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Bakker's The Prince of Nothing series
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
I'm getting there ... hold your bumps. Laughing

Spoiler:
Was that a nuclear explosion at the end of the Dagliash? I can't imagine anything else that would produce such sickness in people. My god. Horrific.

The earthquake just happened, and Khellus returned. I just read the part where he supposedly died, but I don't buy it just yet. It's about time Esmi found out about Kelmo. I've been waiting for that storyline to go somewhere.


So far, pretty brutal and epic.
I'll get back to you all after I've finished.


Yay! Looking forward to your impressions.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished last week. I think all the threads had a satisfying escalation, but not really a satisfying conclusion or climax. I wish more had happened at Dagliash besides ...

Spoiler:
... a catastrophic setback. We saw Aurang (?) Aurax (?) for a brief moment and then he or it was gone. There was hardly any character development beyond brief hints of why Proyus needed to lose faith.


The Achamian plotline was my favorite, but again I was disappointed that ...

Spoiler:
... the incredibly fascinating character, the Survivor, killed himself. What a waste of THE BEST NEW CHARACTER in 1000s of pages. I loved reading his thoughts as he came to realize what the Judging Eye was. His observations of Akka and Mimara were simply transcendent fiction, unlike anything else I've ever read. This is the reason I read Bakker.

And then he jumped off a cliff. <sigh>

I did like seeing Cnaiur again. I figured that would happen when Akka was talking about him earlier and then Scylvendi show up. It did seem a tad forced, however, like seeing Donaldson's 'greatest hits' in Runes when all his classic character types started showing up.

I loved the boy's escape, amazing. The Dunyain are Bakker's greatest creation.


The other plotlines were good. I actually like this book better than the last one, even though I have complaints. I just wish it didn't have such a transitional feel to it, and stood more on its own with a satisfying beginning, middle, end. This was just another episode.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure I'm just repeating myself from this thread, Zarathustra, but given what readers should know about the structure of these books, I'm not sure why anyone expected TGO - as part three of four - to have... whatever it is they seem to think is missing. The book has to carry the weight of the entire series, the first two TAE books, and do so without offering major conclusions to the TAE narrative arcs.

Bakker originally envisioned TSA as three books: PON, TAE, and The-Series-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named. In writing PON, it became apparent to Bakker that it wouldn't be one book. TAE has likewise grown into a tetralogy in its own right.

Personally, I'm banking on TAE mirroring TWP as a whole, which makes WLW and TGO our Carathay. TUC will likely be all climax, all the time.

Anyhow, words wording wordly. I'm glad you enjoyed it overall Smile.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did enjoy it overall. And I sympathize with a story getting out of hand, growing in the telling. Hell, this genre started with that: LOTR isn't really a trilogy, it's just published that way.

I don't think Bakker is milking his creation for more money. But I am frustrated at the pace.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol - I definitely know he's not doing for money Wink.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madness wrote:
Lol - I definitely know he's not doing for money Wink.


Wow, I couldn't even sentence right. Doing it* for the money.

*It being writing this greater narrative in multiple volumes.

He's often mentioned that he feels like he's simply taking dictation - Lesser and Great Bakkers as it were Wink.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, good news...just got confirmation my copy of TGO will be arriving today or tomorrow. Very Happy

Guess that means I better start TDTCB quick. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Well, good news...just got confirmation my copy of TGO will be arriving today or tomorrow. Very Happy

Guess that means I better start TDTCB quick. Very Happy

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Lmao. You had one job Razz. (To reread the series in that long interval before you got TGO Wink ).
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, it arrived yesterday, and I started TDTCB yesterday. If I eschew computer games, it shouldn't take more than a few weeks to get through them all.

I think that the first book or two are definitely my favourites of the series, and Cnair is definitely one of my favourite fantasy characters of all time.

--A
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Haha, it arrived yesterday, and I started TDTCB yesterday. If I eschew computer games, it shouldn't take more than a few weeks to get through them all.


You will be most rewarded, Avatar Smile.

Enjoy the journey!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am already enjoying it. Haven't read them since WLW came out, and always nice to revisit old favourites.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, here we go...The Great Ordeal. Very Happy (Actually, I'm about 180 pages in so far.)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right...so...finished TGO. Very Happy

Spoiler:
First impressions...mostly enjoyed it, although the 3rd & 4th 5ths dragged a bit.

The whole Dagliash thing seemed almost incoherent...didn't figure out the nuke until the radiation poisoning was described, and the whole mansion of the non-men thing was a bit messy as well.

At least Sorweel's story-line improved a bit, although still nothing really resolved there.

The whole Judging Eye thing is getting annoying as well...so far the only thing that isn't damned is Mimara for some reason it appears, although according to Kellhus, it sorta sounds like everything is damned anyway, so why does she look good to her eye?

I did like Proyas realising (well, being told) that Akka was actually right all along.

