The Second Apocalypse

Earwa => The Aspect-Emperor => The Unholy Consult => Topic started by: andrew on August 20, 2017, 01:22:46 am

Title: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: andrew on August 20, 2017, 01:22:46 am
I finished TUC about 10 days ago.  Still angry, revolted and amazed with myself that I slogged through so much filth just to see how it ends...only to find that absolutely nothing about the ending makes the price of admission remotely worth paying. 

I've been a fan since +- 2003/4 when I read Darkness that Comes Before and found it to be one of the best fantasy novels I'd ever read.  I loved the entire PON series, even if it was dark + brutal.  In the wait between books, I even made the egregious error of reading Bakker's pornographic/seriously sick stand-alone novel, Neuropath (featuring such witticisms as, "I only fuck the meat" ), so enamored was I of PON.

The entire Aspect Emporer series, but particularly the last two books and TUC more than any, is just revolting.  And so much of it turns out to be pointless: the last cishaurim; the entire Mimara/baby/Judging Eye storyline; the entire 'what will Sorweel chose' storyline ... wham, he's another WL Warrior last second, and oh, by the way he sucks at it and fails because of that repulsive dipshit Kelmomas; Achamian's reunion with Esmenet - a few hours of reconciliation before he is sent off to eternal torment (while she, for no reason but the arbitrariness of the demon-gods, is saved); I could go on. And along the way we have to slog through the truly demented, repulsive imagination of Scott Bakker. 

I recall on the old forum a thread where Bakker (who used to post frequently) was crowing about reading a review from someone who was so repulsed by the brutality in the PON series that she decided to burn the book, which Bakker thought was seriously funny.  7 books and +- 14 years later, I'm seriously thinking of tossing mine. No way I'll leave them around for my kids to discover, and I don't really hate anyone enough to gift them.  I gather there is speculation of a further No-God series.  Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice...
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Frail on August 20, 2017, 02:23:23 am
That was my first impression as well, I read the book too fast.

Now that its sunk into my shell of a skull I love it more than I did before TUC. Give it time young apprentice
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Hand of Yawgmoth on August 20, 2017, 03:37:30 am
that repulsive dipshit Kelmomas;

That's kind of missing the whole point. I agree about there being a fundamental difference between Prince of Nothing and Aspect-Emperor, but it seems like a gross oversimplification to see your takeaway. Bakker put us through the most vile celebration imaginable, and the fact that it becomes tedious after a while is a statement in itself. It's pointless and glorious and transcendent.

This isn't the end of the series. I have some reservations, and I agree about some of the loose ends. If Meppa doesn't play a big part in the follow-up, then there was no point in letting him survive Esme's chorae. Akka and Mimara had better play a big role, or else their entire journey was an exercise in stringing the reader along. Etc.

I recall on the old forum a thread where Bakker (who used to post frequently) was crowing about reading a review from someone who was so repulsed by the brutality in the PON series that she decided to burn the book, which Bakker thought was seriously funny. 7 books and +- 14 years later, I'm seriously thinking of tossing mine. No way I'll leave them around for my kids to discover, and I don't really hate anyone enough to gift them. I gather there is speculation of a further No-God series. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice...

I think he really would celebrate that, and I'm not sure he's wrong.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TLEILAXU on August 20, 2017, 04:41:13 am
the entire 'what will Sorweel chose' storyline ... wham, he's another WL Warrior last second
That's the point of being a white luck warrior. Everything you do has been pre-determined since the dawn of Creation itself... that is unless the No-God short-circuits you.

Anyway, regarding TUC, I would've liked it to be more clear. I don't mind uncertainty or things being left an aura of mystery, but sometimes the prose just became so purple it was hard to actually get what the fuck was going on. Anyway, despite this I had a legit blast while reading the book. Definitely worth the money.
The No-God series isn't just speculation, it's confirmed by Bakker himself.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: SmilerLoki on August 20, 2017, 06:17:30 am
@ andrew

I feel like the Second Apocalypse is not a work that can be described within a framework of liking. Even more, I consider that framework completely irrelevant regarding this series. I dislike violence, tragedy, and coercion. Sexual violence, I abhor with vengeance. I specifically don't read anything that might even remotely have a "bad" ending (bittersweet is okay, though). In my opinion, all those preferences have zero relevance when it comes to the Second Apocalypse. It's not genre fiction, but literary. It's about reflection, not about liking, though of course you are free to like or dislike it.

