Monday, February 18, 2013

Joe Abercrombie--The Heroes

Now and then a book is a joy. If you don't agree with me then, frankly, I think you haven't been reading the right books.

I'm just finishing up Joe Abercrombie's THE HEROES, which is not nearly the first book by the man that I've read, nor is it likely to be the last. here's the thing: Abercrombie is just damned readable. I mean that. It's not always the case for me. There are several writers I'm on a first name basis with who, frankly, I simply do not enjoy reading. It isn't that they can;t write, it's simply that their style does nothing for me. It wasn't that long ago that I was still saying I hadn't read any contemporary fantasy in a long time that I could enjoy and the reason I'm reading it again is summed up in one name: Joe Abercrombie. There have been a few others, to be sure, but with the sole exception of Tim Lebbon (Dawn and Dusk leap immediately to mind but basically everything I've read in Lebbon's Noreela series has been worth the trouble for me) remarkably little has been written well enough to make me actively look forward to the next book in a series.

THE HEROES is a sweeping epic with a huge cast and that's often a deathblow for a novel because a lot of authors simply can't manage a cast that size without losing my interest or losing control of the cast. That hasn't been a problem here. My friend and coauthor Charles R. Rutledge (who turned me onto Abercrombie in the first place) and I have had multiple discussions about Abercrombie and normally at one point or another one of us will concede that, damn it, the man is just damned good. He knows how to tell a story, he knows how to turn a phrase and he knows how to keep my interest. Barring unforeseen incidents, I suspect he's made a fan for life in me. I'm just finishing up THE HEROES and I'll be starting into RED COUNTRY next.

I'd like to point out that both of the links to book titles by Abercrombie lead to Amazon.com, where currently the hardback editions of the books are on sale at substantial discounts. I like discounts and I like to share them.


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