The Cool Kids' Fantasy Club discussion

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Club reads > The Grey Bastards, our September read - no spoilers.

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
We had a poll to select a group read from one of the 9 medalists from the first three years of the SPFBO and we chose The Grey Bastards.

So this is the thread to talk spoiler free about the book, initial impressions, chapter by chapter, over all, whatever you like.

And I will set up a spoiler thread too for those wanting unshackled discussion.

We can start now and after September find our next book if this proves popular.


message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
My first observation is that this novel is great fun and contains the highest filth concentration of any book I've read. If you have a low tolerance for swearing ... run!


message 3: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments I found myself blushing on the very first page! But I was strangely amused by the swearing.

All good, as long as my children never find out what I was laughing about :-)


message 4: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 7 comments Mark wrote: "My first observation is that this novel is great fun and contains the highest filth concentration of any book I've read. If you have a low tolerance for swearing ... run!"


Well, now I'm intrigued… :D


message 5: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bevarc) | 35 comments I gotta pass on this one. Maybe the next one.


message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Shae wrote: "I found myself blushing on the very first page! But I was strangely amused by the swearing.

All good, as long as my children never find out what I was laughing about :-)"


Yes, probably not one for the kids! But it's a much better book than reports of the swearing and crudity might make you think.


message 7: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofskytrain) | 40 comments I have it and will join in. I have both audio and the eBook so I will be switching back & forth.


message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 16 comments I am in!


message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Calaway (bookenthusiast13) | 27 comments Just need to get a copy so I can read it. This sounds great!


message 10: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments OK It’s Sunday, it’s raining, I’m in the mood to read it, and I have it on my iPad. Sounds like all of the stars have aligned so here I go.....


message 11: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments Go for it Jacqueline! :-)


message 12: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments I am Shae 😃

So far I’ve read 95 of the 599 pages in my ebook. I’ve set the size of the font a bit bigger than it should be. I think there’s supposed to be around 520 pages in the ebook. When I get the pages to the right amount it’s too small for me to read comfortably. So anyhoo I’m 1/6 of the way through and enjoying it.

Unfortunately it’s stopped raining. I live in the middle of NSW and it’s pretty dry here and it would have been nice if it continued steadily for at least the rest of the day.


message 13: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments So glad you're enjoying it too, Jacqueline :-)

And yes, we've definitely got our fingers and toes crossed here in SA for more rain for all our Aussie farmers, especially in the eastern states.


message 14: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Although the subject matter is quite grim I found it to be an exuberant book, plenty of laughs and excitement.


message 15: by Ciprian (new)

Ciprian | 1 comments I loved the book and how the characters were built. A lot of amusing moments and cliffhangers. Can't wait for the next ones :)!


message 16: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Ciprian wrote: "I loved the book and how the characters were built. A lot of amusing moments and cliffhangers. Can't wait for the next ones :)!"

The use of D&D style races, halflings, elves, orcs etc could have gone really wrong, but the spin he put on things made it seem fresh.

I'm expecting dwarves in book 2!


message 17: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments Definitely loads of fun and excitement to be had here!

Usually, I like to highlight cool one liners or eloquent, thought provoking passages as I read.

Didn't do that this time - I just raced along with the unfolding story and all the action therein :-)


message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 16 comments Just finished chapter one and realized this is "Sons of Anarchy" then I looked at the cover and it even looks like Jax Teller. On to chapter two.


message 19: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments Finished reading it. I would recommend to anyone but my mom. Yeah, definitely not for my mom.


message 20: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments Oh, Good Lord! - I'm just trying to imagine my mum reading this!

Although, her reactions would be kind of hilarious :-)


message 21: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments What? Not into GoT and Sons of Anarchy then? I suppose all Mums aren’t Fantasy Mums.


message 22: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments Ha, ha - my mum's favourite book is 'The Light Between Oceans' (Stedman).

Historical Fiction is her jam :-) She loves to pass books of this genre on to me - just once, I would love to pass a Fantasy book on to her!


message 23: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments My Mum loved Historical Fiction too but she loved Fantasy just as much. She had rather eclectic taste. So have I for that matter. She used to get me to go to the specialist SFF bookshop in Sydney when I went down there with a list a mile long. We lived 3 hours away and our library didn’t stock them. She loved the High Couch of Silistra books. She always had me on the lookout for Janet E Morris books.

She would have been 88 now. Some of the stuff she read would have curled your toes. She would have loved this book. She would have been right into GRRM too. And she probably would have loved The Light Between Oceans as well. I have it here. Haven’t got to it yet.

Maybe Mum would like Fantasy. Especially if you started her off on something that resembles historical fiction.


message 24: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments Your mum sounds like she would have been a real hoot!