I also disagree with describing the narrative sequences you mentioned as pointless. For me, each and every one of them got a fitting ending that was completely in line with the tone and nature of the series. Nothing was conveniently explained and neatly tied off, because the whole series is about narrative inconvenience and defying expectations. Yet everything invoked thought, and, speaking for myself, I understood things I haven't before because of it. That's a shining example of what I need not being what I want.

Furthermore, right now I have compelling answers (sometimes more than one) for every question in the series that mattered to me.

That being said, I'm very sorry you're so disappointed. Maybe reading what others saw in the series would help you find new and satisfying aspects of it?
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Cynical Cat on August 20, 2017, 06:53:15 am
I unreservedly love the books.  War is not antiseptic and clean with the victory of the righteous preordained.  It is, almost always, suffering and horror with the iron gears of circumstances chewing up men and nations.  That Bakker can incorporate these terrible and frequently brushed over truths into his works while also including gripping action, awesome sorcery, and profound courage is one of his great strengths as a writer. 

Victory was never assured.  Ninety-five percent of fiction tells us that, but we all know that there is a finger on the scale.  No noble sacrifice will be futile, no courageous deed will be easily undone, evil will not triumph over good, Sauron is always defeated, and fallen heroes always end up in the undying lands.  Free will matters, the main characters are heroes, not pawns.  That is the expectation.  Normal, easy, safe.  The lie that we want to be told.

Bakker dares to betray Proyas and show us that in the heart of the man who will save us from genocide there is room for only one other person.  He dares to actually unleash the Second Apocalypse that is foretold.  The savior is not merely hollow, he is a lie.  Tremendous sacrifice results in heartbreaking failure and the unleashing of the very evil it sought to forestall.  How often does fiction dare to walk that road?  Forget all of Bakker's skills as a writer and world builder, how can you not admire the courage?

As for the Second Apocalypse, it should be heartbreaking.  The tale of how it came to pass should be tragic and powerful.  It would be obscene if it wasn't.  But it isn't over.  The First Apocalypse was over come.  The success of the second is not assured.  Drusas Achaiman walks in Seswatha's footsteps and with him is the Holy Empress and the true prophet.  The Black Gate has opened and the army of Mordor has poured forth, but the White City has yet to fall.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Hogman on August 20, 2017, 08:50:03 am
Still angry, revolted and amazed with myself that I slogged through so much filth just to see how it ends...only to find that absolutely nothing about the ending makes the price of admission remotely worth paying. 

The fact that you wanted to find out what happened speaks for itself.

...the entire 'what will Sorweel chose' storyline ... wham, he's another WL Warrior last second

It isn't "last second". It's been building ever since Yatwer hid his face.

And along the way we have to slog through the truly demented, repulsive imagination of Scott Bakker.

You didn't have to - you wanted to.
Title: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Woden on August 20, 2017, 10:49:44 am
That was my first impression as well, I read the book too fast.

Now that its sunk into my shell of a skull I love it more than I did before TUC. Give it time young apprentice

I read it too fast too, but now that I'm rereading it more slowly all the stuff of the meat and violence of the Ordeal is sickening me far more. I want to skip the chapters of the Great Ordeal just for that. I would prefer less pages of cannibalism and depravation and a more clear and less abrupt ending.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TLEILAXU on August 20, 2017, 11:18:14 am
It seems quite a lot of you actually found the violence disturbing but personally it didn't phase me at all. Maybe I'm too far gone into the Semantic Apocalypse...
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: SmilerLoki on August 20, 2017, 11:21:33 am
It seems quite a lot of you actually found the violence disturbing but personally it didn't phase me at all. Maybe I'm too far gone into the Semantic Apocalypse...
You're not alone. I read them with structural appreciation. "Well thought out pointed obscenities here".
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TLEILAXU on August 20, 2017, 11:22:53 am
It seems quite a lot of you actually found the violence disturbing but personally it didn't phase me at all. Maybe I'm too far gone into the Semantic Apocalypse...
You're not alone. I read them with structural appreciation. "Well thought out pointed obscenities here".
Does this structural appreciation include... pleasure  8)?
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: SmilerLoki on August 20, 2017, 11:27:13 am
Does this structural appreciation include... pleasure  8)?
Don't I wish! Just a sense of understanding the narrative purpose of events and the overarching structure of the book and the series. It's all very educational, actually, since the Second Apocalypse is so contradictory to many narrative conventions.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: themerchant on August 20, 2017, 11:40:15 am
It's my favourite book in the series.

Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: themerchant on August 20, 2017, 11:43:59 am
That Chorae that got Kellhus seems to have turned more than Kellhus into pure salt though. It flew right off the page and got many a reader as well. I'd be unhappy as well if i didn't like the books as much as others have. I did get a bit worried with the end of TGO.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Madness on August 20, 2017, 01:03:26 pm
I love TUC, think that it provides narrative closure - if first you accept the arcs Bakker planned for TAE, and am not disturbed by the explicit violence therein.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Redeagl on August 21, 2017, 04:52:43 am
My third favourite in my favourite series ever.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: solipsisticurge on August 21, 2017, 05:57:25 am
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It has its faults, but is a fitting end to the series so far. It subverts the Epic Fantasy Grand Finale just as well as the characters and story have so far subverted every trope and cliche in fantasy writing.

What I will say is, TUC suffers far more being the second half of a split novel than TGO suffered being the first half. You can positively feel the absence in places. (Probably less impactful if you've read TGO obsessively numerous times, or had opportunity for a re-read shortly before TUC's release.) The one ridiculously long novel would have been better, financial realities of modern publishing be damned.

Would have liked a bit more time with the New Consult, Kellhus and the Mutilated waxing philosophical about their opposing agendas, rather than a curt, "Whatcha gonna do? Gnosis goes one way, Tekne the other!" analysis of the differences. Though I suppose it is in character; I doubt Dunyain waste much breath in debate with no likely resolution.

The carnal violence did little to phase me. Bakker's gonna Bakker, and I have a thick skin where such matters are concerned. (Please don't overanalyze or misinterpret "thick skin" there.)
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Khaine on August 21, 2017, 06:20:21 am
It is like wine, as it matures it gets better.

I was also frustrated by the end, initially.

BUT as days go by and I reflect on the different themes, story arcs and parallelisms between PON and Aspect-Emperor, the more I like it.

I mean Kellhus gets salted. Throughout the entire PON I wanted Kellhus to get defeated, because I was annoyed at how good he was at everything.

Then during the Aspect-Emperor series, slowly but surely as the full depravity of the Consult became clear, I started to support Kellhus, even up to the point where he became an Avatar of Satan (pretty much!), despite having no idea what was his plan. Just the one liner, when he gazed into the Inverse Fire produced so much awesomeness: Where you fall as fodder, I descend as hunger -- which put into full perspective the dialogues in the Great Ordeal about fodder and harvest, I presume it was Kellhus debating / discussing / making a pact with Ajoklis. Awesome stuff.

And now having changed my mind about Kellhus, he is salted! What a roller coaster of emotions!

Achamian is still alive, and I sincerely hope that he will be instrumental in defeating the No-God, so all is good.

There is design in the density of the series and all is forgiven.

It is a rewarding experience but only once you let go the notion of a clear end.

Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: solipsisticurge on August 21, 2017, 07:00:29 am

Where you fall as fodder, I descend as hunger -- which put into full perspective the dialogues in the Great Ordeal about fodder and harvest, I presume it was Kellhus debating / discussing / making a pact with Ajoklis. Awesome stuff.


I had remembered that line from earlier books, but not well enough to draw the parallel there. Nice!
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Sausuna on August 21, 2017, 12:41:20 pm
I quite enjoyed the book. The ending was a bit tough to swallow at first, I typically enjoy a happy ending, but we'll see what goes down in the books to come. I think the dark tone helped adjust my expectations given the clear line of people being damned fully on the way to the Ark. But to come so close!

