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Varysblackfyre321

Popular Book series you’ve tried and failed to get into:

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I rather disliked "Wyrd Sisters" (clearly prefer the anarchy of the first two to that Shakespeare hommage). I loved "Mort" but it was the first or second I read and this was ca. 26 years ago and as I said above the novelty factor was there (and as it happens, I have never re-read that one).

"Pyramids" is also a pretty good stand-alone. But "Guards! Guards!" might be the safest choice.

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The first two were basically Pratchett trying to write a fantasy Hitchhiker's Guide and not being as good at it as Adams.

The third is a bit of the step in the right direction of Pratchett finding his own feet, but not quite there yet. After that he seemed to get a much stronger idea of what he was doing, though for me the real Discworld golden age started with Feet of Clay (book 19) and continued through to book 32 (A Hat Full of Sky). Those 13 books are as good as fantasy has ever been for me.

After that, they're still good, but it does start to slip a little (Thud is devastating emotionally but the plot isn't as fine-tuned, and after that you can sadly start to pretty certainly see where the illness started to affect him).

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37 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

@HelenaExMachina You should give Red Sister by Lawrence a shot. People who disliked his other series seem to like that one.

Maybe. It’s low on the list for now though.

as for Discworld, everyone is going to differ on their preference but I love the Witches series. I include the Tiffany Aching series in that. I think Wintersmith is my favourite Aching book

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On 8 March 2019 at 11:05 AM, Jo498 said:

It has been recommended to me since forever and I read all the Hornblower and several more nautic novels, so in principle I am not afraid of nautical terms although I have only a vague understanding of them. That I should love the series was part of my frustration.

The problem with the first book was exactly that it started extremely slow (people hang out and talk on Majorca or Menorca or whatever) and then Maturin gets shown the ship and all the rigging in such a boringly didactic way that I quit. The solution for this stuff it so have a good illustrated glossary in the back, so I can look up what a mainstay or a tops'l spar or whatever is.

But I should have the first book still somewhere on the shelves, so can try again and I will.

I agree.  I found Hornblower far better.

thomas Covenant is another series I can't get into.

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50 minutes ago, SeanF said:

I agree.  I found Hornblower far better.

thomas Covenant is another series I can't get into.

Oh I've tried to read Covenant many times. It's one of those rare things were I don;t like it but I GET why everyone likes it.

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On 3/8/2019 at 11:01 AM, Corvinus said:

The Long Price Quartet - tried twice. The first time, read the first book, didn't like it at all. The 2nd time, I read it again, didn't change my opinion of it, but pushed on to the next book, because of people here saying it gets better. Well, it got better, a bit, not enough to keep me going.

Malazan Book of the Fallen - I read the first 3 books, gave up. I had a hard time following some of the plot lines; the learning curve for this one is way too steep.

The Stormlight Archive - This is not so much not being able to get into it, because I did, just me realizing that Sanderson's writing style is too mediocre for me to devote so much of my time slogging through these giant tomes. I read the first two, but stopped early in Oathbringer.

I'm still trying to get back into the Realm of the Elderlings. I liked the Farseer Trilogy, but couldn't get into Liveship Traders.

I feel the same way. I've come to the conclusion that Sanderson's prose just isn't for me. 

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Outlander.   The rape and torture of the first book put me off my feed, but I soldiered on to the second book when halfway through I realized I didn't give a shit about the characters or story and shut the book and that was that. 

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55 minutes ago, LongRider said:

Outlander.   The rape and torture of the first book put me off my feed, but I soldiered on to the second book when halfway through I realized I didn't give a shit about the characters or story and shut the book and that was that. 

Yeah I didn't finish the first cause, well, its a rape fantasy/ rape apology filled with homophobia. And even aside from those the main love interest sounds like Scrooge McDuck.

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10 hours ago, Jo498 said:

I rather disliked "Wyrd Sisters" (clearly prefer the anarchy of the first two to that Shakespeare hommage). I loved "Mort" but it was the first or second I read and this was ca. 26 years ago and as I said above the novelty factor was there (and as it happens, I have never re-read that one).

"Pyramids" is also a pretty good stand-alone. But "Guards! Guards!" might be the safest choice.

I love love love Granny and Nanny.  And I enjoyed the Shakespeareishness of Wyrd Sisters.  Optimum Granny and Nanny is probably Witches Abroad - I lent this one to my brother who doesn't read anything not written by Stephen King, and he really enjoyed it,

Pyramids is good fun.

Can't believe I forgot Small Gods!  A brilliant standalone.

