A special note: I first want to say that I am shocked and sorry to hear about Robert Jordan’s physical ailments. I sincerely hope he will pull through and (in spite of this post), I consider him to be an excellent writer. His creativity, imagination and writing skills do make him a very unique treasure to the literary world.

(Update on Sep 18th, 2007: It was indeed sad to learn yesterday that he did not make it – he passed away on Sep-16. I am deeply saddened by the fact that he did not get enough time to finish the tale that he had spend so many years carefully building – paying attention to the smallest of the details.  I now am a bit ashamed at having ranted about the things I did not like about the series just a few weeks ago.)

A few days ago, I went to the nearby Borders bookstore to help a guest at our house buy something. It’s been a while since I went there and I decided for “old time’s sake” to check out the Sci-Fi/Fantasy aisle, pretty much convinced that nothing will entice me nowadays. My eyes fell on the latest book on the ma….sssive epic series Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan titled Knife of Dreams, Book #11 in the series. Yes, book #11, and each book is 700-1000 pages. Like I said – ma….sssive epic.

I stood there for a few minutes contemplating Hmm…. should I? Will I be able to get into it again? Will I be able to get through it? I soon decided why the heck not and bought it. I have started reading it – at a very slow pace. Gone through about 120 pages in a few days. With family, I can find only one hour max in a day, and that too not every day.

I used to be a huge, huge fan of Robert Jordan. However, like many of his fans I got disenchanted – e.g. see the reader comments about for any of his The Wheel of Time books on amazon.com. I eventually got too frustrated by the persistent snail pace of the books weaving a slow, meandering tale that seemed to be on cruise-control heading down a barren desert highway.

After book #5 or so, I started having thoughts like – Wait a minute! The story isn’t freaking moving! Why is he saying the same things again and again? The first four books are phenomenal – you will be immersed into a fascinating, rich and complex world that he weaves with exquisite detail. But those details soon can get old for many readers. It got so for me and I actually decided to stop reading.

Until now. For no reason other than to try to rekindle a flame …