Monday, September 17, 2007
A Sad Day for Fantasy Fans
For those of you who may not have heard, Robert Jordan died yesterday from a primary amyloidosis, which causes the walls of your heart to thicken. He was 58 years old. He is best known for his epic series, "The Wheel of Time".
I read the first book, "Eye of the World" in high school and loved it. I wasn't aware it was part of a series and spent many years trying to convince my husband to read it. He finally did when his brother, David, had the whole series, at the time, of six books. We have both enjoyed the series very much, up to the twelfth book and the prequel.
I enjoyed his characters, which always felt real and as if all I had to do was turn the corner to run into someone just like them. I found his women characters well rounded and powerful. I also enjoyed the way he blended the world of Dune by Frank Herbert and Lord of the Rings by Tolkien together into a cohesive reality. I am sad to say that very selfishly I wish that he had been able to finish the series that I have read three times now (one of the few books I have reread). I know many literature snobs will say he was unoriginal and a hack, I don't care. I enjoyed his writing, it made me laugh, cry, and angry. Tolkien himself stole (or borrowed) his material from older stories. If you are going to steal ideas, steal them from the best as Steven Spielburg himself said. What better material to draw from than the grandfather's of epic scifi and fantasy?
I found a couple of years ago, in a used bookstore, another book by him under the name of Reagan O'Neal, a historical fiction set in his hometown. I grabbed it up without a thought. Sadly, it was the second in the trilogy and I have yet to find the first, so it sits on my shelf gathering dust. Today I discovered that he wrote some Conan books too, I will have to hunt for them.
My condolences to his wife and friends. We will all miss you.
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