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Where did all the good books go?

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  #1  
Old 01-26-2010, 07:22 AM
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Default Where did all the good books go?


I am the proud owner of an Amazon gift card and have been recently trying to decide how to use it up. My obvious choice is to by some more books, particularly fantasy. The problem: as I'm browsing the books it seems all the fantasy books either focus on being erotic or having a teen romance. Don't get me wrong, romance is fine in books I just don't want it to be the main story. I've been browsing some of the other books but came across similar problems plus, I much prefer fantasy. I've always been picky about the books I read but never to this extent so either I've become more picky or the books have become worse.

So, where are all the good books? Are they lost in the dredges of mediocre writing specifically for love sick teenagers and sexual fantasies? Or am I just looking in the wrong place?

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Old 01-26-2010, 07:33 AM
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You must be looking in the wrong place, because there are several terrific fantasies out there that I can name right now.

Elantris and Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

The Tears of Artamon by Sarah Ash

Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

Through Wolf's Eyes (Not stellar; some iffy writing, but a good story so far) by Jane Lindskold

Bartimaeus by Jonathan Stroud

A Song of Ice and Fire - George R.R Martin

Song of Albion by Stephen R. Lawhead

Those are in no particular order, and you've probably heard of many of them already, but they're all very good fantasy books. Strongly written and with absolutely ripping stories. Hope that helps you use the gift card
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:38 AM
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Thanks! The sad thing is that as much as I looked under almost every possible category, just a couple of those (if any) came up. I guess the good ones are being hidden beneath the layers of predictable, mediocre books.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:53 AM
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Is the Last Unicorn book better than the movie? Because I just can't stand the movie and the last time I saw it I laughed through out most of the movie because it was so ridiculous (then again I was also 15).
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:06 AM
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I've never seen the movie, but I'm guessing it was animated. I did see the LotR animated versions, and laughed at those, so I'm guessing The Last Unicorn had some problems too.

The book is almost surely way better than the movie.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:21 AM
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Yeah, the movie was animated and made in the 80s.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:46 AM
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Have you read anything Dragonlance? It's by far my favorite fantasy, and I have 110+ books to prove it. Start with Chronicles, then go for Legends. Dragons of Summer Flame is also essential. By then you should have a pretty good idea where to go next.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:07 PM
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I should probably mention that I don't like long series. Five books in a series is stretching. The problem is that I get bored or impatient as it begins to feel like the author is just trying to stretch out the series as long as possible.

The only exception is Pratchett's Discworld because 1) I only have a few of them anyways and 2) they're not really meant to make a lot of sense or be taken seriously.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:22 PM
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Well I would like to add works by Tad Williams to the list, but they tend to be multi book stories, with think books to boot. Dragonbone Chair and Shadowmarch are the fantasy series of the top of my head, other then that the list Winter put up is good.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:27 AM
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Once again, I recommend Dragonlance. Both Chronicles and Legends are trilogies (with most of the same people). Dragons of Summer Flame is just one book. There are a lot of books, but they mostly only have the setting and some characters in common.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:51 AM
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Where did all the good books go? I bought them. Since December I've spent an indecent amount of money on books.

Might I respecfully suggest that you look outside of the Fantasy genre? It'll expand your mind - and your ability as a writer - to read something different occasionally.

Or Maybe even try a different blend of fantasy? I can guarantee you'll love Aldiss's Malcia Tapestry, and it'll make you think differently about what can be achieved in the genre. Also Mieville's Perdido Street Station. Excellent blend of fantasy and clockwork-SF and quite unique.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:01 AM
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Thanks, I actually have been looking into other genres too but am encountering a similar problem. They just seem really superficial.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:03 AM
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OK, what do you want out of a book? Entertainment, laughter, tears, a treatise on the Human Condition... ?
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:05 AM
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I just want something original that doesn't center around romance and has something beneath the surface.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:09 AM
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OK.

Have you read Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre? It's funny, it's about a high school massacre (yes, and it's still funny) the small amount of romance is pretty twisted and it's a great satire also. Oh, and it won a Booker prize.

Or Blindness by Jose Saramago? They made a second rate movie out of it, but Saramago is incredible, and won a Nobel prize for literature (deservedly).

Steppenwolf, by Herman Hesse - required reading.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:11 AM
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Thanks. I think that I actually have read Steppenwolf in Elementary school.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:12 AM
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You should also check out Hemingway (his shorts are a good intro). Love him or hate him, you'll learn something about style.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Netti View Post
Thanks. I think that I actually have read Steppenwolf in Elementary school.
I doubt it - it has a certain amount of sexual content (of the slightly weird, obsessive kind); not what most schools like, especially the elementary ones!
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:38 AM
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In that case then no, I guess I didn't. The name sounded familiar.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:54 AM
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The good ones? The world hasn't seen them yet, because I'm yet to be published...

(Oh that was coming. I just got it first.)

Have you read Inkheart? It's a fairly juvenile read, but still entertaining (and the author didn't assume her readers were brain-dead nimwits, like most 12-16 YA authors do). The story was one that stayed with me for quite a while, and I really enjoyed Funke's writing.

I think there might be a third one by now, but I only know of two; not a long series at all.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:10 PM
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I read the first one and started the second one but didn't really care for it(of course, now I don't remember why). I've read her Dragonrider though and enjoyed it.

Since you liked them maybe you already know, but Inkheart is being made into a movie(or it may already be one. I don't remember).
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:46 PM
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Have you read anything by Dan Brown? Personally I think one book is enough, as they are all the same. But although he made the genre popular, there are a lot of books out there in the same style that's a lot better. I'm currently reading The Genesis Secret by Tom Knox, and it's pretty good. Then there are books by Sam Bourne, although I haven't read anything from him yet. I have read Last Palace by Tom Harper, though. That one was pretty great. Rule of Four is also darn good, but I don't remember who wrote it.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:46 PM
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The first one is already a film, though from what I heard they really screwed up with the story. The is a third book, no idea what it is called though, something with Ink in the name.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:40 AM
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I'm late to this, but nevermind.

Try looking into some classics. Despite what you may think at first, or initially form in your mind after reading the first few pages, some are genuine gems that will catch and hold the attention.

May I suggest Wuthering Heights, etc. as well as some more modern, similarly written books, such as The Remains of the Day (Ishiguro) and Decline and Fall (Waugh).
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:55 AM
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Did you ever read Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series? I read some of her books years ago and remember enjoying them.

Then there's always Dune.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:06 AM
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My girlfriend is currently reading Wuthering Heights. She hates it.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:29 PM
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yes, i am reading it. so hug me to help with the boredom. lol
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:27 AM
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I loved Wuthering Heights and read it twice while in high school. Boring? I guess it's a bit dry, but there is so much passion between Catherine and Heathcliff.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:18 AM
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I actually already have Wuthering Heights but have never gotten around to reading it.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:55 AM
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I have another recommendation for you! The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. Lawhead. Technically historical fiction, but it might as well be fantasy given that it deals with Atlantis and includes some magic. It's masterful.
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