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Holt Rineh THIS is a book for folks who often find life Tough Maybe you re one of em That has been My life for sureWhen I was 20 I started swimming against the Tide I had discovered Value in my life I was gonna hang on to it for dear lifeThe only other available option was sheer outrageSo naturally I made new friends the pleasers They sought to lull me with their nice pleasant lullabies and dropped pleasant leading gambitsWhenever in a weak moment I consented to listen the soporific would be gently administered and I d drift off to Lala Land for what seemed ages But then I d remember to Remember myself and throw off my shackles Time then for my opposition to use the heavy artilleryYou got itSo back and forth went my life just so for interminable aeons of slumber interspersed with jarringly wide awake cauchemars with all their Soul splitting bright noonday torment Awakening from history s nightmare is no picnicPride was always my stumbling block EXACTLY as it is for Thomas Covenant in the Strange and Savage Real Life Dreamworld he s been catapulted into We re all proud naturally because of our inborn need for transcendence A real radix malorum as it turns out So then the world turns to us and says You re no one special So why not just jump on the eternal bandwagon of endless 247 Desire Because it s precisely the road of fools is why the way to dusty death Death isn t real to a little kid And it s only real to us because of our illimitable desires We have to make perfect our willBut Thomas knows nothing of this So in his vividly Real parallel universe to his daily disbarred from humanity drudgery of incurable leprosy he is fighting perceived evilDon t all we outsiders do thatJust like me so Thomas a leper one set apart and enchained in a Magic Circle of Exclusion from polite society A figurative leper like the rest of us plodders who strive with every fibre of our sinews to be reconnected and justified to our erstwhile peersAs Kafka says give it up Kafka and Thomas win out Inclusion is not the point Our and their splintered life is Brokenness wins That s where we startAs the Nobel laureate Lagerkvist states Endurance is everything for only in that can there be GloryWe are ALL clinging to that accursed rock upon which we like Prometheus who saw THROUGH Lord Foul s mind games are impaled sentenced to submit to the gnawing of the gods upon our liverSo resistance as the film clich says is futileAnd submission is key The books in the immortal Thomas Covenant sword n sorcery series seem endless and a too daunting task for a feeble septuagenarian like me to attempt But I HIGHLY recommend them to folks who like I do find the struggle for Goodness Herculean And this First one of the saga is Great For Thomas Struggle is Really Endless No getting around itIt gets better you know if we make ourselves LITTLE Then we re only chaff spinning on the Hurricane of Life And chaff is just peanuts at the Destroyer s orgiastic feastSome day we will all be able to do just that ALL of us VictimsOnce the strength of the battle subsides we will find we have been MOLDED into a vital tiny truculence that can endure ALL the outrageous Forces of CircumstanceOn that blessed day we ll drop our guardAnd take up the eternal cloak of Humility Which will lead us to a Far Better Land than the one so ruinously despoiled by Lord Foul

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Lord Foul's Bane

Olt Winston Wow I really didn t like this bookI think it was in large part due to the fact that I found the main character so utterly unlikable Heck he s even despicableSome people can read and enjoy a book despite not being able to empathize with the characters I m not one of those people I actually like to care about my fictional characters It s pretty hard to give a flying fickle about some cranky jerk who rapes a woman in the first book I didn t bother reading to find out if things improved from there

