[BOOKS] The Wheel Turns.

In 1990, I was seventeen. I worked part-time at A&P, and, because it was a union-run grocery store, it was ridiculous money for a seventeen-year-old in 1990. $13.85/hour, to stock shelves, and talk to customers. (Top wage, but it didn’t take long to get there). I worked a few night shifts ($2/hr premium) and, basically, I was making full-time money, on part-time hours (my previous job was a cook @ KFC, for $4.25/hr). At seventeen, I could work about twenty hours a week, and put two hundred bucks in my pocket. Given that I didn’t have any expenses beyond beer (not that, at seventeen, I EVER bought beer) at $18 a two-four, and gas ($0.38/L in Canuckbucks). I still lived at home, it was the summer of Grade 11, and well, I had time on my hands.

So, I was down at the mall, bored, because the arcade had closed that year. Now, I’ve always been a reader, so it wasn’t unusual to find me looking over the meager offerings of the Milton Mall’s tiny SmithsBooks. And, while I stuck to what I knew a lot of the time, something caught my eye: a big, tradepaperback.

The Eye of the World

I sat in the pool at my parents place, in a rubber raft, that afteroon, in July. I got sunburnt, I drank a… fizzy beverage… or three, and read it cover-to-cover. I was hooked.

Fast forward ten years, and the series, what was supposed to be six books, is now nine books, and looks like it’s going to end up somewhere between thirteen and fifteen books. They’re being published by the pound, in the great tradition of Stephen King, but unlike King’s books, they’re not fucking going anywhere anymore. That brilliant story was getting lost in the interpersonal details, politics, and basic travel and day-to-day doldrums. I get that it’s an epic story, but do we really need that kind of…? I don’t even know what.

It was at that point that I started buying them as bargain books. I wasn’t really looking forward to the next one, and the one after that anymore. I needed to read ’em, I had to know how it all ended (once a junkie, always a junkie, yeah?) but I wasn’t enthused. I was buying and reading them to get by, I wasn’t enjoying my hit anymore.

And then, in 2005, Jordan died. And there were a lot of rumours that it was done, the story wouldn’t get finished. Which, considering we were at book ten of a supposedly-six-book series, kind of a pisser for the readers. Then it got announced that Brendan Sanderson would be filling in for the last ‘book’ (ended up split into three, due to length) with Jordan’s notes to work from.

Where am I going with this?

oh, yeah.

So, like I said, having been less than enamoured of the kind of “late middle quartet” of books, I’d pretty much planned to wait, and buy the last two in bargain books. I figured, not going to waste my money. And then Knife of Dreams was actually not bad. It seemed that Sanderson had gotten into it in a big way, and, being new to the series in terms of writing, was moving things along.

I still didn’t pick up Towers of Midnight. Again, figured, might as well wait for bargain books.

And two weeks ago, the final book, A Memory of Light was released. And still, I’m all “I’ll wait for the hardcover to hit bargain books”.

Until, this happened on Twitter:

And this happened on facebook:

So, one order to Amazon.ca later, I got those two final books, Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light for about twenty-one bucks each. Sanderson, in the great tradition of Jordan, is finishing the series “by the pound”. They are, respectively, 864 and 912 pages long.

But with endorsements like the above, it’s hard not to be excited about them.

You’ll probably hear what I think of ’em over the next few weeks.

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One Response to [BOOKS] The Wheel Turns.

  1. Jaimie says:

    I cannot wait. My sister is the only other person I know who made it through the doldrums of Boring!Perrin and Angsty!Rand and the endless slog to Malden, but she and I have already talked it over and over and over. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think. IMO, ToM is ever so slightly better than AMoL, but that might be my lack of a y chromosome talking.

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