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  1. #1
    Registered User MattNY's Avatar
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    Red Country by Joe Abercrombie

    I didn't see a thread for this yet (surprisingly), so thought I would toss one out for discussion.

    Covers




    Overview

    Quote Originally Posted by Amazon.com
    They burned her home.
    They stole her brother and sister.
    But vengeance is following.

    Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

    Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . .

    SFFWorld Official Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob
    It isn’t clear what Joe will be writing next, but whatever it is, more stories in this world, a tale of Bayaz or frankly anything, I’ll be there. Red Country is easily a top book 2012 book for me.
    http://www.sffworld.com/brevoff/902.html


    Where to Buy

    US - http://www.amazon.com/Joe-Abercrombie/e/B001JP7WJC
    UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Joe-Abercrombie/e/B001JP7WJC


    About the Author



    http://www.joeabercrombie.com/author/
    Last edited by MattNY; January 28th, 2013 at 07:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Are you asking to discuss the book, or compare the two covers?

  3. #3
    Registered User MattNY's Avatar
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    Just the book. Stating information about it for those that aren't familiar. I will take out the VS symbol if it is causing confusion.

  4. #4
    I thought it was a good book not all what i was expecting. I wanted something more from it... i don't know what i feel was missing maybe something a bit more epic.

    Not to say it was a bad book i really enjoyed had a excellent western flavour. It also had everything in it that makes Joe such a great writer.

    Oh and i like the first cover better

  5. #5
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I loved the book and had I it come along and/or I read it in a previous year, it very well could have been my favorite read of the year. I think I benefited by not having (yet) read The Heroes since I thought that while Best Served Cold was good, it didn't connect as well with me as his other work.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    I loved the book and had I it come along and/or I read it in a previous year, it very well could have been my favorite read of the year. I think I benefited by not having (yet) read The Heroes since I thought that while Best Served Cold was good, it didn't connect as well with me as his other work.
    What was so good this year?

    I will take out the VS symbol if it is causing confusion.
    Probably just me who was confused by that. =)

    I loved Red Country. I will love anything with
    Spoiler:
    Bloody9.
    I did wish there was more of the "fantastical" involved. First Law had maneaters, wizards, fenris the feared, and of course Bloody Nine hulking out several times. I felt like that was missing a bit, still an awesome read though.
    Last edited by Hobbit; January 29th, 2013 at 12:40 PM.

  7. #7
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    You go, JOE

    I just wanted to say something about the author in general. I burned through the First Law series in a couple weeks. I started googling what else was out there. Have done Best Served Cold and Red Country. I THINK EVERY ONE OF THEM KICKED ASS....MY 66 YEAR OLD MOM BURNED THROUGH FIRST LAW IN 3 WEEKS. Started The Heroes yesterday. Something has bugged me when I see other comments on Joe...people bitch about the end of the trilogy. I don't get that except that they KICKED SO MUCH ASS that people automatically missed the characters and wanted more. It was a great ending...back at the beginning...if you paid attention, it even said so.

    I have done the Songs of Martin....it was really good, but the length of time they leave you hanging for a book AGAIN, is tedious. It was supposed to be the end split into two..and the last one went nowhere. Loved Wheel of Time. All the Sanderson. Loved the Malazan series...second favorite to First Law (with Wheel 3rd). Read plenty of others.

    I just really wanted to say that you ROCK, Joe...and keep on rocking. Sure, I love The Bloody Nine and plenty of others...EVERYONE is curious to see what becomes of them. But do what you have been doing and don't listen to the nay-sayers. **** 'EM...their just greedy

  8. #8
    Red Country definitely grew on me in the weeks after I finished it. I thought both the Heroes and Red Country were a bit slow developing as I was reading them, but I gained a much deeper appreciation as the stories settled in my consciousnesses in the weeks following my finish of the two novels.

    I will say that I felt Best Served Cold had a faster pace that I enjoyed.
    Spoiler:
    I'm still not sure I'm OK with the developing Logen storyline.I can respect that this is Joe's character and he deserves my trust that he'll take him where he needs to go, but I really would like the Bloody Nine to play a bigger role before he goes back to the mud. Many, many fantasy authors give us the champion archetype that I'd group Logen in, but he's special. Half mad, holding a single hand up to his adversary, I picture him frothing at the mouth while the man facing him shrinks away in dismay.

    I think Logen could take Eddings' Mandorallen or Bakker's Cnaiur or Jordan's Lan. He just has it--and I want more.
    Last edited by Dyloot; January 30th, 2013 at 10:54 PM.

  9. #9
    I have to say Best Served Cold was my favourite because it was the first i read it was probably the first fantasy non-traditional style fantasy i read and it blew me away.
    I realised after that was probably the what i like nowadays being older and more mature.

    Don't get me wrong i really enjoyed Red Country i like westerns and fantasy and it was a perfect blend. Anyone who hasnt read Joe's books doesn't know what they're missing out on

  10. #10
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris777 View Post
    What was so good this year?
    Books that edged out Red Country for me in 2012:

    The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett
    Control Point by Myke Cole
    Existence by David Brin
    The King's Blood by Daniel Abraham
    Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear

  11. #11
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    An Admin reminder to start: there will be readers reading this thread who will not want one of the major characters revealing. Please cover up, to avoid staff getting angry messages! (use [s p o i l e r] and [/s p o i l e r] without the spaces to do so.)

    I was less positive than Rob when I reviewed the book back in October 2012. It's good, even very good, but as much as I liked it, I was feeling at the end that all that unremitting bleakness was starting to get predictable.

    Where Joe set the standard, now others are doing the same, and IMO its perhaps time to try something new - or at least something else that shows his skills as well as his books to date.

