Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Shadowspawn_01, Dec 1, 2008.
Which one, Abercrombie or Bakker? Wait, don't tell me. I haven't read Book 3 of either.
KatG! Immediately read book three of Abercrombie so we may continue this thread!
Abercrombie's third book does certainly cast some of the characters in a new light, [or, in some cases, recast them in an old ... but no]. Having read it, I find it very hard to talk about the earlier novels without knowledge of Last Argument of Kings informing what I say.
Oh, and about Bakker's Thousandfold Thought, ... might I humbly suggest that you read it soon? Because in about a month people are [hopefully] going to be talking about The Judging Eye all over the place, and the spoilers will be flying thick and fast.
I'm working on Kings, Bakker may have to wait. The problem is that I am acquiring far too many series to follow.
Meanwhile, Joe will probably be very upset to discover how much he looks like Bono in this picture:
LOL, Joe Abercrombie is really Bono! This explains a great deal.
Yes, it's true, my secret is revealed.
The whole U2 thing just wasn't really making any money, so I've stepped up to the far more lucrative area of genre publishing.
My publishers were worried that 'Bono' wouldn't fit on a front cover very comfortably, so we went for the much punchier nom de plume, 'Joe Abercrombie'
It's a nice name. Can I have a free book?
quick question, is the next book a stand alone?
Hhahaha, nice one Joe. You must be the king of U2 kareoke at the bars around your place=)
As a sidenote I've noticed some people having suffered a "major letdown" by book 3 and I simply cannot understand it. For me book 3 was the best one in the series and I'm also waiting for Katg to finish reading the book already so we can resume the discussion. Giddi-yapp slow-poke!
Thank you. What a gentleman.
Well, since it's Christmas ... no.
Yes, Best Served Cold can be read on its own, though it picks up some threads left over from the trilogy, and features a few minor characters in much more central roles. It's a self-contained story, though.
You are correct, book 3 was undeniably ABSOLUTELY ACE. I've been considering this bizarre reaction on the part of a tiny minority of readers, and can only conclude that the book was actually FAR TOO ACE for their fragile minds to comprehend, and caused a short-circuit in the aceness recognition centres of their brains, leaving them with the clearly mistaken impression that the book was actually quite poor.
You are full of win.
This conversation is heating up and already quite hilarious.
I think some people get hung up on grey characters being so content with their struggle... perhaps it's a bit too realistic, and some people want Swordy Heroguy waggling his giant pointy metal stick and saving the world with fervor. Glokta was my kind of character right down to his witticisms and fouling the bed.
Frankly, I enjoyed the internal dialogue aspect probably the most out of everything in First Law ... and my only (minor) complaint about LAOK would be that I wanted it to be longer (which isn't really a complaint at all).
I was enjoying what you had going, Joe, and it ended way too soon. BSC can't come soon enough.
Oh, and my wife refers to your books as "the pretty ones," which I thought you might find mildly ironic.
No, no, don't do that, TD. Sometimes, you don't like the characters. And it's not because those characters are flawed or naughty. It's because you don't like them, can't get into their dilemmas, the author's writing style, whatever. It doesn't mean that another "gray" character won't do it for you in another book. So let's not say that some people can't handle gray, as if we were in a bunch of teams -- the go dark team and the how dare you team.
Frankly, I've never read a black or white character in fantasy fiction except for demons, and even a lot of them are gray. All the human, elf, and such other ones are always gray. Conan the Barbarian is gray. Buck Rogers is gray. Bob the happy elf is gray. When people say a character is not gray, it usually means that they missed stuff, possibly because they were bored or annoyed. As long as a character thinks, a character is going to be gray. (Protozoas are usually white/good.)
Am into Kings and Joe is setting up his clockwork again. It's like watching the beginnings of a car crash. Incidentally, the conversation can continue without me. You can use Spoiler boxes, which I'll avoid or put KINGS SPOILER in big letters at least, so that I won't read it.
Ack, the wrath of KatG
Honestly, maybe that didn't come out all that well. While I agree that not liking a character could be attributed to just not liking them, I think the depth that Abercrombie provides through style/prose gives us a much better foundation to decide whether we like/hate them. I definitely don't want to start splitting people into teams (and I'm not saying this just because I have a complete and utter distaste for organizing).
While your definition of "gray" is very "black and white" (ha ha, raucous laughter), perhaps I just haven't read as much fantasy fiction as you have. The black/white/gray-ness really comes in for me when I can attribute a character's actions to the phrase "because it was the right thing to do."
That being said, and while Abercrombie and Martin throw characters at us who scoff at "the right thing to do," my point is that -- regardless of their likeability -- a character who is so conflicted and has so much going on in their head may lose appeal to people who watched He-Man as a kid (or an adult).
Glokta is an extreme example of humanity and, as such, he is irascibly complicated. That's why I enjoy him, but I think that's why others can't "get into" him, not necessarily just because they "don't like him." Fair?
How gray is the gray Mouser?
He's the grayest.
I only wrath those I like to discuss things with.
No, not fair. You're still saying the simpletons who liked He-Man may be unable to appreciate Glotka. I would argue that Glotka isn't complicated as a person and is beautifully written, but that's separate from my main point. It's not that people don't like a character who doesn't do the right thing, or is conflicted. They just only like some characters who are like that and not others.
Take Mage, who tells us he's 16 and has a remarkable vocabulary. He had a problem with the likability of Abercrombie's characters and found Glotka's character voice -- Abercrombie's sing-song inner refrain which some love or hate -- annoying, to paraphrase. But that doesn't mean he's not interested in unlikable characters -- or even Abercrombie's book. He liked Bakker's book, which has only two characters who are not villains and even they are not very likable and plenty conflicted. He liked it even though he didn't find the characters likable. It's not the likability that's the issue, not the "getting" of the characters, but the characters and author's voice, which will either draw the reader in or will not. If it doesn't, Glotka is going to seem awful annoying. If it does, Glotka is a masterpiece (and for me, he is.)
Where people get confused is when they don't like a character/story, they try to figure out why, and then they state that rationale like that's going to be their criteria for every novel. Except it usually isn't. So there's no point in saying that some people don't get Abercrombie's characters because they are light, medium and dark/black gray. Or Bakker's because his are medium to dark/black gray. Or He-Man where the main characters are light gray, and so on. Grayness is only critical on an individual basis and often a minor factor in reader reaction. So there's no point in having the teams of gray/not so gray in figuring out readers as the players won't stay put.
Separately, when is Best Served Cold coming out again?
Yeah, I see your point now, I think. In fact, maybe I'm over-thinking this entirely. Having thought about it some more, I think the piece I'm working right now is probably a glaring example of a character that many won't "like," and, more than that, they may especially dislike his internalizing and attitude. It works for the tale, but I see what you mean as far as how it might be received.
BTW, it really is a good example, I'm not pimping myself, and I'm definitely not giving any specifics...
I know I'm a little late, but thanks to sffworld, I just ordered The Blade Itself and I'm pretty dang pumped.
After Rob B directed me to an interview of Joe Abercrombie describing why I should buy the book (had me cracking up the whole time), I had to have the book.
Now I can't post on here anymore cause there're way too many spoilers.
Separate names with a comma.