The Wheel of Time

I’m on volume 4 of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. I tried reading it about ten years ago, and couldn’t get beyond the first few chapters. I’m not sure I understand why. The explanation I tell myself is that it had something to do with his writing style and my expectations: I was told he was greater than Tolkein, but he read like a pale imitation at best.

There is part of me that still thinks this is true. He is no Tolkein. And yet…I have not been this engrossed in a story in longer than I can remember. Something is different, something is sticking. I find his style is somewhat off-putting, but I can’t deny the sheer massiveness of his mind. And that alone is supremely attractive.

However, weaknesses are starting to show. The patterns are too predictable.

But the desire to read on does not abate.

What does this mean?

The only comparison that comes to mind is World of Warcraft. Once I mastered the second expansion I knew, in my heart of hearts, that there was nothing more. And yet I played on, for almost 10 years.

Why is this?

2 thoughts on “The Wheel of Time

  1. When one is caught in the story, little else can deter them it. Not the predictable patterns, not the weaknesses in the writing. One doesn’t read Wheel of Time for fantastic, flawlessly written work. It is read for the story, for the immensity of the world that he has created. One seeks adventure, bravery, cowardice, greed and love. One seeks a truth that can only be found within the words of the pages and how they create a rich environment for the imagination to take hold of.

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  2. Thank you Saphyne, I think you are right. I especially like your observation on truth: it is to be found where it is. This is an idea Calvin had in the Institutes: all truth comes from the Holy Spirit, and can be found anywhere one is willing to see it.

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