Laughter and books make life a little easier

Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore


This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.


I used to love Eragon. I was about 14 and I was going crazy about it. Later, I came to the conclusion that this was the only age when I could ever have loved this book. Now, I think it is one of those books that needed a really good editor before it ever got published. I think that the author needed a lot more maturing before finishing up this book. Sometimes I wonder at how complete my reversal of feelings has been for this book. I have gone from fangirl to one of the haters. And I did that pretty soon after actually reading Eragon.

I think my personal situation during the time I read it had a lot to do with how I started off liking it. I was going through a very rough patch and I was turning to writing to try to cope because that is less bad for you than self-harming. To then read a book that the author wrote and published when he was just a bit older than me – it was an embodiment of my dream. I had only just decided that I wanted to be a writer too. If he could do it, then why not me? When I was a bit older obviously. Not being home-schooled, I didn’t quite have Paolini’s writing opportunities. I didn’t know the right people either.

So that was it basically. I read Eragon several times and loved it. And then there was a lover’s quarrel. I started reading wider into the fantasy genre, which I was still pretty new to, and I realised how predictable Eragon is. I realised how many scenes are similar to scenes in other books. I read Eldest. I liked it, but only the scenes with the elves. That cousin or brother or whatever of Eragon (I can’t even remember his name anymore) irritated me so much that I read the scenes with him in only once – the time when I first read the book. On all subsequent rereads I skipped all those passages. Because I wanted to throw him with something and that love-sickness was making ME sick. Anyway, he’s an idiot.

The final seal on my break-up with Eragon came when I got drawn into Lord of the Rings a few years later. I wonder if there are people who are fans of both. Is it even possible? Is it possible to love Tolkien’s work and also love Paolini’s? I’d love to hear from any such people, if they exist. I’d love to hear how you can get your mind about both series, when Lord of the Rings is so much richer, so much better put together, so much better written? The Inheritance Quartet (or is still called a trilogy? Or a series?) is such a blatant copy of Lord of the Rings that it is disgusting. And then it is not even a good copy. It is a badly made copy. Even a good copy might have been acceptable. However, if you want to copy, you have to do it with precision, finesse and good judgement. And it might still be acceptable. There are books that like that out there. Many of them are accomplished and accepted. But style does count for something and in my opinion, Paolini fails in this.

Plagiarism? No. Plagiarism is the lifting of words and ideas just the way they are and reusing them as your own without credit. Paolini didn’t do that, because he changed most things up just enough to escape. But that still doesn’t make it nice. Follow this link for a nice little comparison between Eragon and other fantasy novels. (I should probably start spending my classes better.)

In the end, ^this^ post highlights what bothers me the most about Eragon. It’s not the unoriginality – fantasy books tend to be a bit predictable anyway – and it’s not the actual style. It’s the soddin’ names. How hard is it to come up with your own names and not copy Tolkien’s and others’?! This isn’t fanfiction! But it reads like that, quite a lot of the time.

I’ll never like Eragon again. There was only one short period in my life when I could like this book and that is over.

By the way, when I opened up Goodreads just now to get the book cover and link, the first five reviews on that page were 1-star reviews. I thought that was quite funny. I remember the days when everything was just 5-star all the way. Anyway, I picked out a couple (1 and 2) that I found myself agreeing with. And I thought this one was funny.


Tomorrow’s post is about my favourite writer.


9 responses

  1. I loved Lord of the Flies as a teen but I read it not too long ago and it annoyed me more than anything. Loathed it in fact. Lost boys and deserted islands no longer seem to hold my interest.

    July 3, 2012 at 22:27

    • My friend had Lord of the Flies prescribed in school as well, but I was in a different English class so I missed it.
      I’m the other way around actually with these prescribed books. I hated all of them in school and now, after Eng Lit at university, I suddenly understand some of them better. 😉

      July 20, 2012 at 01:09

      • I was an English Lit Major as well, but Lord of the Flies bored me to tears this time around lol I understand it better now, but the boredom was still there

        July 20, 2012 at 19:26

      • I’m not sorry I’ve managed to avoid that one completely so far!
        By the way, my blog keeps thinking you are a spammer! Silly technology… 😉

        July 21, 2012 at 00:24

      • You are the second person to tell me that…hmm…apparently I’m not recognized as a legitimate human being…interesting haha

        July 21, 2012 at 01:55

      • And it happened yet again… I had to unspam this comment. I’m pretty certain you’re a human being! Usually this only happens once to some commenters, but you’re setting records here! 😉

        July 21, 2012 at 02:11

      • At least I’m setting records for something LOL 🙂

        July 21, 2012 at 02:27

  2. Yes, it is possible to like both LotR and Eragon. I like both and know other people who like both. 😉 I admit that Eragon doesn’t measure up to the standards of many classic fantasies, but I’m not calling it a classic. I’m just calling it a book that I enjoyed and could tell Paolini worked hard on it. Also, the plagiarism thing? I’ve seen these “stolen” ideas in quite a few fantasy books, which means they’re well-used enough that it’s no longer really considered copying someone else’s idea. It’s just not coming up with one on your own.

    July 4, 2012 at 00:17

    • I know it’s possible, but I would still like to hear how you can reconcile both in your mind. 😉
      Like I said, that it is unoriginal doesn’t bother me that much. I’m used to that in fantasy books. That simply makes that I don’t really like it. It’s the names and exact scenes he lifted that bothers me and makes me angry at this book. I just feel that it is unethical and disrespectful. But maybe that’s just me. I don’t care how hard he worked. 😛

      July 20, 2012 at 01:16

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