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Lit From a literary, non-fan perspective... which EU stories are the "best" written?

Discussion in 'Expanded Universe' started by Ghost, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. ESg Jedi Grand Master

    JackG, RC-1991, A Tool and 1 other person like this.
  2. instantdeath Jedi Grand Master

    I'm pretty sure there's a law in some countries against disagreeing with David Bowie.
  3. A Tool Jedi Master

    Um, It'd have to be pre-Movie era, since you'd have to have seen the movies to know what the heck was going on. :p
    If the Legacy comics were book form, then that'd be good too.
  4. JaijeeDzashe Jedi Master

    No no no. The visuals in Legacy are the most stunning out of the entire EU. You can't reproduce that experience in novel form.
  5. A Tool Jedi Master

    I know that, but an English teacher wouldn't have a student read a comic book. :p
  6. JaijeeDzashe Jedi Master

    I did in high school! We had to read a graphic novel concerning the Holocaust. It's called "Maus". The Jews are Mice and the Nazi's are Cats. It was pretty cool. There are some English teachers who look for meaningful material outside the standard curriculum.
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  7. A Tool Jedi Master

    That would be the coolest class ever if I was "forced" to read the Legacy comics. :p
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  8. LexiLupin Jedi Master

    I read Persepolis for a college Lit class- don't underestimate the power of the comic/graphic novel!
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  9. JaijeeDzashe Jedi Master

    I don't know how a teacher would be able to justify having their class read Legacy as part of their understanding of the English language and literary development...but hey I'm sure a true SW fan would find a way to do it![face_rofl]
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  10. instantdeath Jedi Grand Master

    You had to read Maus!?!

    I wish I went to your high school.
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  11. Kais Jai Sheelal Jedi Grand Master

    Well I'm two decades removed from any highschool class, but some of the books I read back then I considered(and still consider) to be absolute crap.

    Lord of the Flies and the Outsiders come to mind as portions of my life I'd want to have back.

    While I don't think Stover is the best Star Wars author going, I do think he's the most talented writer the franchise has seen. I'd likely have to suggest his ROTS novel as required reading.
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  12. Skaddix Jedi Knight

    Yeah I had to read Ender's Game as summer reading.
  13. instantdeath Jedi Grand Master

    I remember liking the Outsiders a lot (and the movie), but the last time I read the book or watched the movie was in 8th grade, which would be five years ago. I didn't read very much back then.
  14. Yoda's apprentice Jedi Master

    When I think of literary style the first authors that pop into my head are Joyce and Nabokov. No Star Wars books are on that level for me. But as far as recommendations to a non SW reader I'd probably go with RotS, Shatterpoint, Traitor or Yoda: DR.
  15. Jedi Ben Jedi Grand Master

    Lord of the Flies - yeah, sure, it may be a great novel but telling a bunch of teenagers they have to read it and write a load of essays on it? Guaranteed to near-kill any liking for Literature!

    Fortunately, the Shakespeare play we had to read was MacBeth, which was a damn sight better. But it's quite true the way to get Shakespeare is not to read it first, but see it and hear it, then read it, as it was written to be performed!

    When it comes to kids reading, I'm with Steven Moffat (of Doc Who and Sherlock fame), get kids reading by giving stuff that's interesting. I find a lot of the classics in writing style to be quite off-putting but I've enjoyed several BBC adaptations of them, Austen's Pride and Prejudice being amongst them. We seem to be heading backwards away from the view of just getting kids to read towards saying they should be reading the "right" books, which risks pushing them away.

    And Heat, no, I wouldn't be opposed to reading a Trek book, have done quite a few of those too!

    Persepolis I need to get around to buying, Maus is a comic masterwork and has been backed by Philllip Pullman, who has argued for it to be read by all kids at school.
  16. Mechalich Jedi Master

    To address the OP's question, no, none of the Star Wars novels are properly suited for inclusion in a high school curriculum, since they are inherently derivative works and require familiarity with the source material that cannot be assumed.

    The literature (and comics, games, other media) of Star Wars, are certainly worry of some serious study at the college level though. Genre fiction is too often ignored in the literary world, even though its what today's public reads (for better or worse). Star Wars is a very interesting study in that literary demands contrast with the demands of the continuity when it comes to making a Star Wars work 'good' in an overall sense, something that I believe is very much worth examining. Several EU novels are by lauded science fiction authors, but their literary achievements don't spare them from being extremely limited contributions to the Star Wars canon. Rogue Planet is the most obvious case. Writing a great Star Wars novel requires both writing talent and understanding of the Star Wars universe. Most of the 'best' EU material to date comes from mid-level authors, like Zhan or Luceno, who understand and manipulate the universe well, rather than simply having great prose styling.
  17. Lugija Jedi Master

    Big YES to the bolded part. My brother rarely reads anything, but when he gets his hand on a really good and long book ("Few books less than 1000 pages long are worth reading") he really reads it. The Egyptian and The Lord of the Rings are his favorites.

    When we had to read a classic for school, I read Lord of the Flies (part of my "Classics to read to understand popular culture jokes" -campaign) and I wrote a pretty underwhelmed essay of it. I remember thinking on the very first pages that the kids were weird (Where's the sarcasm?) and the characters weren't very memorable. I had read Pratchett's Nation just a while ago and thought it as better of the two.

    I have actually read over ten plays by Shakespeare, and never seen one performed (theaters just don't perform them around here), and that's why I have this opinion that his comedies aren't that funny, and that the funniest character he has written is the cynic in Timon of Athens.
  18. Jedi Ben Jedi Grand Master

    What about DVDs of performances Lugija? That's where I've seen most of Shakespeare's work, Ian McLellan's Richard III is especially creepy for instance.

    As to Nation, it's one of the few Pratchett stories that didn't work for me and one of a rare few books I couldn't finish! I still love the Discworld stories though!
  19. instantdeath Jedi Grand Master

    I've never seen a Shakespeare play performed either, unfortunately. That said, I've always found Laertes from Hamlet pretty funny.
  20. Lugija Jedi Master

    Thank you for reminding me that DVDs exist, I have never thought to look for filmed performances. That would also get me to see Sir Ian in more stuff.

    (This of course depends on how much I actually want to pay for them instead of just buying something else and keep on just reading the plays)

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