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Crack'd Pot Trail: A Malazan Tale of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach
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Crack'd Pot Trail: A Malazan Tale of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach (The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach #4)

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  521 ratings  ·  47 reviews
It is an undeniable truth: give evil a name and everyone’s happy. Give it two names and…why, they’re even happier.

Intrepid necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, scourges of civilization, raisers of the dead, reapers of the souls of the living, devourers of hope, betrayers of faith, slayers of the innocent, and modest personifications of evil, have a lot to answer for...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Tor Books (first published January 12th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,509)
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J.M.
There's just something about Erikson's writing that's cumbersome to me. I've given Gardens of the Moon two earnest tries but have been unable to slog through to the end so far. The thing is, I like the world he's created, and his writing is certainly intelligent and lyrical...hmmm, I suppose it just comes down to a preference of style. I wish I could really put my thumb on it more than that, but I only know I much prefer the Malazan stuff by Esslemont, so I guess I'll restrict my reading from no...more
Traci
Strange, strange book.
Erikson's Malazan series is a bleak dark fantasy with mostly likable if flawed characters. There's a hopefulness even among the ugliness. This book is just the ugliness of life. It is also a thinly veiled commentary on contemporary life. In a non funny satirical way.

A company of knights, hunters, pilgrims, and poets are traveling together. And for reasons mostly unexplained begin to practice cannibalism. The others decide that the poets are useless and make it into a compet...more
Matt
I picked this up at the library after reading a short story of Erikson's called "Goats of Glory". Apparently Erikson's signature world is called Malazan. Goats of Glory and Crack'd Pot Trail are my only exposures to it and it seems to hold promise.

Coming in at 200 pages, the book is an efficient use of narrative length. There are more characters than one would assume belong in a book this short, but I feel the author was very honest about introducing them all at once at the beginning of the book...more
Alan Edwards
Wow. This book is... different. For fans expecting a typical romp in the Malazan Empire's world, you might be disappointed. For those looking to enjoy the offbeat and funny adventures of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach and their manservant Emancipor Reese, I'll just say that the titular characters only appear on the last 2 pages of the book. So I want to warn you now: your expectations about what you're getting are likely to remain unfulfilled.

And yet, it's still become one of my all-time favorite...more
Jokoloyo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shaun Duke
Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series took the fantasy world by storm when Gardens of the Moon was published in 1999, leading to a 10-novel epic fantasy series, several additional novels written by Ian Esslemont, and a number of novellas. Earlier this year, Crack'd Pot Trail, a tale of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, hit the shelves, offering a strangely compelling narrative concept in an over-embellished, long-winded package.

Using the backdrop of the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach nove...more
Kevin
Huh, it's been about a year and I still have not reviewed this book. Well, time to take some few moments of my day to do so. In Crack'd Pot Trail, the story follows those who have sworn to hunt Bauchelain and Korbal Broach down for their crimes and they end up in this stretch of desert....

Okay, the plot is not important. Like all Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas, this is all about Steven Erikson getting something off his chest. In this case, he is letting off some steam for various reasons...more
Pietro
A wide and varied group walks the Cracked Pot trail, an ancient road of pilgrimage through the desert of Seven Cities.
Many among them are artists, aiming to win the (annual) competition to elect the century's best artist held on the other side of the desert, while others are pilgrims, hunters, knights or simply lost souls.
But after a few days of marching their food stores are depleted, and those few mules and horses they possess are far too important to be sacrificed.
How to avoid death by starva...more
Yong En
Two truths hold about this book.

1. It is the Malazan book you will complete in the absolute shortest amount of time.

2. It is the absolute worse book of the series.

Considering how much I enjoy the Book of the Fallen, this installment was an utter heinous letdown. Among the books written by Steven Erikson (whom I revere as possibly the greatest author of fantasy epics ever lived) this is a piece that just doesn't fit - the bastard dwarven son of the lot, if you will.

