I ve often Zecca: The Mint of Venice in the Middle Ages lamented that five star rating systems such as the one used by GoodReads don t allow for ratingsower than one star Were it possible I d give this book negative stars I think it actually sucks the uality away from books shelved near it and generally makes the world a Irreverent Photo Tools for Digital Photographers less joyfuless 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 oathe this book This is one of the very few novels I ve ever iterally 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 Saphyre 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 hiseprosyLadies and gentlemen Our HeroOf course that s merely the most glaring flaw in a book chock full of awful Donaldson s writing style gives new depth and nuance to the concept of purple prose and his epic story reads The Day the Crayons Quit like an overcooked pastiche of Tolkien with some cheery realism for which readate 20th century self involvement stirred in for flavor I d go on further but honestly there s only so Knight Esquire 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 haveed to seven count em seven seuels as of this writing I mean sure I know there s no accounting for taste but damn Thomas Covenant had it all a good family his first book was a New York Times bestseller his second book was in the progress Suddenly he developed eprosy his wife eft him taking his son with her people avoid any kind of contact with him turning him into a self Shadow Work: A New Guide to Spiritual and Psychological Growth loathing bitter whining person He is aeper outcast uncleanSome high powers brought him to magic Metabolic Repair Manual land where he is destined to either help fight Great Evil or destroy everything the choice is his The problem is he does not really believe theand is real this is only his mind affected by his Law and Society: A Sociological Approach leprosy which plays tricks on him As a result he does not really care about the Land this is an actual name of the place or its inhabitants He is aeper outcast uncleanThis is my second attempt to read the series The first time I read it I was really put off by one of Covenant s actions in the Land people who read this know what I talk about Still considering the fact that a Just an Illusion - Side A lot of people call this the best fantasy ever I was curious to finish this Oh in case you forgot Thomas Covenant is aeper outcast uncleanNow that I finally finished the book I am underwhelmed The most GR ratings for it are either 5 stars or 1 star I guess I will be in minority with my rating I found this book to be a slightly above average Tolkien clone with a very unlikable protagonist After all he is a eper outcast uncleanuite a few of the scenes can be easily attributed to Tolkien s classic with simple change of names Thomas Covenant has a ring with unknown great powers does this ring a bell Sorry for a bad unintended pun He needs to get to Rivendell sorry I mean Lord s Keep from where The Fellowship of the Ring sorry uest is formed from different people I can go on and on but will stop here to avoid further spoilers The only really original part is that the main character is a eper outcast uncleanThe book was probably shocking in the time it was written but if one compares it to modern fantasy it is very mild with the exception of the scene I already mentioned but even that is not THAT shocking nowadays it just strengthens reader s revulsion for Thomas Covenant who is a eper outcast uncleanSpeaking of the main character he is NOT an anti hero as some readers call him For good examples of anti heroes please refer to Elric by Michael Moorcock Lady from Chronicles of the Black Company Gerald Tarrant from Black Sun Rising or countless others Thomas Covenant is just a whining jerk and something worse which I will not mention here as it will give a spoiler I know uite a few real ife people who had it as bad as or even worse than him
but they managed to remain good humans Thomas Covenant is a very pitiful excuse for a human being He is they managed to remain good humans Thomas Covenant is a very pitiful excuse for a human being He is Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement leper outcast uncleanDid you notice that I never mention anybody except for the main character The reason for this is that every single person in the Land is a typical Mary Sue without any exceptions and thus are fairly indistinguishable from each other and not very interesting except for aeper outcast unclean characterI thought about giving 2 star rating to this book but the very end was interesting enough to warrant an extra star after all I would not read the next book in the series with the first one having just 2 stars In this case this