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Eragon Book Cover

A novel by Christopher Paolini and the first installment in the Inheritance Cycle.

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Just plain BAD.

  • Dec 12, 2010

If someone had assembled a checklist of every fantasty cliche ever used in any work of fantasy ever written by anyone anywhere, it would've turned into this book.

1. Elves are noble, wonderful, beautiful and wise. CHECK!

2. Dwarves are hardworking, strong, loyal and wise. CHECK!

3. Dragons are magical, powerful, impressive and wise. CHECK!

4. Evil is evil for its own sake and can never be redeemed. CHECK!

5. E'xtensi'vê üse' õf 'åpros'tro'phês áñ'd aççent m'ãrks în wð'rds, nämës a'nd pla'cès. CHECK!

6. We Are All Shaped By A Greater Destiny! CHECK!

7. One ring to... well, ok, he left that part out.

My point is that if you're looking for well done, intelligent, nuanced fantasy, look elsewhere. Christopher Paolini has, I am sure, many fine virtues, and given enough time may end up being readable. That time has not yet arrived. If you had told me before I picked up the book that the author was 19 when it was published, I would've said, "Really? He was that old?" I know when I look back at what I wrote when I was younger it was... not great. Now at 34, and published, I can see the flaws in my earlier works. I'm sure Mr Paolini will do the same as he ages.

For those who want good, smart fantasy for themselves, and even for kids, I HIGHLY recommend the works of Terry Pratchett, particularly Discworld. He truly deserves the title "wordsmith". In his world elves are mean, dwarves are fractous and religious and dragons tend to explode if they eat too much, get too excited, sneeze, etc.

It's "real" fantasy. Eragon is "real" bad.

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December 14, 2010
LOL! highly humorous and entertaining review! Not sure how this topic for another fantasy ends up under a SCI-FI COL though. I didn't see this under sci-fi before...
December 20, 2010
I agree. I love hilarious reviews like this. And, @Scotman must have added it to his sci-fi community...unless there is another sci-fi community that it could have been added to. It's not a sci-fi book...so not sure why it would be listed under there.
December 12, 2010
Haha, hilarious review!
December 12, 2010
I can deal with some of those typical cliches because it seems like those are more staples of Fantasy.  At least to me, but I will admit I don't read that much fantasy in the first place (but each time I read it, the different races are always act the same).

I think what was actually annoying is that Paolini's prose tries too hard to be elegant, descriptive and vivid.  He can't just mention that a character falls asleep in the three simple words: "He fell asleep," he has to take an entire paragraph to describe it superfluously because he seems to think if he doesn't do it that way he's not colorful enough. 

I get the feeling that if a character should cry in a Paolini book he'd take time to describe the tears... but not to help us understand why the character is crying.  That's the impression that Paolini leaves on me.  It's almost like he's trying to prove that he can write rather than simply doing it.
More Eragon (book) reviews
review by . June 03, 2010
A great read!
First off my emotional reaction to this book was that it encaptured me to want to keep reading more. I felt for the characters and even cried when Brom passed away. The way he was preserved in time was almost beautiful if only humans in real life could do the same. I recommend this reading to any age because it seriously gets ones mind off their own issues and envelopes you into another world within your mind as your reading it. The setting is such a beautiful time and place and if you read the …
review by . August 27, 2009
Christopher Paolini is a well known writer.  Amazingly enough he was able to get a book published at a very young age.  Nineteen.  Of course, his parents owned a publishing house and that had something to do with it.  On the other hand, Paolini met success when Knopf picked up his book and published it instead.  Before long, Eragon became a runaway success.  It got some kids hooked on to reading and I can't disagree with that.  Although much of Eragon is... well... …
review by . July 27, 2010
Rewrites the fantasy genre
This book is truly an epic. I cringe when I hear people say epic now, because almost 100% of the time they make it totally out of context. But in all honesty, no other word can describe this. It's the classic 'Teenager becomes a hero' book, with more "smart" reasoning. When reading this, your emotions follow the readers emotions. You feel sad when he feels sad, excited when he is, happy and relived whenever he feels relived, and angry when he feels so. The author really mastered …
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
A interesting story but poor writing
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
this young author is so talented, he paints a beautiful world in your mind that can only be comapired to middle earth
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Great fantasy tale of dragons and magic. Simple and quick, this story was a great dessert read (as opposed to a deep, meaningful read which i consider a meal.) Who cares if it is just like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and another couple stories. We are all inspired by something.
Quick Tip by . June 20, 2010
very interesting story.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
Good book with dragons and magic. Some of the characters though were cookie cutter meaning they were the sterotypical ones.
Quick Tip by . June 04, 2010
I truly enjoyed this book. Inspired me in so many ways. Just wish his writing could've stayed up to par.
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2010
I must admit that even as a grown up reading this book was a delight.
About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #59
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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About this book


Eragon is the first book in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Paolini began writing the book at the age of fifteen. After writing the first draft for a year, he spent a second year rewriting it and fleshing out the story and characters. Paolini's parents saw the final manuscript and decided to self-publish Eragon. Paolini spent a year traveling around the United States promoting the novel. By chance, the book was discovered by Carl Hiaasen, who got it re-published by Alfred A. Knopf. The re-published version was released on August 26, 2003.

The book tells the story of a young farm boy named Eragon, who finds a mysterious stone in the mountains. A dragon named Saphira hatches from the stone, which was really an egg. When the evil King Galbatorix finds out about Eragon and his dragon, he sends his servants after them in an effort to capture them. Eragon and Saphira are forced to flee from their hometown, and decide to search for the Varden, a group of rebels who want to see the downfall of Galbatorix.

Critiques of Eragon often pointed out the similarities between Eragon and other works such as The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Reviews also called the book a notable achievement for such a young author as Paolini. Eragon was the third-best-selling children's hardback book of 2003, and the second-best-selling paperback of 2005. It placed on the New York Times Best Seller list for 121 weeks. Eragon was adapted into a feature film of the same name that was ...

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Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Knopf

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