A Small Gripe About Waiting for the Wheel of Time to come to a Conclusion...
I'm a fan of long books. In a more general sense, I'm a fan of long stories with complicated plots and so many characters that it's hard to keep them all straight. I've always liked stories in which you read about the characters for so long that you feel as if they are characters in your own life.
This penchant for reading stories of epic length is what drew me to "The Wheel of Time" in the first place. The books are between 700 and 1,000 pages each and at the time, 1999, there were 8 of them!!! I purchased the first book, and I have since read every book in the series, even purchasing the three most recent releases in hardback.
I have many thoughts and opinions about the story and the characters in it, but what I really want to discuss here is the fact that the last book in the series is now being split into 3 separate books. Effectively moving the release date of the final book to 2011. This particular maneuver irks me immensely, it seems to me that instead of wrapping up the series in one EPIC tome of a book, it is now being split into 3 parts and released a year apart.
The problem I have with this situation is that; I no longer feel nearly as enthusiastic about the series as I once did. When I read the last book that was released, I barely remembered anything about the story, about the characters, the overarching plot, none of it. This is a direct result of how long it's been since I read the previous books. If I had an infinite amount of time, I would happily go back and re-read the previous books. However, when we are talking about 11 books, we're talking about a substantial time commitment just to get 'caught back up.' Friends have sent me website that sum up the books in a very cliff's notes-esqe way, and while these sites are good with the broad strokes, they miss alot of the subtlety and intrigue that you get from actually reading the books.
As I mentioend above, I love long stories, but I want those stories to eventually end, and I want to get the full effect of the ending when it comes, and get the full effect. One day, when I am retired and have may hours a day to fill with reading, I will start the series over again and read it the whole way through without a year-long gap between books, but until that time, I guess I'm stuck reading the books and missing out on most of the subtleties. Well, at least the story actually gets to end.