1. Myst
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    Myst Active Member

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    Eragon by Chistopher Paolini

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Myst, Feb 13, 2007.

    BOOK REVIEW: ERAGON
    One of the most recently bestselling novels for young adults has received much praise as well as criticism. Hailed as a great creative effort from the author, who was but 15 when starting out on it, also has received comments that much of its plot and ideas are plagiarized from already successful fantasy, namely Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. (Eragon=Aragorn?)

    The author Christopher Paolini has nevertheless garnered quite a fan base. Supporters of the book say its amazing he can create an entire language (the Old Language in the books, which is used for the casting of magic), but all of the words in the Old Language are actually just slight alterations of Icelandic words and various others.

    What about the story itself, then? The author has spun a tale of discovery, loss, victory and defeat in this book where young Eragon, a simple boy that lives away from war and death, discovers a dragon egg in the woods near his house. Alas what would a young boy do? Raise the dragon, of course! From there on things complicate themselves...leading into a string of events before Eragon becomes a full-fledged dragon rider.

    The pace of the book is sometimes amazingly fluid yet at others extremely flawed. (In the sequel, Eldest, a major character dies in 3 pages) The writer tries to paint vividly, with his words, the world of Eragon. This succeeds in sporadic bursts, wherein the text occasionally comes out as brilliant, whereas in other times, dare I say it, comes out as pretentious. Suffice to say, I find his writing style is tedious if you read at length; it feels that perhaps he is trying too hard. The book also has a feeling of slight repetition due to the language he chooses to apply. During the more uneventful parts, sleep threatened to envelop me. It felt almost like a chore to read on at these points, and my eyes just skimmed the page instead of bothering to comprehensively go through it. Basically, it wasn’t exciting enough to hold steadfast my attention.

    In honesty, I did not enjoy nor did I dislike my experience with Eragon. I have flown with him on his dragon high in the sky and fought alongside with him in a savage war. Yet I have also accompanied him through many monotonous moments. No doubt that for younger readers, this book is a fresh world of fantasy to be drawn into. We all know the enthralling feeling of flipping the pages and finding yourself immersed in a magical place, full of excitement and spectacle- I personally have experienced it many a time.
    For older and more experienced readers however, the book may strike as not entirely original and/or bland. I admit the plot was predictable and the dialog noticeably clichéd with the usual, over-formal “fantasy novel” speech. The supporter might argue, Christopher Paolini had originally intended the novel none other than for his private enjoyment (this had been the original idea), but his parents helped him publish this surprise bestseller, for they own a publishing company. Taking the place of the devil’s advocate, I reason: just because he had intended it as a personal amble, doesn’t mean he could use it as an excuse to market second-rate literature. Does he set the wrong example for aspiring writers? Personally I say no, I do think the book does have its appeals- especially Saphira, the dragon whom Eragon raises, who I think is the most interesting character among the cast.
    Sadly my duty as a reviewer ends here. I can only say so much. You have now been given my one-sided insight. The final verdict is yours; you will never know until you read it yourself. =)


    ERAGON= 2.5/5
     
  2. WhiteRider
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    WhiteRider Contributing Member

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    I loved Eragon, it was exciting, and overall fun to read. And his wrok proved young writing can make it to the top. Saphira was great!
     
  3. Remoah
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    Remoah Member

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    Reviewing a review, wow, kinda funny.

    Very nice review, in fact, i would not be upset if i read it in a newspaper, it could use a bit of cleaning up at places, but this is the one thing i was taught.
    Your view goes at the end.
    The first paragraph deals with the basic outline, genre, charachters, plot. It's all there, just skim through that bit and go on.
    The next couple of paragraphs should be truthful, unbiased, nothing to do with what you thought, it may be true it repeats, so then say so, if a major section dies in 3 pages, that's truth, if the whole plot screams 'LOTR with talking dragons' then say so!

    In the final paragraph, you rip off the cloak and attack, you say if you found it boring, repeditive, a stupid ripoff by some kid who never intended it to be published in the first place but his parents wanted to coddle him into thinking he was so great.

