Shannara Movies. Umm, why?!
- Okay, Hollywood is *officially* out of ideas. Note: there's some gauche, tasteless writing in the article (for those who are very easily offended � myself, I thought it was funny). And BTW, I had no idea there were *14* of those books! I only read the first one myself, back in the early 1980's; and it was disappointing enough that I never picked up another one.
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THE BORED OF SHANNARA
By Nick Nunziata
Contributing sources: Variety
I have a confession to make.
When I was like 11, I couldn't get through The Lord of the Rings series of books and instead read Terry Brooks' 'Shannara' series and felt the better for it. It's Tolkien for people who don't care what Frodo mixed with fatherberries on meal #19 of the day. Nothing personal against J.R.R., (aside from letting C.S. Lewis run rampant with mediocrity) I just found The Elfstones of Shannara to be a more fun time at the bedside.
I tried to reread the Brooks books as an adult and realized the time would be better spent cutting my face with knives. They've aged like Jerry Mathers and not in the sexy way.
Thinking it's 2002, Warner Bros. has optioned the books to turn into expensive, soulless movies, riding the gaseous trail of a trend that has gone from wondrous victory to obvious manipulation in less than a half-decade. It's a redundant bit of logic. If you're going to make a fantasy series, you have to mine turf that hasn't been spoiled and ransacked to death. At their best, the Shannara books are Tolkien-lite. At their worst, they're also Tolkien-lite oddly.
Yet, because the studios have budgets to spend on development, the wheels are spinning regardless of the potential for traction. From Variety's report on the sleepwalking decision:
"WB has franchise hopes for his 14-book series, which is set 1,000 years in the future, in a world populated by elves, trolls, gnomes and dwarves in a post-apocalyptic Earth. The Shannara family is a half-Elf, half-man clan with magical abilities and warrior skills who must save the world. "The Shannara" has never been optioned for film treatment because the author has avoided it. That was until the fanboy enthusiasm of Farah and co-producer Ryan Colucci wore him down. WB intends to first develop "The Elfstones of Shannara," the second book in the series."
There was a time I'd have been giddy over this choice. Especially since Elfstones is by far the best book in the series (though I only read through Wishsong, which was worse than being in Dahmer's stool). But now it just feels lame. It makes me wish I was 13 again and dumb.
But I'm 34 and dumb so I'm incensed. That said, I think Courtney Solomon will do a wonderful job with it.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>And BTW, I had no idea there were *14* of those books! I only readSame here, Jason. I could never understand why the series was
>the first one myself, back in the early 1980's; and it was
>disappointing enough that I never picked up another one.
apparently so popular. I have the same problem with Thomas Covenant.
- When I was in grad school, a friend who was moving give me a big box of
fantasy and science fiction books. Many of them were pretty forgetable,
but it was something to read, so I read quite a few. When I got to the
first book of Shannara, something (I don't recall what) annoyed me
enough that I gave up after a few pages and never went back. In this
case I suppose there is a chance the movie could actually be better than
the book, though the way the movie industry works I wouldn't bet on it.
I did actually like the Thomas Covenant series when I was in high
school. When I tried to read them later on, I ended up giving them away.
Cathy Akers-Jordan wrote:
> >And BTW, I had no idea there were *14* of those books! I only read[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> >the first one myself, back in the early 1980's; and it was
> >disappointing enough that I never picked up another one.
> Same here, Jason. I could never understand why the series was
> apparently so popular. I have the same problem with Thomas Covenant.
- Ellen, maybe that's the secret of the Thomas Covenant books - high
school, *maybe* college age readers. I found it unreadable and plowed
through, uphill all the way, because the author was a GOH some years
back. Then I met him and *he* was delightful, lots of fun, accessible,
and so I started to read the second in the series and ground to a halt
I learned the hard truth: there are people I really like as people
that I don't enjoy as authors. Probably the opposite is true, too, but
I don't know THAT many authors...
-- Lynn --
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Ellen <carnimiriel@...> wrote:
> I did actually like the Thomas Covenant series when I was in high
> school. When I tried to read them later on, I ended up giving them
> Ellen Denham