Two Towers

I should add just to prove I am not a complete fanboi. The start of the Fellowhip is slow. I always felt the series did not really hit its stride until the Council of Elrond…and it really did not pick up speed until the death of Boromir for me. Two Towers and Return of the King were by far the better parts in my opinion.

Trolling is not cool

Tolkien’s language hackneyed? The guy practically invented fantasy writing!

Damn it… I’ve been trolled haven’t I…

The dialogue LOTR is definitely stilted, especially with all his dewy eyed female characters. The battle scenes are very stiffly described. And he uses the Giant Eagles the way a level designed uses crates-- “How do I rescue Gandalf from Isengard? I know, the same way I rescued him from the wolves and goblins in The Hobbit–Giant Eagles! Oh shit, now he’s stuck on top of a mountain after beating the Balrog! I know…”

But Tolkein was obviously very intelligent and educated and did a great job of creating a full and complete world. His attention to detail is incredible. I just don’t think he’s a great story writer–except for children’s books, especially the Hobbit.


I agree, except compared to every other writer that ever existed on Earth, since you will at least admit he’s better than those.

I agree, except compared to every other writer that ever existed on Earth, since you will at least admit he’s better than those.

Better than James Joyce? Better than Raymond Chandler? Better than Murakami? No. Better than Proust? Ok, I’ll give you that.

Tolkein is an amazing story teller, but you can see that even he knew he had his weak points.

He wasn’t able to write action scenes worth a damn. Eventually he seems to give up on his attempts at action and instead just write summaries of the after effects. Things like (not an exact quote!): “The battle was hard fought with both Gimli and Legolas killing many orcs”. Followed by a few lines of dialog of the 2 character tallying up how many orcs they’ve killed in the last few battles and on who would kill the most in the next battle. Most of the action scenes are left to the reader to fill in with his/her imagination.

As long as you aren’t looking for sprawling action scenes, LoTR is by far one of the best fantasy series ever written.

Christ, my senile grandmother writes better than James Joyce, and only pisses her bed half as often while she’s doing it.

I’ve never read any others so impossible to actually read.

I used to read a lot of fantasy novels, and my favorite are the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy. The best characterization I’ve seen in any novel of any type.

Its amazing how selective memory is. I loved the battle scenes in Tolkien. I still recall elements of the battle of Helm’s Deep. The hole blown under the wall in the drainage culvert, the battles outside Minas Tirith, Eowyn killing the chief Nazgul, Aragorn arriving on the river from the south with the fresh troops. The sortie of Gandalf the White…Guess it is just me. I am not claiming he should win a Pulitzer but I think a few of you are being unfairly harsh here.

Did you check out that Victoria Alexander reviewer? Shes the only one who gave it a splat. Ironically she LOVED REALLY LOVED Planet of the Apes. So she is an idiot. Dumbass!


Tolkien was very successful at achieving the writing style I think he intended, which I think might be characterized as “Beowulf as told by Dickens”.




Seriously. Dragonlance was mediocre at best. There are several other fantasy series that were better, including LOTR. You know, it’s funny, I used to think people were really unfair the way they always bashed Brian Koontz. Now I get it.

That’s like saying the best painting is 99 cent paint-by-numbers project adeptly completed by the guy who works at your favourite rub and tug.

but I think a few of you are being unfairly harsh here.

…and this is a new thing on Qt3? :)


Keep in mind that I haven’t read LOTR, so that doesn’t qualify.

I’ve read a fair amount of Eddings, Robert Jordan’s series, a couple of the Swords series (by Saberhagen I believe), many of the Dragonlance books, 10 or so books by Piers Anthony, a series by someone whose name I can’t remember (it starts out with a gangly youth who likes to sit on top of his home castle at night), and a few things by Sci-Fi/Fantasy crossover Roger Zelaszny.

I also read a series depicting a real-life setting initially but then a man finds a portal in Virginia that takes him to a fantasy world. I can’t remember whether that was by Eddings or someone who I haven’t mentioned yet.

Jordan’s series started out very well (relatively speaking) but collapsed. Piers Anthony generates excessive words from just a few good ideas, Saberhagen’s stuff was pretty good, the “gangly youth” series was good, and the first book of the “portal from Virginia” series was original, very funny, and excellent (the rest of the series being mediocre). Zelaszny is original as well but obscure.

Dragonlance Chronicles blows all of those books away with respect to characterization, and the plot was good as well. I can debate as much as anyone would like on the topic.

I of course cannot speak about books I haven’t read, nor do they qualify for “Best Fantasy novel(s) read by Brian Koontz”. I am also highly unlikely to read any recommended Fantasy novels since I stick almost exclusively to non-fiction books nowadays.

Okay, I had chosen to stay out of the “Brian Koontz bashing” club, but the man just stated that the best characterizations he’d ever read were in a series of licensed D&D novels. Cripes, Koontz, compared to what, Star Trek novels?

Koontz has got to be a character created by someone who’s having a lot of fun trolling.

No offense, Brian, if you are indeed somehow a real person. Well, I guess it’s offensive, but DRAGONLANCE? Good god, Man, read The World According to Garp, The Stranger, or Catch 22 (just three off the top of my head) and come back and say that.

Oh, just saw your list of books. That’s ALL the novels you’ve ever read? Well, okay, perhaps Dragonlance is the best. But that’s like having eaten at McDonalds, Wendys, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Boston Market, and pronouncing Boston Market the best restaurant in the world.

But I still don’t believe you exist. :-)

Brian, would you say you identify more with the kooky wizard-slash-god or the kooky kender-type that occurs in EVERY Weis/Hickman novel penned?

Oh now it’s on… how DARE you put Wendy’s below any other semi-fast food place! You’re going DOWN Danny!

C’mon guys, Tolkein made a book that fed my imagination but I couldn’t get into the characters or the boring bits. Compared to contemporary writing it all comes off as a bit cliched or shallow. (Not wanting to be too disrespectful- it still is the towering standard of epic mythology etc etc).
It really is different strokes when it comes to preferences in literature. Give me a Flashman novel and I’m happy as Larry. Give me a book which goes into Hobbit geneology and I’m flipping the pages towards the interesting parts.