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AncalagonTheBlack

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

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What sort of unreliable narrator is this? Would it perhaps compare more to Wolfe's Soldier in the Mist? If so, I'm more interested.

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

Would it perhaps compare more to Wolfe's Soldier in the Mist?


I haven't read that, but if I understand correctly that's a dude with memory problems?

If so, no. Tracker seems to lie and ommit mostly about things he's either afraid or ashamed of and he's not got a very good grasp on time.

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7 hours ago, Ran said:

What sort of unreliable narrator is this? Would it perhaps compare more to Wolfe's Soldier in the Mist? If so, I'm more interested.

Based on an article I read on this book, it covers the same events from three POVs, maybe all of which are unreliable. 

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Oh. So it's Rashomon. That's interesting.

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2 hours ago, unJon said:

Based on an article I read on this book, it covers the same events from three POVs, maybe all of which are unreliable. 



From what I understand, that'll be the case for the trilogy as a whole, not for this book, ie we'll get different narrators for the next two books.

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3 hours ago, polishgenius said:

From what I understand, that'll be the case for the trilogy as a whole, not for this book, ie we'll get different narrators for the next two books.

I'm a 1/6 of the way through the book and no different narrators so far, although there are slightly different POVs from time to time, it's basically all Tracker's story.

Are we going to convert this to a spoiler thread eventually?  Or should we just make a new one?

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On 2/8/2019 at 9:49 AM, unJon said:

Based on an article I read on this book, it covers the same events from three POVs, maybe all of which are unreliable. 

 

On 2/8/2019 at 12:43 PM, polishgenius said:

From what I understand, that'll be the case for the trilogy as a whole, not for this book, ie we'll get different narrators for the next two books.

 

Wow, that's a big turnoff for me...

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I guess seven killings also covered the same event from different POVs but it didn't necessarily mean we get the same scenes from different characters. Some of the above conments sound like the latter is happening which could get repetitive. Can anyone confirm?

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2 hours ago, red snow said:

I guess seven killings also covered the same event from different POVs but it didn't necessarily mean we get the same scenes from different characters. Some of the above conments sound like the latter is happening which could get repetitive. Can anyone confirm?

I'm not sure exactly what you are asking.  I am a little more than 1/3rd the way through this and there is no shift in POV at all so far in this book.  It has only been Tracker's story since the beginning.

Or are you asking if it's confirmed that the next books will be a different POV of the same events?  In that case, it seems like James has said that, although I couldn't source a direct quote, but I guess we'll just wait and find out if that's the direction he takes on that.

Edited by .H.

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13 minutes ago, .H. said:

I'm not sure exactly what you are asking.  I am a little more than 1/3rd the way through this and there is no shift in POV at all so far in this book.  It has only been Tracker's story since the beginning.

Or are you asking if it's confirmed that the next books will be a different POV of the same events?  In that case, it seems like James has said that, although I couldn't source a direct quote, but I guess we'll just wait and find out if that's the direction he takes on that.

 

Below are the quotes from the article I read:

 

James took a yearlong sabbatical from Macalester to work on the book. But when the sabbatical was nearing its end, in the summer of 2016, he had ten Moleskines of notes and no story structure. One day he was talking with Melina Matsoukas, and she mentioned the Showtime series “The Affair,” which shifts perspectives, “Rashomon” style, allowing its characters’ versions of events to diverge. The school year was about to start, but James knew that this was the solution. Before the fall semester had ended, he’d written the first hundred pages.

James asks the reader to trust that the pieces don’t need to come together. There are no clear morals, no simple good-and-evil conflicts, no bright lines of destiny or teleology. Nearly every bit of dialogue is immediately challenged by another character. “The series is three different versions of the same story, and I’m not going to tell people which they should believe,” James said.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/01/28/why-marlon-james-decided-to-write-an-african-game-of-thrones/amp

 

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1 minute ago, unJon said:

Below are the quotes from the article I read:

Cool.  I am down with it, so far, the book is interesting and seems fairly well written.  I'm willing to see what Marlon James has in store.  From what it seems like so far, a different POV could be almost a "radically" different story, because it seems to me that Tracker isn't just unreliable in the sense of a bad memory or an unwillingness to divulge things (although that he likely is those things at times).

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Obviously we won't actually know until the second book comes out, but I strongly suspect it won't be, like, someone else on the same quest Tracker is on, that would be silly. More likely it'll be someone we know from this novel but only shares some scenes with him and the rest is a view of the events going on elsewhere.


Anyway, about halfway in, yeah, Tracker is a total fruitloop really. The New Sun comparison isn't going away though, in addition to the similarities I already mentioned it has a habit of occasionally breaking off the main story to in one way or another tell mini-stories of times past or other character's backstory in between, something that's rather a signature of BotNS.

But it's hardly like for like. It's a difficult book to describe, really. Even though the main plot is fairly simple there's a lot going on.

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the above replies have answered thanks. My fear was it was going to be the same events narrated several times eg 3 people together in a room describe what their experience in the room was like. It sounds very much like we won't know how it works until book 2. Still waiting for my copy

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5 hours ago, Triskele said:

I haven't even read all of this review, but I can't resist pointing out the line:   "That said, Game of Thrones is the most apt comparison"

Most apt in generating sales.

 

5 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I remember when Prince of Thorns came out and they were calling it the next Game of Thrones. I love Mark Lawrence and all, but, like, how?

Promotional value and possibly reflective of hoe many fantasy novels the reviewer had read. Abercrombie is a much closer comparison (especially with his YA series which wasn't released until after thorns).

I guess new authors (or new to the genre) need a comparison before they are known for themselves.

I recall "the passage" was always being promoted as the next "the stand" for similar reasons. Although the two books do have a lot in common too 

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The description sure does sound a lot nearer Abercrombie than it does GRRM, but GRRM is far more well-known, ergo GoT is the apt comparison.

Sounds very imaginative from that review.

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Sorry, wrong thread!

Edited by Peadar
Wrong thread.

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I'm about 80% in, really enjoying it.

Definitely an interesting to structure to tell the same story (in the successive volumes of the trilogy) from 3 different perspectives.  One of the interviews I read with James has already revealed the POV character for Book 2, and I must say it sounds very cool.  I also know who I *hope* is the POV for Book 3, but don't now how likely that is.

As for vibes / impressions:

-I don't get a *ton* of ASOIAF vibes, but there is a major plot point that is very GOT-esque.  The magic and fantastical elements are much more up front than in ASOIAF.

-TO be honest there are a ton of elements from other works of fantasy - I'm getting a lot of Robert E Howard, definitely a number of Tolkien nods.  I think the people getting Abercrombie vibes are getting them from the tough-guy dialogue, of which there is an overabundance (most of it highly enjoyable).  To me that will always be more Howard than Abercrombie though.

-I do not know enough about the African myths he is pulling from to say how well they are handled / synthesized into a coherent whole.  However the world is indeed very convincing to me.

-The writing is phenomenal.  There are a few very tough scenes (content wise) to read through however.

-I am worried it will be years between volumes.  I don't want to wait that long to read more.

-The many, many sex scenes are pretty graphic.

-I read earlier this week Michael B Jordan's production company has optioned the movie rights.  It will take some testicular fortitude to get a lot of the elements into a big budget movie.

-A couple lulls in the narrative but the compelling parts are highly thrilling.

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Now I have this picture in my mind of some future Michael B. Jordan interview where he gets into the challenges of bringing this to the screen and saying "But we believed that we had the testicular fortitude to make this happen."

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