Friday, December 17, 2010

Why you should read the Alcatraz series...

There is one reason you should read the Alcatraz books, by my all time favorite author, Brandon Sanderson.

They are more epically awesome than Dairy Queen Blizzards. Yes, this has been scientifically proven.

What? You're not going to take my word for it? Well, then, I'll just have to persuade you.

If you are looking for an exciting new adventure, with fantastical technology, a cast of humorous characters, and a surprisingly 3-dimensional lead character, look no further! What makes the Alcatraz books stand out, though, is all of the narrator. I think writers, especially, will find these books laugh out loud funny, because of all the rules that Sanderson breaks on purpose. And, of course, he starts with the first sentence.

So, there I was, tied to an altar made from outdated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians.

Guess what? I have read all four of the currently published books, and I have yet to reach the part of the story where he is actually about to be sacrificed by the evil Librarians. As the narrator, Alcatraz, so kindly explains later in the first chapter...

You may have noticed that I began my story with a quick snappy scene of danger and tension-but then quickly moved on to a more boring discussion of my childhood. Well, that is because I wanted to prove something to you: that I am not a nice person. Would a nice person begin with such an exiting scene, then make you wait almost the entire book to read about it?...Of course not.

And this is just the first of the literary rules he breaks. The others? Addressing the reader directly (He does it ALL the time, and it's the best part of the book!). Drawing attention to your writing. Making it hard to read in places (in book 4 he wrote a whole chapter where everyone spoke like they were in Hamlet). And generally breaking other conventional rules. But all of these things are what gives the book it's charm!

What other series contains even a few of the following things: Evil Librarians. Jokes about Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Wheel of Time. A narrator who tells you it is important to act out what you are reading. Fake last pages to punish people who look to the end in books.

Yeah, I know. Your brain is going to explode from the awesomeness of it, isn't it? There is only one solution. You must go buy these books right away, starting with book one, Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians. Trust me. You won't regret it. Click here! The paperback is only $7! And don't you dare be dissuaded by the fact that it's a kid's book. That takes nothing away from it's awesomeness.

And now, just to give you one more incentive, here is one of my favorite passages from the entire series:

Some people assume that authors write books because we have vivid imaginations and want to share our vision. Other people assume that authors write because we are bursting with stories, and therefore must scribble those stories down in moment of creative propondidty.

Both groups of people are completely wrong. Authors write books for one, and only one, reason: because we like to torture people.

Now, actual torture is frowned upon in civilized society. Fortunately, the authorial community has discovered in storytelling and even more powerful-and more fulfilling-means of causing agony in others. We write stories. And by doing so, we engage in a perfectly legal method of doing all kinds of mean and terrible things to our readers.

Take, for instance, the word I used above. Propondidty. There is no such word-I made it up. Why? Because it amused me to think of thousands of readers looking up a nonsense word in their dictionaries...

Yes, it really is that amazing the whole way through.

1 comment:

  1. Makes me want to dust off my copy and read it...right away! :) Seriously, though.