And 6 books in, we still don't know if Kellhus is "bad" or not. Or at least, committing atrocity in the name of a greater "good." (Which of course raises its own questions...)

Really thought we had him figured there around Dagliash and the horde, (and the Meat) but he wriggled out of it. Very Happy

Kelmomas is pretty annoying too, and was sorry to see Thelli die...was enjoying her character, hoping Kelmomas would finally get his comeuppance.

Was interesting to see the WLW get his...and therefore that Kel's actions were not part of what had happened. Was actually dismayed when it looked like Kellhus would be assassinated. (I miss Maithenet as well...liked his character too.)

And of course, Cnaiur being back...did not see that one coming. Very Happy


Good stuff mostly though...now how long until the next one?

--A
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh...and it was too short. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn you're fast!

Yeah, the Judging Eye (phenomenon, not the book) does seem to only judge things/people as bad. It would be nice to see some good.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL Only when it comes to reading. Very Happy

Yeah, not sure we can...or that the eye is necessarily even real maybe...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn impressive, Avatar.

Six Bakker books in just under two weeks. That's intense.

Lol.

I honestly don't think five hundred pages is a "short book," though we lived through the age of fantasy bricks.

Uh... the next one is supposed to be out next summer. There is an amazon page for TUC with a synopsis and a May date (albeit a synopsis that literally has a word-error therein and fixates almost exclusively on one plot arc). The Unholy Consult will bookend The Aspect-Emperor and then people will probably just pine expectantly for word of The-Series-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named Wink.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL I tend to feel the thicker the better, for probably obvious reasons. Very Happy Waiting 4 years for a book that you can finish in a day or two often leaves one feeling a bit let down, although obviously that's my own problem, not anybody else's. Very Happy

Still, May is not really that long to wait, although it'll probably only land here a few months later.

So far, the first series is still the best for me though.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE Mimara seeing herself as good, and whether the judging eye exists...this may sound like terrible reasoning, but the two biggest reasons I have faith that the judging eye is special and really is some important thing, even if it is actually not inviolably accurate or correct, is:

-Bakker titled a book after it. Other things he titles his books do seem to often be somewhat false, not entirely true to what we were told they would be. But they also have some kind of substance.
For example:
Spoiler:
Is Kellhus, warrior prophet, an actual prophet? Apparently not - Kellhus himself believes or seems to believe he is patently not a prophet. But all the same, does that feel like an excellent title for Kellhus, even when it's false? Ya, it seems pretty perfect. So many shams in Earwa pull off their sham effectively for a decent period of time.


-If Mimara just sees herself as good because the judging eye is a sham and she thinks better of herself than others because that's only human, why don't most of humanity think they have the judging eye? Why is it worth telling us she has the judging eye and titling a book after it? Why not exclude having the judging eye be a particular sham, but just include examples of people who think they judge objectively but in fact judge w/out any consistency, integrity or truth? Pretty much everyone in Bakker's works do that to some extent.

Possibly TJE will turn out to not be the absolutely reliable measure of all moral value, but probably still does represent some distinct, important or unique viewpoint or opinion (or aggregate of opinions). Perhaps TJE will turn out to be the rough, averaged opinion of all the conflicting viewpoints and perspectives in Earwa smushed into one, with all the contradictions and confusions accepted - I got no clue.

Reading the Great Ordeal.

A few questions:
-Did Kellhus ever do the grasping? Does he dream the dreams of Seswatha directly?
-When did Achamian's dreams begin to alter from what we understand as the more standard version of the dreams the mandate get?

Finally an observation: this may be something that occurred to people already, but the dunyain and the mandate vaguely remind me of the first and second foundation in Asimov's foundation series. The difference is that while the second mandate was created as a sort of shadow behind the first, the mandate and the dunyain were conceived of separately, and act independently. The dunyain don't seem to have been particularly aimed at controlling, combating, manipulating or allying with the consult, the men of the tusk or the mandate, or with a historical context. They were simply bread and brought up in such a way that they are apparently uniquely capable of doing so. I don't think it is of importance to argue that Bakker was or was not following the model of Asimov or any other author, but I found it interesting anyway.

Quite probably there are earlier books than the Foundation series that had such a structure of specialized institutions with parallel purposes.

I'm currently in the US hardcover on pg 199 of TGO. If you think the answers to my questions appear after that point, you could hold off. If you think they were in prior books (or even earlier in this book if I was inattentive) please let me know the answers. I might wanna reread this series eventually but right now I just wanted to catch up a bit.

Finally, this may be an obvious conclusion to many at this point, because it seems obvious to me, but do you think Akka's search will end up approximating the discovery of what Bakker meant or has come to mean by "The Darkness That Comes Before?" (what kellhus may refer to as the head on the pole behind him)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting first question...I don't remember anything ever actually being said about Kelhus dreaming Seswatha...although of course he should be...

As for the second, IIRC, it was at the beginning of TJE, when he dreams of Seswatha stubbing his toe or something. Very Happy

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