The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - Anticipation... An-ti-ci-pay-ya-ya-shun, It's Makin' Me Wait....
September 27th, 2005
05:48 pm

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Anticipation... An-ti-ci-pay-ya-ya-shun, It's Makin' Me Wait....

Anyone under the age thirty-five does not fucking know what suspense is.  Really.  Start arguing with me about it, and I will rip your asshole so wide open that I'll drive a delivery truck inside and start unloading road salt in your anus.  It will burn inside you, eating holes in your intestines to show you the force of my hatred. 

You can say nothing because you did not live through The Empire Strikes Back in real time. 

If you were alive back then, Empire was the biggest movie of your lifetime up until now.... And it ended in a cliffhanger.  Oh, these days you little fucking embryos can go, "Oh!  Han's frozen?  Luke is Vader's son?  That's bad!" and then you reach for Return of the Jedi and see the outcome.  Within three hours (or maybe four, if you have to run to Blockbuster), you'll know what happens

But us elder folk had to learn the story the hard way: one year at a goddamn time.  In fact, we had to wait three years to find out what happened next.  You wanna know why we Star Wars fans are so fucking devoted?  It's because we were starved of affection by Lucas.  If it had just ended on some sort of happy note, we could have gone on with our lives - but Lucas took our favorite characters and held them hostage, putting them in danger for a full quarter of our adolescence and not even hinting at what would happen. 

Oh, we know now that Lucas wussed out and went for Ewoks.  But back then, all we knew was that Lucas had just sliced off Luke's hand and made everyone's worst nightmares come true.  We kind of thought that things might end happily... but on the other hand, we thought Empire would be the same kind of feel-good hoot that Star Wars was.  Instead of Luke and Han blowing up the Death Star, we saw nothing but two hours of our heroes getting their asses kicked from here to Sundance. 

We tried to think of other things, but it was always at the back of their mind.  Trying to relax when Empire hung over our heads was like saying, "By the way, your mommy's been kidnapped by mommy-killing baboons.  Go to school, don't think about it; we'll find out what happens in a year or so.  I'm sure she's fine." 

Three years we waited.  I grew pubic hair waiting for Lucas to tell me what happened next.  Perhaps because of it.  I wanted to be Chewbacca so I could save Han, and my hormones acquiesced. 

And yet that was not my worst wait.  My worst wait was Watchmen, the comic series that won every award you could throw at a comic back then, plus a few more.  Watchmen is so influential that it's been almost twenty years and the comics industry still has yet to say anything better on the subject of superheroes. 

But the wait between issue #10 and issue #11 was agonizing.  You might think it was issue #11 that would have done it, because that's the issue where Very Bad Things happen - I mean, famously world-shattering things - but everything up until issue #10 had hinted at a vast conspiracy that made no sense.  Who was responsible?  And what the fuck were they doing?  I knew the villain's plan (and the villain) would be revealed in #11 thanks to a friend in the industry, but what was going on? 

I had to wait a month to find out. 

Every day, I reread the series and made some new theories about what might happen.  None of my theories were remotely close, of course, which is why Watchmen is still good years later, but the wait when the answers were so close was agonizing

And so I ask you, dear readers: I'm sure you've all had that moment of OMG OMG I can't wait, but I have to sit here and fidget because the fuckers haven't printed/aired/premiered it yet.  What was the unresolved storyline that set you on edge... And how was it when they finally resolved it? 

(NOTE: There will be spoilers, obviously.  Don't spoil anything from anything that's premiered - or will premiere - in the last month or so.  Everything else is up for grabs.) 

(ADDITIONAL EDIT: Okay, maybe George RR Martin fans can lay claim to an Empire-like agony. The anguish is so continual for me that I forgot that it could be resolved.)

(135 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

Comments
 
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From:on_reserve
Date:September 27th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC)
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You are obviously not familiar enough with Harry Potter fandom. Those people are some rather VICIOUS waiters. And almost every book ends in some sort of cliffanger.
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From:theferrett
Date:September 27th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
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Harry's always fine at the end of them, and so are his friends. There are hanging questions, of course, but it's never been "Hermione and Ron are in the clutches of the Dementors, maybe soul-sucked, but we have to save them!"

