DWJ reviews Eragon

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sat Mar 6 07:51:04 EST 2004

Charlie asked:

>DWJ reviewed Christopher Paolini's *Eragon* in today's *Guardian*. I don't
>think we've mentioned it on this list - has anyone read it?

I have.  The bits that aren't pure Tolkien-clone are pretty good,
especially the relationship between the protagonist and the dragon, which
in my opinion is far more interesting than anything Anne McC did with that.
I just hope very much that this chap is allowed to pause in his rush for
fame-and-fortune and not do perpetual signing tours, and isn't told too
much that he's the greatest auther since [insert sliced-bread-equivalent
here] so that he is able to learn his trade.

He's said to be working on the sequel at the moment.  If he did a detective
novel next instead, it'd probably help him develop a style all his own.

Unfortunately he's likely to be told a lot how wonderful he is, and that's
not going to be an incentive to him to do any more learning for a bit; if
you're led to believe that what you do needs no improvement, there is
little incentive to try to make it better.

(Pause happened here)


I wrote that, and then somebody sent me the review as email (unwebbed, me).
So I can now reply to Hallie as well, who wrote:

>I'd be
>very interested to see what people thought of the review as well as
>the book.  I found it somewhat - strange.

I think I tend to agree with the review, as you may notice from what I
wrote in reply to Charlie before I'd read it!  :-)  As far as I can tell.
what DWJ is saying is, "The plot is absolutely predictable and follows the
formula, which I will here provide so you know exactly what I am talking
about; the incidents are some of them triffic".  She ends by reckoning that
the genre (high fantasy, such as she was ruthlessly mocking in *The Tough
Guide*) is going to be given a shot in the arm by this book, and that she
is not entirely sure that's beneficial.  Seems fair enough to me.


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