See what I did there? I started with a slightly deceptive hook that drew you in, made you want to keep reading, and then I dropped the truth like a loaded baked potato.
Hilarious, isn’t it?
That my friends, is what it’s like to read The Complete Alcatraz by Brandon Sanderson. He breaks every single rule there is, cracks jokes about the writing profession, famous books, and authors in general, and reveals all the secrets of the novel writing world … not to mention the cult of the Evil Librarians.
It’s awesome. You gotta love someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Like this quote:
“I hear hitting yourself on the head with a blunt object can be very effective. You should try using one of Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy novels. They’re big enough, and goodness knows, that’s really the only useful thing to do with them.” (Alcatraz versus the Scrivener’s Bones)
I could quote this book till Ragnarok rolls around again. It has so many hilarious lines, stuff that really sets you thinking. Check this out:
“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 moments of creative propondity.
Now, actual torture is frowned upon in civilized society. Fortunately, the authorial community has discovered in storytelling an even more powerful – and even 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. Propondity. 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.” (Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians)
And that’s pretty much how the whole book goes. With the addition of a high action plot, great characters (like Alcatraz and Bastille!), and yet another of Sanderson’s brilliant and complex magical systems: Oculary (something to do with sands and glass and magical lenses).
Like to know the actual premise of the
book historical account?
You and I live in the Hushlands, a world controlled by the cult of Evil Librarians who are determined to monitor all the information in the world, teaching us only what they want us to believe: simple things like swords are more primitive weapons than guns, or that there are seven continents instead of ten, or that sand is a fairly worthless substance.
In the Free Kingdoms, people know better. And there are some who are determined to fight against the Evil Librarians and see knowledge shared with all. Enter Alcatraz, a boy raised in the foster system in the Hushlands with only one talent – the ability to break things – and no knowledge of his royal heritage until the year he turns thirteen. Then he discovers that he’s not actually named after a prison but after a great Oculator (after whom the Librarians named the prison to give a bad connotation to a noble name). Oh, and he’s got some family too. And he’s supposed to join them in their fight against the Evil Librarians.
And from there, well, the rest is history!
This book is a definite must read. It’s fun and goofy, but oh so witty, and well worth the purchase – as the author will remind you multiple times throughout the course of the novel.
If you haven’t read The Complete Alcatraz, I suggest you pick up a copy. If you live in the Hushlands, you might just enjoy it as a fun fantasy read. Or you might just learn that everything you have ever been told is a lie.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!