My husband is very sneaky. He doesn't look like he is. You wouldn't think it if you met him. But he is ever so patient and he plots.
My husband is also a reader like me. He doesn't naturally gravitate towards a wide range of genres as I do, but he reads as voraciously. It is in fact, one of the very first things that drew me to him. He owned a book I wanted. But that is another story.
My husband reads fantasy first and foremost. We pooled our collections when we married and there are still series's from his collection that I haven't read. One in particular was the Wheel of Time series. Why wouldn't I read it? I don't honestly know. Maybe because it was so big and daunting. Maybe because it is popular. Maybe just because he wanted me to. (I can be ridiculously perverse.) I do know that I had tried 3 times before and while I have never had a problem breaking into a fantasy series before (I read fantasy first and foremost also) I just could not crack the introduction of The Eye of the World.
This did not bother me. Not even with the lure of a local author (whom I love and have read most of his work) taking over the completion of the series would I budge on this issue. (I said perverse and I meant it.)
Back to the sneaky husband. We were on a car trip returning from my parents' home in northern California and I needed to drive. It was late and dark and I required something to listen to in order to stay awake. (I did not want to resort to caffeine because it would keep my nursing baby awake!) I had listened previously on this trip to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, probably my favorite HP, and wanted to resume. Unfortunately, Dear Husband claimed that he couldn't return to my place because of...yaddah yaddah...phone malfunction. I would have to listen to the whole book over - and I was to the point to all the messy time travel!! (Was he lying? I don't know.)
"But here!" he said, "I have The Eye of the World."
Three minutes later, "Okay fine."
And I was trying to understand the introduction for the fourth time. And the fourth time was a charm. Probably because it was being shoved down my throat and I wasn't allowed to stumble over names or phrases I didn't understand. Probably because when it is professionally read out loud, the story shines through and no micro-reading takes place.
By the time we stopped for the night I was all the way to the trolloc attack (which is very scary in the middle of the black desert!) and was hooked.
Over the next week as I finished the first gargantuan book I made several more token complaints.
"These books are so big and there are so many, it will be forever before anything actually happens and any of my questions are answered!"
"No," he says, "They're big because SO MANY things happen.
"I don't like this Egwene person very much and she obviously gonna end up with Rand and I don't like it. I don't want to read any more!"
"No," he says, "You'll be happy with how it goes.
"A lot of these people are brats. Why am I reading about brats? And Moiraine has a serious Allanon complex!"
"One of the best things about this series," he says, "Is how much character development there is."
"Is there ever gonna be any romance? I can see two of these people should get together but I think they are both too stubborn!"
"One of the reasons I've wanted you to read them," he says, "Is because of all the romance. You'll especially like book 3."
And later, while on a date with Dear Husband, we were discussing the books and I was asking rhetorical questions. Occasionally he answered my questions thus revealing plot points and in frustration I banged the table with my first and said, much too loudly for a restaurant, "Why are you answering my questions! I'm not asking questions for you to answer them!!" I was loud enough to get the attention of the waiter guy (alright, I might have yelled a little) who bothered me the rest of the night, asked me questions, and was severely disappointed that my questions weren't 'personal.' Ack!
This has been an emotional ride.
I am now half way through book 3. Would I consider stopping now? He** No! But I also haven't hit the promised romance yet! :P
*Please tell me if any of you understand my Allanon allusion....