As for the violence, I didn't have issue with it, though I typically prefer darker settings. My expectations were set there long ago from the whole 'we are a race of lovers' scene from whatever book that was.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Wilshire on August 21, 2017, 01:13:41 pm
Loved TUC. Other than TDTCB, it's probably the best in the series if you ask me.

andrew, might I ask what your goal for this thread is? Are you hoping someone changes your mind, just looking to vent, or just gathering data ? Lots of people come around for different reasons, and I myself like to gather data on our participants ;)
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: H on August 21, 2017, 01:23:21 pm
I like it more and more every day, because it is absolutely a thematic powerhouse, even if it isn't a technical masterpiece.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Walter on August 21, 2017, 01:25:22 pm
I liked it.  TUC is my favorite in the series.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Woden on August 21, 2017, 01:44:57 pm
I like it more and more every day, because it is absolutely a thematic powerhouse, even if it isn't a technical masterpiece.

I liked and enjoyed it but it has some important flaws. Obscurity, confusion, abrupt ending...
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: H on August 21, 2017, 02:09:52 pm
I like it more and more every day, because it is absolutely a thematic powerhouse, even if it isn't a technical masterpiece.

I liked and enjoyed it but it has some important flaws. Obscurity, confusion, abrupt ending...

I actually think the ending is probably the most important thematic piece of the whole series though.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Nemojbatkastle on August 21, 2017, 03:24:25 pm
Favorite book so far, the gut-punch of it would have been frustrating and pointless if this was the end of the series, instead of simply the resolution.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: profgrape on August 21, 2017, 03:44:51 pm
Like Glen Cook, Joe Abercrombie or Mark Lawrence, Bakker set out to defy genre conventions with TSA.  Unlike those authors, however, I think he went beyond defying thematic conventions and got into structural conventions. 

If TUC had been a Gene Wolfe or Cormac McCarthy novel, it wouldn't have been so jarring.   And despite my knowing that Bakker had a twist in store, I still had 30 years (!) of fantasy reading to Condition my structural expectations.   

Of all the endings I'd imagined for TUC, "salt and butchery" wasn't one of them.   Not just in theme (good guys lose BAD) but in structure -- the abruptness, the scriptural tone -- it was absolutely jarring.

That being said, I think it's among the most impactful, if not the most impactful, works of genre fiction I've ever read. 
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Redeagl on August 21, 2017, 04:59:23 pm
I love TUC, think that it provides narrative closure - if first you accept the arcs Bakker planned for TAE, and am not disturbed by the explicit violence therein.

We, the sick fucks, are the Few apparently.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Yellow on August 21, 2017, 05:23:28 pm
I drink black seed for breakfast.

Wait, where am I again?
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Madness on August 21, 2017, 05:25:27 pm
I love TUC, think that it provides narrative closure - if first you accept the arcs Bakker planned for TAE, and am not disturbed by the explicit violence therein.

We, the sick fucks, are the Few apparently.

I mean, I referenced Bakker's horror b-movie dick-eating moment but for me one that always got me was a cannibal fisting a dude's ass and pulling out his entire intestines like a rope.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: MondoŽnghus on August 21, 2017, 05:29:13 pm
This book devastated me. Which is, from what I can tell, exactly what Bakker intended. I was sort of depressed for a couple of days after finishing it, and then somehow only became even more obsessed with it and the series as a whole. It's actually been really difficult to get into any other books. I just want to keep re-reading ...

So yeah, I guess I that means I liked it.  ;)
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Likaro on August 21, 2017, 09:54:50 pm
I do like the book the more time goes by...

I re-read the entire series before TUC...

By the end of the first trilogy, I hated Kellhus and wanted him to die horribly.

By the end of the second trilogy, even knowing Kellhus was a monster, I was actually rooting for him as the least horrible option.

As for TUC, I knew deep down that the No-God had to be coming back or something worse was going to happen, otherwise why would there be a third series?

And still, like others have said, I think we have been all been so conditioned to expect the pat and happy ending, like so many fantasies series have done before. Or, at worst case, the ending of a fantasy series is bittersweet. This one is a giant downer on the negative scale, making Abercrombie seem light hearted. So much so that the ending to me was like the ultimate kick in the balls. Kellhus seemed so powerful that none could oppose him- but wait, he can make mistakes and he makes a huge miscalculation here.

The final scenes are so powerful with the death of Big K, the imagery of hologram Kellhus floating down and oops...oh shit its the No-God, and the crazy retreat. And the last line. I actually felt physically unwell after the end.

Bravo.

