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Deadhouse Gates [Spoilers]
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome book. Toss-up between this one and HoC as my favourites. Don't see what else can really be said...Coltaine, the Chain, the betrayal, Kalam, Duiker...

Took me a while to get into it, (although not as long as GotM), but once I did, it was fantastic. So far all the ones I've read seem to have gotten appreciably better about 2/3rds of the way in...so much so that I'm always sad to see the end.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm about half-way through this one. I was on page 10 when I put it down to read a few other books that I'd seen recommended elsewhere on the forums.

As much as I enjoyed GotM, DG is even better. Very funny and stunningly imaginative. Erickson's quirky characters rival even Neal Stephenson's oddballs. I'm hooked bad.

Damn You, Steve Erickson!

*shakes fist*

PS. I normally don't like battle scenes in novels. It's a difficult thing to pull off well, and most authors can't hack it. Erickson's battle scenes are a welcome exception, IMO. Terrifically well executed.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Demondim-spawn wrote:
*shakes fist*

OUCH!!! Hey, take it easy!! Evil or Very Mad
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes and yes. The quirky characters. Tha battle scenes. Just amazing. I don't know what it is. For whatever reason, I care more about his battles. I have more emotional attachment to the participants.

And yes, I think we all enjoy DG more than GotM. Even me, and I think I like GotM more than most. The reverence I feel when I think Coltaine, Duiker, Chain of Dogs...
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The scene where Duiker dwells on the wisdom of NOT recording the Names of the Fallen:
Spoiler:
I'll never return to the List of the Fallen, because I see now that the unnamed soldier is a gift, The named soldier - dead, melted wax - demands a response among the living... a response no one can make. Names are no comfort, they're a call to answer the unanswerable. Why did she die, not him? Why do the survivors remain anonymous - as if cursed - while the dead are revered? Why do we cling to what we lose while we ignore what we still hold?

Name none of the fallen, for they stood in our place, and stand there still in each moment of our lives. Let my death hold no glory, and let me die forgotten and unknown. Let it not be said that I was among the dead to accuse the living.

That's so powerful I can hardly credit that it's part of the same Ripping Yarn that contains this:
Spoiler:
Through the shield Duiker felt the impact's thunder, a resounding roll that jarred his bones. He could see little from his position apart from a small patch of blue sky directly above the heads of the soldiers, and into that air spun a snapped pike-shaft and a helm that might have still held in its strap a bearded jaw, before dust rose up in an impenetrable shroud.

And that's just the first moment of the battle.

Gotta get back to the book. Icarium is on the brink of discovering something about his past that Mappo is scared sh*tless of coming to light. Big Grin
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished.

WTF?!?

WTF?!?

WTF?!?

WOW!
Spoiler:
The excellent ending of this excellent story left me heartbroken and furious!

Still not certain if the hope and promise instilled by the last couple of pages has assuaged my despair at what came before.

I don't think I've ever been so outraged and enraged by characters (Pormquall & Renegade Fist, Whatshisname Dom) who don't even show up in person until the end of the book.

wayfriend wrote:
all of a sudden, halfway through the book, Heboric is blind. He wasn't blind when he jumped off the Silanis [?]. Next scene, wandering through the Whirlwind, he's all of a sudden blind. What's up with that?

I didn't get that either, and I went back and looked to see what happened and still didn't find it.

One minute sighted, the next, blind.

I didn't finish readiing the whole topic. Is this anywhere adequately explained?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, indeed. It's difficult to hate characters as much as them.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Demondime-a-dozen-spawn wrote:


One minute sighted, the next, blind.

I didn't finish readiing the whole topic. Is this anywhere adequately explained?


I thought his sight had already been gradually deteriorating? I dunno, I'm not that far in my reread yet...will pay attention to it and see if anything is mentioned.

--A
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I remember it, he was gradually losing his normal vision as his supernatural vision grew stronger. Then after a while his supernatural vision left, too, and he was blind for a while.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the supernatural vision only came along after his normal vision deteriorated.

--A
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nearly finished DHG and Murrin is right...very sudden and unexplained blindness, which Erikson seems to forget about entirely sometimes, remember sometimes, and explain away with supernatural perception sometimes. Very odd.

The supernatural sight I'd been thinking of was when he Spoiler:
becomes Treach's Destriant. Much later.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished it last night. Erikson improved as a writer between the GotM and DHG. His major characters were well fleshed out. Felisin's transformation was fascinating. I looked forward to her sections. There was also a certain unpredictability of events I liked. Spoiler:
Kulp, who I thought was being set up to go out in a blaze of glory, instead got bumped off in a moment of inattention.


