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 Okay, I'll admit the story is intellectually interesting

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Vicente



Posts : 44
Join date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Okay, I'll admit the story is intellectually interesting   Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:45 pm

but it's dry. Maybe it's the focus on characters who are politically active that turns me off (I hate politics because it's all so superficial and pretentious and - I'll probably sound even more ignorant, but who cares - boring) but, come on, the book managed to turn a high-profile kidnapping into a poker game - and I've spent the last ten or so pages reading about an aristocratic party.

Actually, it's probably the characters.

Naturally, the Overlords are the most interesting characters so far - just because we know so little about them. We have no choice but to speculate and ponder about their motives and how they mentally function.

But everyone else is so BORING. We have ol' pretentious George and hot-shot Rupert with his trophy wife, with Jan being the only mildly-interesting character so far. I'll take that back, actually: I thought Stormgren's physicist friend was pretty cool.

This book needs more conflict. Space battles, the Overlords raining hell on earth from their ships, an army of robot teddy bears terrorizing Chicago, anything. The minor suspicions concerning Overlord motives are not enough to hold me over.

I'd probably hate living in a utopia. lol.
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TheDirector



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PostSubject: Re: Okay, I'll admit the story is intellectually interesting   Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:34 pm

Vicente,

Card talks about science fiction being driven by Milieu, Idea, Character, or Event (MICE). Clarke's fiction is idea-driven. Perhaps you don't like that approach.

John Edlund
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Vicente



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PostSubject: Re: Okay, I'll admit the story is intellectually interesting   Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:40 pm

Hm. Would Card's Speaker for the Dead count as an idea-driven book? - because I loved it.

I think it's the character types that are slightly turning me off (highly successful and self satisfied, or does that count for everyone else in this story's setting since it's a utopia?). I'd probably find the story less dry if Clarke had chosen to tell the story from a resisting party's point of view.
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aitokunaga



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Join date : 2008-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Okay, I'll admit the story is intellectually interesting   Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:08 pm

Do you know what frustrates me about this very interesting book? Clarke introduces a character and used him for a while, then just forgets about him and he is never seen again! Well, as far as I've gotten at least.

Like the two German guys at the beginning. What happened to them? And Stromgen is the main character in the first section but isn't even mentioned in the second. I mean, I get it that he died, but I actually liked the guy.

I guess the point of Clarke doing that is to reinforce the idea that the Overlords are the ultimate main characters of the novel or something. Is that right?
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Vicente



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Join date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: Okay, I'll admit the story is intellectually interesting   Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:16 pm

EXACTLY. I kind of liked Stormgren too!

It's doing a slight disservice to the reader to heavily invest lots of their reading time into a character only for them to DISAPPEAR for the remaining majority of the book.

Well, okay, he died of old age. But still!
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jmbuehler



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PostSubject: Re: Okay, I'll admit the story is intellectually interesting   Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:59 am

The lack of relateable main characters is starting to get on my nerves, too. I like the story a lot, but when it comes to disaster or alien invasion stories, I tend to like it better when the story focuses on one particular person or family's experiences throughout the chaos. See: Signs, the most recent War of the Worlds, and a trillion other movies/books, I'm sure. But then again, the absence of a human character who sticks around throughout the entire book is probably because:

Quote :
the Overlords are the ultimate main characters of the novel or something. Is that right?

I agree with this. This is the Overlords' story. Maybe even Karellen's story, since he's the only character who's been around since the very beginning. So in other words, maybe it's not the human characters we should be investing in?
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spleahy



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PostSubject: Re: Okay, I'll admit the story is intellectually interesting   Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:14 pm

This story definately focuses on the mystery of the Overlords but it also trys to put us in the humans' shoes and the fear that some must have going through their heads as this mysterious superior being watches over them.
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Dya Cangiano



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PostSubject: Re: Okay, I'll admit the story is intellectually interesting   Mon May 05, 2008 2:10 am

I can understand why Clarke chose not to use one main human character in the story to focus on. There seem to be a lot of complaints about no character development, but in fact Clark (in my opinion at least) crafts his human characters as observers of the events taking place on Earth.

Stormgren is there to give us a relatable character and we feel the same frustration he has about what the Overlord's intentions are and what they look like. George's character is there at moments of paramount importance in human history, and Jan is the sole survivor of the human race in the end.

Because Clarke's story is about an over-arching theme and ideas of humanity and its purpose and existence, it makes sense that there are multiple characters that the reader can follow along with for a short duration of time. Yes, in comparison to a first person narrative it can get confusing and sometimes frustrating, but I honestly believe that it adds impact to the story. After all, this story takes place over several generations, so a human character can't be the narrator throughout, and if Karellan had been the main character then there would be no suspense to build to the final revelation of what they're true purpose on Earth was.

Ok, I'm done rambling for now, sorry Razz lol
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