book was good enough for me to proceed to the next one even though Thomas Covenant is a eper outcast uncleanOne ast note if you think I overdid on the whole eper outcast unclean thing Thomas Covenant calls himself ike this at The Craving least once per page if not often so if somebody wants to read this for the first time get used to it He keeps whiningike this non stop Wow I really didn t The Murder Exchange like this bookI think it was inarge 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 Love in Catalina Cove (Catalina Cove like to care about my fictional characters It s pretty hard to give 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 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 reallyiking 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 The Million Dollar Goal long they are interesting well drawn and compelling I don t generally care if Iike them In fact some of the most memorable characters I have come across have been ones that made me cringe Securing Caite 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 tast 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 going 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 germinating in my caustic Trudy little brain I was thinking 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 expressingering guilt 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 oathing 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 going to ramp up into uncharted bastions of EPICness inconsistencies in the narrative structure began to really really get in my way Before I can explain I need to give a brief thumbnail description of the basic plot Thomas Covenant is a eperyes LEPER How cool is that The man has The Unlikeliest Hero: The Story of Desmond T. Doss leprosy He was a best selling writer before he got the big L andost two of the fingers on his right hand He also ost his wife and child who packed up and moved on the greener pastures that had a ittle ess eprosy in them So Tommy boy has been going through the mother of all rough patches when we first meet him Oh Oh I almost forgot The Prisoner of Midnight leprosy has also made him impotentnice bonusSo at the beginning of the story TC isiving alone in a perpetual pissed off mood and is being shunned by his entire community due to the whole eprosy 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 down to the power company to pay his bill person During this excursion he has an accident oses consciousness and wakes up in the Land which is the fantasy world in which the series takes place So far so 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 s grip on reality is all the important to him due to his Confessions of an Air Ambulance Doctor leprosy trust me on this no time to explain Anyway all of this sounds 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 completelyost me and I Mr. Jelly's Business 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 toive 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 6 1/2 Body Parts (Body Movers, last 300 pages and find an example of this inconsistency but I will ateast 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 Sounds good but do you know what ole TC is doing when he makes the vow to ignore foodhe s 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 Gökyüzü Mavi Kaldı 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 NEVER got a good answer AND HERE IS THE BIG ONE Covenant doesn t believe in the world and tells this to everyone who willisten AND YET he continues to follow the course Corps Values: Everything You Need to Know I Learned In the Marines laid out for him by Lord Foul at the beginning of his dream throughout the entire time he is there Again HUH Despite his completeack of belief in the reality of this fantasy world TC goes through extreme hardship and turmoil to travel the The Sun Shines Over the Sanggan River 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 got yourself stuckBottomine if TC doesn t believe where he is than he should ACT THIEME Atlas of Anatomy: Head and Neuroanatomy 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 yourack of convictions TC because otherwise you just come across as a failed iterary experiment which unfortunately is what I think you areAnyway that is where the story ost me I would add to the above major grievance 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 River Bodies (Northampton County, liked the idea of the Land and some of the secondary characters especially the giants they came across too muchike set pieces given 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 I read Lord Foul s Bane once in grade 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 good 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. 1977 1st Ed.
