by Christopher Paolini

Published 2003 503 pages

Wow, a book I could not finish. I read this back when I was like 16 and picked it up from the library in a desire to re-tread memory lane and boy oh boy was I disappointed.

Criticisms of the book are not hard to find. The dialogue is cheap and cringe. Eragon is a Mary Sue. Alagaësia is just the Lord of the Rings with the names changed. The plot is lifted directly from Star Wars. The tone is inscrutable: it's mostly YA-lite but scenes of piled corpses and crows eating dead babies jar the reader. I think that the book mostly sold on the premise of its author being a teenager.

A little more than halfway through the book, Eragon and a buddy of his rescue an elf woman from prison. She's clearly been tortured and she's in a coma. When Eragon's buddy first spots her in prison, he—in the midst of a prison break—pauses to shout the fantasy equivalent of "HUBBA HUBBA!" They take her out into the wilderness and continue remarking to each other how beautiful she is. In the process of magically healing her wounds, they undress her.

Although he tried to preserve the elf's modesty, he could not help but notice that under the disfiguring marks, her body was exceptionally beautiful.

When he's done with the healing, Eragon—who is 15 years old—kicks back with the wineskin to unwind. These are not things that well-adjusted people do or say or think. I just could not with this book anymore.


Birnam Wood


Weeknotes 7 August

Quiet one round our end.