Man, only up to Chapter 5 and I’m already feeling like I’ve lost half the details.
Dragons and Zombies most recent Post does a great job of giving you all the info that has happened. Let me tell you, there is so much packed into these chapters, that I suspect it will take 4 or 5 reads to ever truly wrap my head around all that happened/is going to happen.
So I am just going to write about my reactions to what I’ve read without giving a lot of details about the book.
Character points of view. Instead of sticking to one character, or even one group of characters for each chapter, Erikson stuffs almost everyone into each chapter. Some have only 2-3 paragraphs while others have most of the chapter. I am reading an old Transworld ebook edition [the original publisher when these were turned into ebooks] and the ocr errors for “C” are cropping up as well as there being no transition between pov’s except for an extra space between paragraphs. I should look at my hardcover to see if there is some visual clue between transition points. If not, that is going to be a major down point in my review. There are so many storylines going on that my brain needs a clue to switch gears. And when non-sentient creatures [Moby, a bhoka’rala] get space as well, it’s just a lot to deal with.
I have made the transition to reading this in the way it was written. IE, I don’t get frustrated at ALL the detail now. I have to wonder, if even 10% was removed, would it make a difference? If it does make a difference, I sure would love to see Erikson’s pages showing how it all connects. I imagine a whole wall covered in names and events with arrows and curlicues going from one to the other and wicked complicated paths of relationship.
The goals of various characters are not monolithic in nature. Everyone is not aiming for the same thing or even trying to accomplish the same thing in the same way. In Star Wars, it was “Destroy the Deathstar by taking out this vent. The End.” We never saw any discussion or anyone trying anything different. They were ALL focused on that one action. Here, Erikson just throws a handful of “plot sand” into the air and records where it drifts and falls to. I almost want to start a journal just to record things so I can figure out where each grain of sand is going.
Power seems to the end point, the justification, for almost any and everything. But being powerful doesn’t make you better, it just brings to the forefront your flaws. Instead of being a discipline that pares down the rough edges, magic seems to be a goal that encourages the worst in its adherents to attain. The other thing that bothers me is that so far, the only people who are sure of anything are complete jerks, the kind of people you WANT to fail.
To wrap up, I am enjoying this but realizing just how big a project this is. Hope I don’t get overwhelmed.
Here are links to a save searched on my site and DZ’s for all our Deadhouse Gate readalong posts: