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Chris Paolini`s Eragon & Eldest (1 Viewer)

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Mystman13

Hello. When I introduced myself a day ago, dear Dephere told me not to bring up Chris Paolini`s books because of debate. I love Eragon and Eldest, and want to get down to the bottom of this.

Sorry, I just realized I put this in recommended reading. Well I recommend Eragon & Eldest to all, but I want to know the problem with them.:-k :book:
 
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jk7070436

Senior Member
Well... everyone is subject to their opinion, and I don't want to be labeled as some Paolini hater because I'm not. Anyways, lots of people think that his work is very cliche and predictable, borrows a lot from other writers, and has shallow characters, as well as forced, unrealistic dialogue. Let's look at Harry Potter. The characters have traits, little things about them that differentiate them from others. In the Inheritance Trilogy, however, many of the characters lack... well... character. They lack substance. Sure, the main character, Eragon, can be described, but the problem with him is that he's too good. Paolini fell into a trap; he overpowered Eragon, thus making all obstacles put before him very, very... well... they're not really obstacles anymore if he can blow them away with a little word or something. The object of the writer, in my opinion, is to put their characters in the worst situations ever, and have them struggle as they come out of that pit. Paolini made such a vast difference in the scale of the strengths of the characters that he does NOT put his character in the worst situation.

Well... Like I said earlier, I'm NOT a Paolini hater, and I thought his books were okay compared to lots of other books out there that 'somehow' got published. Hope I helped.
 
M

Mystman13

Thanks! Yeah, I can see people thinking that a lot. Although there is death in the book, but Eragon does seem invinsible sometimes.
 
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RoseStemThorns_AraNorren

jk7070 I concur. I am not a Paoloni hater either, but his work shows a lack of creativity, and definitely a lack of higher thinking. It was solely intended for readers of the age 9-14 and I hate that. It also had a incredible predictable plot that was basically peaces of others books. He has been hailed JUST BECAUSE HE WROTE A BOOK, by my standards, his work is bland. Wow, dragons, where have we seen them? I am personally getting sick of dragons... Maybe I've just read to much McCafferey, but seriously, can we get a book about griffins or chupacabra or something... What is the plural of chupacabra anyway... Chupacabras? Chupacabri? Los el chupocaberos? Anyways... Summary: Not a hater of him, but work is unoriginal, not a recommended read. Reed something original... How about McCaffery or Orson Scott Card.
 

CZ

Senior Member
Mystman13 said:
Eragon & Eldest to all, but I want to know the problem with them. Why do people need to make big deals out of terrific books such as Harry Potter???

One person's problem doesn't matter to another person. Another person's "terrific book" is hated by somebody else. There is no defining word, only opinion.

That being said, 1) Predictable plot 2) Magic system draws heavily from Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea 3) 2-dimensional characters 4) The writing is unpolished

To clarify 4): I noticed that, especially in Eldest, he'd try to advance the plot through dialogue and had a formula that was starting to become predictable.

"So.. X?"
"Yes, X"

Questions stating the obvious, then an answer stating the by-now very obvious.

"Are we one again?"
"We are one." (Eldest, pg. 452)

"You are adamant on this?" <-- note the poor phrasing
"Aye." (Eldest, pg. 444)

(Well, what else are you going to say? "Gee no, now that you've questioned me, I'm not adamant about this issue anymore!"?)

The "romance" between Arya and Eragon was rather stilted. It could have used a lot more fleshing out, as could Arya's character. I felt the book in general jumped around a lot without segues. A good example of what I *like* to see is that puzzle Eragon finally completed near the end of the book. Yet, the book tended to have quite a bit of what I felt was "fluff," adding superficial flavor to the writing, yet rarely following through like the puzzle did. What I mean is: you see so much introduced randomly throughout the book, like the gods, vegetarianism, yet these issues are rapidly raised and then just as rapidly dealt with... once you read about them they might as well be over. No real conflict, no real thought... you can skim that stuff and still easily get the gist of the plot because there don't seem to be many viable subplots to concentrate on, so I found myself just kind of skimming over a lot of the bulk of the book because I knew it didn't matter if I read deeply. On the other hand, if I was reading somebody like George R. R. Martin, I know I'd have to read deeply because he scatters information throughout the chapters that actually *matter* later in the book, add detail to the plot, and create subplots.

As for the positives... I enjoyed Roran's journey, and felt the book finally started to shift into gear in the last 100 pages. I think if he tries, he could make Book 3 a good read... some of Book 2 was decent, and Book 1 had some promise. I won't say I hate the series nor do I love it; it's rather like drinking semi-flat soda. You know it'd be better carbonated, but it's not bad enough to gag on and throw out.
 

Stiltspear

Senior Member
I started the series when I was 13, but being quite widely read I quickly became frustrated with the use of every fantasy cliche ever created, and the poor writing didn't impress me either... and that was just after 20 pages.

I can see how it may appeal to younger readers who have not read or explored the genre so well before, but I really don't know how anyone could sing it's praises.

And by the way there's such a thing as opinion and personal taste. There's nothing 'to get down to the bottom' of, it just so happens that some people don't like Harry Potter or don't like certain books and *gasp* that's fine.
Yes, it's hypocritical of me to then attack your personal choice, but you did ask for it after all. And your post was so very thoughtless, naive, and just plain ignorant of any opinions or tastes outside of your little bubble that I felt a tad vindictive...
 

