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Torment Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 1999

2.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (Oct. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786915277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786915279
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 10.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #836,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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He was floating-silent, suspended-in a warm, dark place. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'll admit it; I have no one to blame but myself for being disappointed by this book. Wizards of the Coast has always released poor novels, with the exception of the Dragonlance series, but I liked the computer game "Planescape: Torment" enough that I assumed this book would be different.
It wasn't.
The storyline was weak, to put it simply. Imagine the basic plot of the game, then cut off three-quarters of its strength. The goal seemed to be to fit the basic idea of the entire game into as short of a book as possible, which translates into a book that is written faster. There seems to be no point to this book except to wrestle the last few dollars out of the buyer's hand after they spent most of it on "Planescape: Torment".
Granted, the characters are true to what you would probably expect, and the atmosphere is equivalent. The thing I just cannot get over is how dumbed-down the whole thing feels. Maybe it's just the fact that I generally dislike high fantasy, but I still suspect a deeper problem with this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
At one point in Torment (the game), Ravel Puzzelwell, an infamous legendary Night Hag who has granted the curse of immortality on the Nameless one looks mockingly into the heart of both him and the hearts of his five companions. Nameless, as she explains acts as a loadstone for tormented souls, all the characters who have followed him thus far are "tormented" to some degreee as well. Each has an internal conflict, and Ravel with her demented but nontheless truthful vision sees the faults and torments of each character: Dak'kon the grimly silent but obedient githzerai is bound to the service of the Nameless one through an old and forgotten debt. Annah, the bitchy but lovable teifling girl, finds herself mysteriously drawn to scarred and leathery man, although this revelation confuses and frightens rather than reassures her. Fall-from-grace, the reformed succubus, also finds that the Nameless one inspires her sympathy, although in turning away from her inherent dark nature she suffers as well. Nordom, the rogue modron, has lived in a world of perfect order until he deviated from the norm in his home. His assured and robotic voice hides is an increasingly confused being behind it. Even Morte, the goofy floating skull, with a wry and sometimes raunchy sense of humor, is stricken with guilt about a past event so distand he doesn't even remember it. Yet now his innate cowardace is his achilles heel. Now, I suppose, if I were traveling with the Nameless one and his motley crew of friends, what would Ravel see in me? What is my torment? Very recently, I had played a turly phenominal game called Planescape: Torment.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
How come the story was so brilliant in the computer game, and yet this novel is so bad? Is this story too big to fit into a book? Does it have too many scenes? Does the game end up providing you with vastly more background than a book ever can? Is user-interaction a key part of the story? "No", I think the answer must be: a good book of the story is possible. But this novel is not it. This novel is just badly written.
The book is bad, and far worse than the original computer game. The story in the computer game was mature, sophisticated, complex and intruiging; but the book in most ways seems targetted at 8-14 year olds. The sophisticated story is in conflict with the childish writing.
I had bought the book hoping to have some of the beautiful, dramatic scenes from the game played out in full -- such as the memory from Dionarra's stone, for instance. But the book manages to fit only a (remarkably) small number of events and scenes in its 240 pages, and in an unusual choice it has included the boring events and omitted the dramatic ones.
There is an interesting problem: how on earth can you write a novel in which the main character has no name? The book struggles clumsily with this stylistic problem, eventually naming him "Thane" at the end of chapter 3.
The authors seem to have written it as a 'soap book'. Every single chapter ends on a cliff-hanger, which is invariably resolved within 3/4 of the first page of the new chapter. It gives the book an unexciting tick-tick-tick periodic pace, like a metronome. I can't imagine why they did it.
The book's dialog and characterisation are irritating.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like computer role-playing games and haven't checked out Black Isle's FANTASTIC Planescape: Torment, stop reading this and go buy the game. You will see why Computer Gaming World gave it the best RPG of 1999.
This novel takes many of the very basic elements of the game and weaves them into a watered-down yet easy-to-read story. Certain elements are changed (for example: the "Nameless One" character gets a temporary name early in the story) and most of the sub-quests have been eliminated. For a game that focuses on character, the book is surprisingly action oriented. With all of that said, the authors have a nice style and do a very good job elaborating interesting details. I'm a pretty slow reader, yet I finished this book quickly because the authors knew how to keep me reading.
Overall, if you love the game, this is a fun way to relive some of the events from a different perspective. Just don't expect expanded characters and in-depth quests, you might be dissapointed.
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