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Thread: The Book Lair - all book talk ITT

  1. #2421
    マリーの味方 Sesto's Avatar
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    Finished the first Malazan book. It was good. The POV complaint still was an issue all the way through. I liked most of the characters but man the POV would quite literally switch every other page sometimes.

    I've seen some common complaints it's confusing and I get it, terms and people are thrown at you from start to finish with zero intention for you to understand them immediately. But it's really not that bad. Honestly rather than the magic, god, or region gibberish I was more confused when a mysterious character would appear and having to ask myself "am i even supposed to know this person". Especially got weird near the end when all the different characters were running into each other every other paragraph.

  2. #2422
    I told 'em, I told 'em. Bugrit! eddyak's Avatar
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    I think it isn't so much the terms constantly being thrown at you, a lot of novels do that.

    Found it, here's the thing I wrote about it:

    It's not just one thing that makes Malazan difficult to get into. The entire first book (and probably a few after that) seem almost actively designed to repel viewers through most of the means novels use to bring people in.


    Most novels give you a point of view character, or three. You're introduced to the world along with the characters, and the world they know, and then explores outward from there.


    Malazan doesn't care if you like, empathise with, or understand a character, or their world. You're dropped in alongside someone, or at a scene, and when the scene is done, you're tossed out. Wanna know literally anything other than what the characters were talking about? Too bad, book doesn't care.


    Most novels provide some context. The characters namedrop, they hint at things, and if the series is mediocre or bad, they'll actively infodump an "as you know, blah. Therefore, bleh."


    Malazan drops you in the middle of an office conversation and doesn't change the conversation so that a beginner can infer things through context, leaving that for several hours down the line (probably). We get "Can you believe what Ted did? What an idiot." instead of "Can you believe Ted just suplexed the CEO? Holy shit, do you think he's gonna be arrested or fired first?"


    And so on. Erikson refuses to make the basic concessions most authors will include by default, which seems to have worked out for him, but for 99% of authors this won't work and is a terrible idea in general, unless you've got something really going for you.
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  3. #2423
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Hm. On the one hand, I agree with you that including this basic context in some way is a very good thing, but on the other, when talking to someone you presume already knows the story, "Can you believe what Ted did?" seems like a more natural way to open the conversation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, just to be clear, I haven't read those books.

  4. #2424
    マリーの味方 Sesto's Avatar
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    While I see what you mean, I can't really think of any specific examples which annoyed me too much. Everything is explained eventually for the most part, it felt fairly easy to filter information clearly not intended to be understood immediately.

    The sheer frequency it occurs is definitely an issue for sure. Honestly, I think the series shares a lot of similarities with mystery novels in structure despite not really being a mystery. The exposition is given in a way where as you're reading you're just constantly adding questions to a massive list about the world/characters, and over time you gradually obtain answers. I feel like the annoyance people have (not necessarily you, based on some reviews I've seen) are people expecting to understand everything that is being said right away because they don't like to be confused. You kinda need to read this expecting to be confused.

  5. #2425
    Dead Apostle Eater Historia's Avatar
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    1: I managed to lock back into this account.

    2: I finished The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon. Not much to say about it other than I really enjoyed the descriptions of Robert of Artois and Mahaut every time they occupied a page. Like two fairytale giants.

  6. #2426
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    One of my favourite novels! Shame it couldn't grab you more.

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