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  #16  
Old Aug 5, '11, 6:35 am
Contarini Contarini is offline
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Default Re: Are the "Sword of Truth" books by Terry Goodkind safe to read?

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Originally Posted by ZoonCorp View Post


Still, I don't think its worth risking the Lords friendship because of a book. What do you think? Have anyone read these books before?
I started the first one and thought it was OK but not that compelling. Bear in mind that I'm Episcopalian, so I'm going to have a somewhat more liberal view than you'll get from some of the other folks on this forum (I'm conservative for an Episcopalian but relatively liberal by Catholic standards).

From my point of view, the only way you "risk the Lord's friendship" by reading a book is if the book makes you into the kind of person who is not the Lord's friend. I also think that we aren't passive "blank slates" on whom books work their magic--we are active participants in the act of reading, and we may read things that are bad but consciously reject them. That being said, unless there's some special reason to do so, it's not a good idea to read books (or watch movies) whose overall tendency is degrading and corrupting. I don't know if the SoT books fall into that category or not.

For comparison, I do not think that the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin are degrading and corrupting in their overall tendency, but I do think they have sensationalistic elements of sex and violence which are of dubious value for the health of my soul. I'm somewhat of two minds as to whether I want to get back into the series now that a new book is out.

Another comparison: I'm a fan of the recent "Battlestar Galactica" series, even though some folks on this forum will tell you that it's degrading and corrupting. It certainly has elements that pander to people's baser instincts, but overall I find it to be a morally serious show that grapples with the darkness of the world and of human nature. Of course, I can give a better judgment on BSG than on the Martin books because the Martin series isn't finished yet.

Back to the Sword of Truth. As you pointed out, Goodkind is a disciple of Ayn Rand. I had a student who wrote a theology essay for me that discussed his personal struggle with some Christian doctrines (particularly original sin) in light of his interest in Rand and Goodkind. That's my main source for knowledge of Goodkind's ideology. Based on that essay, I'd say that the Goodkind books caricature and misrepresent traditional theism/Christianity and could easily be confusing for young people who aren't well grounded in the Christian tradition. My student was a very smart person, and I think that he was unduly impressed by what seemed like a rather shallow and frivolous ideology (based on his own account as I interpreted it). I don't think that means "don't read them," but I think it does mean that you should be sure you are furthering your study of the Christian faith as you read them, and should make sure that they don't dominate your reading diet!

God bless,

Edwin
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  #17  
Old Aug 5, '11, 12:43 pm
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James924 James924 is offline
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Default Re: Are the "Sword of Truth" books by Terry Goodkind safe to read?

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Originally Posted by ZoonCorp View Post
For some reason I can't post in the CA book club forum, so I hope it's okay that i ask this question here instead.

So, are they? I have read the first book, and I really liked the story. The second book is about good and evil, about how a demonic being, or even the books equivalent to the devil, called "the keeper", tries to break out of "hell" and how the heroes are going to prevent it. However, I am worried I might offend the Lord by reading them because both the first and the second book, which I am currently reading, have some material which may not be suitable for Catholics. these are:

1). It's elements of pre-martial sex and stronger love for another person than the books equivalent to "God", called "the creator". The books even portray detailed and sometimes explicit descriptions of persons "making love" with each other which often is the opposite of the Churches teachings. (In one of the chapters, there were even a shocking description of a beast raping a woman in an occult ritual).

2). The main protagonist does not want/do believe in "the creator".

3). It contains occult magic and rituals, and worshiping of higher beings.
Points 2 and 3 are ok as long as you're an adult and not in danger of letting it influence your world view. Based on Point 1 alone I would put them aside now. Description of sex in books (especially these days) is almost just as bad as watching pornography. The chance of falling into sin and impure thoughts and arousal of the genetive faculties (I know, how awkwardly technical of me) is reason enough to not read it, and the fact that the author enjoys putting it in there is reason enough to reject the fruits of his tree as bad. This goes for if you're single or married, but if you're married it is a thousand times more important. Keep in mind, Catholic teaching is that it is wrong to even put yourself in a near occasion of sin.

Now depending on how long and frequent these sexual bits are, you might be able to skip them as soon as you notice them beginning. Whether thats possible with this book is up to your judgement.