    Anyhow, as i said, great review, having read the two books, i am with you on many points, it is second rate, it is a ripoff of Star Wars and LOTR, he never intended it to be publish and it never should have, yet people who normally don't read in fact read this picture-book-without-pictures and think it's actual literature, people think he's great because he wrote it when he was 15, guess what, in world war 2 germany, there were 13 year olds with 3 soviet tanks to thier name, they didnt think it was wrong, congratulate them.

    Great review.
    Remoah
     
  4. Myst
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    Myst Active Member

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    Thanks, your review of my review was good too. =)

    Yeah, one of the major selling points of Eragon is that it was written by a 15 year old, but I am quite confident that I can produce a better story, and I haven't even hit that 15 years mark yet.
     
  5. Remoah
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    Remoah Member

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    Really, i'm 15, he did do a good job, but it took him until he was 19, and spend 3 months planning out the trilogy on paper, you'd think he'd do something new.

    Anyhow, it was his OWN fantasy world and his parents pushed him to publish it, obviously they'd never read LOTR...
     
  6. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    He started at 15, then got self-published at 18, then got picked up by Random House at 19. He's 24 now.

    Eragon is my favorite book, but sure, you all say he's got rip-off points from Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, but face reality here...there's nothing original anymore. It's the way he wrote it and how much the power of friendship really gets to you during the book. All throughout it, you realize how much sacrifice Eragon has had to make to fight for his life, and to reach the Varden.

    Friendship was the moral of this story, and if none of you can see that, then I don't know what to say. Morals make the power, and if you don't have anything to say in your writing, then there's nothing to tell. What made Christopher Paolini's books so amazing is that he really produced the power of friendship, and the journey he put Eragon through, and in Eldest, the strain of Roran trying to cope with Katrina's kidnapping. Eragon had to deal with Brom's death all throughout the book of Eragon, and in many ways, that produced a lot of emotion.

    I'm sorry if I ranted pretty harshly, but I feel strongly about this book. Yes, I know there are a few parts that he probably ripped off from Lord of the Rings, but that's been done tons of times in many books. It's nothing new.
     
  7. Isis
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    Isis Senior Member

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    I agree that writing should have something to say, but for me...morals aren't everything, and just because a book has a moral burried in it doesn't make it good. Plenty of stories I've read try to get away with poor writing just because there's a moral at the end, and the story is a vessel for preaching - which is fine when it's a fable but falls on it's face when the story is trying to be a story. I think stories need to have a theme, or a point to make...but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a moral.

    that said, I enjoyed Eragon the first time I read it, for the story, and was miffed by the writing after I started writing myself [and Kudos to the review, especially the part about the writing style]
     
  8. Remoah
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    Remoah Member

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    Friendship, there's thousands of books with 10x better morals than that and they've been written much better.

    No offence saphire, but aesops fables and chinese proverbs are about morals, there are real life sacrifices for friendship, the jihadists, whilst killing hundreds of innocents actually have more morals, fighting for what they believe in and what they believe it right. They sacrifice thier lives so thier beliefs get through, it may not be nice, but when you think about it, it's one hell of a better moral than some kid who seems to win everything because he reads magic spells and has a dragon.

    The point is, it is a good story for a 15 year old, but if he's such a wonderchild, spend 3 months planning the whole thing and all, then why is it such a ripoff, why, HE NEVER INTENDED IT TO BE PUBLISHED, his parents talked him and praised him into trying to get it published, and didnt realise that it was a re-worded LOTR with dragons. He intended to write his own little fantasy for himself, that is fine, that is why I write, and that's why many of my stories scream 'band of brothers meets warhammer 40,000', i would never let them be published, after no1, you'd also think he'd make eldest better, but no, in fact, it sucks more than a 1970's naval movie or one of those crappy, 1990's books in the library that nobody's read, the ONE AND ONLY REASON he hasnt been torn to shreds by reviewers and basically dumped is because they marketed it as 'written when he was 15', which is true, but they never added 'finished when he was 19'.

    The kid needs to seriously think book 3 out because if it's worse than eldest he'd better watch out.
     
  9. Crazy Ivan
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  10. Myst
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    Remoah has said what many of us have wanted to say.

    Frankly I agree strongly...except it isn't polite to express too much criticism on something that other people may like, but...

