My very first foray into the realm of Conan the Barbarian. A few things stood out for me. 1. The mood and the setting had a tremendous feel. Howard isMy very first foray into the realm of Conan the Barbarian. A few things stood out for me. 1. The mood and the setting had a tremendous feel. Howard is not just some pulp fiction author - he really knew his craft. 2. Conan was far more literate than I ever expected. Probably the result of seeing the Conan movies so many years ago. This was not disappointing in the least. Just took some getting used to. 3. The action was beautifully written - something I expected of course but it far exceeded my expectations. I'll certainly be going back for more.
Either Norman Winski is a bad author or he just didn't take the writing assignment seriously. I really couldn't fault him too much for the latter, butEither Norman Winski is a bad author or he just didn't take the writing assignment seriously. I really couldn't fault him too much for the latter, but even so, if one accepts a contract, one should do ones best to fulfill it to the best of their ability. Given the screenplay - which was probably fine for the movie - the material is almost certainly lacking depth. It would take a talented author to flesh this material out enough to satisfy the casual fantasy reader. Mr. Winski clearly did not bother to do so. So...assuming, for the moment, that Mr. Winski may be a bit guilty of lackadaisical writing in the interest of just getting through the assignment, certain errors are just inexcusable. Anyone undertaking a work of fantasy should understand the difference between "throne" and "thrown". King Cromwell certainly did not sit on his 'thrown'. Nor did any other king. :) Rather than try to do the material justice he simply amplified the gore, sex, and inappropriate language (and by 'inappropriate' I mean, non-period, not foul. Foul is perfectly fine.). Not really worth the read.
By the way - I did enjoy the movie for what it was. :)...more
Wonderful conclusion to the trilogy. Any fan of the Arthurian Legend should scoop these books up immediately - and if you like audio books all the betWonderful conclusion to the trilogy. Any fan of the Arthurian Legend should scoop these books up immediately - and if you like audio books all the better. Tim Pigot Smith is one of the best in the business. Wonderfully done!...more
I can't say enough good things about this audio book. Thank you Ken Fagan for this recommendation. The reader is top notch and probably the best I'veI can't say enough good things about this audio book. Thank you Ken Fagan for this recommendation. The reader is top notch and probably the best I've ever heard. The story equals the reader. The only sadness is that it's abridged, though I heard from someone who read the unabridged version that he didn't really notice much difference between the two. So all good.
Just finished Part 1. All I can say is "WOW"! This one may even top Tigana. ----------------------
I don't have enough good things to say about this booJust finished Part 1. All I can say is "WOW"! This one may even top Tigana. ----------------------
I don't have enough good things to say about this book. Complex characters with many shades of gray. Lots of good examination of the questions revolving around duty (to country, to family, to friends, to oneself), honor and what exactly is the right thing to do. The setting is a fantasized Medieval Spain (the country/region names are changed to protect the innocent). I really got sucked into this one and devoured it in less than a week. The ending was amazing, if heart breaking. Highly recommended....more
So, once upon a time, I went to a Sci/Fi convention in New Jersey and was browsing the merchants tables. I came upon an author, peddling her books. ISo, once upon a time, I went to a Sci/Fi convention in New Jersey and was browsing the merchants tables. I came upon an author, peddling her books. I decided to buy one and it sat on my shelf for a long time. Ten years later, I decided to read it only to find that this book is almost unreadable. It may eventually get tossed on the short pile of books I couldn't finish but morbid curiosity keeps me going. This is, without a doubt, the worst book I have ever read. I continue to trudge through it because I can't help but wonder exactly how much worse it will get. We'll see how long I can continue to punish myself. Oh - and by the way - she has 6 other books in the same series. I will *not* be reading those. The self-published author clearly felt that she did not need an editor or proof reader. Fabulous sentence structure fills the book such as: "The party left the grounds, beginning their journey back to Guam while far in the distance a ruby and two crystals glittered in the far distance." You can find similar literary offenses on just about every page. I won't even get into the flat characterization, sloppy story (what little story there was) that includes high-school level banter about who a character "went out with" and who is cheating on who to get revenge on who else for seemingly ridiculous past offenses. Murder and rape without remorse - at times perpetrated by the protagonists. Matricide by the main protagonist at the request of his 'girlfriend' who had no real compelling reason beyond "Kill your mother!". I guess he did it for love. Oh - and there's a cliff hanger. hahahahahaha! Can a book be worse? Perhaps. But I won't read anything else by this author in order to find out. I feel I've dug about as far as I ever will in the name of morbid curiosity. I rated it 1 since that's as low as the site will allow. But it's true rating is a big fat zero....more
Solid book. It started out a bit slow and odd and I was worried, but after about 30-40 pages the story really kicked in and the characters began to deSolid book. It started out a bit slow and odd and I was worried, but after about 30-40 pages the story really kicked in and the characters began to develop nicely. Nice tale with a bittersweet ending. Looking forward to the rest of the series....more
I enjoyed it very much. It had some interesting characters and a Dark Ages England re-told setting. Very nice work. Looking forward to the others in tI enjoyed it very much. It had some interesting characters and a Dark Ages England re-told setting. Very nice work. Looking forward to the others in the Isle series....more
A masterful blend of horror, fantasy and dark humor. Brilliant. "The Lees at Laughter's End" is, quite possibly, the most brilliant piece of mayhem I'A masterful blend of horror, fantasy and dark humor. Brilliant. "The Lees at Laughter's End" is, quite possibly, the most brilliant piece of mayhem I've ever read. Can't wait for the next installment. My only major qualm is that the Lees of Laughter's end seemed to end with a bit of a cliff hanger, which did not get resolved in "The Healthy Dead". Maybe he'll cover it in a subsequent story. It's also possible that he resolved this in one of the Malazan Empire novels and I missed it. Regardless, this is a great read!...more
A beautiful piece of work. One of the best modern-day dark fae books I've ever read. Amazing world and culture building and he did an excellent job ofA beautiful piece of work. One of the best modern-day dark fae books I've ever read. Amazing world and culture building and he did an excellent job of tying it into world history. I'd read this again....more
::Careful - spoilers below:: So far I'm pretty appalled at what I'm seeing in the Old Testament. I can't even imagine following a religion governed by::Careful - spoilers below:: So far I'm pretty appalled at what I'm seeing in the Old Testament. I can't even imagine following a religion governed by the god described in this book. We'll see how things change in the New Testament.
