The guys at Unshelved have done a webcomic review of The Blade Itself, which is a wonderful thing (though due to the limitations of blogger you might have to click on it to enlarge so you can actually read it). I particularly like the line: “imagine if Quentin Tarantino wrote a Sword & Sorcery novel.” I’m a bit of a fan of Tarantino (alright, of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction a hell of a lot, True Romance and Jackie Brown a bit, and the rest, not so much, but hey, two brilliant films is two more than most of us make, right?) so I take a comparison to him, however tongue-in-cheekly made, as a great compliment. But it did get me thinking about some similarities of approach…
Lurid, over-the-top violence? Check.
Conflicted, treacherous, shades-o-grey characters, haunted by their pasts? Check.
Black humour in the midst of the most awful situations? Check.
A focus on the crazy randomness of every day life? Check.
Fast cut, parallel plotlines that interweave in shocking and unexpected ways? Check.
Realistic dialogue that finds pearls of humour amongst the hum-drum of normality? Check-ish.
An un-ignorable legacy that has forever changed the way people work within a chosen genre? Erm … alright, alright, I’m working on it.
Lots of cool 70s hippety-hoppety music and the involvement of Harvey Keitel? Well … not so much. But what happened to Harvey Keitel anyway? At one point congress passed a law that you COULD NOT RELEASE a film without at least a Keitel cameo. Can’t remember the last time I saw him.
But I digress. You know what? On the whole, it is as if Tarantino wrote a Sword & Sorcery novel.
There have been a lot of Blade Itself style posts around the place lately, so apologies if I never got to yours. It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what you have to say. I definitely appreciate what they had to say at The Horror Review:
“Up and coming Brit author Joe Abercrombie has presented the rapidly tiring fantasy genre with the most refreshing, original, and entertaining tome it has seen in years … I cannot recommend The Blade Itself enough. In fact, this was my favorite book of the year with ease, and I am not sure I can wait until March for the U.S. release of book two of the trilogy, Before They Are Hanged.”
And lastly, but by no means leastly, JG Thomas, who was able to secure a proof in the competition recently, has reviewed Last Argument of Kings on his new blog Speculative Horizons:
“Last Argument of Kings has everything you could ask for: huge battles, political intrigue, masterly characterisation and surprises by the bucket-load. This book will by turns shock you, excite you, make you laugh, and above all entertain you.”
What do you know, another reviewer with a deadly allergy to top marks. He gives it 9.75/10 as well, though I prefer to think of it as 39/40, or maybe 98%. SIGH. I suppose I’ll have to be satisfied with that.
I wonder if – some day – I should present some more content on here that isn’t just self-aggrandising excerpts from other people’s reviews of my books. Maybe soon. Maybe soon, I will…