She always sets things back to a reasonably safe place before she ends her book. Not the same.
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From:aehallh
Date:September 27th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC)
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I know what REAL suspense is. But not of the fictional variety.
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From:theferrett
Date:September 27th, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC)
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Ah, that's different. I know how it felt to wait for Gini. But that's not really as much fun.
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From:lindalee_
Date:September 27th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
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ahem...
if you were quoting the carly simon lyrics, it's actually "makin' me late" not "wait" ...

of course, i don't see any quotation marks, so i'll shut up now...
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From:theferrett
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Yes, but I don't have to quote the lyrics correctly.
From:smilerz
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
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The five years between George RR Martin's A Storm of Swords and A Feast of Crows has been about as painful as I could imagine. I can't think of a single plot line because he is juggling about 20, but nearly every main character is at the precipise of a cliff of one kind or another.
From:ril_chan
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:05 pm (UTC)
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YES.
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From:i_descend
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)
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I think you need to expand your age window just a little bit. I'm 32, and I clearly remember driving home with my dad, sobbing in the back seat, wanting to know if Han was going to be alright. George Lucas is a bad bad man, making little girls cry.
From:smilerz
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:04 pm (UTC)
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I was thinking the same thing but decided to keep it to myself (until now, and that bit about the crying :))
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From:lupinlover
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
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You could also say the same about us devoted Harry Potter fans who had to wait for THREE WHOLE YEARS between the third and the fourth book. Of course, there was no cliffhanger in this case, so it wasn't as excruitiating, but still.
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From:candiedheart
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
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My anticipation is waiting for Nora Roberts last book of her trilogies to come out. I get so antsy! I'm a huge fan of hers, and a lot of people think "Oh, you read trashy romance, what's to wait for that?" but the characters and the plot lines she involves are kind of mystical, and she always saves the best for last. *sigh* December...

I certainly didn't live through the Star Wars era like you did (and everyone else over 30), but my uncle actually did make me wait a month in between watching Empire and Jedi, just to kind of build me up for it. And he explained to me the reason he did was to make me feel an ounce of what he felt for the characters then. It's still his favorite of all the Star Wars. I was excited to see how it ended, but like you explained- you actually waited a few years for this. I can't imagine what that must've been like. Now we have the internet and spoilers to ruin things for us if we so choose.

And I highly anticipated the Season Finale of Friends. I counted down to that day for months. (Though I had the episodes leading up to keep me happy, so it's nowhere near the same at all.)
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From:peterchayward
Date:September 28th, 2005 11:19 am (UTC)
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She does write some damn good characters.





...of course, as a 17 year-old male teenager, I shouldn't know that.
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From:zevhonith
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
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Dark Tower junkies all just about died when Stephen King got hit by a van after writing the 5th book (which BARELY advanced the actual story) in what he said at the time would be a 12-book series. That was some serious waiting, and probably the only series until Harry Potter that I have read while it was still being written (for that very reason). We had to wait from 1997 to 2003 for the next book to come out, and the series to be safely finished, so we could all stop caring if he lived or died.

And that's not to mention the wait from the Waste Lands (1991) to Wizard and Glass (1997), which *was* a pretty severe cliffhanger. Less painful, though, because there was no point in the waiting where it seemed like he might DIE before he wrote the next one.
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From:theferrett
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC)
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True, true. The whole "The author died" could put a crimp in it.

I feel bad that I never finished the series. I got to book five, and lost interest. Everyone says the finale is well worth it, but I couldn't slog through it to find out.
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From:blergeatkitty
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:16 pm (UTC)
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I think it's going on right now, in my world. This accursed "Lost" program, unfolding one little tidbit at a time and bringing up five new things I need to know for every little thing it explains.

Then again, I'm under thirty-five, didn't see Empire until roughly 1990, and have no wish to have my asshole ripped open, so I freely admit I don't know what real suspense is.
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From:theferrett
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
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I fear for this relationship.

But you knew that.
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From:lady_kathana
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:16 pm (UTC)
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I'm a Wheel of Time fan and have been since 1992. I had to wait four years once to see what happened to a main character who had a building dropped on him on the very last page of book eight.
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From:eyes_of_cyrene
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC)
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I'm not a TRUE fan because I got too frustrated waiting for the next book to come out, and gave up on the series! The fact I'd divorced my then-husband (who was the actual owner of the books) probably had something to do with it, too.

I should go back and re-read... where is Jordan in the series?
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
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From:eyes_of_cyrene
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)
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The Green Mile. The serialized version. I started reading the first one when the first two books were out, and the waiting between novellas was agonizing. I stopped reading after the fourth novella because I knew the suspense would kill me, waiting for the sixth... so I waited until the day the sixth came out, bought the fifth and sixth together, and read them all from start to finish in one day.

