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  1. #1
    The Doctor... Sammie's Avatar
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    TIGANA - May SFFWFBC Book

    Oooppss.......discussion now open!!

  2. #2
    "hot and jolly" Nevyn's Avatar
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    I'd like to say firstly , what a beautiful , well written book this is !
    I think the thing that caught my attention the most was how alive the characters personallities were . The book had the feeling that you were reading about real people , sharing their greif and happiness on a much deeper level than I have come to expect from other writers .

    I think what I'm trying to say is I was totally captive to the prose (almost poetic) and the way Kay handled dialogue between characters . It will be interesting to see who you thought the bad if not tragic characters were , I already have mine picked out.

    BTW excellent ending

  3. #3
    Give me liberty! Ouroboros's Avatar
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    I read Tigana many years ago, and was struck by the fact that compared to what was in the ascent at that time, it was a truly mature work aimed at adults- the complexity of the characters and their motivations, more than the sex and violence.

    In many ways it was and is quite a daring novel, because it is unremittingly grim for the most part.

  4. #4
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    First few pages don't bode well. There's too much description and the author breaks off all the time to tell you absolutely everything. I don't feel like struggling through 700(?) pages like I did with tEotW and then coming out thinking life is too short to read books like these.

  5. #5
    Give me liberty! Ouroboros's Avatar
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    ...It isn't an example of easy-to-read 'pop' fantasy, that's for sure. It can be heavy going.

  6. #6
    "hot and jolly" Nevyn's Avatar
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    Sirand , I promise you that after the 100th page or so you won't put the book down . It struggles at first to find it's feet then it's like going from crawling straight to running ! As for the mention of tEoTW in the same breath , well , there can be no comparision .

  7. #7
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    ...It isn't an example of easy-to-read 'pop' fantasy, that's for sure.
    Being easy-to-read is not a crime. I'm not saying it is too complex, just badly written, which is why I mentioned tEotW.

    I might try and read a little more of Tigana but i've got quite a large 'to-be-read' pile.

  8. #8
    Woof, woof! scooter13's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Nevyn
    Sirand , I promise you that after the 100th page or so you won't put the book down . It struggles at first to find it's feet then it's like going from crawling straight to running ! As for the mention of tEoTW in the same breath , well , there can be no comparision .
    Yes yes! Do stick with it. I struggled with it at first, but soon I was frustrating my wife for constantly reading it.

  9. #9
    mistress of pigeons Ladijen's Avatar
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    I totally agree, Nevyn! Kay's prose is very poetic--I also read "The Lions of Al-Rassan" (I think that is the title) quite a while ago and was caught by the rich description. The world and the characters could almost be real, with the gritty non-happily-ever-after feel of this present life. Unfortunately, I'm too busy to read as much as I'd like, so I haven't finished the book yet.

    Sirand, I'd say give it until about page 50 or so before you call it quits. The political intricacy of the story requires a long set-up, but then events begin to move.

  10. #10
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ladijen
    I totally agree, Nevyn! Kay's prose is very poetic--I also read "The Lions of Al-Rassan" (I think that is the title) quite a while ago and was caught by the rich description. The world and the characters could almost be real, with the gritty non-happily-ever-after feel of this present life. Unfortunately, I'm too busy to read as much as I'd like, so I haven't finished the book yet.

    Sirand, I'd say give it until about page 50 or so before you call it quits. The political intricacy of the story requires a long set-up, but then events begin to move.
    I would have to disagree. I am at close to page 400 and it doesn't get any better. It is just one long slog and I am going into my third or more week with this book. I just find it hard to keep reading. Maybe I am too old to enjoy the premise of the book. When I was younger the idea of all this glory and fighting for the idea of your homeland was interesting, now I just keep thinking of stupid macho gang-bangers who abandon their families because they think their colors have been dissed, and off they go to wreak death and destruction on everyone.

    I too read and loved The Lions of al-Rassan, and this is not in the same league. This was the book where I think he first tried to do what he did in 'Lions'. The basis for Lions is Moorish Spain, and the basis here is Italy before it became a country. This book was published something like 6 years before 'Lions' and judging between the quality of the two -- he did a lot of growing in those six years. Its not the worst I have ever read, but it is waaay tooo long.

  11. #11
    Sith Lord DarthV's Avatar
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    Tigana was the 3rd book I've read by GGK, and it didn't disapoint. I love his writing style, characters and story. He seems to be able to create very emotional ties between the story and reader. The ending could have been a little better, maybe he should have just left it end after the battle when they were on the hill.

    At the end, who do you think is blessed, forks or dies?

