When he opened his mouth
Do not waste your time, this book should offer a refund
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.
Engaging, Adult, non-pedantic
There are two many characters to love in this book, though if pressed, I would have to go with Cropper. "Because all stories start with Cropper."
This is great book. Lister is a great narrator. Erikson is a great writer. I muddled through George R.R. Martin's over ten part series, and while it kept my interest for the most part, I have never read a series of books where I rolled my eyes so many times at the dialogue. If I hear one more "wool-headed sheep herder" or other juvenile put down, I will scream.
But Erikson writes for adults, and treats the readers as adults. But even more, the story lines are just amazing and largely unpredictable. And with the exception of Cropper, none of the characters are "over the top", though in Cropper's case there is a good reason for it.
Anyway, my only challenge was weather to use my monthly credit or just pay for it and use my credit on a more expensive book.
Don't expect to have any questions answered in this opening to the Malazan Book of the Fallen. However, the characters were each unique and compelling. There is a ton of action and violence on par with Abercrombie. If you're like me, you will hit the prologue after you have finished just to try to figure out what you've missed. I am looking forward to the rest of the series hitting Audible. Performance wasn't spotless, but Ralph is good enough not to get lost in dialogue changes and complex "foreign" language.
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 was somewhat surprised. The reviews seemed so good, and there were parts that I really liked, but I just couldn't follow along. Perhaps my mind wonders a little when I'm listening to books on tape? Perhaps you don't have the same attention to detail and visual cues (like people's names and places) that you get when reading a book. Perhaps it was the narrator. He had two voices... a narration that sounded a lot like the actor Jason Stathom (which was kind of cool) and the character voices which was a higher pitched more street-urchin version of Jason Stathom. Perhaps it was the disjointed way that the author seemed to bounce from character to character. It was hard to tell who I was following and where I was and even what they were doing at times. Too many sub plots and side stories. I just couldn't follow along. Perhaps your listening will be different and I hope it is, or perhaps you get into stride later in the book. I listened for eight hours before saying "enough".
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).