42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
There's some good news and some bad news ..,
This review is from: Against All Things Ending: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Gollancz S.F. S.) (Paperback)
The Good News is that I finished Against All Things Ending, this morning. The bad news is that having waded through the first 2 books in this, the last chronicles of TM, I naively expected this to be the last book in the chronicles only to discover that there is a 4th book which will be out in a couple of years.
To echo other's sentiments, the first two chronicles were superb! SD's writing style was never a problem in the first two chronicles - in fact it was commensurate with the complexity of the story line. It was essential to build in the reader's mind, a detailed profile of all the characters which would sustain the reader's understanding of events to come and the parts each character had to play and the way they influenced the event outcomes. Much of these character profiles evolved as the "action" took place. This enabled the story to move along and maintain a balance between 1) something physically happening and 2) the thought processes and emotions of the characters involved. SD was polished in the writing of these two important facets and adept at integrating them in such a way that left the reader hungry for more of both. A testament to the success of this formula (or style) is the fact that I read the first chronicles in one weekend - for 2 days I was totally consumed.
As I approached the end of Against All Things Ending, I was beginning to feel self congratulatory. This is, I am afraid, a poor indictment on the book and to a slightly lesser degree the previous two books. I was thinking "I'm nearly there; I've finished it; I won't have to read ALL the books yet again to remind myself what has already transpired". The fact is - this was hard work! The only reason I stuck with it was out of some kind of loyalty to the previous chronicles and an increasingly forlorn hope that "it would come good"
In conclusion, SD's protracted and repetitive soliloquies damaged what would otherwise have been a very good book indeed. I can't begin to imagine what has caused SD to labour so, the emotional conflicts and self doubts of one, increasingly irritating Linden Avery. It is inconceivable that any of the characters in her motley crew put up with her for so long. In doing so however, we the readers were obliged to do the same.
Enough said. My deepest wish is that soon, a Bannor or Foamfollower character will enter SD's life and give him a gentle tap and convince him to "get a grip" (pretty much what I would have liked to have happened to Linden in this book).
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Initial post: 14 Aug 2012 20:23:22 BDT
E. Heyworth says:
I found myself in the same position as you. Having waited to collect all three of the books of the Last Chronicles, I suddenly found that there was a fourth - I'm really annoyed, as I'm quite careful about these things usually. I loved and loved the first two sets, but I'm finding Linden's continued self-pity a pain in the neck. I will read The Last Dark, when it eventually surfaces, but would recommend the first two trilogies without hesitation, and suggest that the third set could be avoided.
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