I concur on the suspense of ESB/RotJ. The Star Wars movies were three movies out of maybe six I went to see as a child, and even though I couldn't understand all the dialogue, I cried and cried and cried over Han, and the wait... gah!

From:wildcelticrose
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC)

THREE MORE YEARS!?!?!?!?

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I remember that like it was yesterday.

I was at a special screening at Groman's Chinese Theatre (a friend's mom worked in the industry) and I about DIED when I found out how long we had to wait for Return of the Jedi.

As a high school kid, that seemed so far off (and so wrong)

Now, I'm just waiting to hear about a promotion that I'm a finalist for...

ugh

~L
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From:kimmaline
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:24 pm (UTC)
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The L Word.

My cable company hates me with what would appear to be an undying passion. I had Netflixed the entire first season, become hopelessly addicted, and then nearly died realizing that I would have to wait an entire year for the next season to come out.

But...my cable company gave me Showtime for a month. It just showed up, out of the blue, right as season two of My Beloved Dyke Drama came along. I got THREE episodes of season two, was introduced to Sarah Shahi, and now have to wait until next month before I can completely blow off my classes for two days and watch the entire second season.

Nothing compared to Star Wars, I will totally grant you that. But it's the first thing that popped into my head. Seriously, this scene would leave anyone wanting more, no? (not so very work safe)
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From:divamatrix
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:25 pm (UTC)
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I may get some shit for this, but I loved the Matrix. I mean I loved it fanatically. I saw it one day and went back that night to see it again. Then I went back a few more times to see it while it was in the theater.

When the next one came out, I of course went to see it. I had no idea it was a part 1 of 2. I kept wondering how the hell they were going to finish it up. Then they left you at the end with the cliff hanger and informed the audience that the next one would be released in like 6 months (which isn't nearly as bad as 3 years I know... ), but I remember walking out of the theater PISSED because I would have to wait to see it.

(and for the record, I sort of wish I didn't see it because I hated the 2nd half)
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From:divamatrix
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Oh and I wanted to add, I am not 35 (but I will say that I'm close.. hehe) but I do know the agony of Empire to Jedi. I was there in the theater the week of opening (my parents wouldn't go opening night) and cried when Luke got his hand cut off and cried even harder that Han was dead and frozen. I know.. :)
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From:pooka_madness
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Yeah... you're absolutely right. I'm under 35, and about the longest I've ever had to wait for anything like that is the 3 months between television series. Admittedly, for me personally some of those waits were fairly agonizing (some of the West Wing seasons spring to mind) but none of them was especially long.
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From:andrewducker
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:29 pm (UTC)
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I spent most of 1995-2004 hoping that Dave Sim wouldn't get hit by a truck.

And I know a couple of people who hadn't read LOTR killing themselves for a year waiting for Two Towers (and again for Return of the King).
From:djs_specs
Date:September 27th, 2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
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I had read the book and I was still killing myself between movies - mainly because I wanted to know how PJ would turn what I thought was boring prose into interesting film. But I guess that's not real suspense since you knew that at the ending point everyone was more or less in one piece *shrug*
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From:cheatrulesfoamy
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:44 pm (UTC)
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*cough* Halo fans.

Have you played Halo 2? Seen the ending?

Granted, Halo 3 may come out sooner... but we're fucking sitting here twiddling our thumbs.

And no, I'm not talking about college frat-boy fans. I'm talking about the geeks who've read the books, know all of the fucking storyline, and bought copies of the regular AND limited edition the day 2 came out.

Gonna try to tear me a new one? Bring it.
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From:therrin
Date:September 28th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)
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awesome Halo icon.

That wasn't an ending. Empire ended on a ending, it was a cliffhanger, but it was an ending. Halo 2 was half a plot (so was the Matrix reloded/revolutions). As much as I love Halo, it's not a fair comparison Halo wasn't a full story.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
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From:jume
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:44 pm (UTC)
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the gap between Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is probably the closest we kids can get.
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From:saratheneale
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:45 pm (UTC)
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Wow.

I despise Star Wars.

And you just made me understand why fans love it. At least now, I can understand why people over 35 are obsessed with it.

I still don't see why the younger generations are.