review Lord Foul's BaneTh 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 gift 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 ies a Beneath This Ink life of institutionalization and madness Yet it seems so real so full of beauty and wonder friendship andove it takes a man of extraordinary character to resist its temptationsReader complaints of whininess and self pity seem to me to The Psychology of Work 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 gather many of these one star reviewers never did read about Thomas Covenant they read about a Hero who wouldn t bow to their own desire for wish fulfillmentIt s ironic They come off soundingike the people in Covenant s town who hate him so much they want him to stay ocked up in his house alone forever Except that instead of eprosy they cite the behavior and mode of thinking reuired by his disease as the reasons for their The Woman You Want to Be: Margery Wilson's Complete Book of Charm 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 willose himself 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 a girl 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 Laiden's Daughter lens of Covenant s dilemma If you go into this bookike 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 How To Pass The New Police Selection System 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 thin THIS is a book for folks who often findife Tough Maybe you re one of em That has been My ife for sureWhen I was 20 I started swimming against the Tide I had discovered Value in my ife I was gonna hang on to it for dear Strategic Procurement lifeThe only other available option was sheer outrageSo naturally I m 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 the sixth novel White Gold Wielder to come out and I bought that book in hard back a rare extravagance for me back then I recall being so caught up in the world building it was fantastic but also very different from Tolkien or the Narnia talesMy first thoughts now is how dark the story was Donaldson has crafted a magnificent fantasy and then placed at its center a thoroughly unlikeable protagonist in Thomas Covenant so much so that it seems the author went out of his way to make Covenant ugly Covenant somehow contractedeprosy and Donaldson draws on all of the ancient fears and prejudices against that affliction Covenant s wife What Next After School ?: All You Need To Know About Work, Travel And Study (Times) leaves him taking with her their infant son and this coupled with his rigid self preservation training from theeprosarium makes him an abrasive selfish and self The Inclusion Imperative: How Real Inclusion Creates Better Business and Builds Better Societies loathing person He is magically transported to a fantastic setting and is immediately fighting for hisife and in mortal dangerLEPER OUTCAST UNCLEANFinally as if that was not enough Donaldson describes a very sad horrific rape scene Speaking with other readers and many reviews here on Goodreads this was the final straw and they either put the book down or earning about this scene never picked it up The betrayal of a beautiful young girl in a healthy and was a further stinging rebuke against an already troubling narrativeSo why did Donaldson write his fantasy in this wayI understand now that my younger self did not have the emotional maturity to fully grasp the ramifications of the crime I knew then that it was a terrible act and then I just went on with the rest of the story mesmerized by the imaginative vision Donaldson had conjured But I see now that this ugliness this repugnance was exactly what Donaldson was striving for he wanted an explosive contrast between this healthy utopian society and a sickly egocentric paranoid and mistrustful anti heroCan an anti hero become heroicTo be clear Thomas Covenant was not the charismatic anti hero of the 50s or 60s this is not Marlon Brando Big Change, Best Path: Successfully Managing Organizational Change with Wisdom, Analytics and Insight looking cool and confident on a motorcycle Covenant is damaged physically and emotionally and hiseprosy his identity as a The Littlest Alpha leper outcast from society is a central imperative in Donaldson s story Donaldson notes thateprosy is not the kind of disease that can be romanticized and Fairytale Giantess (Growth Femdom) (Female on Male) likewise he does not glamorize Covenant but describes him iness than complementary ways throughout the book He wakes up in a wholesome bountiful تهذيب سيرة ابن هشام land with a magical history and he names himself Unbeliever thinking he is dreaming or has gone insane A magical element found in theand cures him of his disease and the re awakening of his nerve cells of his ability to feel touch and have sensations Digital Hearing Aids leads him to act in an abhorrent fashion rather than being thankful for this unexpected blessingMost notably when describing the critical scene and one that has certainly polarized readers since publication Donaldson shifts the perspective from Covenant to the victim Lena and we experience her thoughts and fears about what has happened to her and by a man she not only trusted but that she believed had a prophetic power to provide some benefit to the LandWhen I read Vladimir Nabokov s Lolita Iike every reader who gets through the outrageous subject must come to terms with the experience It is foremost an exceptionally written book with masterful prose and from a writer gifted in the ability