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Winterfail

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About Winterfail

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  1. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    Thanks! I'll start with the first one, then. I'll look forward to it!
  2. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    This is a little off topic, but can the Garret P.I. books be read as stand alone novels in any order? Back to topic, I really thought that Shadows Linger was the weakest of the first three books, but it looks like Werthead reserves that spot for the final volume. Are you (Werthead) going to read and review more of the series, or are you stopping there?
  3. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    Yes, you are correct. I guess I just consider the whole flight to Charm as part of the battle of Charm. Bonegnasher is one whom I would have liked to know better.
  4. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    I agree, that's a great review! I hope you follow up with thoughts on the other novels. Who were your favorite characters? What were your favorite parts of the story? Besides Croaker, I like Soulcatcher, Lady, One-Eye, and Goblin the best, and I think I enjoyed the Battle of Charm the most, especially when That was gruesome, but it was fun to read. :) Edited to add spoiler tags. ;)
  5. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    And I haven't been able to find the sequel for the life of me! Well, I'm not going to help you steal it, but I know for certain that it is available in those shady Internet places where people swap black market goods. :eek:
  6. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    This thread made me nostalgic, so I read the Raker short story yesterday. I loved the way Soulcatcher began slowly opening up to Croaker; that was one of the better parts of the series. Insane, evil badasses need intimacy, too. :lol:
  7. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    Yes, he conveys a lot with very little, and because he isn't as detailed in his descriptions, he is able to pack an awful lot of action into his books.
  8. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    LoL I can't help it; it's like he puts unnecessary little speed bumps in the middle of each paragraph, but I'm probably the only one that's bothered by it, and after I'm a few chapters into one of his books, I don't really notice it anymore. It is probably a good thing that I did not become an English teacher; I would have been the type that everyone hates. :P
  9. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    Tyranny of the Night moves a lot quicker (as far as plot development), and more of what is mentioned in it will be revisited as the story moves along, than in the Black Company. You are pretty much correct in your assessment so far, that he throws some stuff at you, but mostly, he wants you to pay attention to a handful of characters. In the Instrumentality books, there is more that he wants you to pay attention to, and I ended up getting lost. :P In general, his world-building is minimal, and a lot of his characters (at least the secondary ones) stay two-dimensional, but his books move quickly, his actions scenes are tense, and he is not afraid to kill off beloved characters, so you never feel safe. He has a knack for delivering a feeling of epic scope to his stories while writing them in a very minimalist fashion. Someone earlier in this thread said that travels in the Black Company series that would take up a whole book in the Wheel of Time series, are summarized in a paragraph. That's not far off the mark, although in fairness, Jordan was given over to excessive detail. Still, Cook draws a quick charcoal sketch rather than painting a colorful picture, yet the tales still seem grand. Grack21, I have not read McCarthy.
  10. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    Sometimes it is okay. Read my edit in the previous post. At any rate, I haven't read anything from him that I didn't like, although I started Sung in Blood and got distracted without ever finishing it. Maybe I'll knock that one out real quick.
  11. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    It is grammar, and when it's deliberate, it is deliberately bad grammar. ETA: @ Asathor: When it is in the form of a first person narrative, like the example I quoted, it does do a fair job of conveying a stream of consciousness, and I understand its use there. However, he frequently begins sentences with conjunctions, and there are entire chapter that read like, "Croaker entered, shut the door. He crossed the room, snuffed the candle. He drew back the curtain, scanned the street below." It sets the pace, but better authors do the same thing without raping English grammar.
  12. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    You might not be clear on what on incomplete sentence is. It has absolutely nothing to do with pragmatic attitudes or practical talk. That is style, not sentence structure. Let me give you an example. This is from the third paragraph of the first page of The Silver Spike: "My name is Case." That is a complete sentence. "Philodendron Case." That is not a complete sentence. "Thanks to my Ma," That is another incomplete sentence. That's just the first page of the first book I grabbed off the shelf behind me. I enjoy his style, or else I wouldn't read his books. That does not improve his grammar, though.
  13. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    I thought Bleak Seasons was worse. It is my understanding that both projected novels take place a hundred years or so after Soldiers Live.
  14. Winterfail

    Glen Cooks The Black Company series

    I read the first three novels in a book club edition in the late 80's. I read the rest of the series in 2000, after stumbling across them in a bookstore. I've read the first three volumes four times, and The Silver Spike and the rest of the Black Company novels twice each. I also read The Dragon Never Sleeps and the first two Instrumentality books. I love the Black Company novels, but I find Cook hard to read after an author like Martin or Jordan. He writes a lot of simple sentences that make for a choppy, staccato pace, and most of his sentences are incomplete. It is as if he never took an English class in his life. Once I get past that (and I always do, a few chapters into the book), I love the stories. The Taken are great fun, and I wish that he had fleshed them all out for us. As it is, we only really get to know a few of them. I love Soulcatcher! i saw an earlier poster complain that The Lady is not evil, but I think that they might have had the wrong idea in mind. The Lady is not evil for evil's sake. She is not Sauron, Lord Foul, or The Dark One, and I find that refreshing. I'm always down for an evil overlord trope, but The Lady's charm lies mainly in the fact that she is very human. She is selfish, she wants to be in charge, she is ruthless, and she has the power to enforce her will, at least most of the time. She is Lawful Evil, with an emphasis on Law. If you live in her empire, and you are not breaking the law, she does not bother with you. She will do anything to anyone to gain power, and she will do anything to anyone to keep power, but as long as the power isn't threatened and her rules are followed, she's cool. Heck, she even planted vast flower gardens at Charm, which looks nothing like an evil overlord's dark fortress. You probably should not trample them, though. ;) You don't have to be trying to destroy the world in order to be evil; you just have to not care about hurting other people in order to get what you want. She comes through in that department in spades. Like most posters before me, i thought that Bleak Seasons was...bleak. It was probably the worst volume in the series. Water Sleeps also drug along for me, but Soldiers Live picked up the pace. I agree that the ending was fantastic, but I felt like the story might have gotten away from him, and in response to that, he seemed to wrap up a lot of plotlines rather abruptly. Shadows Linger was kind of slow too, but it served as a good bridge between the first and third books. I disagree with an earlier poster who disliked Dreams of Steel. I thought it was one of the best of the later books. At any rate, I like that the story is different when different people are chronicling it. Other annalists do not read like Croaker, or like each other; each one is unique. Cook obviously has some polished writing skills; it's just his sentence structure that bugs me.
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