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Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson


Werthead

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Charnel houses?

I'm guessing that Kal is referring to the 100,000-whatever bloody corpses piled up in Capustan, bursting out of buildings and overflowing the streets etc.

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He's got a point, though. Erikson's as subtle as a brick to the head. If he wants this 'subtle, thematic elements' to be taken seriously, he needs to:

A. Tighten his own timeline. There's not an excuse for this.

B. Make characters worth caring about (Constantly telling us how cool and awesome they are doesn't make them likable.)

C. Give us the themes and subtlety to focus on rather than explosions of power, world destroying threats and sorceries.

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Well, look, there _are_ themes in there, and at least in the early books there _were_ characters I cared for, at least (Toc the Younger, Felisin, T'ool, Duiker).

The fact that he's got a bunch of unsubtle stuff doesn't mean he's incapable of subtlety -- it's more that he seems to have believed that the two (massive pyrotechnic action plus quieter introspective maunderings) could coexist and readers would find them both equally interesting, and he's clearly misjudged his audience (and perhaps misjudged his own skill with the latter).

He obviously has some complex ideas and views, and he tries to put them into the work, but they get drowned out and maybe they're just not all that interestingly put.

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Erikson talking about subtlety is really, really rich. Yes, Erikson, how subtle were the charnel houses in MoI? How subtle is a guy who has a hammer that can literally shatter the world? Rich thematic elements my ass.

i can say this about erikson...his world is deep rich and fun to read, his writing style has improved dramatically, and he fucking PUTS OUT BOOKS YEARLY. UNlike say...someone else everyone here loves.

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i can say this about erikson...his world is deep rich and fun to read, his writing style has improved dramatically, and he fucking PUTS OUT BOOKS YEARLY. UNlike say...someone else everyone here loves.
And if he took some time to proof his work, he would release something half the length, twice the quality, in twice the time, and would probably be less embittered by people not "getting" it and not buying his books.
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And if he took some time to proof his work, he would release something half the length, twice the quality, in twice the time, and would probably be less embittered by people not "getting" it and not buying his books.

is he embittered? i havent read this intro people are talking about so i dont know.

anyway, editing himself by 50% sounds like a radical compromise of his vision, and if he feels like it wouldnt work he shouldnt. It's not like he's RJ being told by his publishers to extend his series to milk it for what its worth. and its not like he's GRRM, stuck in a mire of side projects that cloud his own vision of the story.

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Hasn't he been involved in producing an internet TV series, working on a Chain of Dogs film script, several side novellas, a novel and novella under his actual name, making prospective deals for comics, and ... well, other such projects?

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i can say this about erikson...his world is deep rich and fun to read, his writing style has improved dramatically, and he fucking PUTS OUT BOOKS YEARLY. UNlike say...someone else everyone here loves.

I can say this about Erikson. His world is wide rather than deep or rich, can sometimes be fun to read, his writing style has gone horribly downhill over the course of the series due to bloat and hundreds of pages of padding, and I would be very happy if he would put out his books every two years rather than one IF THEY WOULD BE PROPERLY EDITED.

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And if he took some time to proof his work, he would release something half the length, twice the quality, in twice the time, and would probably be less embittered by people not "getting" it and not buying his books.

If it was just about the number of people then Terry Goodkind would be one of the best in the scene.

That and the fact that not everyone thinks that a shorter book makes a better book. One time people complain that the book is too slow and long, the other that the characters don't have enough space. He gives them more space and people complain again the plot was too slow.

For example I believe one of the reason why people disliked GotM is because the characters didn't have enough space to be described and characterized, and the plot moved at a too fast pace, losing readers all over the place because important events weren't given the space they needed to be understood, digested and memorized.

The flaw there is the scope. Which is also one of the major qualities.

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working on a Chain of Dogs film script,

is he really? That was MY idea damnit!

Sigh.

Well, kudos to him for dealing with all that and still putting out a book every 16 months or so.

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If he took a little more time, he'd have characters worth caring about, too. And cut down on hundreds of pages of padding and needless complications and frankly his 'messages' can be totally nonsensical and make zero sense in or out of context. Remember the whole bit with Laseen's 'purge the nobility' nonsense?

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Finished it last night at about 2 am. I'm too tired to put spoiler tags around everything, but I had a strange sense of deja vu, i.e. "This is how GotM should have been."

I liked the narrative change, thought there was some great resolution, and might be one of my favorite MotBotF books so far.

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Maybe ask him about what he plans post Malaz. Will do a a rake miniseries? Will he write a fantasy in a different world. Will he ever write a fantasy in a non malaz world?

thanks.

He's said he's doing two trilogies, but didn't say if they were set in the Malazan world or not.

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I'm about a third of the way through. One thing I'm liking - there's a cohesive feel to it so far. Sure, it's Erikson, so there's a bazillion different plot threads and story lines going on at once, but I can see that they are all connected and all working towards the overall tale, more or less. I think I can say the new 'experimental' writing approach is working thus far.

I am surprised that;

SPOILER: Minor timeline stuff

5-6 years have passed since MOI. Now that I think on it, it seems possible though, just a bit of a shock.

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Ask him about the criticism in your review, it's always interesting to know what he thinks.

About the issue with the ages and timeline in the last book, about the philosophizing, if he's really annoyed that readers focus completely on the plot and not much on the greater theme.

Ask maybe about how he plans the last two books, not the plot itself, but stylistically.

Then ask if he read Esslemont latest, what he thinks, and if they made new plans about the next books as Esslemont is way behind the schedule, so maybe adjustements are needed.

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All right, so I'm two hundred pages in and enjoying it so far. But I'm only a casual Malazan fan, really (ie, I read each book, discuss them for about two weeks and then never give them much thought until the next one arrives) so there's a lot of stuff that I've forgotten from past books- so I thought I'd ask some questions here. I'll spoiler them, since they do give away some stuff about the first two hundred pages:

SPOILER: Toll the Hounds

1. How did Clip and co. get to Genebackis? Last I remember, Clip was the douchey Tiste Andii with Fear and the gang and then Trull Sengar defeated him. So why is he there and why was he seeking the Dying God? And who is Nimander again, and what did he do to his sister Phaed?

2. Why does Traveller/Dassem want to kill Hood? Whats the deal with him and Mael that Shadowthrone was talking about (and in what book did it happen)?

3. Baruk says that a Tyrant might arise again in the city, and Kallor is clearly intent on that goal. But didn't Cutter hear about there being a tyrant in Darujhistan in the Bonehunters, and isn't that the main reason he decided to return to the city?

4. How did Spite meet up with Cutter? Whats her relation to Rake?

5. Have we met the kids Snell and the other one (with an "h") before?

6. And finally, what exactly happened between Rake, Silchas Ruin and Andarist again? They're all brothers, right? I vaguely remember something like Ruin betraying Rake in Midnight Tides... Am I making this up?

Thanks in advance to whoever answers any of these questions. Sorry to do this, but I find it nearly impossible to keep track of nearly anything in this series.

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