Sunday, 18 November 2007

Sunday Confessional

No, not that kind of confession! A book related one… Every couple of years or so I find that my tastes in fantasy literature suddenly take a nose dive. I don't want Machiavellian plots in various shades of grey. I don't want the person who I think is the hero to die within the first hundred pages and I certainly don't want a villain who turns out to be all vulnerable and ultimately heroic!

No, what I'm after is far more simple. I don't want to have to think about what I'm reading or grapple with a cast of thousands, I'm after being spoon fed with fantasy mush. You know what I mean, the kind of book you read when you've got the flu or with a big bowl of ice cream. You know it's rubbish but you end up reading it anyway. Yes, I'm talking about guilty pleasures.

Mine is David Eddings' 'Belgariad', a series where 'prophecy' is the ultimate deus ex machina and sits alongside every single cliché you can think of (I haven't found a dragon yet but I'm sure there's one hidden away somewhere). I know it's rubbish, even while I'm reading it for the hundredth time, but I just can't help myself and I know that I'll be reading them again (you'll be pleased to hear that the same cannot be said for the 'Mallorean'!). It's comfort reading, pure and simple. Every now and then I want to read a book where I just know that the ending will be a happy one, I reckon you're the same too.

Now you know my 'guilty secret', how about yours? Which book is it that you settle down with when it's grey and horrible outside (even though you know you've got at least ten better reads sitting on the shelf)? Which book is that you'll quite happily mock but somehow never seems to find it's way from your bookshelf to the charity shop?

Don't be shy, fess' up! ;o)


DesLily said...

oh my.. how I love the Belgariad series! I've read them more than once (or even thrice!) and even went so far as to find used hardback copies (in a set of 2 books) because my original paperbacks are..well.. turning brown!
There are several books I continually go back to (including the ones you are reading) The first 6 Pern books and the first 6 Dragonlance books for instance... kinda pathetic huh? But those characters never leave me, and so.. I must return now and again just to remind myself how much I enjoy them.

Tia Nevitt said...

Ooh! I had not thought of Dragonlance, but yes! I go back and reread it from time to time! I've even worn out a few copies.

The books I had in mind to answer this post with was Crystal Singer and Killashandra by Anne McCaffrey. I don't know if I would call them trash, but I can't bear to part with them. Or Dragonlance.

TK42ONE said...

I'm not sure if it necessarily fits into your category of fantasy, but it works for me.

The Earth Lords by Gordon R. Dickson.

By far not the best book out there, but it's such a fast read. And when it comes to a more "fantasy" kind of guilty pleasure, I'd have to say Crystal Shard by Salvatore.

And the rest of my fantasies I'll keep to myself.

Leticia said...

Hi there,

Found your blog quite by chance, after googling Peadar O Guilin. And now I'm hooked :)

I love the Belgariad, but you're right, the Mallorean and all the rest of it is absolutely unreadable. Belgarath the Sorcerer still makes me laugh, and perhaps it's my answer to your question, while Polgara the Sorceress is awful.

I got sent The Sevenwaters Trilogy some months ago and although I knew the books were not that great I just couldn't put them down, and now I catch myself thinking of the characters every now and then, like during boring lectures or at the bus stop. Right now I'm re-reading Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry, which I absolutely love, but I wouldn't say they're ice-cream books, no.

Nice to meet you, by the way :)


Drama Queen said...

For me it's Terry Brooks' Shannara series. ;) I think it's awesome but many have said that it's nothing but Lord of the Rings lite. But hey, there's something about it that makes me keep going back ... :P

staticgirl said...

A story about a pony called Merryweather who ran away from home. *blushes* It was one of my first books and I still read it.