to make Wild Aces language do what he wants with color and wit It s also about a child molester How are Humbert and Thomas Covenant different and how do the authors of each use this highly unorthodox protagonistDonaldson talented as he is is not Nabokov theiterary giant he s telling a very good fantasy story with some exceptional nuances Truth be told in this second reading I thought of a comparison with Gene Wolf with its dark tone and intricate magic rules While Humbert Humbert is an unrepentant sex offender Covenant is a confused tragic hero coming to terms with the contrast between the harsh reality of his severe illness and the fantastic healthfulness of the Creating Lasting Value: How to Lead, Manage and Market Your Stakeholder Value land In his struggle to understand what has happened to him he acts as a monster but there is good in him Il Influential Leadership: A Leader's Guide to Getting Things Done leave it to the reader to decide if Covenant is fundamentally good or bad but he is drawn by Donaldson to be a decidedly complicated person Similarly Nabokov described Delores in a dynamic complexight so the victim in both stories is provided a sympathetic humanistic portrayal In this way Donaldson s Wings of Gauze literary ambition to tell than just another sword and sorcery fantasy is ateast in part realizedThe LandDonaldson s world building is what drew me to this story decades ago and it is still impressive in its scope and design Most noteworthy is the intrinsic health of the Mastering AngularJS Directives land from its strong people who do not know disease to the magical dichotomy between the ecological well being of theand and of the Satanic Clean Tech, Clean Profits: Using Effective Innovation and Sustainable Business Practice to Win in the New Low-carbon Economy like antagonist Donaldson has crafted a world where the vigor of theand is tied to the people and vice versa There is an intricate system of Managing Conflict, A Women's Guide to Controlling Confrontation (Conflict EXTINGUISHER) laws and oaths and pledges and all is well in theand as ong as its people uphold their awfulness There is a history of desecration where the 기신전기 던브링어 3 land was destroyediterally but also metaphorically by desperation hopelessness and awlessness Covenant the outworlder the Leper is starkly contrasted with this health and part of Donaldson s story is how Covenant struggles for acceptance of the Land and of his reluctant heroism Covenant s wedding ring is of white gold and this alloy is given special significance in the and wild magic and Covenant as the wielder of this wild magic seems to be at chaotic variance with the Scala High Performance Programming liturgical observance of the manyaws of the Prayogshala Nepali Sankramanma Dilli Ra Maobadi (प्रयोगशाला नेपाली सङ्क्रमणमा दिल्ली, दरबार र माओवादी) land The UnfetteredIn the world building residents of the Land can go to a place ofearning called the Loresraat where they can study ancient rites and magic and may someday become a Lord a Charlie the Caterpillar leader and steward of theand and a member of the Council of Lords A student who graduates and does not want to become a Lord and Earthfriend can take the Rites of the Unfettered to be allowed to independently continue to devote themselves to a
Single Mystery Of Themystery of the without the responsibility of being a Lord When I first read this the concept was attractive and I thought about the Unfettered since Re reading now I still see this as an appealing idea but now also see this as an important element in Donaldson s narrative Just as Covenant is a kind of bottom of the barrel anti hero being rejected and in turn rejecting much of the aw and order of society both from his world and the Land s the Unfettered serve as a metaphor for 60s and 70s counter culture they drop out and ive off the grid for their own purposes While ike Covenant they can be seen as self centered and contrary to collective society they are also a demonstration of individuality and self determinism Donaldson may also have been signifying a rejection of collectivist conservationist s for a classically iberal ibertarian ethosTolkien Narnia and Game of ThronesStephen R Donaldson very deliberately created a fantasy that was NOT in the Tolkien Lewis mold Like Narnia we have a real world protagonist who is transported to a fantasy world Unlike Narnia this brings the real world ugly to the fantasy It s ike if Edmund got his own fantasy series While LOTR was ike GOT in that they are both self contained epic fantasies Covenant may have anticipated GOT with its focus on mature subjects and by not shying away from ugly scenesTolkien and Narnia with a few exceptions also stick