Stephen R. Donaldson ¿ 8 read & download

1977 1st Ed This isn t so much a review of the book as a response to other reviews I have read by people who hated it and hated it specifically because they see the protagonist Thomas Covenant as unlikeable weak whiny and self pitying andor because of the rape scene included in it My position is essentially this You can hate a character for many good reasons but having no clue who he really is is not one of themSome readers seem to want to excuse Covenant to some extent as an anti hero but I think this misses a larger point his Chronicles of which this book is the first are a kind of anti fantasy Oh this is still escape literature but it lacks intentionally the complete abandonment of a Lord of the Rings It doesn t allow the reader to simply wish themselves into a magical new world Like and because of Covenant it fights back It asks the reader to consider the distinction between reality and fantasy or as Covenant would put it between sanity and madness This tension makes the Chronicles uniue providing a different kind of depth to the storyBriefly Lord Foul s Bane recounts the first part of an epic battle between the good people of the Land and the evil that would destroy it Lord Foul Specifically it tells the story of Thomas Covenant a leper whose disease has cost him his wife his child and the succor of society his sexual potency two fingers of his right hand and the nerves in his fingers and toes The psychological cost has been no less extreme His disease reuires his full attention if not directly for example through freuent visual surveillance of his body searching out any cuts or abrasions that because he can t feel them could uickly become dangerous then indirectly In a world that hates and fears lepers Covenant is compelled to undertake the hardest of all tasks to give up all hope of health and love and meaningful human contact This is the man who after an accident wakes up in the Land a place of magic where health can not only be seen but restored as he soon discovers his leprosy is cured and only his missing fingers are not returned to himNaturally he rejects the Land and all its inhabitantsAnd here is where the story and Covenant too begins to pall on some readers For Covenant s rejection is not a polite one Worse for many of these readers it is incomprehensible How could he reject this wonderful gift How indeed could he not wholeheartedly embrace itThe answer of course is that Covenant is not in fact a weak man but an exceptionally strong one A weaker man would do exactly as many of these readers seem to want he would embrace the Land and charge off to help the good guys defeat the bad And because he carries with him a power eual to the task the white gold with which his wedding ring is made he would succeed Then truly this book would be as bad as they think it isBut thankfully that isn t Covenant For him the Land is no gift it is a curse He comes from our world the real world where places such as the Land are fantasy And fantasy is dangerous if you begin to believe it That way lies a life of institutionalization and madness Yet it seems so real so full of beauty and wonder friendship and love it takes a man of extraordinary character to resist its temptationsReader complaints of whininess and self pity seem to me to lack an appreciation of Covenant s dilemma and perhaps simple human empathy He believes and as a man of our world he has every reason to believe that he is fighting for control of his own mind And against impossible odds Of course he despairs Yet he perseveresHow exactly is this man unlikeable Because he clings to sanity Because he refuses to allow figments of his imagination to drive him mad Because he doesn t say please and thank you From what I can gather many of these one star reviewers never did read about Thomas Covenant they read about a Hero who wouldn t bow to their own desire for wish fulfillmentIt s ironic They come off sounding like the people in Covenant s town who hate him so much they want him to stay locked up in his house alone forever Except that instead of leprosy they cite the behavior and mode of thinking reuired by his disease as the reasons for their loathing Significantly they don t uestion the townspeople s reactions but they don t follow that through either It s as if they re saying Okay sure everyone hates youbut there s no need to be bitter about it They don t seem to understand that Covenant doesn t want to be the way he is but that he has no choice that if he doesn t build walls between himself and the outside world he will lose himself entirely If he is overtly rude unlike say a shy person whose rudeness is born of an innate social awkwardness it is because he isn t naturally anti social He has had to build his defensive mechanisms himself against his natural inclinations This makes him at once rigid and heroicAnd then there s the rape a crime compounded by the youth of the victim a girl of only 16 More than one reviewer in the blissful simplicity of the knee jerk reaction wanted to throw the book at a wall at this point in the story How is it possible to maintain sympathy for a man who would do such a thingWell as it turns out it is uite easy to do so provided you see the book through the lens of Covenant s dilemma If you go into this book like other works of fantasy believing in the reality of the Land and you cannot fathom Covenant s unbelief then you will have a problem with this scene But then I think you will also have missed the point completely For rape in a dream or a fantasy isn t rape But for Covenant in a dream as real as this one appears to be it is impossible to ignore And it acts on him in two ways it makes his rejection the Land difficult even as it raises disturbing uestions of his mental health outside the dream Later in the book he has a similar reaction when he kills for the first time Is he he wonders truly capable of such violenceRather than ask How could he rape a 16 year old it would be appropriate to think Even in his dreams this man has a consciencePost Script Excoriating Covenant for the rape of Lena follows a logic that would have us holding ourselves accountable for the content of our dreams If a man told a woman he had a dream in which he raped someone should the woman henceforth think of the man as a rapist If a woman told a man she had a dream in which she was raped and she enjoyed it should the man afterward believe the woman obviously wants to be raped I hope I speak for a large majority when I say Of course notBut one of the fascinating things about Covenant is that he does follow this logic He doesn t want to and he tries hard not to but the things he does in the Land the those things affect how he sees himself This is why he does so damn little This is another misguided complaint about his characterIn this sense Covenant s journey is one of self discovery Like many of us however he is afraid of what he will discover By doing nothing or as little as he possibly can he can spare himself pain He has enough pain from his disease from his isolation he doesn t think he can take any Lord Foul s Bane is I think a very good book But it is here in the area of Covenant s self discovery that it is lacking His whining isn t a problem in itself it is a symptom of Donaldson s unwillingness or inability to fully explore the depth of Covenant s character It s interesting that the Land is mostly exactly that land While there is much to see on the surface a few deep lakes would have been nice


10 thoughts on “Lord Foul's Bane

  1. says:

    Soul saddened SIGHDamn damn DAMNlife can really be full of suck This book really torched my hopes and dreams NO

  2. says:

    I've often lamented that five star rating systems such as the one used by GoodReads don't allow for ratings lower than one star Were it possible I'd give this book negative stars; I think it actually sucks the uality away

  3. says:

    This isn't so much a review of the book as a response to other reviews I have read by people who hated it and hated it speci

  4. says:

    I read Lord Foul’s Bane once in grade seven the same year I first read Macbeth and Lady Chatterly’s Lover and The Lord of the Rings for a second time It was a good year for me and reading And an important year for who I would become But I didn’t know until now how important Lord Foul’s Bane was to all of thatThis story ha

  5. says:

    Thomas Covenant had it all a good family his first book was a New York Times bestseller his second book was in the progress Suddenly he developed leprosy his wife left him taking his son with her people avoid any kind of contact with him turning him into a self loathing bitter whining person He is a leper outcast uncleanSome high powers brought him to magic land where he is destined to either help fight Grea

  6. says:

    THIS is a book for folks who often find life Tough Maybe you’re one of em That has been My life for sureWhen I was 20 I started swi

  7. says:

    OMG that was a rather difficult book to get into I mean most of the time I had keep re shifting the gears in my head to see what might be valuable and good about this book and for a great 200 pages I was wondering if I had

  8. says:

    Wow I really didn't like this bookI think it was in large part due to the fact that I found the main character so utterly unlikable

  9. says:

    2020 re readI first read this 1977 publication early in HS so probably in the neighborhood of 1982 or 1983 I blazed through the books and then had to wait for the sixth novel White Gold Wielder to come out and I bought that book in hard back a rare extravagance for me back then I recall being so caught up in the world building it wa

  10. says:

    I live in a smallish room with roughly a couple of thousand books They are everywhere I love the books but I also hate the books I'd have space if it wasn't for them when I moved it would be easy if it didn't involve carrying what feels like an endless amount of heavy boxes packed with them They are everywhere The booksh