Questions 3: Changed By Fiction

Ayn Rand and Tolkien

Books have power.  Things are as simple as that.  You read a book and it can change you even in a minor way.  Maybe just a smile whenever you think of a favorite scene or a curse when you remember the horrible ending.  Those are rather ‘cosmetic’ compared to a book that makes you see the world differently.  So, let’s get on with the fun:

  1. What book created a positive change or influence on your life and why?
  2. Has a book ever had a negative effect on you that continued after you stopped reading?
  3. Can you think of a story that would benefit from the addition of orcs?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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30 Responses to Questions 3: Changed By Fiction

  1. I’ve read all of the Lord of the Rings stuff, but I was really into more pulp type books. None of those change your life. They entertain and you move on. Lot’s of Conan, but there was Jaws the actual book, even the book version of Jeremiah Johnson. Orcs can improve everything, but the Tolkien estate is protective of them. They are the one race that he invented.

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    • I’ve actually learned that Tolkien doesn’t have the market on ‘Orcs’. The Middle Earth version probably, but there was mention of similar creatures in the mythology that influenced him. Beowulf had the Orcneas, which was an evil spirit. There was also Orcus, the Italiain/Roman God of the Underworld. Apparently, Ork is also a demon from some alpine folklore. I think this is why you see versions of orcs in other, non-Tolkien stuff. Just have to change enough of the background.

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  2. L. Marie says:

    1. What book created a positive change or influence on your life and why?
    I have to break the rule and mention five books (two singles and a trilogy): A Wrinkle in Time, The Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (Though technically A Wrinkle in Time is the first book of a quintet.) I read A Wrinkle in Time when I was around eight years old. That book made me decide to write science fiction stories for kids. Tried my hand at that for a while. But The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy steered me toward the fantasy end of speculative fiction. I’ve stayed there ever since.

    2. Has a book ever had a negative effect on you that continued after you stopped reading?
    I can’t name specific books. But I went through a period where every book I picked up felt like the literary equivalent of staring at a cream colored wall. I despaired of finding a book that made me want to turn pages. I quit reading books for a couple of weeks!

    3. Can you think of a story that would benefit from the addition of orcs?
    The story of Cinderella for sure!

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    • 1. I read ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ around 8 for a book report. Don’t remember anything about it though. There was a bizarre nature to the story that I found interesting, but it didn’t stick with me.

      2. Do you think you were on reading burnout? I get there a lot because my mind is always trying to do other things.

      3. They could replace the mice. 🙂

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      • L. Marie says:

        I grabbed some books at the library the way I used to do when I was a kid–whatever caught my attention. But I discovered that books with great book blurbs aren’t always great. 😦 So I wound up reading books from my bookshelf that I’d read dozens of times before.

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      • I know what you mean with some blurbs. Forgot which book I picked up last year that had a great blurb. Didn’t even make it through the first 1/3 of it. The back cover had more excitement than the actual story.

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  3. What book created a positive change or influence on your life and why? On the Beach by Neville Shute. This was the first time I had read a book that did not have what could be considered a happy ending. The world was dying and the book dealt with personalities and not the eventuality. This was the first time I thought of book characters as real people.
    Has a book ever had a negative effect on you that continued after you stopped reading? I remember reading Misery by Stephen King and developing a life long fear of fans.
    Can you think of a story that would benefit from the addition of orcs? I think Atlas Shrugged could have used an Orc or two.

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    • 1. Interesting choice and reasoning. We do read a lot with happy endings. So that first ‘downer finale’ can be a life changer. I can’t quite remember which was my first. Always felt ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ had a sad ending. ‘Empire Strikes Back’ too.

      2. That movie plays out in my head sometimes. Kathy Bates haunted my nightmares for a week after I watched it the first time.

      3. That would be pretty funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I never did manage to read Atlas. Found it unbearable.

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  5. adeleulnais says:

    1. J. R. Tolkien`s The Hobbit – Read when I was eleven and I realised that I wasn`t crazy and that other people made up worlds and characters to populate them.
    2. Stephen King`s – It. Enough said.
    3. My wife said Louisa M Alcott`s Little Women, oh hell yeah.

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  6. twixie13 says:

    1) I think the Goosebumps series had a positive effect on me. It got me into horror at a young age, made me very interested in reading, period… That kind of thing.
    2) Great Expectations taught me just how much I can HATE a main character. It’s not often I find myself cheering on the guy that tries to kill the main character in a book…but here? Ughhhh…
    3) See previous answer. Yeah, Great Expectations is pretty much my least favorite book ever, and if it turned out that Miss Havisham was an orc, that could make the book infinitely more interesting.

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    • 1. That’s a classic. Oddest thing is I never got into the books. Feel like I missed out. Have you seen the movie?

      2. I have vague memories of that book being forced upon me. Also that it was long and nearly turned me off to Dickens entirely. The man was supposedly paid by the word, which explains a few things.

      3. What if she was a troll? Those are much more flammable. 😀

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      • twixie13 says:

        Yep. I had to wait until the DVD was out to see it, but I did end up getting to see it on my birthday. As for her being a troll…that could be interesting. Almost makes me want to do a reimagining of the book now. Of course, it’d be much shorter.

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      • I haven’t seen it yet. Though my son went, which was odd. He gets scared easily and it was the first time he’d gone to a theater. He demanded to go since his friend was going. Little guy made it through with only one outburst.

        I think any Dickens needs to be shorter for today’s audiences.

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  7. What a good challenge!
    1.What book created a positive change or influence on your life and why?
    I have two for this category (I know, I can never resist adding extra when it comes to books!)
    First one was Alice in Wonderland.
    She was my hero as she always stood up for herself even when they said she was mad, bad and not even Alice, she stuck to her own rules. It made me realise I could also do that.
    Second one was Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
    It made me realise other people thought like me (‘at an angle’ as a teacher once said to me). You could ask questions and the answer may well be ’42’ or ‘We are sorry for the inconvenience’ or ‘where is your towel?’

    2.Has a book ever had a negative effect on you that continued after you stopped reading?
    The Pearl, a book about an impoverished pearl diver who finds a huge pearl worth a lot of money. He and his wife and child are hounded for it. The book is so tragic, I was miserable for days after.
    I don’t think I could read it twice.

    3.Can you think of a story that would benefit from the addition of orcs?
    50 Shades of Grey?

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  8. Actually, not orcs, but there are times when I think, “this book would be better with a dragon.”

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