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Gentled Ben

Does the writing in the Belgariad improve as the story develops?

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I'm about halfway through the first Belgariad book in audio format, and I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with the protagonist, Garian (forgive my spelling if it's incorrect--
I am listening to the book rather than reading it). He is incompetent to the point that he isn't very believable. Specifically, it's his...I dunno...ignorance? Naivete? He doesn't ask about his mother until he's around six years old or so, then he doesn't ask about his father until some time later (and does not persist with his questioning in either instance, as any other child would), and then when he's approaching adolescence, he and his friends finally discuss his odd birthmark, something that he claims not to have looked at very closely before, and this just continues along throughout the story, where he either does not ask, say, or do the things that nearly any other person would, or he reveals a lack of understanding that even a much younger child would have.

 

Is there something wrong with this kid's brain, or is it just bad writing? Am I the only one to notice this? Does it improve? So far, it reminds me a lot of Wizard's First Rule, which also had (IMO) terrible writing at the beginning before turning into a pretty good story later on. Is this the case with The Belgariad? We have just arrived in the barbarian's kingdom (Barak?) after leaving the court of the king of Sendar, if that's any help.

Edited by Gentled Ben

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Ah, nevermind. I found an old thread in which Werthead describes it as appropriate for children as an introduction to fantasy, and that pretty much explains it for me. It might have been written for adults, but after Jordan and Martin, it is not working for me, although I would have loved it when I was twelve. I'll move on to a different series. 

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Nope, but I'll keep it in mind as a starter series for kids. I moved on to Orson Scott Card's Ender books, and I'm enjoying those so far.

Good choice :)

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Yeah, this seems to be a decent series. I listened to Ender's Game as read by a fan on YouTube (and he was much, much better than the professional voice actors on the Audible books), and then I moved on to Speaker for the Dead, which could not catch and hold my interest within the first hour of listening, so I switched to the Shadow books and have been loving (most of) them. I am wrapping up Shadow of the Giant now. I didn't care much for Shadow Puppets, but I think Shadow of the Hegemon was the most entertaining book so far, including Ender's Game. I will probably move on to Malazan after this (I stalled out while reading book 8 and will have to start all over, but that will be fine), and then, I might revisit Speaker for the Dead and see if I can get into the other Ender books.

 

I cannot stand the voice actress who reads for Sister Carlotta and Petra, though. She insists on an inflection that trails off at sort of a mid-tonal level. It is the voice you would use to convey musing or daydreaming. It would be good for romance novels or perhaps poetry, and at times, in certain passages, for nearly any literature, but not as a default way of speaking. It began as a minor annoyance, but it has built to a crescendo, and at this point, I want to slap her in the face with a large, rotting fish every time she begins to speak. Imagine my dismay when I turned on my Bluetooth one day and realized that she is the same voice that says, "Power on...Connecting...Connected." At least she uses proper inflection for that. Her voice itself is not grating, just her manner of reading. I looked her up online so that I can try to avoid her in the future. I really cannot stand her...

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It's been a while since I've read them, I remember preferring the Shadow Series overall, although Ender's Game as a stand alone would be my favourite

 

I've never gone the audio route, I think the only one I've ever listened to all the way through is the Hitchhikers Guide Radio Series, which is brilliant. Other than that the voices always annoy me lol

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Well, I work a pretty mindless job, and it occurred to me that instead of listening to sports talk on the radio (and arguing with the hosts and callers despite that fact that they cannot hear me), I could be "reading," so I tried Ender's Game off of a YouTube video (just a fan reading the book), and I was able to lose myself in the story well enough, so I started listening to the (pirated, I suppose) real audio version of the Belgariad on a YouTube video as well, and that's when I posted this thread. Then I just went ahead and got the Audible trial and started listening to books, and so far, I like it a lot. I have a bunch of audio books on my phone now all ready to go.  :smile:

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An audio book is not reading.  Yes, the writing is child like after Jordan.  Thankfully I read it first.

I refuse to read Martin - common vernacular cursing does not belong in sword or sorcery - it takes you out of the imaginary realm.

Also the first book and first season of GoT from a cursory flip through the pages of the first book are identical.  (Also since about the end of S3/start of S4  it sucks - no episodes ending on an interesting high point - the thing that made the show great)

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Listening to the books is working well enough for me. Martin is not for everyone, and I do not care for the profanity in it, myself. The show is even worse, what with all of the unnecessary soft core pornography. The books are not nearly as sexualized. Still, I think it is a great story.

 

I stopped after Shadow of the Giant and returned to the Malazan books. Reading them was more gripping than listening to them has been, but I am still engrossed in the tale. I got hooked again on the story in the same place listening to it as I did when reading it, which I guess makes sense. At any rate, listening to audiobooks has proven to be a good use of my time, and since I have less time to read now than in recent years, this will have to suffice.

 

Do you have some recommendations for what I might listen to after finishing the Erickson series? 

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