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Gasp of Many Reeds

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  1. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Is David Eddings any good?

    The humour is mainly of the non-nihilistic cynicism that does appeal to younger teenagers (politics is corrupt, religion is stupid, most people are narrow-minded and self-serving), plus some cultural/ethnic essentialism played for laughs, which, again, is largely self-consciously satirical of ye olde fantasy but, particularly in the characterisation of antagonistic and/or non pseudo-European cultures, can come across as a bit dated and mildly offensive.
  2. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Is David Eddings any good?

    I'd say it's self-consciously generic and cheesy (Eddings was a lit major I believe, so knew literary conventions and tropes inside out and deliberately played along with them). In its own way it was mildly subversive for the time, but it gets hoisted by its own petard quite a lot of the time. Has some good characters, e.g. Silk in the Belgariad, but if you do choose to read Eddings, its very much a case of 'read one series, you've read them all'. So either Belgariad plus maybe Mallorean, or Elenium plus maybe Tamuli (the latter two series are slightly less young adult and set in a different world but the character types, themes and writing are very much the same).
  3. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Malazan: High House Shadow edition

    Enjoyed Forge of Darkness a lot, it has dense prose, is maudlin and not to everyone's taste but was very much of its own kind in fantasy fiction. Haven't admittedly bought Fall yet, waiting until I have more money, more time and a smaller to-read pile (admittedly, Bakker's Great Ordeal will not be having to endure the same wait, but that's a singular exception).
  4. What's great about Donaldson is that he wins either way on the issue of worldbuilding - the Land can be a very immersive country to visit, but where the magic is thin and the clich├ęs thick, he can say 'Ha! But what if the thinness of the world is because it is a product of Covenant's delusions?!' To go back to the first page, there's a Bakker vs. Erikson fan feud? I like them both greatly, if for different reasons. Opinions on Wheel of Time requested - I think Jordan should be congratulated for the depth of much of his world-building, and he cannot be accused, as Erikson can, of creating cultures that are indistinguishable. He also has a sense of historical direction absent from Martin (history still works across millennia, but only one is permitted per age, not 5 or 6). But then his cultures are often distinguished by arbitrary stereotypes, and this adds to the thinness of his world at times. As for characters, well, the same problem often applies. Each character has their own style and identity but most of them rarely breach the third dimension.
  5. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Umberto Eco RIP

    Baudolino was actually what introduced me to Eco. Read when was relatively young so didn't get everything but its a wonderful book. Plus loved all the monsters shouting "Bogomil!" at each other.
  6. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Authors whose death you most regret?

    Gemmell definitely was a shock, especially as I saw him do a fan event just a few years before he died (this was just after he'd brought out the last Drenai book) and there was no indication of ill health. Never did get round to writing the sequel to Quest for Lost Heroes I asked about (he said this was the one question he'd been asked at every fan event since bringing out the book, so I didn't make a great impression!).
  7. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Nobel Literature Prize Speculation 2018 Cancelled

    Nuts as in 'nuts as no chance given the committee's known prejudices against science fiction/fantasy' or 'nuts as wouldn't deserve it'? Because I think she'd be a very worthy winner (I mean I like Murakami, but Le Guin has been a much more important writer in the scheme of things).
  8. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Pratchett II: The Wrath of Om

    Fair enough. Glad you share the love for Moving Pictures.
  9. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Pratchett II: The Wrath of Om

    Again, what was it people don't like about Carpe Jugulum? Read it a long time ago, but remember enjoying quite a bit.
  10. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Pratchett II: The Wrath of Om

    Also quite enjoy Last Continent silliness (e.g. explanation of the creation of the platypus). Carpe Jugulum is hated? Agree that Hogfather is slightly over-rated.   Nominate Moving Pictures as another mid-lister that seems to get dismissed a lot of the time but is (a) very funny, (b) probably the best use Pratchett makes the Dungeon Dimensions/Lovecraft lols idea. In any case, does the 'modern culture with magical technology' thing better than Soul Music, which has a few too many half-baked ideas running it (one of my favourite Kirby covers though).
  11. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Pratchett II: The Wrath of Om

    I'd add Pyramids, Guards! Guards! and Thief of Time to SkynJay's list, plus maybe Men at Arms and The Truth. Though it's a while since I've read any of them admittedly.
  12. Gasp of Many Reeds

    Malazan: High House Shadow edition

    I found Reaper's Gale a bit flat in places and whilst some elements of the ending were very epic indeed, other events, which I anticipated would end more climactically, were a bit of a damp squib. I enjoyed it, but it's definitely not my favourite in the series. Toll the Hounds, on the other hand, is one of my favourites in the series along with Memories of Ice, but it's also probably the most difficult for many people because it is the one which is least focused on action (though it has a very intense climax) and most on introspection. It's also arguably the most depressing book in the series, though it has a strong redemptive uplift at its end and is certainly I think the most emotive chapter in the series.
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