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From:candiedheart
Date:September 28th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
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I guess that depends. I think I am because the "older generation" (my uncle and my mother) are huge fans of the movies, and showed them to me when I was a kid (I remember they used to rerun them on TBS at Christmastime (I don't think they do anymore), and we'd always watch 'em after opening our gifts). We also went to all when they were re-released in the theater, and saw the other three together as a family.
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From:cheshyre
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:46 pm (UTC)

Sandman

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Did you read Neil Gaiman's Sandman as it came out?
Each lengthy storyline has an incongruous tale near the end. Dream interrupts "Doll's House" to visit his once-a-century friend. You're following "Season of Mists" wondering who will get the Key to Hell, and suddenly there's this digression about a boy's school. Seems kinda puzzling in the GN format, but when read monthly, it was ex-cru-ci-a-ting

Dozens of fans on rec.arts.comics poring through each issue for any possible clue regarding what would happen (discussions that eventually became collaborative online annotations), we'd anxiously wait 30 days to find out, and then one of these issues reset the clock without providing any more info on the matters we were chewing our fingernails over...
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From:wurmwyd
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC)

Re: Sandman

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Hi There!

I was going to mention Sandman. My favorite ending was during the Kindly Ones storyline, where Lyta Hall, thinking that Morpheus had killed her son, goes to the Eumenidies for revenge. They say to her something like:

"We can't take revenge on him for killing YOUR son. If he had killed his OWN son, we could hunt him down to the ends of the universe, if he had killed his OWN son, we would never stop hunting him until he was dead..."
Then she starts to run out in tears muttering an apology for having wasted their time. Until they turn to her and say: "Sister ... he HAS killed his own son...".

I almost tore the book apart in anticipation.
[User Picture]
From:apocalypse_0
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)

Kill Bill, 2.

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The Matrix: Reloaded / Revolutions.

Lord of the Rings for the illiterate.


I think there's lots of this kind of thing out there.
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From:wurmwyd
Date:September 27th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
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Hi There!

I'm under 35, and I remember Empire Strikes Back! (I'll be 35 in 2 months)

My earliest memory of the movie? I don't remember what day the movie came out, but I'm pretty sure it was a weeknight. My parents insisted on waiting until the first WEEKEND it was out, because they wanted to pay matinee prices. The day after it was out, I went to day care with my friend Kurt. I had started to ask him: "So, did you see it?! How was ...", and he blurted out: "DARTH VADER IS LUKE'S FATHER!!".

So I was denied the shock of having that moment happen to me IN THE THEATER. I wish someone could erase my memory and sit me down to watch those movies now. :(


...and don't be puttin' down my Ewoks... :(
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From:saadiira
Date:September 27th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC)
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37, and I keenly recall screaming at the screen something to the effect of "That's IT? You F***ER!"

I also recall getting into Return of the Jedi on the first weekend showing, JUST before the rest of the three mile long line showed up, then walking along it giving faux spoilers..."I can't BELIEVE they killed off poor chewie..I'm still CRYING..."

I was a terrible teen at times...

That was HUGE suspense. So was Martin. I can also recall a few other fantasy novels over the years that made me wait five, ten, or more years, including on cliff hangers. On a few of them, I even gave up, only to return more than fifteen years later to the general stacks at the bookstore and finally find a sequel.

Now THAT is suspense...

They really DON'T do it like that anymore.

-Dira-

(For once in full agreement...)

-Dira-
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From:robyn_ma
Date:September 27th, 2005 11:03 pm (UTC)
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Book Four of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

End of Book Three. Batman's just nearly killed the Joker. The Joker has finished the job. Batman's been shot in the gut and stabbed repeatedly. He's in real bad shape. Yindel's team is closing in on the tunnel of love.

And Book Four takes FUCKING FOREVER to come out. I don't mean the month crawled by; I mean it came out late. Like, at least two months late, if I remember correctly.

I still get a near-cinematic adrenaline buzz reading Book Four now.

Book Twelve of Watchmen, as I recall, took Fucking Forever to come out, too. Another one behind schedule.
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From:mehani
Date:September 27th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
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Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth Series was the huge anticipation thing for our family.....hubby, oldest son, and I couldn't wait for the next book in the series to come out, and though Terry wrote one book every year or so, it felt like forever while we were waiting. The latest few books in the series make me think the story line has jumped the shark, but the first two are awesome.

Does waiting for Revenge of the Sith to come out on DVD so I can see it again count?
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From:therrin
Date:September 28th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
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Jumped the shark is such a cautious term for it. I'd say he jumped the shark wearing a ski mask and protective radiation suit, then got the shark drunk and hired the shark to write the rest of the series. Goodkind was my favorite current fantasy author, but Naked Empire is the worst book I've ever read.
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