Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Judging Books

(pic unrelated)

We all do it, "judge books by their covers", as the cliche goes. The specific book I'm thinking of is Pat Rothfuss' "The Wise Man's Fear". I'd prefer to refrain from a full-on review, and save that for another time, maybe another website. I didn't so much judge the book by its cover, rather, I had judged the book by its first, say, 200-300 pages. It's a species of the cliche, without a doubt, something I've been doing more and more of these days. I can only blame books like Russel Kirkpatrick's "Across the Face of the World" trilogy, novels that I read cover to cover, to the detriment of my faith in the fantasy novel as a source of entertainment. The bottom line is this: I loved "The Wise Man's Fear", and Pat Rothfuss is an incredible writer. The problem is that I've done this to several other novels, set them aside after several hundred pages. Ilium by Dan Simmons comes to mind, I know I'm probably missing out on something special there. I'd also done it to the Scott Bakker books, specifically "Prince of Nothing". Yet something kept bringing me back, I stuck with it and ended up loving the books. So there it is. Read books cover to cover.

We do the same sorts of things in real life, judging pretty much everything by momentary glimpses. I'll admit that what I'd heard about a certain UNF professor crafted my opinion of them before I'd ever met them. I'll also admit that I was dead wrong. How often do you ever hear people say (or read them write) "I was wrong". I love saying it- I'm dead wrong about so many things. Anyway, I'm now enjoying this class more than dozens of others I've taken, and I have a new appreciation for this professor. Don't listen to others - make your own opinions, as much as you can, no matter what it is.

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