fairly easily characters While there may be some complexities Narnia s Edmund again stands out and also Thorin Oakenshield and maybe even Gollem from Tolkien for the most part we have either good or bad While most in the Land as Donaldson has drawn them are either good or bad our main protagonist Thomas Covenant is morally ambiguous with many disagreeable even despicable ualities Not until the Game of Thrones characters do we see such a wealth and diversity of good bad and ugly sometimes showing up in the same character In this way Donaldson and Martin after him eads fantasy writers away from an ethically or idealistically binary alignment system to one where the ines are blurred and the concept of unreliable narrator takes a bold new courseIn a Dungeons and Dragons alignment is Covenant Chaotic Good Neutral Good Neutral or even Neutral Evil I l eave that to each reader to ponder onDruids Immunization and Kung Fu PandaThe people and the Land ive together in synergistic harmony and Donaldson has described both and and people in terms of health vitality and power The trees and forests are vibrant the animals are strong and the people are charged with vitality Covenant can sense the health of the and even as a stranger and the people A Silent Ocean Away: Colette's Dominion live in close connection to the natural properties of theand and not from it Wood gives off The Magic Question light but does not burn pottery and stone can be shaped with earth magic It s as though we are reading about an entire society of druids who safeguard and steward theand in all aspects and the A Writer's Reference with Writing about Literature with 2009 MLA and 2010 APA Updates land in turn provides for the people There is an etiuette of communal protocols and hospitality and mutual respect among the peopleAnd then this asshole Covenant shows upThomas Covenant isike immunization He is the small but powerful sample of disease and illness from an unhealthy and corrupt place that the and needs to properly deal with the corruption and waste personified by Lord Foul and his minions In several scenes the people ack even a word to understand disease in their tongue and experienceThe 2008 animated film Kung Fu Panda features a rotund panda named Po who is voiced by Jack Black Po wants to be a hero but his meager abilities are overshadowed by other animals with greater fighting talents Yet he is chosen as the Dragon Warrior mainly because he can take a punch and keep going He s not the best fighter but he is the one most ikely to survive Thomas Covenant ikewise for all his failings and they are many is a survivor His training and status as a An Audience of Artists: Dada, Neo-Dada, and the Emergence of Abstract Expressionism leper have made him that from his rigid system of self examination to detect injury to his freuently hostile attitude aimed at keeping others at bay he has made himself to keep moving and to survive which stands in contrast with the civil polite society he discovers in theandA difficult book in many ways and Stephen R Donaldson asks much of his readers this is also to me at east one of the best fantasies in the past 75 years and well worth the effort. Olt Winston. 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 Aristotle's Rhetoric: An Art of Character 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 hiseprosy 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 Anthropology as Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences later Thomas Covenant himself has stuck with me He is frustrating 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 fromeprosy in 20th century North America all that allows him to cling to his Anaphora and Conceptual Structure life is his rationality and sanity no matter how tenuous both are But the Land ateast 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 gave birth to but Donaldson s slight shift in perspective his offering of the place through the decaying Between Silences lens of aeper his constant overturning of expectations makes his fantasy world uniue His giants are not what we d expect nor are his wraiths nor his Cavewights nor his Betrayals 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 stoneore Soaring Woodhelvin a tree town of Lillianrill who are rich in wood Betrayals: The Unpredictability of Human Relations 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 great 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 get 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 Iove 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 Bat Ode 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 greatness He is up there with the best But damn is he aot of work OMG that was a rather difficult book to get into I mean most of the time I had keep re shifting the gears in my head to see what might be valuable and good about this book and for a great 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 fantasy which I have to say I now adoreBut did I really get into this bookto fairly easily
Is It Even Possible Theit even possible The 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 heaven of 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 gets sent to heavenThe magical Bitter Choices: Blue-Collar Women in and out of Work land is just that It s magical people CANive on beauty alone and there sent to heavenThe magical and is just that It s magical people CAN ive on beauty alone and there honourable seafaring giants reminiscent of the Ents horse riders with much magic in the horses just Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War like Rohan onlyike Valdemar and the Council who are mages who have Blank Darkness: Africanist Discourse in French lost muchore over the centuriesCovenant is skeptical of everything he sees now for although he used to be a best selling author he s now given up on all things imaginative in the wake of the hell of being diagnosed as a Leper and to Back to the Breast: Natural Motherhood and Breastfeeding in America 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 girl that was doing her damnedest to help himike 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 At Stake: Monsters and the Rhetoric of Fear in Public Culture 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 