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Small Gods is the best of the ca. 16 I have read. But that's one reason why I hesitate. The reader might be somewhat disappointed by any further DW book. The second reason for hesitation is that the treatment of religion might not be for everyone.

As for Wyrd Sisters I guess many will love it but I did not so much and find the Shakespeare allusions overbearing and slightly pretentious; as non-native reader I also don't have the familiarity with the Bard many anglophones have.

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16 hours ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I had heard rave reviews about both The Name of the Wind and The Blade Itself - but both bored me senseless, and I felt nothing for any of the characters.  I thought a major twist was coming at the end of The Blade Itself, but I think it comes at the end of the trilogy - no thanks!  Couldn't finish The Name of the Wind.

Here's one I forgot.  Read it at some point and never went back. 

Never went beyond the first Rothfuss either, come to think of it.

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4 hours ago, Jo498 said:

Small Gods is the best of the ca. 16 I have read. But that's one reason why I hesitate. The reader might be somewhat disappointed by any further DW book. The second reason for hesitation is that the treatment of religion might not be for everyone.

Small Gods was the first DW book I read and I really didn't get it.  Need to put it on my reread list.

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I think Small Gods is alright but I do tend to think its treatment of religion gets overstated. It's not that it's wrong or anything, it's just that the subject has been covered better- hell, I don't think it's even the best Pratchett exploration of the subject, coz both Carpe Jugullum and Nation were better for me.

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7 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

I think Small Gods is alright but I do tend to think its treatment of religion gets overstated. It's not that it's wrong or anything, it's just that the subject has been covered better- hell, I don't think it's even the best Pratchett exploration of the subject, coz both Carpe Jugullum and Nation were better for me.

I don't see how Carpe Jugullum or Nation (both of which I really enjoy) covered the same ground as Small Gods.  The closest book to do so that I have read is Gaiman's American Gods.

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9 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I don't see how Carpe Jugullum or Nation (both of which I really enjoy) covered the same ground as Small GodsThe closest book to do so that I have read is Gaiman's American Gods.

 

They're all books discussing what religion means for morality and how, if you are religious, you have to be careful (1) letting the structures of organised religion get in the way of real belief and (2) how religion is dangerous when used as a tool of power.

American Gods might have a similar mechanic behind the gods but the actual discussion in it is nowhere near the same subject, American Gods is realistically about myth, not religion as a social/power structure.

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1 minute ago, polishgenius said:

 

They're all books discussing what religion means for morality and how, if you are religious, you have to be careful (1) letting the structures of organised religion get in the way of real belief and (2) how religion is dangerous when used as a tool of power.

American Gods might have a similar mechanic behind the gods but the actual discussion in it is nowhere near the same subject, American Gods is realistically about myth, not religion as a social/power structure.

Ah it's the mechanics I enjoyed most in Small Gods.  

I like the commentary in all three Pratchett books.  I think they focus on different themes.  I wish Granny had met Brutha - or Om.

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5 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I like the commentary in all three Pratchett books.  I think they focus on different themes. 



Yeah, they're definitely not identical, but what it comes down to is that as a believer I felt Pratchett's treatment of what he was talking about in the latter two books was pretty remarkable despite not being religious, whereas Small Gods was just a lot more obvious and basically a less subtle treatment of the same subject than Life of Brian.

It's fine, I've just never really got why it gets so praised on that particular basis.

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2 minutes ago, polishgenius said:



Yeah, they're definitely not identical, but what it comes down to is that as a believer I felt Pratchett's treatment of what he was talking about in the latter two books was pretty remarkable despite not being religious, whereas Small Gods was just a lot more obvious and basically a less subtle treatment of the same subject than Life of Brian.

It's fine, I've just never really got why it gets so praised on that particular basis.

Fair enough.

I guess Small Gods focuses explicitly on the relationship between a God and his people.  And it's the only Pratchett book I can think of at the moment that gives us the God's point of view.  

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I dont know Carpe Jugulum but both Nation and American Gods are very different. None of them has (organised) religion as main topic in the way Small Gods does. And I am slightly confused by your comments on Small Gods. It has absolutely nothing to do with a spoof like Life of Brian (or for some reason I read it far "deeper" than it actually was meant, not impossible, but not very likely either).

It's the only one that does explore the mind/stance of a true believer. American Gods is totally different as people physically interact with gods, there is no need to believe. The main boy in Nation is a believer facing a catastrophe he cannot fathom but there is no interaction with gods like in Small Gods. For all we know the gods are illusory in Nation but we know that they are real in Discworld (although they are ridiculous Homerian gods, nothing at all like God of Theism, but let's not get carried away as most people don't even realize the difference although Xenophanes made it very clear 2500 years ago.)

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