Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Durckad

Bakker: Pounded In The Brain By The Great Ordeal Spoilers III

Recommended Posts

Continued... 

Quote per Relic:

Quote

I'm at about 5.7% And im not even sure i love this series anymore. The final chapter might be my favorite, as it seems to have been written in a style harking back to the original trilogy. 

Wondering what the general consensus here is in regards to this book. Worth the wait, or has Bakker gone off the deep end

I'm... not a fan of this book. TGO is easily my least favorite of the series. I was a bit hard on WLW when it came out, but it's a fucking masterpiece compared to this. The navel-gazing is back in full force in TGO, the writing is simultaneously opaque and purple, the pacing is turgid, and very few of the plot-lines come to any sort of satisfactory conclusion. It certainly doesn't help that Kelhuss, the primary mover of many of the plots, is such a cipher that you can't tell whether his seemingly random actions are the result of shitty plotting or masterful-Bakker-has-a-plan storytelling. Returning to Momemn (and solving all of Esmi's problems with his awesomeness), abandoning the Ordeal, buggering Proyas, sending Akka out to find Ishual, the nuke in Dagliash? It may all make for spirited online discussion, but a riveting climax it does not make.

I did find that the Akka/Mimara chapters and most of the Ishterebinth stuff was the high point of the book, though at times Bakker let his love of stylized prose and tugid pacing get in the way, but overall I still enjoyed most of it. The Momemn stuff, on the other hand, was the biggest waste of time. I have to believe there is going to be something more to this plotline in the future, otherwise, what was the point? Esmi does nothing of import and Kelmomas is a crazy shithead, but not a very interesting one. I assumed his cannibalism would lead to something more but nope, forgotten. Maithanet was the most interesting character of the bunch so of course he had to die. Same with Thelli, but not before it was revealed that she was 'abused' by her brother because of course she was. Fanayal, Malowebi, Psatma, and the WLW all end up getting largely wasted just because Kelhuss decides to teleport in and kill everyone because... reasons.

The ordeal chapters were just... monotonous after a while. I guess Dagliash was pretty good climax for that plotline, but compared to the previous books (especially WLW), it just seems as if not much happens. I didn't read any of the pre-release buzz about the book so I had no idea going in that it had been split in two so the whole time I was reading it I kept thinking, 'There's no way Bakker can finish this all up in the remaining pages. No way.' But maybe if he cut out some of the random, excessive bullshit he could've fit it all into one book rather than splitting it up.

Oh well. I'm pretty invested at this point so I'm pretty much guaranteed to read the next one when it comes out, but if his books continue on in this style, then that'll be it. I enjoyed the previous books so much because of how Bakker combined and balanced his philosophical ideas with an interesting story and some really fucking cool, almost Tolkien-esque worldbuilding. Sometimes the books would teeter a bit in one direction or another, but TGO feels like it has tipped the scales completely. It's just... not enjoyable for me and that's disappointing. More time for other books I guess.

And you're right, that final chapter with Cnaiur returning felt like it could slot in easily into TWP without any real issue. It felt like it was written for a completely different book.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally forgot about Kelmomas eating people. o.O

I kinda feel this is one of those books where we won'tbe able to judge certain parts til the final book is out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loled at the title. 

I really loved the book overall, and I think the momemn stuff ties in thematically with the stuff we're learning about God entanglement in other chapters, in a lot of ways I thought the momemn and ishterebinth were thematically interwoven in a really satisfying way. My biggest complaint, though, was that esme wasn't allowed by the author to kill meppa, rather the author just HAD to keep meppa alive for a celebrity death match robot chicken scene of fan service "battle" between him and kellhus. In my head, it would be so much more satisfying if esmenet kills meppa when she throws the chorae at him, and it would make Fanayal more dependent on psatma, and her method of opening the gates of momemn.

but the best thing about the book is that it completely and helpfully destroys all the moenghus theories, however we can now plug koringhus into every single one of the moenghus theories and it would probably work.

The biggest let down was the inverse fire scene. So he sees flames on a ceiling  and nothing more? Is that the point, that the nameless captive does not see anything but fire in the inverse fire. The light of delusion indeed. I suppose there are the bracketing throw away lines of the passage, beginning with fleeing degradation and ending with a reflection wreathed by hell.  But perhaps because this captive saw no damnation in the inverse fire, that's why this captive becomes the no god.  Aka presses mi maras belly upon waking up and ponders fatherhood ponderously, is he going to try to induce labor and get the babies born before the no god is resurrected?

also:

what the fuck does soggomantic mean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Esmi isn't really allowed to do anything, ever.

 

Edit: Anyway, I agree with most posters. The good parts are really good and the bad parts are really bad, and momemn was boring as fuck. And the navel gazing was turned up to 11. I liked it overall though, which was kind of surprising to me. I have...soured a bit on Bakker in the last few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, lokisnow said:

what the fuck does soggomantic mean?

i've looked over etymologies for that one.  it's not a term from classical greek philosophy,as the rest tend to be, and, as -mantic is a greek suffix, this one can't abide classical compound purity.  all we know is that it really pisses off oirunas.