So much of it was pointless to...more
Janet
Canterbury Tales meets cannibalism meets rampant sexual humor. Yup.

This series of books is interesting, because Bauchelain and Broach never feel like they fit in the Malazan world. However, this book which has really nothing to do with Bauchelain and Broach, feels much more in the style of the Malazan series, mostly because of it's often rather morbid sense of humor. It's probably a poor sign the that book I have enjoyed the most so far is the one that is least involving the main characters, bu...more
Hrishi
I really struggled with this one.

On one level it is a quest tale - a ragtag bunch of people crossing a desert have to eat to live, and therefore one of their number must die at regular intervals. Having decided that the Knights and thugs in the company (and the horses, and mules) are indispensable, they do the sensible thing and each night eat the poet who cannot spin a story or recite a poem to save their life. Literally!

On a deeper level though, this is a study of artists - in all their grande...more
Tomas Herbertson
At the risk of sounding like a broken record for gushing once again about this book, I couldn't help but pick back up and reread Steven Erikson's Crack'd Pot Trail recently.

It is still excellent, of course, playing right to my tastes as it does. It's delightfully straightforward in stating its intent: to conduct a dialogue vis-a-vis the Artist and its relationship to its peers, the Patron, the Critic, and the Audience. It's cheekily on-the-nose at most points, wearing its colors on its sleeve as...more
Stephen Theaker
Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, the Nehemoth, “quarry of ten thousand stone-eyed hunters”, travel the Crack’d Pot Trail across the Great Dry to the city of Farrog, but we travel instead with a motley group in hot pursuit: hunters of the Nehemoth, pilgrims to the Shrine of the Indifferent God, and poets heading for the Festival of Flowers and Sunny Days, in hope of being crowned The Century’s Greatest Artist (an annual event). On the twenty-third day of a twenty-two day journey the more muscular me...more
Geoff
This is the fourth short book in the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach series, which up to this point has been about the tales of these two necromancers, but not with this story. This story is about a motley crew of poets and artists, swordsmen and a clan of comical thug-like characters who all share the name of Chanters who are on a pilgrimage across a desert (called Crack'd Pot Trail). They hook up because they need each other to survive the desert, but they are on two different missions, the sword...more
The Crimson Fucker
So... Tolkien and Boudinot were sitting in this crackhouse... smoking well, crack! And along came Erikson (also thigh on crack) and bashed them in the head with some blunt object! (Maybe a chair leg or an axe stick) then he proceeded to use necromancy (or genetic engineering) to create this magnificent writhing monster! That he used to produce this master piece!

Damn! This book is mostly about the parasitic/symbiotic/love/hate relationship between artists, critics and audience... taken to the ex...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
It is an undeniable truth: give evil a name and everyone’s happy. Give it two names and…why, they’re even happier.

Intrepid necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, scourges of civilization, raisers of the dead, reapers of the souls of the living, devourers of hope, betrayers of faith, slayers of the innocent, and modest personifications of evil, have a lot to answer for and answer they will. Known as the Nehemoth, they are pursued by countless self-professed defenders of decency, sanity, and c...more
Rob
...How many authors must have been longing to address their critics like this, or expose the ignorance of their audience? How many could actually do so without hurting their career? The more I think about it, the more I am beginning to appreciate the genius of this novella. It may not add much to the story of Korbal Broach and Bauchelain but under the surface lots of interesting commentary is going on. Crack'd Pot Trail is a daring piece. Erikson once again plays with the reader's expectations a...more
Kerry
I did NOT finish reading this book. The long winded speaches and lack of a decent storyline got me in the end. I always finish books. Always. But I just could not plow may way through. I eventually ended up skimming thru it page by page.
Julien V
I'm worried to see that so many of Erikson's fans do not see the brillance in this short book. It makes me wonder if those people really understand some parts of the Malazan books, especially the funny/selfconscious banter. This particular novella might be his best yet, although to be honest, I don't think I could handle 1000 pages of this! Works perfectly well in a short format, though. If you like Kruppe, you'll love this. If not, well..