    *coughcoughERAGONSUCKScoughCOUGH*


    The bit about how their marketing gimmick is constantly "Hey, he was 15 years freakin' old when writing it" is especially true. It's basically marketing second-rate literature and dumbly shielding criticism by going "Oh, this is the marvel of a 15 year old writer, may not be the best but then again, he was 15 when writing it! 15!!!!"

    Maybe Paolini is just a lucky bugger.
     
  11. Brazen
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  12. Orion
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    I neither liked nor disliked Eragon.
    For me...it was just there. Nothing more.
     
  13. krosangnomelord
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    I can honestly say I did not like this book one bit. Paolini is overrated and the characters are weak. The plots and motives are generic as well is the entire construct of this book/series.

    I was bored to death and am lucky to have survived. I find it utterly depressing that while more writers have surfaced, so has more crap through the filters.
     
  14. krosangnomelord
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    I do not want to upset any fans, please understand this. My likes and dislikes are also up for criticism. But I was not criticising anyone who liked this book. I like that people have their own tastes. If they didn't, there would be no point in discussing our thoughts on these pieces of literature.

    My opinions are blunt and stick-to-the-point. Please do not take personal offense to them. I mean no harm.
     
  15. Ferret
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    From my column in the school paper.
     
  16. Remoah
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    I remember reading a statement by Paolini himself that he never intended it to be published, but his parents pushed him to get it published. Whilst it is a good work for a 16 year old, i believe he just wanted to escape into a world of his own, and his parents read it and didnt realise (or didnt want to realise) it was basically a ripoff of Star Wars, but with bows and arrows.
    Personally, he should have said 'no, i just wanted to write, to to have it published, thanks for the support, but if i want a published work, i'll do it myself.'

    Disregarding the above:

    I think Eragon, and Eldest, were total piles of steaming xeno-crap from a reclusive home schooled uber-nerd who had too much time on his hands.
    The kid wrote a fantasy story with EVERY cliche in the world, all he did was rename a few things and he basically had a Tolkein book with the plot of Star Wars.
    I read the first one a few years ago, when i was still in my 'medieval' stage of growth, where i loved everything medival, so i kinda liked Eragon, Eldest i read because i felt compelled to, but the third one i will read just so i can give it a bad review.
    Finish this trilogy mister paolini, then burn your computer, burn the master copy, burn all the notes, publically apoligise, and then write something SLIGHTLY ORIGINAL.

    And for gods sakes mister paolini, find a REAL editor, not your mother.
     
  17. Myst
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    Ferret, your summary of Eragon's plot is far too long. Preferably the summary of the plot is only 25% or even less, of the whole review.
     
  18. Remoah
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    The plot summary is the review in itself, showing how it connects with star wars so exactly...
     
  19. .PeanutButter
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    Eragon was a great book!! I'm reading it right now in fact! I look up to Saphira's character because she's so tough and sure of herself and great at protecting Eragon. There's a pronounciation guide in the back so you can find out how everything is pronounced.
     
  20. Inquire
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    I got three chapters in and hurled. :)

    Being a Lord of the Rings fan and a Star Wars lover, I was appalled. He pretty much combined the two and gave the characters and places new, unpronouncable names. Tolkien is good stuff. He's brilliant. There is not another fantasy world that can rival Middle-Earth. He knew every damn thing about that world, it's history, and it's inhabitants. Star Wars is classic. No one can deny that.

    I myself would not enjoy being made famous for something like this. The biggest rip-off of the last couple years.
     
  21. Crazy Ivan
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  22. Stinger
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    Stinger Senior Member

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    I didn't finish that book.

    A lame imitation of Star wars.

    It relly was a disgusting book.
     
  23. Gunner
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    Yes, Eragon was a great book. Probably one of my favorites.
     
  24. krosangnomelord
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    Funny, if you read each post in order, the attitudes change considerably, all from "Starwars rip-off, piece of crap, utter bull****" to "It was beautiful, I'm a fanboy and I have never read anything else in my life and this was spectacular writing because I have sooo much to compare it to!"
     
  25. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm discouraged to read the book when the movie was so profoundly bad.

    Please tell me that the book is definately better..

    Please?
     

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