I had an author, a Catholic author, who's writing I loved and included some good, vaguely judeo-christian messages (not to mention action packed, bloody battle scenes which I love), but there was just too much sexual junk in it and I had to let him go in the interest of my soul and of, as a matter of principle, rejecting bad fruits.

Also, the inclusion of premarital sex is only a non-issue if it is presented as morally wrong or at the very least neutral. If at all the narrative seems to imply that its ok or good or even glorifies it, then you should throw it away as a matter of principle.

Sometimes you need to tell the world to take a walk (as well as his buddies, the flesh and the devil) even if it means sacrificing some pleasure for yourself.

Some people will call me a fanatic. They can call me what they please. What I've just stated above is a standard part of the Catholic world view... and Catholics used to know it.
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  #18  
Old Aug 5, '11, 3:56 pm
Publisher Publisher is offline
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Default Re: Are the "Sword of Truth" books by Terry Goodkind safe to read?

I've read all the books in the series...I thought a few of them dragged way too long in places...but all in all it was a great read.....I read them all about two years ago....bought "Wizard's First Rule" and was hooked...didn't like the TV program too well though after a while...seemed to drag at times as well...
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  #19  
Old Nov 24, '11, 9:20 am
frank ferko frank ferko is offline
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Smile Re: Are the "Sword of Truth" books by Terry Goodkind safe to read?

I've read the first few of the Goodkind Sword of Truth series and I thought they were very good. Unfortunately I fell away from the series while waiting for the 3rd installment. I just read another series of Goodkind's which started with the book Shadowmarch, which was about a Prince and Princess whose Father, the King was being held in captivity, an evil Fairy Army was on the march towards their kingdom, as well as a terrible southern king who seemed the most evil of all the evil characters (at least until you met the evil god at the end of the series...)

Fiction is fiction. A person of faith should remain unaffected by fiction, other than a temporary involvement in the characters and their struggle to overcome the circumstances which are threatening them. We can be uplifted by the ideas and the characters, the world which the author has created, and the eventual victory of Good over Evil.

Fiction is a temporary escape from our lives, an entertainment which can sometimes uplift and edify, but should never cause us to question our faith.

LOTR, Narnia, and Harry Potter are all good solid fantasies in which Good and Evil are clearly defined, there's no attempt by the author to "convert" his readers to his or her beliefs.

The only series that I found offensive was the one which began with The Golden Compass which is a blatant attack on the Catholic Church. I've read many, many books (fantasy, horror, etc), and I read the Bible daily (in the morning and at night), and I find books to be a wonderful vehicle to forget one's cares for the moment.

There's nothing better than a good story, right?

The best story of all is our Salvation through Jesus Christ.

Peace

Frank
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  #20  
Old Jul 10, '13, 9:45 am
ItsRainingTrees ItsRainingTrees is offline
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Default Re: Are the "Sword of Truth" books by Terry Goodkind safe to read?

I've read to The Omen Machine (the 11th book I believe), despite that I knew Terry was bashing faith. I HATE not finishing a story. Should I stop here and not read the new book he's coming out with? Is The Wheel of Time series better? I've wanted to read that for a while. Could anyone please suggest other fantasy series that are good? I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire as of now, need to start The Wheel of Time and am going to try the Dragonlance series because someone on this thread recommended it. I'm also thinking about the Riyaria Revelations Trilogy, but that's all I have. Any suggestions? Thank you for any feedback.


*Are The Witcher games okay to play? I've wanted to play them for a long time, as I've heard they have a great story and the The Witcher 3 is coming out and looks like a great world to have fun exploring and hunting. Sorry for so many questions
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  #21  
Old Jul 10, '13, 1:27 pm
epiclotus epiclotus is offline
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Default Re: Are the "Sword of Truth" books by Terry Goodkind safe to read?

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Originally Posted by ItsRainingTrees View Post
I've read to The Omen Machine (the 11th book I believe), despite that I knew Terry was bashing faith. I HATE not finishing a story. Should I stop here and not read the new book he's coming out with? Is The Wheel of Time series better? I've wanted to read that for a while. Could anyone please suggest other fantasy series that are good? I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire as of now, need to start The Wheel of Time and am going to try the Dragonlance series because someone on this thread recommended it. I'm also thinking about the Riyaria Revelations Trilogy, but that's all I have. Any suggestions? Thank you for any feedback.


