A Novel Without a Plot

Sojourn - R.A. Salvatore

Probably the first question that I have to ask when coming to this book is whether there actually is a plot. From impressions that I get from people it is simply a book where Drizzt learns to survive on the outside and also bridges the events between the previous two books and the Icewind Dale trilogy. Some have said that it has a sort of Star Wars flavour to it, but I would disagree in that there does seen to be more of a plot in Revenge of the Sith than there is in this book (and Revenge of the Sith is more than simply a movie that bridges the second movie and the forth movie, and it is something that I hope does not happen with the third Hobbit movie).


Anyway, books don't necessarily have to have a well constructed plot to actually be good, as long as the themes, the ideas, and the concepts that the writer is exploring are good. For instance, Waiting for Godot does not have a plot, and nor does Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. These two plays simply seem to drift, and while there is a beginning and an end, nothing actually happens, the characters do not grow or change, but yet they are both very successful. However, this I doubt we can consider a book that is based around a roleplaying game to be considered a masterpiece of postmodern literature.


I guess we can take the idea of a stranger in a strange land in this book, as Drizzt, who is basically considered a monster must struggle to survive in this new land. Moreso, because of his Drow heritage there are severe limitations (such as explosure to light) that he must contend with. Mind you, when I wanted to play drow (or even have drow as adversaries in my games) I always went for the female ones because they were the more powerful. However, when exposed to sunlight, they are slowly stripped of their powers.


I guess this does reflect the nature of being a stranger in a strange land. When one moves from a place of familiarity to a place of unfamiliarity, much of one's power is stripped away from them. For instance, they must find a new group of friends, contend with unfamiliarity in location and culture, and also in cases where you go to another country, contend with language barriers as well. It does not help if one goes to another place, even for a short period, and expect people to accept that which you believe, and you cannot simply go there and force people to accept you. Unfortunately that has been done in the past, and still happens today (such as with tourists who simply treat foreign countries like a trip to a zoo).


Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/519293917