Book Review: "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini


Not an encouraging way to start off a review, is it?

I fought real hard not to read this book. In fact, when I borrowed a copy of it, it sat on my bookshelf for months, then materialized to my nightstand, then migrated back to my bookshelf. I read the first two pages. Put it down. Weeks went by. Picked it up. Thought, Ugh!, and put it down.

Finally, I hauled it with me when we went to Cedar Campus last week. There, I knew I wouldn’t be able to escape reading it.

Well, actually, I did have two other books with me, so I could very easily escape reading the book. But I was determined to finish it, do or die, because there are other books that are clamoring for my time and doggoneit, the movie’s been covered at the Agony Booth. How can I enjoy its mocking sufficiently if I haven’t even read the book?




You know what’s good this time of year? Morels. I just recently learned that the best way to find morels in the wild is to look under dead elm trees. Something about the dirt as they decompose somehow appeals to morel spores…I understand fresh morels are so much better than dried…

Look, what do you want me to say? I didn’t like the book. I didn’t unlike the book. It was just…there. Like coffee stains. Or long toenails. Sure, they’re a pain to cut, but once you do, they look so good. That reminds me, I should really get around to painting my toenails. All last summer, I didn’t do my toenails, even though I’ve had some rockin’ sandals. And it’s already June, though you really can’t tell it outside. Man, what’s the deal with this 60-degree weather? The only consolation is that Chicago’s going through the same–

No. Focus. Eragon. ERAGON, dammit!!!!

You know, maybe I’m just not the right person to review this. I’m not a teenage white boy who is just now getting into fantasy. I’ve read so much fantasy over the past thirty years of my life. Wait…when did I start reading fantasy? Maybe 7 or 8, perhaps? Yeah, that sounds about right. And I read sooooo many stories about soooo many ‘young men’ who sooooo became the "chosen one" that it all blurs in my mind sometimes, except for the ones who really stood out, because they did something different to challenge the general, blahblahblah stories.

You know what I also miss? Fanfics. Really good fanfics.

Because really, that’s what Eragon really is. Fanfic, and frankly, it’s the lamest fanfic done, with the author substituting himself (unconsciously) and…

Sigh. I don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said before.

I mean, come on. It’s right there on page 137. In italics. The entire epitome of the book. Quoth Eragon: "Somehow, I’ve become a sorcerer or wizard!"

It’s that key word, you see. Somehow. That’s the point that I realized, he’s going to lose his mentor, get into trouble, somehow save the day, and become handsome and stronger while doing it. And oh, the dragon’s not going to breath fire until the very end.

And that was the point I thought, screw it, and just started flipping pages to see if I was right. Flip, flip, flip. Flip, flip. Prophecy. Flip, gorgeous beautiful elf who of course Eragon has to save, flip, flip, flip, tanned muscles, flip, flip, orc-urakhai–urgals. urgals. Flip, flip. Oh look, Brom’s dead. Flip, flip. Damn, how long does it take for them to walk all the way to Gondo–Tronjheim. Flip, flip, hey look, black person! Flip, hey look, another black person, and it’s a girl–oh wait, they don’t appear again. Well, that was lame. Flip, flip. Major battle. Flip, dead guy gets killed by Eragon. And oh, look, Saphira’s coming to save him and she’s breathing fire for the first time…


You know? I’m not going to rate the book. Nope. Not gonna do it. This book was neither fire hot nor was it chilly cold, but lukewarm at best. Nothing stood out. Nothing really struck me as good. It was boring as all heck,  so I’m just going to toss it. And then, most likely, I’ll forget about it.

But I will go read the Eragon recap up at the Agony Booth. Because I’m pretty sure that if the book was bad, the movie would have somehow made it all the worst.