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  1. #1

    Novels that make you feel part of the group

    There are two series of books that really stand out for me because they managed to evoke a sense of belonging with the characters that I'm not used to get from other novels. The characters weren't just carrying the plot or being used to add a social dynamics layer to the story; I felt like I was "hanging out" with them, I felt at home in that group, and I was just as interested in simply spending time with the characters as I was in advancing the plot.

    Have you ever experienced this in a novel? If so which one(s)?
    For me it was the Harry Potter series (the group being not just the core trio, but also the adults and extended family), and Lev Grossman's Magicians series, which struck all the right dissonant chords with me.

    PS: I didn't know where to place this because I'm equally interested in science fiction examples as well as fantasy. I put this in fantasy because it's the genre the above novels fall into.

  2. #2
    David Eddings was the master of this. His novels always made me feel like I was adventuring with family and friends.

  3. #3
    I never thought about it in this way but I think that's why I like Roger Zelazny so much. My two favorite characters are Corwyn and Mahasamatman (Sam for short). I initially read both these stories (Amber series 1-5 and Lord of Light) when I was fairly young and with both these characters I felt like I was there with them as a special confidant. Like I was a kid brother they were fond of tagging along behind them where ever they went and of course they shared all their secrets and secret musings with me!

    I know brother and confidant are antonyms in the Amber series but you know what I mean.

  4. #4
    Cthulhu's Red Bucket Lucas Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pendragon View Post
    David Eddings was the master of this. His novels always made me feel like I was adventuring with family and friends.
    every time i get a flu, i HAVE to read the belgariad. i can't help it. it's like some form of ocd. i always put it down to that very reason. there's a kind of comforting fluffiness to the whole series. there's a very warm, fuzzy and inviting tone to that series.

  5. #5
    Unreasonable reasoner
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    Similar, but a little darker

    Steven Pressfield's "Gates of Fire." Had so many very realistic dreams about being a Greek hoplite.

  6. #6
    the Rake
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    I've gotten that impression from the Dark Tower, the Kingkiller Chronicle and the same feeling for the smaller number of protagonists in the Earthsea and Riddle-master books

  7. #7
    Robin Hobb's Farseer, Liveship, and Tawny Man novels. I've not come across anyone who can write better characters than her.

    Spoiler:
    The conversations and interactions between Fitz and Nighteyes can't be beat IMO. I felt right at home with those two.
    Last edited by CFogle21; August 24th, 2012 at 10:48 PM.

  8. #8
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson is all about group therapy: it's about a bar where time and space travellers gather to drink a pint, sing a couple of songs, tell tale stories and generally unload their troubles by sharing them with the company. Everybody's welcome, first drink is free.

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFogle21 View Post
    Robin Hobb's Farseer, Liveship, and Tawny Man novels. I've not come across anyone who can write better characters than her.
    Have you tried Michelle West? Imo Hobb does a better job in realistic dialogue (and does rate very highly imo against other authors in this category), but in terms of insight into the human psyche, depth and emotional truth, I've not found anyone who can compare to later West.

  10. #10
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmethystOrator View Post
    Have you tried Michelle West? Imo Hobb does a better job in realistic dialogue (and does rate very highly imo against other authors in this category), but in terms of insight into the human psyche, depth and emotional truth, I've not found anyone who can compare to later West.
    I can agree with this. Other names that I would put up there are favorites of mine, largely because they're able to do this - Donaldson and Williams.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWilliam View Post
    I can agree with this.
    Thank you. Though imo it's later in the story where she gets brilliant. I'd say that what you've read is good, but that you haven't seen the truly great stuff yet.

  12. #12
    MJ Dusseault Spears&Buckler's Avatar
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    For me, it was Stephen R. Donaldson back in the day. I read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and the Second Chronicles when I was in the 8th and 9th grades respectively. I was fully engulfed in feeling like a part of the story. That may have been my age, I think. More recently it would have to be RA Salvatore's Drizzt stories. I have since grown out of those books, but Mr. Salvatore had a knack of drawing me into the story as though I was walking beside the dark elf himself.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by chokipokilo View Post
    Steven Pressfield's "Gates of Fire." Had so many very realistic dreams about being a Greek hoplite.
    Thermopylae - I had forgot all about this book
    Excellent read that showed how over the top ridiculous the movie 300 was.
    I hated that movie because its over the top melodramatic BS seemed to trivialize the true heroism of these incredible ppl.

  14. #14
    The First Mistborn book gave me that feeling. Reminded me of how i felt when watching Oceans Eleven

  15. #15
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    Oh, my.

    I guess this is what C. S. Lewis (in That Hideous Strength) characterized as "the inner-circle thrill", the sense of being one of the "in-crowd" in some abstruse assembly of like-minded souls who feel themselves in a minority and justify it by feeling that minority to be especial and elevated (c.f. "Jonestown").

    Me, I just call it "Tubby's Klubhouse."


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