Another friend in this group described the act of encouraging family members to give Fantasy books a go, as being like a 'Fantasy Missionary' :-)

Sadly, I reckon you could describe my mum as being a 'Fantasy Atheist'.


message 25: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments She was a hoot. Our house was never boring lol

I’d like to get my Husband to read this one but I’d have to find the paperback for him instead of an ebook. He hates reading off screens. He reckons he gets enough of that at work. He keeps asking for exciting books.


message 26: by Shae (new)

Shae | 69 comments Well, The Grey Bastards definitely qualifies as exciting!


message 27: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments It does :) As Mark says it’s exuberant, funny and exciting.


message 28: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
I think the Sludge Man is one of the more creative monsters I've seen in a book for a while.


message 29: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments I also loved the Sludge Man, the Tines, the Waddlers, the Thicks, and the crazy, old, insane wizard. I'm probably going to end up exactly the same way one day.


message 30: by Ian (new)

Ian (lonelyboy1977) | 23 comments Out of curiosity, is there any significant difference between the self-published edition of the book and the recently released edition from Orbit?


message 31: by Stuggie (new)

Stuggie (Mainlyfantasy) (mainlyfantasy) | 7 comments This happens to be my local book club's read for September... So two birds with one stone!

Unfortunately my wife is also in the book club and it is her turn to read it first.


message 32: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 7 comments Just finished this one and loved it! I can't wait for the next book!


message 33: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Ian wrote: "Out of curiosity, is there any significant difference between the self-published edition of the book and the recently released edition from Orbit?"

You would need to ask someone who has read both!

It was edited and I'm sure the publisher considers that this has added value, but how large those edits were ... I don't know.


message 34: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Stuart wrote: "This happens to be my local book club's read for September... So two birds with one stone!

Unfortunately my wife is also in the book club and it is her turn to read it first."


If she were to tear each page out as she read it and give it to you...

#ThinkLikeAHalfOrc


message 35: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Twigg | 6 comments Wow, there is a great deal of love for this book :o)

And rightly so!

The Grey Bastards is a brilliantly written story, full of Ace characters, lots of very unusual ‘baddies’, and a ‘boat load’ of absolute filthy language! Which, I think is just perfect for this story, as it lends itself to the nature of the characters (who are after all, brutal killers).

It makes you chuckle out loud in places, then emotional and weeping in other parts of the story.

I love how Jonathan is so descriptive when introducing his characters, so much so, they all-but ‘come to life’ as I’m reading; that is just an amazing talent!

Jonathan French has created a brilliant story, and just like many of you guys, I can’t wait for the next
instalment of The Lot Lands :o)


Jacqueline, your Mum sounds just like mine; always good for a laugh, and a true “Hoot”. My Mum would love The Grey Bastards (she can often be heard ‘swearing like a navvy’), but she is too busy to sit down and read a book; she is always helping others and spreading fun and love wherever she goes :o)


message 36: by Brian (new)

Brian | 1 comments Just joined the "Cool Kids" and downloaded The Grey Bastards. Thanks Mark for being a champion for newer authors! I'm still in awe of Josiah Bancroft.


message 37: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Brian wrote: "Just joined the "Cool Kids" and downloaded The Grey Bastards. Thanks Mark for being a champion for newer authors! I'm still in awe of Josiah Bancroft."

Me too! Grey Bastards is a very different read to Senlin Ascends! But I found it really fun.


message 38: by David Lewis (new)

David Lewis | 6 comments I'm about 23 chapters into the audiobook and am enjoying the ride. As others have mentioned, the language is dirty and crude, but I find that it adds to the story rather than detracts from it, and I feel that the story would probably suffer without it.

Although I love the story, I'm not sure I am fond of the audiobook format. I seem to get more into a story when reading the words from the page (or Kindle screen) rather than listening to one. Maybe its because I'm a visual learner. So I'm thinking that I would probably enjoy the story more if reading it rather than listening to it.


message 39: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
David Lewis wrote: "I'm about 23 chapters into the audiobook and am enjoying the ride. As others have mentioned, the language is dirty and crude, but I find that it adds to the story rather than detracts from it, and ..."

Yup, colourful language is a strong part of how we humans express ourselves. It often feels unrealistic to see characters go through physical pain, mental anguish, and deadly fear without so much as a "fuck".

You should hear me when I stub my toe!


message 40: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments Or when your hog dies.....


message 41: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
C.H. wrote: "Or when your hog dies....."

Always a sad time...


message 42: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 128 comments Too soon peoples.....too soon.


message 43: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 16 comments Still making my way through this one... Feel like it is getting better as I go...


message 44: by Stuggie (new)

Stuggie (Mainlyfantasy) (mainlyfantasy) | 7 comments Just got the book from my wife at the weekend (she is a slow reader) ... I am half way though already and loving it.


message 45: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Stuart wrote: "Just got the book from my wife at the weekend (she is a slow reader) ... I am half way though already and loving it."

Yup, it's a quick read even for this slow reader.


message 46: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
And that concludes our first book of the month discussion!

My review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 47: by Mark (new)

Mark | 174 comments C.H. wrote: "Finished reading it. I would recommend to anyone but my mom. Yeah, definitely not for my mom."

My mum complained that the second is not out yet, and she really enjoyed it. She’s 71 years old, and has read most my 1500+ fantasy collection.


message 48: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "C.H. wrote: "Finished reading it. I would recommend to anyone but my mom. Yeah, definitely not for my mom."

My mum complained that the second is not out yet, and she really enjoyed it. She’s 71 ye..."


Wow!


message 49: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence (marklawrence) | 369 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "C.H. wrote: "Finished reading it. I would recommend to anyone but my mom. Yeah, definitely not for my mom."

My mum complained that the second is not out yet, and she really enjoyed it. She’s 71 ye..."


Wow!


message 50: by C.H. (new)

C.H. Baum | 26 comments So now we all know I am the proud owner of a very uptight mum.


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