    I wouldn't say I was disappointed - but it wasn't an unqualified success, to my mind.
    Mark

  12. #12
    Got this as soon as it was available, had my doubts over the whole 'Western' theme I had been hearing about, gotta say though out of the three stand alones this is my favourite.

    Once again the banter between characters is what makes the book fantastic, no other writer comes close.

    Really looking forward to this new trilogy!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit
    I wouldn't say I was disappointed - but it wasn't an unqualified success, to my mind.
    I'll agree with Hobbit, though for different reasons. I am a huge Abercrombie fan, so even if this was, in my opinion, his weakest work, I'll still take his weakest work over most fantasy authors any day. And by saying it was his weakest work, I don't want to say that the book was poor at all. To me, Abercrombie's books are so good, than when he descends back to the plane of mortals and writes something that doesn't completely satisfy in every way it seems disappointing, but it shouldn't.

    I felt there was something missing in Red Country, but it certainly wasn't a sense of fulfillment or happiness. Abercrombie's world is bleak, his characters are supremely flawed, and that's why I like it. I'm not sure it's time for him to try something else so much as it is to bring some closure to some of his ongoing storylines.

    What I think might have been missing was a sense of grandeur that I felt was present in the other works, or at least perceived grandeur (as in The Heroes). There was a lot of potential for it in Red Country, but it never delivered. I would have loved to have had some of these unique and awesome locales more fleshed out. I enjoyed the setting and appreciated the idea that there was so much undeveloped and uncivilized land west of where most of his other books took place. But I would have loved to know more about the connection of this place to the Old Empire (the ruins of which the characters explored in the trilogy), if it had one.

    Spoiler:
    I would have loved to know more about the Mayor. I would have loved to more about the character whose name was exactly like the wizard's. I truly loved how that was teased, but man, what a tease with no fulfillment. I thought I was back in high school! And I certainly would love to read, in a future endeavor, about Logen's return to the North.


    The Northmen are part of what makes this world so great for me - I love reading about them and missed them in this volume.
    Spoiler:
    Also, Glama Golden's character meshed inconsistently with his portrayal in The Heroes I thought. How did he go from being an uncaring bad ass to an emotional bad ass? I would of liked more of a character arc for him since he played a pretty big role.


    All said and done, I still had a romp of a good time in this book and can't wait for the next Abercrombie novel. Though, from his blog, it'll be a bit of a wait. Like a man once said to me from one stall over in a public restroom, "Take your time, son, take your time."

  14. #14
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    Personally I think this is his best work. I am biased in being a huge fan of the Clint Eastwood movies this book did huge tribute to though. I thought this book was less bleak than usual for Joe if you just look at it a certain way. Consider:

    Spoiler:
    At the end of the book Temple and Shy are still together and still like each other. The last scene with Shivers and Logen was right out of Josey Wales too. Shivers decides to let it go. The only difference is that Logen still leaves. Furthermore, Temple's character growth in Crease and romance with Shy was some of the most uplifiting stuff Joe has written so far.


    I found the grandeur in this story wasn't usual blatant fantasy stuff but more of a celebration of the pioneer spirit of the settler, juxtaposed against the greed that civilization brings with it. This is one of my favourite books ever!

  15. #15
    We parley for nobody norm's Avatar
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    I'm a huge fan of Joe Abercrombie, I think he's brilliant. But Red Country might have been my least favourite of his works.

    Now, a huge part of that probably had something to do with my massive, unreasonably high expectations of this book. This was the first novel of his that I was really anticipating; I started with Best Served Cold, which was not just my first exploration into the works of Joe Abercrombie, but modern fantasy as well. It blew my mind and redefined for me what was even possible in literature. Then I blew through the First Law. By the time I was done that, The Heroes came out, and I hadn't even heard about it until it was released. Blew through that, loved it.

    I then waited eagerly, as most of you probably did, for Red Country to come out. I suppose this was somewhat foolish, but I made some presumptions about what Red Country would be like. Firstly, I was certain that there would be six perspective characters, seeing as Joe had six perspectives in each of his previous five novels, usually three major characters and three lesser perspectives:

    The First Law: Logen Ninefingers, Sand Dan Glokta, Jezul Dan Luthar. Then you had Ferro Maljinn, The Dogman, and Marshall West.

    Best Served Cold: Monzcarro Murcatto, Caul Shivers, Nicomo Cosca. Then you had Friendly, Castor Morveer, Shenkt.

    The Heroes: Bremer Dan Gorst, Curnden Craw, Prince Calder. Then you had Corporal Tunny, Finree Dan Brock, and Beck. Of course there were a couple of chapters where Joe head-hopped through a bunch of lesser characters to give different perspectives for a couple of pages at a time, which was a nice touch.

    In Red Country, there was no ensemble. You had Shy South, and you had Temple. And on the very rare occasion, the story was told from Ro's perspective. There was a lot more head-hopping in this one, little snippets here and there of each character. But I felt that he relied too much on telling the story this way, it didn't carry as well because of it. Not to mention, Shy and Temple were in the same place at the same time for most of the story, seeing and doing the same things. I felt it gave a narrower scope of the setting.

    I'm looking forward to re-reading it in the future, now that my expectations have been set aside. My opinion may change. I was just really surprised he didn't have his usual six main characters. I was really looking forward to finding who the six would be this time around, and disappointed to find that there were only two, two and a half. It's Joe ensembles of characters and their conflicts and interactions that make his books so great, which is why I felt Red Country didn't meet its full potential.
    Last edited by norm; February 10th, 2013 at 01:08 PM.

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