Sunday, August 07, 2005

Don't Touch Me!

I've been spending most of my *downtime* (ha ha, makes me sound like a soldier!) reading a new fantasy series. What is that series? It is called The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and I owe BIG thanks to reader Bixbloc for the recommendation.
Stephen R Donaldson wrote these books and I keep noticing blurbs that compare him to Tolkien. Somebody said that about Terry Goodkind as well and it turned out to be a bogus call if you ask me, but with Donaldson it's not hard to see why people have made such a bold comparison. This guy can write up a storm, no doubt about it. His descriptive powers are breathtaking, the characters are deep, and when he cranks up the action scenes you break out in a cold sweat. You've read a two-page battle scene? Of course you have. How about a 100-page battle scene that doesn't even get boring? Donaldson's your man.
One thing must be mentioned and that is our (anti) hero Thomas Covenant says, "Don't touch me!" all the time. I'm almost finished book two of the first trilogy and so far he has said this line at least fifty times. I've got to the point now where I can feel it coming up. He starts to get a bit upset at somebody and they try to calm him down with a reassuring hand on the shoulder or something and, HELLO! "Don't touch me!" Oh well, more and more I don't seem to mind it, just laugh. That's Covenant - that's his line, ha ha.
Another funny thing is I remember reading Stephen King's book On Writing and one part where he says that you should just write 'he said' or 'she said' after a line of dialogue, then he mentioned some guy who wrote stuff like 'he grated' and 'he ejaculated.' Stephen R Donaldson is that guy! Donaldson's characters go beyond simply 'saying' things, they 'grate' and 'ejaculate'!
"Don't touch me!" he ejaculated.

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