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Memories of Ice

I've a couple hundred of pages left on Steven Erickson's Memories of Ice, the third book in his the Malazan Book of the Fallen, and I admit, I'm quite enjoying the series so far. Word on the street was correct: they do pick up after the first book, with a pretty neat religious jihad and retreating army in the second, and a fine starving, cannibalistic army swarming a city and eating its inhabitants in the third. It's handled pretty well, despite those descriptions, though I must admit, I would have liked the siege in the third to go on a little longer.

But.

I feel I should comment on the length of these books.

It's been for-fucking-ever since I read a big shit ass kill your baby with the size of this book fantasy series, and I've read something like two thousand two hundred pages already and it's a bit ridiculous. I mean, there's ten of these things--where do people find the time? Is the title of this third book some kind of ironic jab by Erickson about the length? I could've read about twice as many more books in the time it's taken me to read this, which I suppose is a bit of a silly complaint, since I am liking them well enough, but there are other books out there--fantastic books, I might add--and with another seven books in the series, all of them appearing to be in equal size, give or take a few hundred, the prospect of another seven thousand pages to read to a conclusion is kind of daunting. How do people do this shit? Is the toilet time ramped up to seven hours a day? Do you just give up working? Do you all say to your partners, "Sorry, dear, but for the next two months I'm reading a fantasy series. I'll be available for sex between the times of two and three am. I also eat then."

Anyhow, it's a minor complaint, but I look back at when I was a kid, and I'd read these things all the time. Granted, I don't think they were regularly a thousand pages with a few exceptions, but I'm kind of wondering where I found the time and patience, and why every couple of hours I didn't think, "You know, half the cast could be cut out of this for a leaner, meaner kind of book."

Ah well.

If you got the time and aren't put off by the size, I do fully recommend the Jihad and retreating army of Deadhouse Gates, however.

Comments

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catsparx
Sep. 22nd, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)
"big shit ass kill your baby with the size of this book fantasy series"

from now on I shall be using this as a standard unit of measurement
benpeek
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:06 am (UTC)
i'm changing the world, one blog post at a time.
ataxi
Sep. 22nd, 2010 11:42 am (UTC)
I also prefer and endorse this term as opposed to "doorstopper" fantasy.
catsparx
Sep. 22nd, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
yeah, packs a load more wallop!
paulhaines
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
I've got 5 of these babies lined up in the queue on the bookshelf. Had also heard good words about them. (But so too that was true with Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind. Jordan - struggled to get up to Book 5 and put down in disgust. Goodkind - heard it all turned to shit by about Book 4 and still haven't started them).

I need to stop buying several books in a series if I have not read the first one. Yeah, sure.
benpeek
Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:07 am (UTC)
you know, i think you should go it, so i know someone behind me.

the first book is a bit rough round the edges, and there will be a few places where it doesn't work, but it comes together pretty nice. i finished it thinking, well, it was okay. i could go a second to see if it hangs on. it's that kind of book.
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benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
how about now when you're outside school?
ataxi
Sep. 22nd, 2010 11:48 am (UTC)
I've read four or five of these. It's probably telling that I can't remember which it is, four or five.

You see, the thing about these endless entropic heat death of the universe narratives is that as an aesthetic, extreme maximal vastness is worth about two actual novels.

After that it's as if you've found out what it's like to be dying of thirst in the desert, without conceiving any desire to really go through with it.

Though they are pretty good, the richness of concept, character and plot isn't quite there for mine, and I can say with reasonable confidence that the overabundance of better books in this world will probably prevent me from ever finishing the series.
benpeek
Sep. 23rd, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
yeah, i have to admit, the size of it, and the other books i want to read out there are probably going to be what stops me from finishing it. it's just such a long trek to get to the resolution.
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