Sunday, September 29, 2013

On Never Reading Anything by Robin Hobb Again: The Rain Wilds Chronicles

I'm starting off combative because I'm very weary of having my time wasted by piss-poor excuses for books. There's a good chance that someone will eventually convince me to read one of the other offerings by Robin Hobb or her alias, but they will have a much more difficult time to do so after I've read 2 of the 4 Rain Wilds Chronicles books and started the third.

I am astonished that someone can be such a good writer and write such an uninteresting story and have characters with little to no redeeming qualities continuing to be jerks.

I really wanted to enjoy the Rain Wilds Chronicles, and perhaps that is why I am taking it so poorly.

And do the authors and reviewers paid to write blurbs not even bother reading the books? One actually said the characters were sympathetic! I've never encountered LESS sympathetic characters. Sauron was more sympathetic than any of the whining, sniveling, base morons piloting these books.

I am disgusted.

I wanted to know what happened. The writing, and by the writing, I mean strictly the prose, was so good. The directing was so bad. I've never encountered such a dichotomy before in all my years of reading.

I read close to 1000 pages in order to get an ending worthy of a short story and I was OK with that. Do you understand how nuts that is? I was OK with having my chain jerked around for 1000 pages in order to get the hint of an ending that wasn't really an ending but was infinitely better than the "ending" supplied in the first 500 pages.

And then within two chapters of the new book they took THAT 1000-page, short-story ending away. Literally, they reversed the course of the expected and took away the ending by saying that a few seconds after we left off it ended disastrously and it's been the same-old, same-old with no change other than more male characters trumpeting their male-ness to be all-out jerks.

What kind of person would *want* to read about this?

I understand that many people think that art should imitate life and that if it occurs in life then it can be written about artfully, but WTF?

Why would you want your art to be like your life? You're living life, your art should satisfy some other need. I prefer the alternative.

I like to think that chivalry came about because writers wrote chivalrous knights, so that knights hearing about those stories grew up wanting to be chivalrous. I like to think that epics and stories of heroes inspire more heroes.

So what sort of lives would imitate the Rain Wilds Chronicles? The sort of life that no one would want to associate with. Why would we want to hear about these creatures? Even if it's a different sort of life than one we want to imitate, they're not even entertaining. It's monotonous and slower than any story ever has a right to be. I can forgive not being sympathetic if it is at least entertaining or if there is SOME REASON FOR ME TO BE READING.

Is this what happens when you become an upper-tier author? Any drivel that you float gets picked up and turned into a book? It should have been flushed. Or some beta reader or editor should have realized the stink they were reading and ask for a stronger director.

The Rain Wilds Chronicles has been one of the worst reading experiences of my life, and I suppose I have no one to blame but myself for not giving up on it in the first book and mistakenly believing that so many satisfied readers couldn't be wrong. I have some idea of what sort of crap those readers were smoking, and I should have trusted my instincts when its odor first reared its ugly head. I will not subject myself to a book as though it were medicine or vegetables ever again, and if it is not enjoyable, I just won't read it.

The Rain Wilds Chronicles are not enjoyable and not worth your time. I regret the hours of my life spent reading them and hope that I never come across another paragraph authored by Robin Hobb for the remainder of my days.