Book Memories #3 The Eye of the World

After the obligatory reading of all the Middle Earth literature, there came a hankering for another Big Fantasy, and perusing the pages of the Waterstones Quarterly magazine back in 2001, I came across a review for the paperback version of Winter’s Heart, book nine of the (then) ongoing wheel of time series.

The bite sized paragraph review spoke of convoluted quests, many characters, and wanderings on a vast map.  Naturally, I was sold on this.  Not only for the amount of words to read (the overall total for the series being 4,410,036 according to Wikipedia) but the word convoluted appealed, greatly too.

Almost two decades since I picked up that first entry, and I again plucked it from a bookshop’s shelf home, due to a hankering for the series.   The covers in the UK are now a fancy black but this cover (as was my original) is of a quite unimpressively realised depiction of some of the main characters.  Thankfully only my original books one and two were these hand drawn creations.  Although I imagine many fans were annoyed by the mid series change of cover that came about before book ten (and if I remember rightly the lone prequel New Spring).

Having read a few things in the glossary whilst in the shop, I was eager to delve straight into its 782 pages, there were so many characters and events popping back into my head.  It’s good to return in this world, I enjoy being there even if nothing happens (not an exaggeration) in book ten. I am just happy to relive the adventure in Jordan’s world.

My most visual memory is reading one of the latter books (I forget which) in summer and really visualising the forest the certain character was clambering through, in particular a huge log that took some getting over, as I recall.  In the real world, the sun outside shone, causing me to squint as my eyes passed between dazzling sections of the page, and the shaded leafy silhouettes caught helplessly there, and forever in my memories.  Coincidentally the sun is shining through the trees again just so, as I write this.

When I read TEotW, I was only into fantasy and history, it’s nice to reflect not only on how far I have come as a reader, choosing to push myself towards challenging books as often as I can, but also on what has stayed with me.  The pull of certain books, of the circumstances they were read in, is always a fascinating subject and one that constantly evolves with the reader’s own unique journey.

17 Replies to “Book Memories #3 The Eye of the World”

  1. That’s quite a long read. The only fantasy books I’ve read are the Harry Potter series and a couple of Rick Riordan’s, both collections from my daughter’s small library.

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    1. I’m not familiar with Riordan’s work but the Harry Potter books were a decent read, I think the series peaked at The Prisoner of Azkaban personally. I do like something epic, and this one has lots of action, deception and lore to it which is always enjoyable. I love a well built world.

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      1. Got tired of reading the Harry Potter books. There are so many other authors worth reading. Nadia Hashimi is one. I am trying to find more Asian authors. I love Lisa See too.

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          1. That would be lovely. Celeste Ng is quite good too. I have read a number of books by Amy Tan in the last few years. I read a book by Shobha Rao entitled Girls Burn Brighter and I am looking for more of her books.

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  2. I know what you mean about how you sometimes remember a particular reading experience in companionship with the circumstances of where you were when you read it. It’s another combination of the senses, just sort of like Proust’s madeleine and tea–so many books I read under a tree in the summer days, that it’s to my mind like Andrew Marvell’s experience of sensory things of sun in a garden, which he refers to as “annihilating all that’s made to a green thought in a green shade.” That’s one of my favorite lines of all time, and I think it may possibly describe what you’re talking about too (?).

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    1. That’s a neat line, it just adds to the overall experience and is a pretty decent rebuttal to the ‘why bother rereading’ question. The words themselves, are sometimes,almost, incidental to the experience itself.

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  3. Yay for the Harry Potter series; well, at least to the fourth book – that’s where I stopped. It’s so pleasing to see those, like you, enjoying reading. As you know, I’m not a reader, but I love having lots of books about me. Hahah, it’s my man who actually does the reading… 🙂
    You new pic is very dashing!

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    1. Why thank you, it was taken in a cold day back in the motherland. No need for a coat now though! Books work great as ornaments, and they need less dusting too. Just having books there is a wonderful thing, even if I had no chance to read, I would still surround myself with books. I wish I could live in a library.

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  4. OMG! Do read correctly, 4,410,036 words? Like almost 4.5 million?
    How big is this book, I mean size wise?
    Sounds like a good review, but it’s a bit hard to focus under the weigt of the number of words. 😀 You go!

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    1. I should have written that better, the complete word count for the series is 4,410,036. The Eye of the World weights in at 305,902, an it doesn’t feel like it with the way I am flying through it. Post amended accordingly!

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  5. “The pull of certain books, of the circumstances they were read in, is always a fascinating subject” — Can’t agree more on this one. Certain books do bring back certain memories. I can also relate this to songs and the circumstances in which I listened to them.

    I always thought of the WoT as an awesome series but the books were a bit too long for my taste. I have read till volume 2 — “The great Hunt” (if I remember the name correctly).

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    1. I am looking forward to book two, as I finish up the first book. Jordan really throws a bunch more stuff in to that one I didn’t expect at the time, he really ups the stakes. I love the length, in fantasy is more is indeed more!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a massive fantasy phase in my mid-teens – Tanith Lee and all that, but haven’t really touched it since, apart from LotR, which I really ought to read again soon!

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    1. If you read LotR, then you will have to go through and read all the other Middle Earth books, it’s a must. I love the history, and the family trees and such. I brought my copy over so will have to indulge soon, and then hanker after the other books still back in England.

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        1. I loved the epic nature of The Silmarilion, I read The Unfinished Tales afterwards. The last story tell of how Gandalf got the dwarfs to go and see Bilbo, which then starts the cycle of wanting to read The Hobbit again, and so forth.

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