veryong travelogue At Black Nationalism: The Search for an Identity least LOTR had it in service of excellent secondary or tertiary goals The most we can say about Covenant is his gradual slide into belief and eventual realization that he s been a major asshole Ateast there was Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism lots of dancing And the initial metaphor and how it changed each time was notost 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 Boggs: A Comedy of Values 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 houseord 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 Blood Runs Green: The Murder That Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago loved the ideas once I was finally INTRODUCED to themI saw the influence of Zelazny s Amber series right away and I ve alwaysoved it when authors did that You know Uber Reality and the Berlioz and the Romantic Century lesser realms with Earth being one of many minor realms It was a nice addition to the bookAnd oddly enough I got aot out of the novel s spoken aloud tales campfire style than I did with the entire Building Ideas: An Architectural Guide to the University of Chicago let s go get that damn Staff storylineIt s not a bad novel Don t get 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 give it a 5 star rating too or perhaps a 4 because Zelazny s was better Or ateast I remember it fondly and since I haven t read the other Covenant novels I really shouldn t judge just yetBut the Canadian Art, Volume 1 (A-F): Canadian Art: Volume I (A-F) language in this novel wasn t up to Tolkien s high standards and the worldbuilding didn teave all that much impression on me either Maybe that s a personal failing and the fact that I couldn t get into the groove and kept falling out of whatever groove I eventually got well it certainly didn t helpI Building the Cold War: Hilton International Hotels and Modern Architecture ll keep going because once I invest in a thing Iike to maintain the investment especially when others tell me it only gets a One Touch of Scandal lot better but as of right this moment I m a bit weary Maybe a few novels before I sink into the next might be bestsigh Iive in a smallish room with roughly a couple of thousand books They are everywhere I Bulletproof Feathers 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 feelsike 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 Carson Pirie Scott: Louis Sullivan and the Chicago Department Store likes to knock them over sometimes even though falling books scare her Like Juliana Hatfield felt about her sister I have the sameovehate 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 Charting an Empire: Geography at the English Universities 1580-1620 little successful I ve gotten rid of about sixty or seventy books in theast couple of months but there is a problem I feel wrong about getting rid of books that I have not yet read This wouldn t be a problem except that a Chameleon Hours like a geologist I can go 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 aot of crap An amendment to b is that I also acuire a Chicago Architecture (Architecture Urbanism) 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 bookstoreIove this cat he Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs: A Historical Guide likes to sometimes sit on my back while I m crouched downooking 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 Citrus: A History ll try to fit into some other review where dog shit plays a promiment role Thisong and uninteresting story has no real point except that I want to get rid of books but I feel I need to read them before getting rid of them Lately that has been making me read books I have no interest in I Building the South Side: Urban Space and Civic Culture in Chicago, 1890-1919 llook at a book that I think I will enjoy and say to myself when I finish this I think I Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and More ll want to keep it So instead of reading something I may potentially enjoy Il see something Classic Rough News like Lord Foul s Bane sitting in a pile and Il grab this instead I didn t finish this book I made it a Class and Conformity: A Study in Values - With a Reassessment (Midway Reprint) little than halfway through it If I spent another couple of hou 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 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 aarger point his Chronicles of which this book is the first are a kind of anti fantasy Oh this is still escape Class Warfare: Class, Race, and College Admissions in Top-Tier Secondary Schools literature but itacks 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 the good people of the Land and the evil that would destroy it Lord Foul Specifically it tells the story of Thomas Covenant a Common People: The History of An English Family 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 noess 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 epers Covenant is compelled to undertake the hardest of all tasks to give up all hope of health and ove 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 eprosy 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 not a polite one Worse for many of these readers it is incomprehensible How could he reject this wonderful gift 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 good guys defeat the bad And because he carries with him a power eual to the task the white gold wi. Holt Rineh. ,