Back from Cornwall

June 12th, 2008

Back from Cornwall. Stayed in a lighthouse. Weather was fantastic. Paddled on the beach. Swam in the sea (cold as f*ck). Even did some body-boarding. Surf’s up, dudes, and that. Went to St. Michael’s Mount near Penzance, a castle/church/stately home on a great rock that is an island for most of the day. Fascinating, beautiful, but very high. Me and high do not mix well.

I return to find much discussion on the webasphere regarding my books. Without further ado, then. SFSignal have reviewed Before They are Hanged. They were not complimentary:

“Everything that was good in the first book (excellent story, fast-paced action, interesting characters) is honed to a fine edge here.”

Only kidding! They were really complimentary!

“I’m not usually a fantasy fan, but Before They Are Hanged is one of the rare books that I didn’t want to put down and pulled out to read whenever I could. It’s certainly a worth addition to the series and if you like great stories, fantasy or otherwise, pick up this book and the first if you haven’t already.”

Boo-yah. Actress Felicia Day also read Before They are Hanged. Well, you can’t win ’em all, as they say. She did not like it:

“The characterization is fascinating and gripping. Joe Abercrombie really masters the “grey area”, where no one is a two-dimensional bad guy, and you’re constantly questioning the motivation of people who you thought were on one side or another.”

Only kidding! She loved it! Reviews of the first two books from the interestingly titled Bad, bad reviews:

“This was exactly the kind of book I’d hoped it would be. Fun, exciting, violent – a large roster (but not too large) of interesting characters get involved in intersecting story-lines and it’s set in a medieval world with all sorts of people and places plus some powerful sorcery. This is sword-and-sorcery at its best.”

I’m joking! They were great reviews! Pedro Quaresma read The Blade Itself, and he was not happy:

“I therefore unconditionally recommend this book and this trilogy to any fantasy fan. I sure hope the author continues creating such great quality books.”

Got you again. He was very happy. And don’t worry Pedro, I will continue to produce books. Their quality? You’ll have to be the judges. Author Tim Stretton has finished Before They are Hanged, and been reflecting upon its qualities:

“I will blog much more about Abercrombie later–he is a writer of unusual gifts,”

I am indeed. In fact I once received a fossilised banana from a distant aunt. You won’t find many more unusual gifts than that. But he goes on to speak more directly about my work:

“and for anyone who enjoys fantasy his books are a treat. Darkly humorous, dripping with rich characterisation and with great control of voice, Abercrombie is setting the standard for modern fantasy fiction.”

Damn straight he is. Damn straight. Stretton goes on to consider The Blade Itself in more detail, and very complimentary he is too. Apart from his rather worrying stated desire to gun me down in the street. Simply another reason, as if any more were needed, never to leave the house.

Posted in reviews by Joe Abercrombie on June 12th, 2008. Tags:

14 comments so far

  • Swainson says:

    Glad you had a good holiday.

    The sea in Cornwall, cold, you don’t say!!

    On to your books/characters. Not exactly relevant to your post here but from an amalgam of others.

    After being wrong about Logen/Wolverine I thought all the other nods I thought I had noticed would also be wrong; maybe not.


    Bethod is a word about half way through the charm of making.

    The tickling trout scene “there’s always something cleverer than youself” direct quote from Merlin.

    I’m not quite as sure of thes ones.

    The Outlaw Josie Wales

    I seem to remember a reference to ‘Whitling Dixie’

    and a reference to red legs.

    That’s all but if you can let me know about Bethod it might stop me saying the charm if making in my head, over and over and over again. It’s driving me potty!

  • Swainson says:

    Sorry ‘Whistling Dixie’ and these has an e on the end.

  • Elena says:

    good. you don’t need to leave your house. you need to write your next masterpiece so that you don’t make like lynch and get it pushed back…and back…and back…

    and yes, i saw your post on this very issue, i just thought i’d remind you that your public is waiting. 🙂

  • Tim Stretton says:

    Since there are only a dozen or so streets I walk down on a regular basis, you should be safe to sneak out to the shops every now and then… (ah, but which dozen streets?).

    I’ll settle for gnashing my teeth in impotent envy, at least until “Best Served Cold” is finished…

  • Weird gifts: I once got a set of antique South American, cast-iron underwear.
    (They are a single, iron leaf, with hooks for leather thongs to wrap around the waste and keep one’s modesty intact.)

  • daft sod says:

    Looks like Captain Obviuos paid a little visit to a good many reviewers lately. Doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  • Yaseen says:

    Ok, correct me if i’m wrong (don’t really do it, i suffer the same meglomania as you do (i dont really(well maybe kinda a little))) but i think that the transformation from Logen to the Bloody Nine read very similar to the way David Webb changed into Jason Bourne from the bourne supremacy onwards… (at least in the Ludlum books, didnt really appreciate the lustbader novels)

    well, the only difference being that the Bloody Nine persona came unforced, almost randomly, and Bourne came when needed.

  • m.q.zed says:

    i thought bloody nine was a bit more like Hulk… but instead of rage personified he was violence personified.

  • Swainson,
    Annal Nathrach, Urthfas Bethod, Dochyel Dyenvei?

    Josie Wales asks of four Union soldiers, “Are you gonna pull those pistols or … whistle dixie?”

    But not quite as good as one of the best exchanges ever in a western:
    “Are you a bounty hunter?”
    “Man’s gotta make some kind of a living.”
    “Dying ain’t much of a living, boy.”

    Thanks for the reminder…

    Oh, I’m a big fan of impotent envy too. I think most writers are.

    That really is weird. And quite unsettling.

    Ah, Captain Obvious, my favourite superhero.

    Yaseen & mq,
    Not read the Bourne books, so I couldn’t comment. Liked the first movie, but thought the other two were kind of reruns of the first without the edge.

  • Joakim says:

    Seems I might even pick up “Last argument of kings” before it arrives in paperback. The entire trilogy even got mentioned in my local Swedish newspaper as the one of the hottest things out there. Not often fantasy that isnt aimed at children is mentioned in mainstream press.

  • Lloyd Miller says:

    Joe, I just wanted to let you know that you are my favorite author. I picked up TBI on a whim and fell in love with it.

    In my eyes you’ve saved the fantasy genre from itself. I only hope more authors follow suit.

  • Swainson says:

    “Nice bit of hickory” was one of my western favorites.

    My dad loved the opening to Magnum Force.

    Girl hitching, car draws up.
    Man says “Where are you goin’?”
    Girl says “Nowhere with you numbnuts”

    Thanks for the charm of making in writing; now the bloody thing will never be out of my head!

  • Alex says:

    We stayed in Pendeen Lighthouse down in Cornwall a few years back. I think I might have read some GRR Martin, although since it was my honeymoon I could have been otherwise engaged 😉

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