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Stephen R. Donaldson - General comments

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Submitted by Jordan 
(Jun 06, 2008)

Donaldson is a love/hate thing with me. On one hand, his imagination is great, as is the concept of his leper anti-hero. There are a lot a good things that can be said about these books. However, they are not for the impatient, as Covenant seems to spend every chapter still feeling down on himself, just in subtly different ways.

For me, this makes the books extremely difficult to read, and I could not get beyond the first two trilogies. It seems that most of the story takes place in the protagonist's head, which can be frustrating, especially with the constant reminders of Covenant's state of mind.

In essence, I think there is great potential here, hampered by his inability to get to the point, and other signs of poor writing (such as his insistence on using words that went out of use hundreds of years ago [roynish?!]). He uses the word "incarnadine" almost as often as Robert Jordan uses the word "grimace".

I would say that if there is an abridged version of his other works, I would absolutely read them, but in their unabridged form, it takes far too long for anything to happen. The most notable case of this: Covenant doesn't even get to Revelstone in "Lord Foul's Bane" until around page 200 (roughly halfway through the book!), which is where he learns what he needs to do. It seems like ridiculously poor pacing to me, and if it hadn't been for the interesting world that Donaldson has created, I wouldn't have made it that far.

If you've got plenty of time to waste, by all means read his work. It IS enjoyable in many ways. If you are impatient or don't have much time for reading, look elsewhere.

Submitted by Elias K. 
(Jul 06, 2007)

Author Stephen R. Donladson has created a fantasy world which in my opinion far surpasses that of any other book. "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever" birthed an interest in reading that I still have to this day. The beauty and vitality of the Land drew me into the story. The "anti' hero of the story, Thomas Covenant, personified the true essence of human conflict. He could neither accept or deny the Land into which he was cast. This internal conflict in the first part of the series was the main theme. The beginning of the book "Lord Foul's Bane" has the tendency to scare newcomers to the series away. But if you remain faithful and patient the reward of being able to visualize the realistic and awe-inspiring Land into which Covenant is summoned. Donaldson is by far my favorite author and I am truly anxious for the next book in the "Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant". This is the greatest fantasy series ever created, and Donaldson should be considered one of the legendary authors of Fantasy.I definitely give my full recommendation for this series.

Submitted by Kathryn Griffiths 
(Oct 31, 2002)

1st & 2nd Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I first bought the two trilogies in 1987 and could do nothing else but read them. I have just re-read all 6 books and the power that they exude almost blows me away. The characters don't only exist on the page they become part of your sub-conscious and you can see their trials, hopes, dreams and failures as vividly as if they were your own. I have over the years converted many people to the joys of Donaldson's writing and each person has been touched particularly by the characterizations. The Land becomes a place that you wish to emulate and although some of the language that is used can be a touch flowery it fits perfectly with the whole ethos of what the novels represent. I ache to know what became of the subsidiary characters but I will have to leave their fates to my own imagination. Thank you for a magnificent set of books.

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