Sunday, July 8, 2012
Last Week in Denmark
So I've been away for a week or so, visiting beautiful Denmark. While there, I blogged a little on my smartphone so I could just cut'n'paste it here now that I'm back home. I began a new re-read post before I left but have to get back to it.
It's July the second, and I am on a short holiday to the eastern coast of Jylland, the largest landmass of fabulous Denmark. I love this country's mix of Scandinavia and the European nations further south, such as Germany. Unlike Norway, Denmark has an interesting medieval history and there's the odd castle ruin to gawk at. One rather terrifying thing about this otherwise sweet and relaxing week is the fact that I'm offline. I'm writing this using the Writer-app for my smartphone, so I can cut and paste it into the blog once I have returned. So what can a geek do, trapped in a rented villa by the sea, with great people but none of them even remotely interested in the delights of secondary worlds? No computers, no dice, no discussions about the worthiness of Tom Bombadil or the circle-shape of Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy?
The answer, of course, is reading. Nice fantasy reading. It's actually easier to be immersed here in a remote corner of Denmark with nothing to take my attention (except being social and a father, of course).
Point being, I've finished Peter V. Brett's "The Painted Man", started and finished Steven Erikson's "Cracked Pot Trail", and am now enjoying - simultaneously - Patrick Rothfuss' "The Wise Man's Fear" (a deliciously fat hardback bought on publishing date) and Brett's "The Desert Spear".
"Cracked Pot Trail", Erikson's latest novella, is entirely different. Complex, philosophic, experimental, at times absurd and certainly macabre, Erikson plays with language like no other fantasy author, and I am amazed by this story, its peculiar cast of characters, everything but a somewhat dissapointing ending. Since January 2010 I've gone from curious to intrigued, to wowed, and now with this novella, to sincere admiration for Steven Erikson. Now that I have read everything Malazan, I can only look forward to Erikson's next work, "The Forge of Darkness", scheduled for NEXT FRICKING MONTH. He's more machine now, than man. But his prose is oh so human, especially evident in "Cracked Pot Trail" where Erikson comments on a fair few human conditions. Despite the - in my opinion - somewhat lacklustre ending, this novella was incredibly entertaining, providing laughs as well as reflection. There is so much packed in here, and it seems quite clear to me that the Trail is an outlet for Erikson to have his say on the subject of writing as art. And art it is. A solid 9.5 out of 10.
As for returning to Kvothe's adventures - I sense a more confident writer and a good story to come, not too dissimilar from "The Name of the Wind".
Also, I found a few packs of Magic: The Gathering 2012 in a small toy store, visited the ruins of a castle, and finally caved in and bought the latest Star Wars DVD set. More money for George Lucash, and an increase in geekery over the last couple of days. Also, sun and sea. Mmmmm... I wonder if there's news on The Winds of Winter. So long ago since I was online..literally days! Nah who am I kidding. We're all back to square one, in the midst of yet another long wait.
Posted by R.J. at 12:21 PM