WARNING: Ripping Book Reviews are solely the judgments of Professor VJ Duke on an unlucky book that has caused him much repulsion—in one way or another. Therefore, blame must be put on the professor and nobody else. With that in mind, read on—if you are brave enough to take it.
ERAGON by CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI
Well, this is the first book that I have reviewed while the author is still presumably alive. I do believe that some authors would appreciate, and even enjoy, seeing their books ripped. It’s a public service, I think. In fact, Twain, if he were alive, would almost definitely enjoy seeing any of his works ripped—which is ironic. Since Twain is the only author who is un-rippable. He never seems to cause too much repulsion—in one way or another.
So, onwards—living author or not; appreciative author or not!
I read Eragon a few years back. Then I saw the movie. If any of you were unlucky enough to witness that overdone, underdone, blasphemy of the fantasy movie genre, we can get together and weep about it on a different occasion. Suffice to say, that the movie caused much, much more repulsion than the book.
In the way beginning of Eragon, on that extremely boring page that shows the text copyright and other horrors, there is a neat inscription that deserves a repeating here. I will quote it in its entirety:
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
I do believe it was good thing that this was mentioned. It definitely put this professor’s mind at rest. Originally, I had supposed that Eragon was taken directly from a character in The Lord of the Rings named Aragorn. Likewise, I thought Arya was taken directly from Arwen. But this little inscription cleared everything up. It was only a coincidence.
It was also great to learn that the plot was a coincidence. A young farm boy finds a dragon egg and must train, with the help of his mentor, to defeat an evil emperor that has held the known world captive. Luckily for us, it didn’t take place in a galaxy far, far away.
The story definitely seems to drag on and on, without forwarding the plot much. In fact, we are left to wonder at times if there is really a plot at all, and who is good and who is bad! Another coincidence. Similar yet again to that galaxy far, far away.
I was greatly relieved to discount every similarity to coincidence—including that Eragon is out when his uncle is killed. Of course, he is out with his droids—I mean dragon.
It seems we have chanced upon something here. Maybe we should call it the Chosen One Series? For you see, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Eragon all have something in common. In fact, the more it is thought about, the more terrifying it becomes. Each story has a main character who is raised by close relatives; who is, simply, the ‘chosen one’ and doesn’t know it; and who is destined to destroy the great evil one. Definitely worth pondering, but not for long. Too intimidating.
At this point, I would like to share with you a few instances that caused repulsion, fear, and worry for the professor.
Firstly, Eragon is attempting to use magic when suddenly:
“Panic blossomed in his chest.”
This was very disconcerting. I’ve never heard of panic blossoming… Wait. Maybe it makes sense…if panic is a flower then it could definitely blossom. Of course, this presents a chilling picture. A flower is growing in his chest? Enough said.
Secondly, Eragon’s dragon is speaking with him. She says:
“I’ve no more control over my abilities than a spider does.”
Now this was an interest. What is meant here? Does Paolini mean that Eragon’s dragon has no more control over her abilities than a spider has over its abilities? Or, does he mean that Eragon’s dragon has no more control over her abilities than a spider has control over her [i.e. the dragon’s] abilities. It’s disconcerting either way. The latter explanation is the most frightening, however. Personally, I would assume that one could control one’s abilities. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be abilities.
The definition of abilities: a natural tendency to do something successfully or well.
Let’s not think on this too long.
Thirdly, Eragon does something that the professor would think incredibly painful:
“Eragon grunted in reply. He jammed his cold fingers in his armpits…”
And, lastly, Brom, Eragon’s bright mentor, says this:
“There isn’t a horse alive that can outrun a flying dragon…”
If I was Eragon, I would’ve asked Brom, “Can a flying dragon actually run?”
Now, I would like to share with you one last thing. We will term it Eragon Silliness.
Eragon is trying to get information from an enemy soldier. So he threatens him. This is what he says:
“Do you know how much pain a grain of sand can cause you when it’s embedded red hot in your stomach? Especially when it doesn’t cool off for the next twenty years and slowly burns its way down to your toes! By the time it gets out of you, you’ll be an old man…Unless you tell me what I want.”
At this point the professor was laughing. After all, who would believe an obvious lie like that, devoid of all common sense and brains? It is resignedly stupid. I was expecting the soldier to start laughing uncontrollably, like I would have done. But, no. He becomes afeared. Terribly so. And Eragon gets his information. This is an example of Eragon Silliness. The soldier was silly (nice word) to believe it, and Eragon was silly enough to say it. I believe Brom (Eragon’s mentor) didn’t train Eragon too well in the art of torturing to obtain information.
That’s all that can be said genuinely.
So, this was Aragorn…I mean Eragon.