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O Gentle Readers...

(or ruffian skimmers, whiche'er you prefer)

I set aside Merton's Seven Storey Mountain for a couple of days because (1) progress is slow, (2) I enjoy fiction more, and (3) I went to Windsor yesterday and felt I needed something more "magical." So, I'm currently ripping through Gaiman's Stardust.

As books are wont to do, this got me thinking about other Gaiman books and other fantasy books/authors in general (thoughts aided by an unplanned rendezvous with a used bookstore two nights ago).

Specifically, I want to know: thumbs up or down on Anansi Boys? I've heard a few mixed things and am curious to see if there's a final concensus. And what about Stephen Donaldson or his Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: worth my while to read or not? I'd appreciate any feedback you have on these. Thanks!

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
ayelle
Apr. 7th, 2006 01:09 pm (UTC)
I reviewed Anansi Boys on my journal at some point. It's fun. It's a lot like his other books, though it struck me as less pretentious than American Gods (keeping in mind that I think I'm pretty unique in having found that book pretentious -- I don't know anyone else who felt that way). It's not a must-read by any means, but I definitely enjoyed it (esp. because the audio book production was an excellent one).
elgatocurioso
Apr. 7th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
Thumbs up on Anansi Boys. It's not typical gaiman, and not what I normally would go looking for to read from him, but I still enjoyed it. American Gods was better though.

Thumbs down, way down, on Thomas Covenant.

Now that you are in the UK you're lucky enough to have access to the whole Malanzan Empire of the Fallen series. Here in the US we have to wait as they are release slowly one at a time. I urge you to check out the first novel: Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson.
spwebdesign
Apr. 7th, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
For anyone inspired by this comment who wishes to pick up one of these books, it's the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. Subtle but different enough that I wasn't able to find it on Amazon until I plugged in the author. ;)
bedfull_o_books
Apr. 7th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
For some reason I haven't been able to get into Anansi Boys. I am stuck in chapter 2 or 3. I'll let you know what happens when I pick it up again. I suspect that I too will like American Gods better.

Haven't read the Thomas Covenant series myself. It is full of geeky historical fact (r-ness has been reading me bits of it), so if you like that sort of thing then you'll enjoy the books. r_ness likes them. It is a serioius comittment though. I think the books total over 2000 pages.
am0
Apr. 8th, 2006 11:20 pm (UTC)
tc
The twin trilogies about Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever are a pretty stiff go. You have to be really into it to benefit from the effort required to get all of the way through. The ideas involved are both simple and subtle. Describing what happens gets bogged down by the need to describe so much of the different cultures involved. It is about leprosy in a culture that lives with lepers, although leprosy may not even be mentioned except in some minor way. It is about simple but painful treatment for the big, all-pervaiding evils, treatments that require out-of-the-box thinking to find. In addition, much of the magic has its roots in things that are quite ordinary, like a wedding ring of white gold, though they are treated as being strange and powerful.

I was able to dig my way through it once. I probably couldn't do it again, now. I did appreciate a lot of what Donaldson was trying to do with the story, particularly when he sometimes succeeded. If you attempt to simply breeze through the books, you probably won't get anything out of them. They certainly aren't cheerful. I found it worth my effort. Whether or not you will, too, is up to you and beyond my ability to predict.
spwebdesign
Apr. 8th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
Re: tc
He's working on a third TC series now. Only the first book has been published, to my knowledge.
am0
Apr. 9th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
Re: tc
That is doubtless why his name popped up into public awareness. The TC series had slumbered peacefully for several years.

I don't want to start any new reading projects. I have too many books sitting on my shelves that haven't been opened yet. I may change my mind later, if the CPAP thing continues to improve me, but at the moment I'm unable to do much ... partly because my eyes don't work right.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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