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Thread: Books about journeys
January 2nd, 2013, 11:51 AM #1
Books about journeys
I'm looking for examples of books wherein the character(s) spend most of the story travelling from one place to another, and various obstacles prevent the journey from being easy. The Odyssey is probably the archetype of this, and it occurred to me that The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy are similar, with the emphasis placed on the travel.
Can you help me think of the other classics of this type?
edit: To clarify, I'm hoping for stories that aren't travel based just to let the author show off that they've invented a desert culture and a mountain culture and a plains culture....
Last edited by NicoleDreadful; January 2nd, 2013 at 11:54 AM.
January 2nd, 2013, 05:35 PM #2
It is not clear if you want classics or modern fantasy. Don Quijote, Tom Jones, The Pickwick Papers are examples of classic picaresque adventures. Jurgen by James Branch Cabell is a modern classic with fantastic elements, available for free on Project Gutenberg. The first two books in the Coldfire trilogy by C S Friedman are structured as fellowship on a quest fantasy. Winter of the World by Michael Scott Rohan is a series that reminded me very much of Tolkien, with an ice age setting. Another favorite journey is the duology World Without End / Sea Without a Shore by Sean Russell. His Swan War trilogy might also qualify, but I have yet to read the final volume. One recently finished, easier to find in bookstores, and a personal favorite is The Chathrand Voyage by Robert V S Reddick, starts with The Red Wolf Conspiracy. And for closing my childhood favorite: anything by Jules Verne.
January 3rd, 2013, 10:56 AM #3
Bakker's Prince of Nothing may fit the bill, though the journey it chronicles isn't of an individual or small group exactly. The majority of it follows several characters as they travel to join, and then as part of, an army on a crusade.
January 3rd, 2013, 01:00 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
It would be easier to name all the fantasy books that are not about a journey or set during a journey. It was one of the main plot devices that many of the authors who followed LotR used. Brooks, Eddings, Jordon etc., etc. Be sure to read The First Law by Abercrombie after some of the others.
January 3rd, 2013, 01:07 PM #5
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
- Perth, Australia
Off the top of my head, Robin Hobb's Dragon Haven and Dragon Keeper, as well as the third book of the Farseer Trilogy. The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King definitely fits the bill.
January 4th, 2013, 02:15 PM #6
Thanks folks, I will check some of these out. I am working a series of my own and the second book is a cross-continent journey, so I sort of want to get a bit of an idea about what is out there. I realize that the Journey is a major plot device in fantasy, but I was hoping to get a few examples that handle it really well. Or at least some ideas about what tropes have been overdone...
January 4th, 2013, 06:59 PM #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2012
- Iwate, Japan
My favorite novel: The Scar, by China Mieville. This novel features too many crazy things to mention (my brother and I tried at thanksgiving and it turned into a big joke by how absurd it sounded) while also being one of the most personally touching and philosophically challenging novels I've read. This is four-time Arthur C. Clarke award and Hugo winner China Mieville at his very best.
January 4th, 2013, 07:29 PM #8
I haven't read them so I could be wrong, but aren't all of David Eddings's books basically travelogues?