As I said before, while I like Esslemont too, his writing...more
Nick
This book wasn't very good.

There I said it, the first (collection) of Korbal and Bauchelain was quite enjoyable but this just seemed a mish mash of random characters vaguely related to the story eating each other and having sex with the occasional spout of violence thrown in while they tell stories or sing. It was like X-factor where Simon Cowel eats you if you're bad and to be honest they all should have been eaten.

I'm hoping the next book actually features the characters the series is about fo
...more
Jayson Kennedy
This book was quite different from what I thought it would be, but overall, I was impressed. The layers to this short book were very interesting, and the use of language was really cool. Overall, a nice little piece, if not quite on par with his epics.
Larry Kenney
I'm a huge fan of Erikson and this world, so I was really excited to get to read another novella set in this world.

However, the book really feels like a short story run rampant. It feels like it could have easily accomplished what it needed in a lot less words.

The story is told from the perspective of a poet, so the book is written in his vernacular, which to me is the worst part of the whole book. I understand exactly why it was done, but I still enjoyed the book far less because of it.

In the e...more
Bob
The obvious problem here is the misleading title: Bauchelain and Korbal Broach actually only play an indirect part in the story. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I was a bit disappointed.

The idea is fun and the characters were interesting, but they were never delved into deeply enough to really engage. It guess that's why it's a novella.

There was a deeper message here about artists and the conflict they feel about critics and their audiences, but I felt like it was too upfront and took aw...more
Pedro Marroquín
No ha podido ser peor. Este tio ha perdido su buen hacer
Andy
First off, I really liked the previous 3 novellas. But this one - you are either going to love it or loathe it. Anybody looking for the development of Bauchelain and Broach forget it - they are in it but to be honest it could be anyone really (well anyone a bunch of bounty hunters might be after). Apparently its about the relationship between Art and its Audience - guess what, not my cup of tea. And Erikson does the one thing I hate most in an author - make a book hard to follow because of its w...more
Kris43
Well...This one i really didn't like.
Because:
-Its not about Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, at all
-Its full of metaphors inside other metaphors until it all makes no sense
-Why did they decide to eat each other in the first place?
-It has no real plot

The best part of this book is the last few pages, when Bauchelain finally appears, i was waiting the whole book for that. So when he finally appears, he makes a comment about the next city where they will kill a God and that's it.

THE END
:'(
Donald
Erikson returns to the misadventures of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach with this novella. The story centers more on a group chasing after the two than the necromancers themselves.

There were some decent bits in here involving manipulation, murder, and similar nastiness, but I didn't really go for the subtextual commentary on art, audiences, etc...

It might work for others, just didn't for me.
Bradford
I haven't read any Malazan books- I was hoping this would be a decent one to test the water, as it's small.

It starts with page after page of italicized character introductions, as if to a play (but no where near as short) So of course I ended up skipping that, and then had no idea who the characters were or why (or if) I should care.

I'm not sure if I'm mad at Mr. Erikson, or myself.
Chris
A diversion from the diversion of The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach. Erikson also takes a break from his normal writing style by writing the story from the point of view of a traveling poet.The story was significantly darker and the humor more base. On it's own, this style was a distraction - but it did mesh well with the Canterbury Tales with Cannibals theme of the book.
Ron
This is a slight tale set in the Malazan universe advertised as a Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novel. That is basically mis advertizing as B & KB enter only for a few paragraphs at the end of the tale. Rather this is a tale of murder, disaster and tale-telling. Hopefully, the next Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novel will actually star those miscreants.
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Steven Erikson is the pseudonym of Steve Rune Lundin, a Canadian novelist, who was educated and trained as both an archaeologist and anthropologist. His best-known work is the on-going series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/steven...
More about Steven Erikson...
Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2) Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3) House of Chains (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4) The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)

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