I have read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series in paperback. I enjoyed them so much that I plan to listen to each of the audio books as they are made available.
Thank you so much Audible.com for making Erikson part of my audio library.
More fecund than any book of its kind. No other writer has a menagerie of fleshed out characters like Erikson.
I enjoy fiction including Sci Fi and fantasy (lots of epic fantasy.) I'm also a big fan of some of the spy genre like the Bourne series and some Tom Clancy.
That is a definite maybe. But probably not. Right now I don't know how I will go on to listen to the next two.
This book had all the makings of a fantastic book. Without the story. So what's wrong with the story? It doesn't really exist. You're pulled into it without context, description, direction or any sense for what anyone is doing beyond their present actions. You have no ability to sense the gravity of the moment or have any emotional attachment to what's going on. At one point there's what seems should be a dramatic scene and he says "The day of the Tiste Andii has come!" It has the same gravity as "DUH DUH DUUHHHHHH... Bob is acutely pissed." Maybe it's different when you can sit down and slowly read it but there are some many seemingly mindless facts, names, places, etc. that when the time comes that those things are important you've completely forgotten what they are or just don't realize why you should care.
There's a dramatic fight scene at one point on the roofs of Darujistan which Anomander Rake joins. You find out he's a bit of a bad@ss. Well, actually you don't. You don't know it's him. Later in the book you find out it was him and then you're like... oh... ok? Well I guess he's a bad@ss.
Frustration. Boredom. I found myself easily distracted and wanting to do something else other than listen to the book.
There are far more enjoyable books out there. If you really geek out on technicals - if you LOVED the Silmarillion.. then maybe this book is for you. Just remember you'd have to love the Silmarillion without reading any of the other Tolkien books first! That would be a similar experience I think.
1. Brutal - The world the Malazans novels is brutal and hard, there is no black and white here, everybody is a moral shade of gray. 2. Harsh - Conquering armies squashing resistance, coups, set-ups, the world of the Malazans is a no holds barred fistfight of human and non-human races all vying for dominance. 3. Unforgiving - No character is guaranteed a free ride to glory in this world. Every man for himself in a battle royal of human and non-human political maneuvering and warfare.
I liked Ralph Lister but I only gave him 4 stars for this book. I felt he had a few characters a little bit off from what I imagined them (I had read six of the books before). I will say that he improves these characters along with adding a few new voice in Book 2 and by Book 3 he is a slam dunk 5 star performer. Book 3 is one of the best performed book I've ever heard. That is why I am saddened that he is not scheduled to do the rest of the series. For those who know who Kruppe is, Lister completely nails his character and had me laughing aloud continually during his parts.
The Malazan series is not an easy read. You are dropped right into a world in a specific time in its history with no knowledge of how the magic system works, who all the players are, who the non-humanoid creatures are, etc. It takes a while to get the hang of what is going on, but once you do Gardens of the Moon is a tale well worth waiting to see played out. Interestingly, I had read 6 of the 10 books previously and had struggled with some of them. But, I thought Gardens of the Moon as well as Book 2 and Book 3 read in audiobook format much smoother. The jumps between characters and even continents really read well through the audio, much smoother and clearer than what I remember when actually reading them. If you like high/epic type fantasy and aren't afraid of a harsh, unforgiving and sometimes brutal world of injustice and indifference then the world of the Malazans is a worthwhile investment.
I don't know how I missed Erikson for all these years, but the Malazan books are without par. In the vein of Cook's Black Company, but so much more. George R.R. Martin lost his way as did Robert Jordan building up tales that became so complex they became lost in their own detail. Not Erikson - these tales are action filled yarns with characters you care about.
Deadhouse Gates is a great introduction to this meaty tale. The naration is top notch.
Take it from a lifelong fantasy geek, these books are a great listen.
One caveat, only three of the 10 books are available and Brilliance Audio does not show book 4 available until December 2013.
A little more explanation of the world upfront. I understand that like a lot of hard sci-fi and fantasy that they just thrust you into the world, but I was more than halfway through the book when I realized some basic tenets of their world.
The performance was really spectacular. There are a ton of characters in this book, yet I felt I recognized each by their voice alone as soon as one spoke. Each character's voice really befit their character as well. I feel this is a good introduction to what may be a great series. My only complaint is that it really takes a while for the story to start making sense. He doesn't give much in the way of explanation of what is occurring in the first half of the book, and uses a lot of fantasy words he makes up for the story. I was utterly clueless about what was going on for the first 12 hours of the audiobook, but I am glad I stuck with it. He does eventually pull all those threads together into an impressive climax, and you are left wanting more. That's good, because now I have 9 books to go!
I enjoy listening to fantasy, some science fictions and have recently found myself enjoying the lecture audiobooks.
I enjoyed how the characters end up intertwining and the characters themselves and the overall story arch.
While I'm interested in Quick Ben, I'd have to say my favorite ended up being Cropper. Lots of personality, at times the character made me smirk and some surprises made him even better.
I have not, however he did very well.
I'd have to say Croakus's (probably spelled the name incorrectly) love interests were a touch moving.
The only minor problems I found was that until about half way through the book, the constant adding on of all sorts of characters made it hard to keep track and even focus with the book, also it's the kind of book that very abruptly changes over to another characters story or continuation there of. There are a LOT of characters in the book. I got used to it after a long while, but it was frustrating at first. Otherwise the book is beautifully written.
I've read this series in hard copy and thought that this book would be a safe way to spend an extra credit. However, I found Mr. Lister's narration to be so enjoyable I'll be buying the whole series again in audio format.
The in depth pervasive environment, history, well fleshed out characters. It's an epic fantasy realm unlike any other.
The kick-off to a great series!
He is probably one of the better readers I've listened to, perhaps the best. The Malazan books are full of different cultures, characters, languages, etc. and I think the reader does a great job at trying to create different accents, styles of speach, and attitudes for each character.
The first 30+ hour movie!
Why did he give Khalam a nasaly voice?! I am seriously holding this against the reader. I imagine Khalam as almost Khal Drogo-ish type of character and the reader makes him sound like British Milhouse from the simpsons.
Written for adults, this book has rich and deep characters. The world is complex and weaves an interesting network of layered machinations upon machinations.
However, given the great maturity in writing style and characters I kept waiting for a more meaningful and develop story arc. Instead it felt like every event and conflict resolved through deus ex machina---which may have been the point, but it left me wanting a story line to get invested in. I may listen to the second book, but I'm not highly motivated to do so as I don't really care what will happen to these characters (that may also have been the point).