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Against All Things Ending: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 3 Audible – Unabridged

3.6 out of 5 stars 273 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 33 hours and 16 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • Audible.com Release Date: May 27, 2011
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052XAYFG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lisa P. Benwitz on October 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I reread "Fatal Revenant" in the days previous to the release of "Against All Things Ending," and I could barely contain my excitement as I waited the final day... unfortunately, I quickly found myself in the shoes of Thomas Covenant himself, begging people to hit him in order to pull him from the stupor of his memories and back to the present.

The endless repetitive narration and introspective whining on the parts of the characters (when the world was about to end, mind you) was indulgent and offensive to me. Half the time I felt like I was stuck in a bad history lecture. With a head cold. Even if I had not "known" the main characters for years, I would have been screaming, "ENOUGH! I GET IT!" after the first ten times I was clobbered with their indulgent angst.

Every character's motivations (or lack thereof) was overexplained, and when the action *did* happen, it seemed like filler so that we could quickly get back to a scene where everyone rested and thought about/felt sorry for themselves, or rode long distances and thought about/felt sorry for themselves. No one ever knew what to do or how to do it, and the few characters who *did* were quickly discounted so there could be more self-recriminations later.

Although I haven't been a Linden Avery hater in the past, I'm rapidly approaching that state. Mr. Donaldson seems to have forgotten how to build effective characters, concentrating more on his impressive vocabulary and making sure we don't forget how much everyone loathes him/herself and how utterly clueless they seem to have become.

Even the secondary characters lacked the soul of Covenant's previous works - specifically the Giants and the Humbled, as other reviewers have pointed out.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To frame this review, please understand that I am a huge Stephen R. Donaldson fan and think his Thomas Covenant series is some of the best books I have every read. In some respects, he ruined my love of the fantasy genre because other writers seemed shallow and trite by comparison.

However, I was a little disappointed in this work. Here are my main complaints:

1. The pacing is painstakingly slow and the characters spend too much time muddling about and wondering what they should do, seemingly to reserve time (pages) for over self-analysis/self-recrimination. In the first two series, there was at least a clear framework of what the characters should do or what was their general aim. In this series, and this book in particular, not so much.

2. I am finding that most of the characters that surround Linden I really don't care about. In Mr. Donaldson's previous works, I found myself emotionally attached to the characters and that is why I think he separates himself from 99% of other writers. I often times will go back to read individual chapters just to revisit Bannor, Mhoram, Pitchwife, Sunder, etc.. In this series, more specifically this book, I find I really don't care whether any of Linden's companions live, die, do something heroic or whatever. Even Thomas Covenant is often relegated to the role of an observor or non-factor. Does anyone really care which, if any, of the Ramen die? How about any Giant? Liand? Any Huruchai? The best and most interesting characters are the ones that come and go (Esmer, any Insequent)

3. Too many of the characters are enigmas needing to be solved, or waiting for certain conditions ot occur, or know things but won't tell. Esmer, Jeremiah, Thomas Covenant, Anele, Mahrtiir, the urviles, need I go on?
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Format: Hardcover
As a lifelong Donaldson fan, it slays me to admit it - but this book is just not very good (though it does get better as it goes along).

For the third book in a four book series, just not enough happens, and a huge number of problems and foes are left to be settled in the fourth book - and with the glacial pace of this book, I actually wonder if the author can pull if off without a bunch of cheap and lame deus ex machina moments, as so marred this book (far too many of the deaths were random, cheap, and lame, for example).

There is far too much time spent in pointless and repetitive introspection (particularly in the mind of Linden Avery, who rarely seems to have any new thoughts or revelations) and in conversation between the characters - OK, so the world is ending, and we will spend dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of pages just standing around talking? About the same issues again and again? And again and again and again? And then again some more?

What ever happened to an author showing rather than telling?

Donaldson has seemingly forgotten his strengths as a writer. In the past even when you wanted to reach into one of his books and strangle Covenant or Linden, you still had Mhoram and Pitchwife and other wonderful and lovable secondary characters to keep you going. In this book I cannot even manage keep the names of most of the secondary characters straight. There are few if any differences between the Humbled (between themselves) or the Giants (other than Longwrath). It is hard to care about characters who are little more than mere plot points - and this from an author who has previously written some of the best character driven epic fantasy out there.
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