 

am fully appreciative of volume VI, and regard it as a return to form, as IV and V reduced the stuff that i like the most, which is all the theory/philosophy stuff.  take that stuff away, and it's just another postmodern tolkien/herbert clone. it shares with IV and V, however, blandness of title.  III has the best title in fantasy fiction, by contrast.

the march of the ordeal shares the inexorability of the march of the holy war. first time as tragedy, second as farce, though.  cool enough both times.  am not willing to judge the capital plot yet, though it seems to be a bit arbitrary at this point; sufficient good faith here to assume that the decapitation of the enemy axis will not result in the enemy's destruction, and that the continued survival of the cannibal kid is significant.  ishterebinth and ishual stuff is top notch, of course.

i suffer but one disorder:  why is volume VII not within my sight?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, lokisnow said:

The biggest let down was the inverse fire scene. So he sees flames on a ceiling  and nothing more? Is that the point, that the nameless captive does not see anything but fire in the inverse fire. The light of delusion indeed. I suppose there are the bracketing throw away lines of the passage, beginning with fleeing degradation and ending with a reflection wreathed by hell.  But perhaps because this captive saw no damnation in the inverse fire, that's why this captive becomes the no god.  Aka presses mi maras belly upon waking up and ponders fatherhood ponderously, is he going to try to induce labor and get the babies born before the no god is resurrected?

also:

what the fuck does soggomantic mean?

 

He looks up briefly and then looks away before he can fully digest what he saw, but is convinced he saw Hell.

And soggomant is the fictional Inchoroi golden indestructible metal, their nimil.

 

Perhaps, Bakker anticipated this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Damned with the Wind said:

And soggomant is the fictional Inchoroi golden indestructible metal, their nimil.

is it indestructible?  (dude got his ass braised despite wearing it, no matter its merit.)  i know that it is 'foul and impenetrable,' but then how is it fashioned into armors, fit onto ships?  that's the problem with adamantium-type metals--to be indestructible is to be unworkable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Damned with the Wind said:

 

He looks up briefly and then looks away before he can fully digest what he saw, but is convinced he saw Hell.

And soggomant is the fictional Inchoroi golden indestructible metal, their nimil.

 

Perhaps, Bakker anticipated this.

Yeah no, the passage is incredibly bland and non impactful, if the captive was supposed to have seen hell that was definitely not communicated. If the reader has read the false sun, they might have the knowledge to over determine the passage, but otherwise the passage is a giant meh.

 

Quote

And the nameless captive peered out from the refuge of his misery, blinked for the sight of a ceiling hanging suspended above them—a ceiling of flame.

And though he knew it not at all, the old Wizard groaned in his sleep.

Unchained figures stood transfixed beneath it, Nonmen in various states of undress, gazing up …Tears enamelled their cheeks with furnace reflections, silken wings of saffron and crimson, damnation signed in passerine lights. They paid no heed to the mortals chained in their midst, for they were every bit as enslaved.

The hammer resounded and the brutalized captive blinked and the chain heaved the battered souls ahead of him forward with him, the same two besotted steps. Inexorably, stroke by cracking stroke, he was drawn beneath the ceiling, witless, oppressed by its lurid silence. A single glance exhausted his daring, a peek into fires burning upon fires, a bottomless regression.

Otherwise, he looked only at the tumult reflected across the floor as the chain dragged him beneath its onerous canopy. For all the light it appeared to shed approaching, it formed no more than a wreath about the black pool of his face, fire pale as blowing snow. With the every haul on the chain, the mirrored lights would seem to grow as hair behind his shoulders.

 

He dragged his tongue about the sockets of his gums, pressing the tip into every sour pit. And he found he knew the fire …realized that his empty reflection wore Hell as a wig.

So he sees fire, doesn't react and then thinks oh my, a spooky reflection.

Very blah reaction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, R'hllors Red Lobster said:

Yeah, wondering if it's indestructible how the soggomantic gate is made of -what appears to be- broken shards of the stuff?

nice.  reminiscent of aeneid book VI:

Quote

The hero, looking on the left, espied 
A lofty tow'r, and strong on ev'ry side 
With treble walls, which Phlegethon surrounds, 
Whose fiery flood the burning empire bounds; 
And, press'd betwixt the rocks, the bellowing noise resounds 
Wide is the fronting gate, and, rais'd on high 
With adamantine columns, threats the sky. 
Vain is the force of man, and Heav'n's as vain, 
To crush the pillars which the pile sustain. 
Sublime on these a tow'r of steel is rear'd; 
And dire Tisiphone there keeps the ward, 
Girt in her sanguine gown, by night and day, 
Observant of the souls that pass the downward way. 

that's dryden's translation. here's fairclough on same:

