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Thread: Matthew Woodring Stover
October 15th, 2001, 03:08 AM #16
Caine a TSR-type hero?!?!? Read more...
Let's see In HD, many of the characters are dualities, and there is much inner struggle, especially with the Actors/Aktirs which is the real person, who they are on Overworld or who they are on Earth.
very 2 dimensional with Caine akin to one of the "insert name here" cardboard heroes of a Tsr novel.
The characters are driven by their own sense of right, when painted that way, and from each characters POV it's tough to choose sides.
Ultimately, Caine did all the things he did for himself and his love for his wife.
The fight and battle scenes are some of, if not THE best in any book I've read.
The book IS over the top, intentionally.
As for the quote you pulled from me, Caine as Shehzad said is an actor. Also, he is a fighter, a warrior. Fighters (and athletes) have to psych themselves up before each encounter, Stover puts the reader in the head of Caine, like virtually no other author CAN put you in their character's heads, save maybe Martin, John Marco or Robin Hobb.
..still shaking head about the TSR comment...
October 15th, 2001, 03:35 AM #17..still shaking head about the TSR comment...
....joins FF in moping about the comment...
October 15th, 2001, 04:44 AM #18
Give it another try. I had an extremely tough time with Michael Moorcock initially, now I want to read everything he wrote.
Honestly, when Heroes Die first came out a couple of years ago, I didn't give it a second thought, just kept looking past it in the stores. I am glad I picked up though.
October 15th, 2001, 04:57 AM #19
FF: are the two of us - and Neologik - the only ones to have read this book on the forum?
October 15th, 2001, 06:18 AM #20
I can't find it. I have looked though!
October 15th, 2001, 06:19 AM #21
The problem with Stover is his books aren't easily available outside the US.
I think Keyoke mentioned reading him and Hobbit mentioned getting the book.
October 15th, 2001, 11:55 AM #22
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
- Edmonton, Canada
Thank you for your replies and lack of flames!
I made a mistake in my first post by stating what I thought of the novel. I should have simply just asked why you liked it and not explained why I didn't. *sigh* Live and learn.
I could sit here and argue the points you have brought up but I am worried that it would degenerate into flames, like so many other online discussions.
You are convincing me to give it another chance though.
As to your point that Caine is an actor and I should remember that while I read. Your right, I should keep that in mind. But in my defense I would argue that that idea has been written better, imo, in other books. The one example that really comes to mind is from OSC's Worthing Saga about the actress who's life was the movie. I found that much more convincing and thought provoking then Heroes Die.
Iirc, I had only read to the point where Caine meets up with a group of other warriors which turns out to be a trap. This uber mage-warrior guy arrives with lots of troops and starts killing the other people, of course Caine is never in any real danger while those around him die quick.
To me, Stover failed in creating a believable tension in the few action scenes I read. They were well done, yes, but there never was a sense that Caine would die or was in any real danger. *shrug* It reminded me of a R. A. Salvatore fight. You know who's going to win before the fight even starts. Of course I find as I get older fight scenes are increasingly not interesting. Unless there is something really special or different I tend to ignore them.
And the other big thing that hampered my enjoyment of the story would have to the main character. I could not relate in any way, shape or form to Caine. I really liked him when he wasn't Caine but as soon as assumed that role I got bored. *shrug*
Just so you know I like dark stories and tales. I have been rereading and enjoying the Thieves World anthologies lately and it doesn't get much darker then that! As Aspirin writes in the second book, "They get darker with each book." Not to mention the Black Company novels or Donaldson's Gap or Covenant series. I would list all these, along with Moorcock, as dark, depressing fiction that I love. So, it's not the grittiness or lack of traditional "heroes" that turned me off.
But like I said your replies are making me think I made a mistake. So, I think I will go buy the book and give it another chance. I will let you know if the second read changes my original opinion.
Thanks again for your time,
just some newbie
October 15th, 2001, 12:36 PM #23
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
- Hobbit Towers, England
- Blog Entries
Yes, FF - have bought the book, if only to understand what you, Neologik and Shehzad are going on about!