GhostLad

Member
Stiltspear said:
Yes, it's hypocritical of me to then attack your personal choice, but you did ask for it after all. And your post was so very thoughtless, naive, and just plain ignorant of any opinions or tastes outside of your little bubble that I felt a tad vindictive...

Call me a bit slow, but I'm missing who this post was directed at. If it was aimed for CZ, then allow me to speak on her behalf:

First thing in the post, she states that:
One person's problem doesn't matter to another person. Another person's "terrific book" is hated by somebody else. There is no defining word, only opinion.

Hence, she agrees with you. She was meerly stating her own opinion, and fleshing it out including pointing out what she liked about the book. Nothing vindictive, thoughtless, naive, or just plain ignorant about that.

If you weren't indicating CZ, then I just wasted a minute of my life. :p
 
M

Mystman13

Thank you... Today I reached about page 150. Eragon`s journey is getting quite bland, but Roran`s story in Carvahall is really keeping my interest. I`m also noticing that Christopher doesn`t handle any character`s qualities very well, even main characters. For all I know, elves, humans and dwarves could be the same thing seeing that they all talk and act the exact same way. It is hard to remember and visualize Orik as a dwarf, and Arya an elf.
 
I've read Eragon and I'm a little over halfway through Eldest, but it's not a book I would recommend to any of my friends - though a lot of my friends seem to have found out about it on their own, and love it.

I guess the main things I dislike are the writing style itself - as CZ said, it felt unpolished. It also seems to use a lot of fantasy cliches, with very few ideas that are completely original.

Even despite those things, it's still somewhat enjoyable, obviously, or I wouldn't be as far in the series as I am now.
 

Jabatt

Member
I've completed Eragon, and just recieved Eldest for my birthday. I personally think that Eragon was really great! Course, it may be that I like a book where almost everything except the imagery was in front of me. Every now and then it's a good thing to read. Something easy, but still of interest. It helps that I love dragons too!
 

MarkINR

Senior Member
Mark Raven said:
I guess the main things I dislike are the writing style itself - as CZ said, it felt unpolished. It also seems to use a lot of fantasy cliches, with very few ideas that are completely original.

And all the ideas that are original are dumb.


Mark Raven said:
Even despite those things, it's still somewhat enjoyable, obviously, or I wouldn't be as far in the series as I am now.


We call that mindless fluff.
 

Jabatt

Member
MarkINR said:
We call that mindless fluff.

I'm sorry, but you should really stop doing that. How old are you? And how many multi-million selling books have you got out on the market? Good or not, Christopher Paolini has written two out of three books that hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people love. Some, including myself, enjoy, not worship, his writing. We do, on the other hand, not like it when someone who hasn't been in the same arena as that 15, and now 19, year old kid is in to start mocking his writing that has taken him hundreds of hours working on, without using an extremely helpful tool, such as this website. Good or not, his writings should be remember as, at the minimum, a noble attempt to do something Christopher Paolini enjoys... writing.
 

Achilles

Senior Member
No one has mentioned the striking resemblance between the Inheritance and LOTR.

Ra'zac = Nazgul

Brom = Gandalf

Eragon = Frodo

Galbatorix = Sauron

Even the map of Alageasia resembles Middle Earth. The biggest differences are the prominent use and explanation of magic (which isn't what makes a fantasy novel) and dragons (which are overused in too many other novels).

The names are also pretty bad. Brom sounds like Broom, Eragon sounds like Aragorn, and Galbatorix sounds like a machine-man from the mind of Lewis Carroll.

In spite of this, I'm almost ashamed to say I enjoyed them. Though I'd enjoy probably any fantasy and am unsure why Paolini was able to get his books to sell while many other works of higher quality remain unpublished. I'm especially curious as to why Knopf would publish him.

I guess he deserves kudos for writing a bestseller, which no one on this forum has been able to do.
 

MarkINR

Senior Member
Starwars still has tons more similarities.


Boy lives in small outer rim town with uncle after parents die--longs for adventure

Boy finds R2-D2/Dragon Egg

Boy's family killed because he finds it

Boy sets off on adventure with someone who he thought was a cooky old man but was really part of an ancient order of heroes who were overthrown by a disenfranchised member who everyone thought would be their savior.

Boy meets rugged drifter type with a shadowy past full of outlawery and debauchery--Murtagh/Han Solo

Brom/Obi Wan dies and boy continues training with last and greatest living yet crippled member of the order--Ionoka Tokogira/Yoda

also Eragon's mother married a rising member of the order but died in child birth, father was evil.

even the details in events, (Brom/Obi and Eragon/luke travelling to the port city and leaving from there illegally...

Morzan=Darth Vader
Galbatorix=emperor
Eragon=Luke
Murtagh=Han Solo
Arya=Princess Laia
Yoda=Ionoka
Brom=Obi Wan
Saphira=The Force
Dragon Riders=Jedi
Varden/Surda/Dwarves/Elves=The Rebellion/Ewoks



the list of copied material goes on
 
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BeautifulDisaster

Senior Member
Now that many people have pointed the similarities out between LOTR, Star Wars, and Eragon (which was an eye opener to me)... I'm starting to think Paolini's novels aren't so original after all.
 
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