With all that said though, I do hope that the NEXT trilogy offers a bit more closure to things, as that will truly be the end so what the hell. Which I doubt we will get.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TLEILAXU on August 21, 2017, 10:39:03 pm
I love TUC, think that it provides narrative closure - if first you accept the arcs Bakker planned for TAE, and am not disturbed by the explicit violence therein.

We, the sick fucks, are the Few apparently.

I mean, I referenced Bakker's horror b-movie dick-eating moment but for me one that always got me was a cannibal fisting a dude's ass and pulling out his entire intestines like a rope.
Wait, what? Dick-eating and fisting to death? Where did that happen? I have some fantasies about writing a novel one day (just like I fantasize about releasing an album) and one of my ideas was to have this big cannibal eating the dicks of little boys. Can't believe Bakker has already scooped me.

I do like the book the more time goes by...

I re-read the entire series before TUC...

By the end of the first trilogy, I hated Kellhus and wanted him to die horribly.

By the end of the second trilogy, even knowing Kellhus was a monster, I was actually rooting for him as the least horrible option.

As for TUC, I knew deep down that the No-God had to be coming back or something worse was going to happen, otherwise why would there be a third series?

And still, like others have said, I think we have been all been so conditioned to expect the pat and happy ending, like so many fantasies series have done before. Or, at worst case, the ending of a fantasy series is bittersweet. This one is a giant downer on the negative scale, making Abercrombie seem light hearted. So much so that the ending to me was like the ultimate kick in the balls. Kellhus seemed so powerful that none could oppose him- but wait, he can make mistakes and he makes a huge miscalculation here.

The final scenes are so powerful with the death of Big K, the imagery of hologram Kellhus floating down and oops...oh shit its the No-God, and the crazy retreat. And the last line. I actually felt physically unwell after the end.

Bravo.

With all that said though, I do hope that the NEXT trilogy offers a bit more closure to things, as that will truly be the end so what the hell. Which I doubt we will get.
Well, if you were rooting for the No-God as any proper (No)-God-fearing materialist should, the ending is kind of positive  8)
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Madness on August 22, 2017, 01:43:24 pm
Wait, what? Dick-eating and fisting to death? Where did that happen? I have some fantasies about writing a novel one day (just like I fantasize about releasing an album) and one of my ideas was to have this big cannibal eating the dicks of little boys. Can't believe Bakker has already scooped me.

Lmao. I previously brought up elsewhere on the forum that I must have simply watched too many shitty b-horror movies when I was younger because Bakker's obscenity didn't even really register.

At Zaudunyanicon, Bakker told an anecdote along the same lines about his wife and him watching shitty b-horror movies and the one that stuck with him recently was a guy wanting to or being forced to eat another guy's dick.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TwoMinutesToApocalypse on August 22, 2017, 11:41:13 pm
This book was kicked ass.  I'm not smart enough to read between the lines in regards to whatever philosophy Bakker is spouting, but I loved every part of this book... that I still remember.  There was mass cannibalism in the first hundred some pages and I was hooked right then.  I like ridiculous high fantasy and fucked up stuff and this book had both in spades.

That being said, I was actually kind of bored with the other three books in the Aspect Emperor trilogy.  I think Bakker could have put more in them or sped them up but they were still good.  The Unholy Consult is my favorite of his books so far.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Nil Sertrax on August 23, 2017, 12:15:45 am
Wait, what? Dick-eating and fisting to death? Where did that happen? I have some fantasies about writing a novel one day (just like I fantasize about releasing an album) and one of my ideas was to have this big cannibal eating the dicks of little boys. Can't believe Bakker has already scooped me.

Lmao. I previously brought up elsewhere on the forum that I must have simply watched too many shitty b-horror movies when I was younger because Bakker's obscenity didn't even really register.

At Zaudunyanicon, Bakker told an anecdote along the same lines about his wife and him watching shitty b-horror movies and the one that stuck with him recently was a guy wanting to or being forced to eat another guy's dick.

Sounds like "A Serbian Film" or possibly "Salo".  I don't think there's a fucked up horror movie that I haven't seen.  If you're looking for repulsive and transgressive try the "August Underground" series.  No redeeming qualities save for the effects and the psychotic imagination required to make something like this.


