Shadowed: Chapter 28: How to Hate Ranold

Hi, kiddies!  Been awhile.

Sorry.  Been a crappy couple of weeks.

But, better now.

And ripping apart some RTC lit is a great way to treat yo self—so let’s get to it!

Yanno, every now and then, Jerry Jenkins seems to fear that his readers might forget that they’re supposed to hate Ranold.  After all, Ranold is an overbearing, hard-driving guy who is ambitious to a fault and thinks he’s always right.

And Paul is the one with those qualities that we’re supposed to like, gorammit!

So, Jenkins makes sure that we note that Ranold is also paranoid.  So paranoid that he wakes in the middle of the night, concerned about the trustworthiness of the men in his new “trusted inner circle.”

Just so we’re clear, he doesn’t doubt Bia’s loyalty for a moment.  It’s the other guys.  In particular, a youngish guy called Dick Aikman.  Out of an abundance of caution, he leaves a “phone message” for Bia, telling her to get lie tests and loyalty oaths done on everyone.

Oh, and Jenkins makes sure to let us know that Ranold has a midnight snack while he’s up.

‘Cause he’s fat, ha!

The next day, Bia successfully talks him out of the whole loyalty-testing idea, arguing that it will be bad for morale.  Also, it’ll out her as a believer (she tactfully leaves this last bit unsaid).

So Ranold goes and has LUNCH (’cause he’s still fat, you see, and it gets funnier all the time!).  Delivery from a ribs place, which leaves him feeling “logy.”

Ranold is of my generation, and I don’t think I have ever heard anybody even close to my age use the word “logy.”  Just sayin’.

Anyway, this exciting chapter ends with Ranold inviting Aikman to go Bern with him as his bodyguard.

And thus I am on the edge of my seat!

(Actually, I really should be.  Because believe it or not, Ranold actually has a plan.  Or rather, Jenkins is going somewhere with this.  I’m as shocked as you are.)


Posted on July 29, 2015, in Shadowed. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Well, logically, there’s no reason to question Bia’s loyalty. Alas for our hero, he does not live in a world governed by logic; he lives in a world governed by Jenkins’ hateful whims.

  2. We’re supposed to hate Ranold for being paranoid, yet he has every right to be paranoid. The secret RTCs could be anybody, and they can get their god to kill millions of people just by saying a few magic words! And I don’t get how Jenkins correlates having a midnight snack and lunch to being fat. Lots of people do that, it’s a fairly normal thing to do, right?

    Also, I had to look up the definition of the word “logy.” I’ve literally never heard anyone use that word in my life.

    • Indeed, as the tagline of “Enemy of the State” said, “It’s not paranoia when they’re really after you”. We’ve seen several scenes now where secret believers in the NPO were coming out of the woodwork, to the point that I was beginning to wonder if there were any actual atheists in the atheistapo. If Jenkins wanted Ranold’s paranoia to be a flaw, maybe he shouldn’t have had him talked down by an actual traitor in his organization.

      • Ranold indeed has every right to be paranoid. Heck, it was just in the last chapter that Paul was fantasizing about being able to “take him on…mano a mano, kill or be killed.”

    • It was used on an episode of the Simpsons in which Bart competes at miniature golf -“Bart is on a strict diet of complex carbohydrates. Steak will make him logy.”

      Not that Lisa Simpson’s vocabulary is supposed to remotely resemble normal usage, of course.

  3. David Letterman used to describe himself as feeling logy a lot.

  4. Jenkins’s need to use food and weight to denigrate characters kept coming to mind when I was rereading Bujold’s Vorkosigan series recently. There’s a late-series character, Lord Auditor Vorthys, who is overweight and around whom food usually appears or is at least mentioned. And his girth is often noted when describing him.

    But the narration doesn’t sound nearly so mean-spirited for noting it regularly – a person’s build influences how they negotiate their environment, physically and socially, and that’s analyzed for damn near everyone in the series, not just Vorthys. If anything, I’m understating its importance as a theme: it’s basically the defining conflict of the protagonist of most of the series, Miles Vorkosigan, who was born with fragile bones and reached maybe five feet tall as an adult after extensive surgeries to straighten his damaged spine. In a militaristic culture that abhors birth defects and mutations.

    Plus the frequent mentions of food around Vorthys serve more (in my view, at least) to show how his priorities are grounded and straightforward, and is if anything shorthand for how he’s a good and trustworthy person: he has a Simple Joy in life, which helps keep him from ramming his head up his own ass. That, and I suspect in one book Vorthys is playing it up to help distract his grand-nephew from the kid’s recently deceased father.

    Jenkins, meanwhile, has protagonists who are obsessed with comparing themselves to others physically just so they can stroke their own egos. Jenkins details people so sparsely that when a detail comes up, you can guarantee it exists solely to be either: 1) denigrated, 2) related to the “hero,” or 3) both; and thus keep our little Apostle at the center of his own universe.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for July 31, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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