Quote

Suddenly Aeneas looks back, and under a cliff on the left sees a broad castle, girt with triple wall and encircled with a rushing flood of torrent flames – Tartarean Phlegethon, that rolls along thundering rocks. In front stands a huge gate, and pillars of solid adamant, that no might of man, nay, not even the sons of heaven, could uproot in war; there stands an iron tower, soaring high, and Tisiphone, sitting girt with bloody pall, keeps sleepless watch over the portal night and day. 

and here's williams:

Quote

Aeneas straightway by the leftward cliff
Beheld a spreading rampart, high begirt
With triple wall, and circling round it ran
A raging river of swift floods of flame,
Infernal Phlegethon, which whirls along
Loud-thundering rocks. A mighty gate is there
Columned in adamant; no human power,
Nor even the gods, against this gate prevail.
Tall tower of steel it has; and seated there
Tisiphone, in blood-flecked pall arrayed,
Sleepless forever, guards the entering way.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, sologdin said:

is it indestructible?  (dude got his ass braised despite wearing it, no matter its merit.)  i know that it is 'foul and impenetrable,' but then how is it fashioned into armors, fit onto ships?  that's the problem with adamantium-type metals--to be indestructible is to be unworkable.

It says it's impenetrable but perhaps not immutable.  Perhaps some kind of Tekne is used to melt and cast it?  I presume though that he wears some armor that was made in the old, old days before the Tekne was totally lost.

26 minutes ago, R'hllors Red Lobster said:

Yeah, wondering if it's indestructible how the soggomantic gate is made of -what appears to be- broken shards of the stuff?

 

also +1 on the title, good stuff!

It says "fragments" that were "fused" so my guess it that it can be melted somehow, even though that goes against the Ark entering the atmosphere.  However, atmospheric entry is probably debunked later in the book, with the pre-Fall explosion.  So, why didn't they use sorcery to melt the whole place down?  I'd guess soggomant still has superior thermal conduction abilities, so perhaps it would have taken years of steady application of incredibly high heat to melt something of it's size, not to mention the fact that it would no doubt be bleeding heat into the ground the whole time.  Another idea is that since this is a space-ship, perhpas there is a Tekne device that can actively cool the hull?

However, if we harken back to what Seswatha says while he and Nau are in the Ark, it's alleged that it actually is a living thing.  In that case, perhaps soggomant is somehow grown?  Still, it must be able to be melted in some way to have made the Gate, but again, they were working with smaller pieces than the whole Ark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Quya were unable to damage the Ark, which is made of soggomant.

The soggomantic gate itself is describe as

Wicked Minror [the gate] also lay askew,  a wall as savage as broken glass stacked and fused, only consisting of plates of soggomant - thousands of golden fragments looted from the ark.

the soggomant plates themselves aren't necessarily broken, it's possible they were joined together by other metals used as mortar.  Else, if the Nonman are able to manipulate soggomant, why wasn't the Ark destroyed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sologdin said:

is it indestructible?  (dude got his ass braised despite wearing it, no matter its merit.)  i know that it is 'foul and impenetrable,' but then how is it fashioned into armors, fit onto ships?  that's the problem with adamantium-type metals--to be indestructible is to be unworkable.

It can only have been beaten into shape with a hammer made of Dûnyain penis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so, soggomant as anarcane, rather than aporetic?  if indeed indestructible, that's why nil-douche gets broiled rather than harapior-chopped?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would his soggmantic armor protect his head from catching fire?  He was ladling oil over head.  His armor was just a cuirass wasn't it?  Edit: It's described a golden-scaled gown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

right.  my parenthesis on that point was tomfoolery. 

any idea why nil'oleaginous was ladling so incessantly, by the bye?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think all the Tall are Erratic and absent the Mountain, since Sorweel doesn't comment on any of the Nonmen Ishroi he sees as being gigantic.  I don't think Nin'ciljiras has any opportunity.  But it does raise the question of whether any one of the Tall has ever attempted such a thing for the sake of memory.

Also, was Oinaral's mother also Tall? If not, do the Tall not have proportionate penises?

Also, Oinaral is called Oinaral Oirunarig, so the -rig is some sort of patronymic in Nonmenese.

The guy in the Amiolas is Immiriccas Cinialrig.  Based on context, Imimorual was the founder of the line of Tsonoi, but it's unclear whether Tsonos is another name for Imimorual or whether Imimorual was the son of the Tsonos and his sister.  Anyway, Immiriccas seems like it might be composed of [Imimorual being reduced to Imm]+[Rig meaning son becoming unvoiced in the center of a word]+[cas a typical Nonman name indicator] - a name fit for a Tsonoi prince.  Perhaps Cinialrig also indicates a familial relationship to Cu'jara Cinmoi?   Did Cu'jara Cinmoi sentence his own son to death?

Edit: nvm, I see in the appendix, it says Cinial is straight up his father. So it's not a form of Cinmoi in his patronymic,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×