Feb 22, 2014

Words of Radiance is Unreadable.

I'll say it again.

Words of Radiance is unreadable.

I've had an advance copy for about two weeks now and it's proven to be one of the most challenging books I've ever read. After Way of Kings, I was excited to start it but I've really found it to be dense, awkward, and, frankly, much more exhausting than reading a book for pleasure has any right to be.At times, just the thought of picking it up again fills me with dread.

I mean look at the thing.

It's big. Like unwieldy big. Just holding it for an extended period of time gets difficult.  Even trying to lay down in front of it feels a little off given the extra inch or two you need to crane your neck back to read it. Unless you've got yourself a sturdy table and a comfortable chair to seat yourself at, you aren't going to be breaking any marathon reading records with Sanderson's latest.

More and more, I've found myself to be a Kindle convert. Initially, I thought it would be impossible to divorce myself from the physical artifact that sits so nicely on your shelf but my eReader has proved to be more portable, adaptable, and readable than almost any book. When you take into account the doorstoppers that GRRM, Rothfuss, and Sanderson have produced (or not produced) over the last five years, I've found that the eReading experience is vastly superior.

And so much so that despite having the entirety of the book in my hands, I actually read all of the published previews on Tor.com via my phone or computer. (Stopping of course to read the mysterious chapter 7, which is excluded from the preview for good reason. Spoiler alert! Someone dies. Or not. Maybe I'm just screwing with you. But it is very shocking. Is it March 4th yet?). I've since finished the preview chapters and have been progressing through the book, but it's been much slower going than the first 150 or so pages.

And it isn't just that the book is heavy to hold or the fact that my book light isn't large enough to shine on the pages if I clip it to the back cover, it's that Words of Radiance simply isn't portable. Whereas my Kindle can fit in my pocket, the physical book is impossible to carry in my bag unless I leave my laptop or textbooks at home and even then the binding is so wide I'm scared I'll end up destroying it. On the rare occasions where I do take it with me, I've resorted to bringing a second bag along solely for securing WoR. I tried to get a team of Parshmen to carry it for me, but I have it on good authority that they are not to be trusted. I see myself buying an electronic version of Words of Radiance come March 4th, depending on how much progress I've made by then.
Now I bet you are tired of hearing me talk about the book and want me to divulge a little about the story inside it...

Let's just say that it is as hard to put down as it is to pick up.


  1. Hey Pat, I appreciate the humor but, do you have to flaunt it in my face like this?! Yes, I know you got an advance copy (you lucky bastard), but this complaining is crossing the line! :))

    1. Awesome Marty - I have been hearing about this weighty tome - alas - none here either.

  2. There's something really satisfying about reading a gigantic book like that every now and then, but I find them pretty unwieldly unless I'm lying in bed, on my stomach, where the book mostly holds itself open thanks to gravity.

    But yeah, as much as I still adore physical copies of books, I find that being able to carry a small library in my pocket is an awesome thing.

  3. I've always said Brandon Sanderson is an author who justifies the existence of Kindles/eReaders...

  4. This book is everything you could have hoped for, and more. Much more. All the characters develop in so many interesting and awesome ways. The story advances leaps and bounds, but a lot of it happens near the end of the book. But none of the book is boring. And it ends, leaving you wanting more.

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