Malazan Empire: Honestly, should I continue reading? - Malazan Empire

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Honestly, should I continue reading?

#1 User is offline   Steffen 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 09:15 PM

Hi everyone,


I hope this hasn't been asked and answered a million times, and apologize if this is the case.

I'm uncertain whether or not I want to continue reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.I've read the first one (GotM) and am currently at 12% of the second one (Deadhouse Gates).


Pro:
I very much enjoy the worldbuilding and general atmosphere. The world seems very believable, vast, mysterious and real to me.Erikson has quickly managed to make me curious about the deep inner workings of his world and the true motives of his characters and parties.
I love the apparent scope and complexity of the over-all plot, and understand that it requires thorough introduction of setting and characters.The prospect of the "initial work" paying off and leaving me with a 10 book series at hand that I'll enjoy amazes me.Also, there's a lot of deep meaning to be found in between the lines - I've already marked a nice collection of quotes that spoke to me in the first book alone. Kruppe, for one, made me laugh out loud, which, sadly, is rare is enough.


Con:
English isn't my first language. Nevertheless, I've been reading English fantasy for the last 10-15 or so years (Sanderson, Hobb, Martin, Rothfuss, Abercrombie etc.) without any problems whatsoever. Somehow I seem to struggle with Erikson though - I keep rereading sentences and am generally struggling with getting a good reading session in. Getting into the flow. But that's alright, I think I'm getting used to his writing style. What's bugging me the most is the following: I'm not feeling much for any of the characters. I wish I did, but I just don't. At this point, he could pretty much kill off anyone and I wouldn't be too bothered. Alright, I'd like to hear more about Kruppe and Quick Ben, maybe Paran, but..


I think for my personal taste, Erikson's jumping around a bit too much, changing POV chars, cities or even continents, focussing more on introducing concepts/races/places than on shining light on the inner workings/conflicts of the particular POV char. When looking back to my best reads thus far, I vividly remember the characters like old friends, people I've once known intimately because I got a glimpse at their true selfs, saw the world from their perspective. World building and plot -for my personal taste- don't suffice. I want believable, complex personalities who struggle with conflicting emotions. It's Boromir's acknowledgement of Aragorn upon his last breath (my brother. my captain. my king.) that still sends goosebumps all over me, not the epic battle for Helm's deep.


Question:
Can I expect that to change? Can you recommend anything like "read till the end of book two and if you still dislike it, stop"?


Thanks for reading my post and for potential advice! I hope nobody got offended by hearing their favourite author being critized.

Cheers,

Steffen

This post has been edited by Steffen: 28 February 2019 - 09:40 AM

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#2 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 09:22 PM

I believe it does change, and DG is exactly where it starts to do that. This is a commitment, but I would advise reading through book 3 before you make a decision to quit or not, and I think everyone else will agree with that. By the end of book 2, you will likely want to read more anyway, is a pretty safe bet.
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#3 User is offline   Zetubal 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 09:58 PM

I second what worry wrote. While GotM doesn't do the best job of making you feel too attached to any of the characters, later books in the series do a fantastic job of accomplishing just that. Though I can only speak for myself, there are moments in the Malazan books that resonate with me in the same sense as that Lord of the Rings quote you mention does with you.
Without spoiling anything much, I think it can be said that MBotF, at its core, is very much about humanizing grand scale drama by breaking it down to individual stories. And as the series goes on, it also delves deeply into the ambivalent ways in which characters are perceived by their peers and how they feel on the inside. So, to your question: You will get to know some characters in really intimate ways...which lays a great foundation for making both their grand successes and failures emotionally resonant.
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#4 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:30 PM

My standard advice is always to stick with it until the end of book 3 (Memories of Ice). If you havent been totally won over by then, the series probably isnt for you. But at least you will still have had a memorable journey.

And yes, it is one of the most commonly asked questions. Probably because the series is so long and has so many povs that people find the prospect daunting.

This post has been edited by Gorefest: 27 February 2019 - 10:32 PM

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#5 User is offline   Stormcat 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 11:38 PM

By book three you will either be in love or you will be wrong.
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#6 User is online   Slow Ben 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 03:41 AM

Triple ditto.
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#7 User is offline   Steffen 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:37 AM

Thank you all so much for the quick replies!

It's encouraging that you feel about Malazan the way I feel about other reads.

And so it shall be:Come what may, I will reach the end of book three, which I will hopefully love and not be wrong.

This post has been edited by Steffen: 28 February 2019 - 11:59 AM

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#8 User is offline   flea 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 02:03 PM

If the chain of dogs arc in book 2 does not move you, then I wouldn’t bother with book 3
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#9 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 03:20 PM

 Steffen, on 27 February 2019 - 09:15 PM, said:

"read till the end of book two and if you still dislike it, stop"?


This. Trust me. If DG doesn't hook you, you know this series isn't for you.
CHASE: Paw Patrol is ready for action Mr Pust sir!
PUST: *pauses ranting* What does that mean?
ZUMA: It means let's dive in, dude!
PUST: What? What is a dude? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?????
-The Malazan Book of the Paw Patrol
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#10 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 03:21 PM

I disagree. Book 3 revisits a lot of the characters from the first book that the OP says he wanted to read more of, plus the feel of Memories of Ice is very different from Deadhouse Gates. Both awesome stories, but very different in tone and direction. So even if you don't particularly liked book 2, you could still be blown away by 3 (and vice versa I guess). After books 1-3 you should have a good feel for the series and be in a good position to judge whether you think you can ride it out or if it just isn't gripping you.
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
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