  12. #12
    Give me liberty! Ouroboros's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FicusFan
    Maybe I am too old to enjoy the premise of the book. When I was younger the idea of all this glory and fighting for the idea of your homeland was interesting, now I just keep thinking of stupid macho gang-bangers who abandon their families because they think their colors have been dissed, and off they go to wreak death and destruction on everyone.
    Is it just me, or does anyone else think this is a total mis-reading of the plot?

    IMO one of the themes is to explore exaclty how obsessive some kinds of nationalism can be... I don't think the various revolutionary characters are depicted in a golden fashion: the opposite, if anything.


    Its not the worst I have ever read, but it is waaay tooo long.
    It's long. There's enough in there for two books, not one.

  13. #13
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    The baron dies, the prince is blessed and Devon's life forks IMO.

    Their pride is an important part of the story though, it's part of what made up the character and identity of the home they've been robbed of. When I read that book I almost wished someone would do that to Canada, just because I think a lot of Canadians don't appreciate what they've got enough.

    In what way do you feel the book is poorly written? Kay's extra touches are what I find make the books so moving.

  14. #14
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ouroboros


    Is it just me, or does anyone else think this is a total mis-reading of the plot?

    IMO one of the themes is to explore exaclty how obsessive some kinds of nationalism can be... I don't think the various revolutionary characters are depicted in a golden fashion: the opposite, if anything.


    It's long. There's enough in there for two books, not one.
    No it is not a misreading of the plot, just a misunderstanding of my post.

    What I have read so far: Baerd abandons his family, Alessan abandons his mother, Diannora abandons her vegetative mother -- they all leave to pursue some sort of revenge or plan to restore Tigana, which they feel is more important than their flesh and blood relatives, and the broken city-state which needs them to pitch in and work to rebuild it.

    It is much easier to go off pursuing some golden dream of revenge and restoring past perfection, which is what motivates them all (seeking glory) -- even though they may live rather grubbily and have to get bloody and dirty to do it.

    Devin who has no memory of ever being there is corrupted throughout the story into the golden dream of a past that he has never experienced !

    They are all more interested in the idea of the thing - the perfect Tigana, than the reality of it -fixing broken Tigana, or their families. And the whole name business (Lower Corte causes them all to go into a physical and emotional fit) just strikes me as childish macho BS. They don't have to overwhelm to win, just endure, to quote Sun-Tzu "If you sit by the stream long enough, eventually the body of your enemy floats by".

    I can’t buy the 'exploring obsessive nationalism theme', when that is the only view point of the major characters in the book. But so far it is. I think you need to have another voice to offset it, to show another way, and you certainly have to show the consequences of the choices you make. So far they only look sadly at the corpses of the people they are ‘forced’ to kill. The bound wizard is a minor voice calling out for justice, and frankly his situation makes it very hard for me to see any of the main characters in his party as worth spending any time with.

    On top of that Diannora's sudden decision to do in her King, when she has been vacillating for years between love/lust/family honor/ethnic responsibility, because of a momentary pique of sexual jealousy cheapens the story even more. Especially when she seems bent on using Scelto, and probably dooming him just by proximity and association to be killed for her crime. She professes to love him, and to feel regret at how his life was destroyed by the authorities, but she will do even worse.


    I just don't actually care about anyone still alive so far. I am not real interested in what happens next, in terms of the story, because I find the whole thing pretty repulsive. I mostly feel bad for those caught in the crossfire between the questing idiots and the evil overlords. The people both sides kill and use for their own goals.

    I liked the interlude in the village with Baerd and the Night Walkers, and with Rovigo and his family at home but so far the bad interludes: the first scene in the Tavern, most of Devin's story, the pointless sexual encounter with the woman in the castle, everything about Catarina, Diannora's past story, seem to out number the good. I will finish the book, but unless the main characters are suddenly all killed or remade by some kind of plague I don't hold out hope for it getting any better.

    Is this story really two books, or just one book lacking focus: too many POV characters, and too much hoping around ?

  15. #15
    Special Member mistri's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FicusFan




    They are all more interested in the idea of the thing - the perfect Tigana, than the reality of it -fixing broken Tigana, or their families. And the whole name business (Lower Corte causes them all to go into a physical and emotional fit) just strikes me as childish macho BS. They don't have to overwhelm to win, just endure, to quote Sun-Tzu "If you sit by the stream long enough, eventually the body of your enemy floats by".

    They can't win by endurance. Brandin intends to live until everyone born in Tigana is dead. They can't pass the name on to their children or anyone else they meet, so once the likes of Devin's generation are gone then Tigana is truly gone.

    They're not leaving their families just for any old city state, but to stop what is effectively their past from being erased. Also, they make it clear that although they want Tigana to be remembered once more, they also want to take down both tyrants - they fight for freedom - not just Tigana - or just Brandin would be enough.

    I loved the book, and since reading it (and during) I have a strange urge to shout or whisper 'Tigana' every so often which leads to very strange looks from the husband.

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