*Are The Witcher games okay to play? I've wanted to play them for a long time, as I've heard they have a great story and the The Witcher 3 is coming out and looks like a great world to have fun exploring and hunting. Sorry for so many questions
If you're looking for some good fantasy to read, I would suggest the Song of Albion trilogy by Stephen Lawhead. The first book is called The Paradise War.

I read the Sword of Truth series quite far, and Goodkind certainly does lose his way at times. I can also see his philosophy quite strongly in Faith of the Fallen. It's a very interesting book, and I must say that I actually liked some of the themes put forth (the benefits of simple living, hard work, art, etc.); however, it is very humanistic at its core, and that can be troubling to some.

Also, Goodkind does seem to take pleasure in including sexual material of various sorts. The first book has some strong S&M overtones in the second half, the third book features some uncomfortably graphic descriptions between two characters, and there are other bits of perversity scattered throughout. I read the series when I was both younger and weaker in my faith, and I haven't gone back to it since to finish. The series puts forth questionable morals, at best, and certainly delights in the bizarre at various points. For that reason, I'd say that it falls under extremely questionable reading material.

I have read only the briefest bits of A Song of Fire and Ice. I hated the writing style, and if the graphic content of the HBO series is anything to go by, the books should also be steered clear of. I also can't speak to Dragonlance's qualities, but I'm always a bit leery of anything related to D&D.

Wheel of Time is good, and now that it's finally completed, I might give it another go. Robert Jordan is a good writer, but the series lingers in quite a few places. I would say read Eye of the World and, if that grabs you, keep going. I don't recall there being much of anything questionable in the books aside from a few love affairs that don't exactly promote traditional marriage, but these books aren't meant to be set in our world anyways. As long as you have a healthy enough mind to keep that straight, I'd say there's little to be concerned with.

If you want some good fantasy, check out the Albion trilogy I mentioned earlier, and also dive into some of the classics like Tolkien's Middle Earth or Lewis's Narnia. Tolkien especially has a vast wealth of material to absorb, and he was a devout Catholic man. I'd say it doesn't get much better than that for fantasy.
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  #22  
Old Jul 11, '13, 3:36 pm
jimmy jimmy is offline
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Default Re: Are the "Sword of Truth" books by Terry Goodkind safe to read?

The Sword of Truth series isn't necessarily offensive to God, but it is certainly offensive to the mind, because it is the biggest waste of time. You read the first several volumes and they are enjoyable. But the last few are unbearable. Rather than being books, they consist of a series of rants on objectivism by the main character. I don't know how they got published, because any high school teach would give it an F. That is how bad the writing is. If you have a pet idea you want to preach, you do it a little more circumspectly than having the main character rant about it in a series of monologues throughout the book. I came away thinking I wasted hours of my life on an awful series. I will never read another book by Goodkind.

If you liked the first few volumes, skip the rest and read the Wheel of Time series instead. It may lag a bid in the middle, but it is a great story that ends well. You don't feel like you wasted your life.
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  #23  
Old Jul 11, '13, 3:41 pm
jimmy jimmy is offline
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Default Re: Are the "Sword of Truth" books by Terry Goodkind safe to read?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsRainingTrees View Post
I've read to The Omen Machine (the 11th book I believe), despite that I knew Terry was bashing faith. I HATE not finishing a story. Should I stop here and not read the new book he's coming out with? Is The Wheel of Time series better? I've wanted to read that for a while. Could anyone please suggest other fantasy series that are good? I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire as of now, need to start The Wheel of Time and am going to try the Dragonlance series because someone on this thread recommended it. I'm also thinking about the Riyaria Revelations Trilogy, but that's all I have. Any suggestions? Thank you for any feedback.


*Are The Witcher games okay to play? I've wanted to play them for a long time, as I've heard they have a great story and the The Witcher 3 is coming out and looks like a great world to have fun exploring and hunting. Sorry for so many questions
Quite now and read the Wheel of Time. It is much better. Confessor, I think was the title of the last volume of the sword of truth, and I think it might be the worst book ever written. Any monkey could have written a better story, without offending half of the people who might read it. Read the Wheel of Time, it is a good story. I go back and read it again once in a while, because I really enjoyed it.

Maybe you would like Terry Brooks' books. I only read the Sword of Shanarra, which was a lot like Lord of the Rings.
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