3-5-12 - Still on hiatus, but plan to get back into it soon. My daughter is starting to use the word "god".
9-20-12 - Finally picked it up again. Started Isaiah. Doom and gloom prophecy. heh Hopefully I can push through to the finish this time.
10-4-12 - the god of the old testament is criminal and pocked with any number of villainous character flaws - Uncontrolled rage (not just anger), jealousy, misogyny, petiness... He has committed multiple crimes on multiple occasions - typically, but not limited to mass murder, undoubtedly the worst of crimes. And when he's not inflicting murder himself, he's conspiring to it. It's no wonder George Bush had no issues with mass murder overseas if this was his god of choice. But I digress.. God should be imprisoned in the very Hell he designed - probably for multiple lifetimes (yes, his own lifetimes whatever that may be) or - at very least - ignored.
10-5-12 - The complex relationship between the god of the old testament and his followers may, in fact, be the earliest known case of Stockholm's Syndrome.
Isaiah 66/1: "Thus saith the Lord, The heaven *is* my throne, and the earth *is* my footstool;" Isaiah 66/16: "for by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.
This is fabulous stuff. Glad I opted out...
10-7-12: It's like a marathon spanking on a global scale.
10-12-12: Jeremiah 19: 4 For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. 5 They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind. (heh, but he actually did command such things in earlier phases of this tremendous work) 6 So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
7 “‘In this place I will ruin the plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses as food to the birds and the wild animals. 8 I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds. 9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’
10 “Then break the jar while those who go with you are watching, 11 and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 12 This is what I will do to this place and to those who live here, declares the Lord. I will make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiled like this place, Topheth—all the houses where they burned incense on the roofs to all the starry hosts and poured out drink offerings to other gods.’”
Maybe one of the 10 Commandments should have been: "Thou shalt always remember that two wrongs DO make a right."
10/22 - Jeremiah - page after page after page after page of God threatening the Jews with extinction through sword, famine and pestilence. Odd, I can see how people would be come numb to all this, reading it over and over again - and all because they chose an alternate god. Then I guess at some point it feels all kinds of normal and established - something to be expected. Which maybe makes it ok? sheesh... I'm falling back on Stockholm's Syndrome.
11/3 - Our sweet gracious lord explores cannibalism as a method of punishment in the destruction of Babylon. News at 11.
11/3 - addendum - Lamentations of Jeremiah. Boohoo. The lord our God has ravaged another great city along with all it's inhabitants. Men, women, elderly, children - all destroyed or left destitute. I feel terrible about it. But I still love Him.
11/14 - Oh you just haven't seen the true beat down until you've read the lovely and captivating Ezekial (you know...the guy who saw the wheel? Waaaaaay up in the middle of the air....) All jaunty spirituals aside - this one's a real horror show. So God has this great conversation with Ezekial - I'll paraphrase: God: Hey Zeke! I'm back! And your people have been very naughty. Ezekial: God: Yeah, I'm here to bring back more suffering and death. But today we have an extra special twist!! Ezekial: Do tell. God: Well...you need to spread the word of God (ahem, me) and if they don't heed the word, I'll require their blood. Ezekial: That sounds pretty much the same. God: Oh nononono you silly servant. I require that the blood be delivered by YOUR hand. Ezekial: shit God: Oh yes, and while you're doing this you need to use human shit for the fires that will bake your bread, so everyone will be eating tainted shit-bread. How does that sound? Ezekial: Wonderful, my lord. Is there anything else? God: Oh just wait til chapter nine. It rocks... Chapter 9, Verse 5 (God to Zeke): You're gonna go through the city, mark all the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations going on there (abominations being the worship of other gods - like the Sun and Tamuz). Then,(oooh, this is the juicy part), "Go ye after him through the city and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay the utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth and slew in the city."
11/20: Today in Ezekiel, we learn of the Lord God's righteous anger against Israel for fornicating with Egyptians, Chaldeans and Hittites. And his just punishment, which involves fire and swords. Behold! The birth of racism!...more