[LMB] What I read on my winter vacation

Marc Wilson marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk
Sun Jan 10 02:42:15 GMT 2016


On Sat, 9 Jan 2016 17:53:49 -0700, Howard Brazee <howard at brazee.net>
wrote:

>
>> On Jan 9, 2016, at 5:27 PM, Marc Wilson <marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk> wrote:
>> 
>> In some ways they're right about the timing- it's more /serious/ than
>> LotR, and a harder read.  I first read LotR when I was about 9; I'd have
>> found Gormenghast much heavier going.  And people wanted some laughs
>> with their goblins.  Eight years later, it was an easier crowd.
>> 
>> But it was never going to be as popular, because it's altogether more
>> grim.
>
>Interesting take.   It doesn’t have the evil of LotR, nor the racism.   I guess the absence of heroes makes it more grim for you, but I measure grimness by the evil.

It's a more subtle form of evil, of human frailty and obsessions.  I
suspect a lot of people wanted white hats and black hats, and
Gormenghast is a bit too nuanced.

Steerpike is, if not exactly *evil*, completely amoral.  He reminds me
somewhat of Ripley.  But most evil is like that, in reality: it's not
generally reveling in being the antagonist to some force of good, it's
about not caring about anything beyond your own ambitions.  That's where
a lot of High Fantasy falls down, to be honest.

I also felt it started well but faded in quality- the first book was the
best by some margin, and that's never a great thing in a trilogy.


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