(When I get chance to read it....hmmm.)
Sammie, I gather you are in the UK, so this might make sense. I had to go to Andromeda Bookshop in Birmingham to get a copy - good shop, btw and on the net - and they had one copy. I'm sure Amazon.co.uk would have it though.
October 15th, 2001, 01:32 PM #24
You presented your argument very clearly, unlike many who simply state only in their subject line So and SO is the worst writer ever, then in the topic simply repeat it, if that.
Hopefully the second visit to Overworld will be better. If for nothing else, to see that it is SOOOO much more than a TSR novel.
I personally haven't read OSC's Worthing Saga, but its been on my "to buy list" for a while, Card, I think is good at characterization.
Again, Caine doesn't always win, though, and even when he does it doesn't always make things easier or better for him.
Then again jiels, you ARE entitled to your own opinion, and the book may not work for you (grumble...I hate having to say that... ) I'm also about the only person who HATED Cryptonimicom by Neal Stephenson.
October 15th, 2001, 07:13 PM #25
- Join Date
- May 2000
Oh boy. I'm not sure where to begin!
jiels: If only TSR novels were as good as HEROES DIE! I would be a much happier camper, as I could go to my grave content in the knowledge that my goal has triumphed.
Look, I'm not going to flame, or get snotty, or anything else unpleasant. All I will say is this: Please read HD the entire way through. If your mind has not been changed, then it just isn't for you. But I nearly guarantee that, if you make it through the book, your opinions will change.
And keep this in mind: the book is a study in violence. It may read like a non-stop bone-crunching action story, but if you stop to think about it, it is SOOOOOOO much more.
And if you read BLADE OF TYSHALLE, the sequel, you'll most likely mess yourself, as it is about twelve times better than HEROES DIE.
--gabe chouinard http://www.sfsite.com/fm - where there's a Matt Stover interview!
October 16th, 2001, 01:19 AM #26
Hobbit: Thanks. Yes, I am in the UK, and i did think of trying amazon for 'Heroes Die', but i like to be able to flick through a book before i buy it - see how the writing style appeals etc (if you end up sitting on the floor in Waterstones reading it until your v bored friend physically drags you away, its a general indication its worth the money!) - and you can't do this with online bkshops.
Is there a site online that has the first chapter up or s'thing? That might convince me. (Student budget hitting hard now - over the summer i'd just have bought it without thinking, but that was before the letters o/d started appearing on the cash machine screen!)
October 16th, 2001, 07:17 AM #27
If TSR novels were as good as Heroes Die the world would be a better palce by far.
October 16th, 2001, 11:04 AM #28
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
- Edmonton, Canada
FitzFlagg: I have to agree with you. I don't want to chalk it up as "personal taste" either. I am of the opinion that a great book is a great book whether I enjoyed it or not. Margaret Atwood is a good example of what I mean. She can write really well, I'll admit, but none of her stories appeal to me.
Neologik: A study in violence? I'll have to keep that in mind when I reread it. I do admit that when I read books with excessive violence these days I tend to dismiss them. It often seems that medicore authors use violence and action to compensate for weak characters and unoriginal plots. *shrug* That's just my opinion.
All of your well thought out defense has persuaded me to give the book another chance. It is extremely possible that I gave up on the book too soon.
thanks for all your replies,
that newbie again
October 16th, 2001, 12:22 PM #29
jiels I do not think that you have to apologize for being a newbie - you presented a lucid, polite argument, and we are the non-flaming types anyway (at least those of us who've read Stover )
I'mglad we've been able to convince you to give HD a second go... maybe you'll thank us after this, maybe you'll say you still didn't like it (hope not!) but whatever you say rest assured your opinion will be respected.
Also, do hang around - we could use another Donaldson fan here .
Be true, Unbeliever!
October 17th, 2001, 01:59 AM #30
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
- Sligo, Ireland
Just a little aside which may make me look stupid, but here goes....
What does TSR mean?