep-overs gets sent to heavenThe magical land is just that It s magical people CAN live on beauty alone and there are honourable seafaringiants reminiscent of the Ents horse riders with much magic in the horses just like Rohan only like Valdemar and the Council who are mages who have lost much lore over the centuriesCovenant is skeptical of everything he sees now for although he used to be a best selling author he s now iven up on all things imaginative in the wake of the hell of being diagnosed as a Leper and to learn he has no hope whatsoever So when he is miraculously cured and the wedding ring of his divorced wife has turned into the receptacle of the mystical Wild Magic that could either restore or destroy this wonderful fantasy world he just Can Not Believe any of it He s hallucinating He s dreamingToo bad for him it s all too real to his senses and even his nerves have regenerated which he knows is impossible Oh DearHonestly the ideas come across as much interesting than the execution Like I said it was a slogfestIt s also too bad because he s rather an assholeAfter reading so much modern fantasy I ALMOST wish he d done something other than rape the wide eyed irl that was doing her damnedest to help him like murder a cute puppy or an innocent child Maybe he d have had an easier time making me believe he really did regret the act later or even right after the passion had been spent Jesus What a fucking prickOkay Moving along And that s another thing It was just a very very long travelogue At least LOTR had it in service of excellent secondary or tertiary Heads of the Colored People goals The most we can say about Covenant is hisradual slide into belief and eventual realization that he s been a major asshole At least there was lots of dancing And the initial metaphor and how it changed each time was not lost upon me That was one of the nicer aspects of the novel other than the realizations of Covenant himselfOkay now here s my biggest nut and bolt complaint Lord Foul is both a pretty damn interesting strategist and uber powerful magical villain I wish it hadn t taken so damn long for us as readers to GET THAT POINT Practically anything else would have been a better introduction to Drool and Foul They came across as an actual snivelling idiot and a minor house lord and not the wielder of a staff fashioned by the Creator himself to right the corruption being spread throughout the fabric of reality or the source of that corruption itself Lord Foul It was all properly epic and I loved the ideas once I was finally INTRODUCED to themI saw the influence of Zelazny s Amber series right away and I ve always loved it when authors did that You know Uber Reality and the lesser realms with Earth being one of many minor realms It was a nice addition to the bookAnd oddly enough I ot a lot out of the novel s spoken aloud tales campfire style than I did with the entire let s o et that damn Staff storylineIt s not a bad novel Don t et me wrong I m not jumping off the deep end and slamming this as I would with a modern fantasy that tried to pull this off I m trying to respect it as a product of it s time and place and as such I d probably ive it a 5 star rating too or perhaps a 4 because Zelazny s was better Or at least I remember it fondly and since I haven t read the other Covenant novels I really shouldn t judge just yetBut the language in this novel wasn t up to Tolkien s high standards and the worldbuilding didn t leave all that much impression on me either Maybe that s a personal failing and the fact that I couldn t et into the roove and kept falling out of whatever roove I eventually ot well it certainly didn t helpI ll keep oing because once I invest in a
thing I like to maintain the investment especially when others tell me it only ets a lot better butI like to maintain the investment especially when others tell me it only ets a lot better but of right this moment I m a bit weary Maybe a few novels before I sink into the next might be bestsigh 2020 re readI first read this 1977 publication early in HS so probably in the neighborhood of 1982 or 1983 I blazed through the books and then had to wait for t I ve often lamented that five star rating systems such as the one used by GoodReads don t allow for ratings lower than one star Were it possible I d Longevity, Senescence, and the Genome give this book negative stars I think it actually sucks the uality away from books shelved near it andenerally makes the world a less joyful less intelligent place to beYou might assume from the previous statements that I dislike this book Given that dislike is a pretty mild miluetoast term on the sliding scale of affection you would be wrong I loathe this book This is one of the very few novels I ve ever literally thrown across a room once I d finished it and if I had the chance I d cheerfully do so again preferably at Donaldson himself were he within rangeWhy Let s start with the protagonist and please don t even try to sell me on the notion that he s an anti hero Thomas Covenant is one of the most loathsome self involved creations ever to emerge from a writer s psyche and the fact that he himself would agree with that assessment alleviates his repulsiveness not one bit Covenant is whiny to the point of self parody self pitying to the point of ego collapse and constantly uses his admittedly real hardships as justification for not accepting responsibility for anything including a heinous act of sexual violence which Donaldson thoughtfully sketches out for us just enough to make sure we don t miss the point yes Covenant really does rape a character after she s just healed him of his leprosyLadies and entlemen Our HeroOf course that s merely the most laring flaw in a book chock full of awful Donaldson s writing style First You Fall: A Kevin Connor Mystery gives new depth and nuance to the concept of purple prose and his epic story reads like an overcooked pastiche of Tolkien with some cheery realism for which read late 20th century self involvement stirred in for flavor I do on further but honestly there s only so long I can stomach kicking this dog of a novel before I feel the need to wash the taste of Donaldson s florid writing and his hero out of my brainI regret ever reading this book and I am absolutely flabbergasted that it has enough readers and fans to have led to seven count em seven seuels as of this writing I mean sure I know there s no accounting for taste but damn I read Lord Foul s Bane once in rade seven the same year I first read Macbeth and Lady Chatterly s Lover and The Lord of the Rings for a second time It was a ood year for me and reading And an important year for who I would become But I didn t know until now how important Lord Foul s Bane was to all of thatThis story has stuck with me in the most amazing ways After nearly three decades I recalled an amazing amount of detail in the pages I reread I remembered minute details about Thomas Covenant s attitude towards his leprosy especially when it came to the VSE Visual Surveillance of Extremities rituals that sustained him in our world and the new rituals he developed during his time in the Land I remembered Atiaran s stone knife and the way Covenant tempted the fate of his leprosy with its keen edge the edge that never dulled I remembered the way Covenant hero anti hero villain weakling coward simply flawed raped Atiaran s daughter Lena I remembered the diamond draught of Stoneheart Foamfollower and the image of the impaled Waynhim in the Waymeet and the death of the Unfettered One trying to save the beautiful wraiths of the Andelainian Hills and the wedge formation of the ur Viles I remembered it all with the sort of clarity one has when they read a book dozens of times or reread a book very shortly after having put it down but I didn t expect to have anywhere near the clarity I had all these years later Thomas Covenant himself has stuck with me He is fru. Holt Rineh.