Friday, January 6, 2012

Lighter, Easier to Lift, New and Improved Wallet technology for the masses!

Errr.. what I mean to say is I'm now flat dead broke. I just dropped 600$ on textbooks for school.

It's exciting getting ready to go back even if it is atrociously expensive. The books cost nearly as much as the classes themselves do.

I've also finished Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erickson. Despite some peoples attempt to lump him into the Grimdark category I don't think he really fits. Comparing the book to Glen Cook and Roger Zelazny is probably the most apt. When the Bridgburners are there it almost feels as if you are reading lost annals of the Black Company.

Sure the book is darker than David Eddings or Terry Brooks.. I'd liken to to maybe Norman Mailer dark but not Cormac Mcarthy Dark.. I've not had any sort of visceral revulsion to the book like I did to Joe Abercrombie. So far it seems to be shaping up to be a fairly promising series, I'm looking forward to tackling the second volume "Deadhouse Gates" as soon as I've finished Phillip Jose Farmer's "The Makers of Universes".


Keith said...

The costs of textbooks are ridiculous. Good luck this semester and may the curve be with you.

davidei said...

No facetiousness implied here - what did you like about Gardens of the Moon? I read about 250 pages of the book before giving up - Erickson gives very little in the way of descriptions of his characters, so that all we have to go on are their names, and he gives almost no introduction to any of the elements of his world.

I've found that some readers have greatly enjoyed being dropped into the world without introduction, but for myself, I found it completely impossible to emphasize with or feel any of the same emotions as the characters. For instance, when the hand of the Empress (I forget her name) is traveling with some dead warrior, and she realizes that someone (I also forget who) is trying to resurrect a chieftain of that dead warrior's people, she suddenly gasps and becomes filled with apprehension. Meanwhile, I have no idea who the hell these people are or why they are so scary, and it was at this point that Erickson completely lost me, as I had become tired of having characters repeatedly react strongly to events/creatures that I had no way of contextualizing.

In other words - please help me figure out why I should give this book another chance! Everyone else seems to really enjoy it and it frustrates me that I'm the only one who found it intolerable.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Well I'll be honest with you. When I tried to read it the first time years ago I didn't get past about 50 pages before putting it aside. I then read that the series was really derived heavily from Glen Cook's black company and I went and bought those and tried to read them and had the same initial reaction.

But I persevered through the first half of the first Black Company book and found myself really enjoying it. I tore through the other 9 in the series in a very short amount of time. I guess it's kind of like practice for the even bigger Malazan series.

I can't say that anything I tell you would make you want to give it another try, I can certainly see where it just isn't for everyone. But by about the 300th page or so most of the characters are decently established enough for me anyway.. I imagine they will continue to unfurl themselves as the series goes on.

Beth D. said...

Reading the comments before this I am going to have to read this. I like anything that fuels debates, and I am a lover of, what did you call it? 'Grimdark,' which I really like the phrase. On the other side I don't know if I will stick around for 300 pages for the book to connect with me. Guess I will have to see.

Lagomorph Rex said...

I alas cannot lay claim to Grimdark. That was a portmanteau I think created by TV Tropes.

It's based on the Warhammer 40,000 tagline

"In the GRIM DARKness of the future... there is only war"