Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Big books

Reading a big fantasy novel reminds me of reading Tolstoy. Yes they are both big, but more importantly, for Americans at least, they both require figuring out an alien society and naming conventions that must be read multiple times before they are understood. This person has captures the joys and difficulties of reading Tolstoy. When I read large Russian novels and large fantasy novels, I tend to go with the flow. Instead of puzzling everything out, I tend to keep reading and hope that I will understand what is happening via osmosis. This generally works, although I probably miss out on things.

I am now reading Steve Erikson's Deadhouse Gates, which is excellent so far. Mind, I spent quite a bit of time wrestling with the first book of the series, Gardens of the Moon. You might ask why I would spend so much time on a mere genre novel. I suppose I crave tales of epic adventure, that just aren't made outside of the fantasy genre. From a pure escapist viewpoint, they are hard to beat.

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