I liked the Chain of Dogs section, but I didn't get emotionally wrapped up in in like some others here apparently did. At least not in the way that Martin managed to get me riled up over the death of a wolf. I have to admit being puzzled by something during the it. Spoiler:
WTF did the sappers do at the first river crossing, create a dam? If so, how did it break by someone pulling on a rope?


My main complaint with Erikson is with his minor characters. They are cookie cut outs. A minor noble character always acts like they dropped out of a 18th century French salon. I can't help but visualize them with a powdered face complete with fake mole on their cheek. The common Malazan soldier is invariably portrayed as a minor version of Fiddler, the uber-soldier. I'm told by one who has read it through that Erikson gets better at that though.

On to Memories of Ice, which when I purchased it got an approving comment from the checkout woman at Borders. Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember right, the first river crossing they laid munitions in the dam foundations and blew it up behind them.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you know, i'm reading your comments Ro...er...Damelon and well...
i can't understand why i can't see the forest for the trees.

intelligent people like yourself and murrin and others, malik and others as well have all pointed out things about the books and erikson's writing that i simply do. not. see.

i just don't get why i don't percieve these things like the rest of you do.

it makes me feel weird. like i'm some kind of dolt or something. Confused Sad

i've read most of the books enough times now that i should be able to see that very thing that you're talking about with the characters
but i don't.

in any given army there are probably a thousand fiddler-alikes. don'tcha think? i mean, in a real life army. a thousand guys that have the same attitudes and motivations as each other.
see, to me, fid is the personification of that thing, that soldier, and all the fiddler-alikes in the story just reiterations of that theme. so, if there are secondary characters that fulfill a funtion of that theme in the big picture, it doesn't bother me nor pop out at me that "oh, here's a fid-alike" or "oh, here's a quick ben-alike" etc.

i realize this sounds like a sort of justification but thats not what i'm meaning to do. i'm trying to figure out why things that bother some of you about erikson's writing don't bother me or detract from the story for me at all.

its puzzling to me. Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luci, you are letting the books carry you along, which is cool. Mine is not a damning criticism, it's just something I've noticed over two books: that his unpredictability doesn't extend to description of certain classes of characters. I haven't let that type of thing in the past dim my enjoyment of other series.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only problem is that there are so many minor (or slightly more than minor) characters. I've got a good memory, and I still find myself wondering who the hell somebody is when we suddenly segue into their POV.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My general thoughts:
Right now I'm 60 pages into Memories of Ice and loving it, for some reason I'm much better suited for this book, perhaps because it echoes back to GotM and that Quick Ben is flipping awesome and poor Capt. Paran so comforting. I was blown away by the last 200 (maybe 300) pages of DG, but kind of had trouble adjusting to it until about midway through. I can think of at least three factors that made the earlier going rough:

1. I had just finished Bakker's The Prince of Nothing trilogy and kept noting a number of similarities (it's kind of tough to start another very long march across unforgiving terrain with zillions of various tribes assailing you from all sides back to back).

2. I was, probably, wracking my brains way too hard trying to remember as many details as I could from GotM which I read 5 years ago, or so, without referring to the book, and...

3. In the beginning I was reading a chapter or two every night, and being interrupted, while lying in bed with my 5 year old daughter until she fell asleep-she's in a "separation anxiety" phase that I blame on Scooby Doo's overuse of zombies. The last 300 page difference was that I read the rest in huge chunks at a coffeehouse.

I also kept comparing Bakker's sorcerer/narrator, Drusas Achamian, to Duiker. It wasn't until Gelor Ridge that Duiker really came into his own for me. So the real turning point in the book was when the mass changes began to sweep over every one at the same time-from Duiker to Felisin to the Marines and the Selinda (was that the name of the ship?). Coltrane and Bult were great characters, and it was wild that book pretty much hit hyperdrive about the same time as Kulp passed. I was terribly impressed by Erikson's writing in the second half of the book.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what you're saying is... read something else before reading Prince of Nothing? Razz
To me, Fiddler and Kalam helped carry me through the first couple hundred pages. I liked Dukier once he was separated from Kulp.

The most memorable moment, to me, is when that head Wickan sorcerer (I forget his name) gets shot through the neck with an arrow and he's trying to use the butterflies to carry away his soul... some powerful stuff, wasn't sure it could be topped until... well, you'll get there Razz
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had just finished Stephenson's Quicksilver before Prince of Nothing. What I'm really saying is don't read PoN right before DG, unless you're a mashochist--or like tons and tons of dead bodies, LOL...
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The death toll in Erikson's books is pretty high on average, I'd say. Especially in DG and MoI.
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