Friday, March 04, 2011

Before They Are Hanged -- Joe Abercrombie

Okay, Joe Abercrombie has got me. I’ll keep buying his books so long as he keeps producing excellent tales like this. Before They Are Hanged is easy reading full of enjoyable characters that change in ways you like to see them change, throughout a stonking story. The subtext added by the torturer Glokta’s thoughts as he carries out his ‘duties’ raises a chuckle at such (understandable) cynicism. I enjoy Luthar’s climb out of naivety and Logen’s pragmatic wisdom, and I love every one of the other northern ‘named men’ who have already crept up into the region of legend in my mind: Black Dow, Dogman, Harding Grim, Threetrees and Tul Duru Thunderhead. Honestly, reading this book has made me realize that I didn’t go off fantasy over the last couple of decades, I just wasn’t getting hold of any of the good stuff.

This is the good stuff.

Incidentally, his blog is worth a look too.


Variant13 said...

I knew you'd be hooked as soon as you said you were reading the first one Neal. And they only get better!

Jay said...

Same! You can't help but love Joe's use of internal monologue.

I was so burned out on fantasy until I read these books. Best Served Cold also was awesome a really well contained novel.

bascule said...

Apart from occasional Gemmel re-reads, I was off Fantasy for near on 2 decades. The "The Blade itself" landed on the hall mat.

Fantasy is a regular part of my bookly diet now.

Patrick Rothfuss is another name to look into.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

i'll bite. you all have conned me into this Abercombie suit. after this short stack goes away (still slobbering to get into Engineer Reconditioned).


Abercrombie's First Law trilogy is fricken great...

...but wait till you get to "Best Served Cold" he takes a bunch of ancillary characters and brings them to the fore in a horrible story of vengeance. Really makes you wonder why Joe seems to hate his characters so much as he puts them through hell.