As for TUC, I liked it for the most part because I think Bakker writes extraordinary prose that conveys great meaning with few words.  He has a way with metaphor and description that is unmatched.  Unfortunately, he occasionally lapses into dense and impenetrable flights of fancy and loses me.  Examples include Serwe's burning heart, the passage regarding Koringhus and the Zero God,   the head on the pole and the golden room to name a few that come to mind. 

I was terribly disappointed in the end as I think the prose, once again, became much too opaque and simply deciphering what was actually occurring became difficult.  This coupled with the "out of nowhere" possession by Ajokli and then the subsequent possession of Cnaiur, it all felt rushed and disjointed.  Almost like Bakker lacked a satisfactory way to wrap up the story.  I think I was expecting more given Bakker's claim that the "G-string was going to fly across the room".  To me, this ending was decidedly not that!  Given the lack of clarity in the prose and the numerous narrative dead-ends, instead of seeing the g-string fly I felt more like the girl put her pants back on, wrapped herself up in a snow suit, punched me in the throat and then left the club! 
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TLEILAXU on August 23, 2017, 02:14:19 am
Wait, what? Dick-eating and fisting to death? Where did that happen? I have some fantasies about writing a novel one day (just like I fantasize about releasing an album) and one of my ideas was to have this big cannibal eating the dicks of little boys. Can't believe Bakker has already scooped me.

Lmao. I previously brought up elsewhere on the forum that I must have simply watched too many shitty b-horror movies when I was younger because Bakker's obscenity didn't even really register.

At Zaudunyanicon, Bakker told an anecdote along the same lines about his wife and him watching shitty b-horror movies and the one that stuck with him recently was a guy wanting to or being forced to eat another guy's dick.

Sounds like "A Serbian Film" or possibly "Salo".  I don't think there's a fucked up horror movie that I haven't seen.  If you're looking for repulsive and transgressive try the "August Underground" series.  No redeeming qualities save for the effects and the psychotic imagination required to make something like this.


As for TUC, I liked it for the most part because I think Bakker writes extraordinary prose that conveys great meaning with few words.  He has a way with metaphor and description that is unmatched.  Unfortunately, he occasionally lapses into dense and impenetrable flights of fancy and loses me.  Examples include Serwe's burning heart, the passage regarding Koringhus and the Zero God,   the head on the pole and the golden room to name a few that come to mind. 

I was terribly disappointed in the end as I think the prose, once again, became much too opaque and simply deciphering what was actually occurring became difficult.  This coupled with the "out of nowhere" possession by Ajokli and then the subsequent possession of Cnaiur, it all felt rushed and disjointed.  Almost like Bakker lacked a satisfactory way to wrap up the story.  I think I was expecting more given Bakker's claim that the "G-string was going to fly across the room".  To me, this ending was decidedly not that!  Given the lack of clarity in the prose and the numerous narrative dead-ends, instead of seeing the g-string fly I felt more like the girl put her pants back on, wrapped herself up in a snow suit, punched me in the throat and then left the club!
August Underground was recommended to me by a friend who was then 13 or 14, but I never got around to seeing it, for reasons totally not related to not being able to find a decent illegal rip, but this has my interested piqued again. Also, if anybody finds out what movie the movie was that had the dick-eating, please let me know.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: False Man on August 23, 2017, 06:45:13 am
Wikipedia reminds me that there is dick-eating in "Moebius" by Kim Ki-duk but the film is not very graphic, it's more art-house than gore/splatter.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Mandos on August 23, 2017, 07:38:29 am
I was quite upset and depressed the evening I finished the book, but I felt better about it later on, like so many here.

It took me a while to understand my reaction. But it had mostly to do with Kellhus' failure:

We know Bakker set out to subvert fantasy genre and introduce the concepts from Evolutionary Psychology & Neuroscience (i.e. Blind Brain Theory, Semantic Apocalypse) to a wider audience. Those who read his books were in on the secret! Kellhus wasn't the traditional fantasy hero come to save the world, he was a fraud - a way to introduce, play up and take advantage of people's blindness to their own mental processes. We knew what was going on. It was all those other people, both in books and in the real world, ignorant of what Kellhus was doing/scientific developments on the subject. Oh those gulls and fools! Wasn't it wonderful to watch Kellhus manipulate and control everything through the first trilogy? Anticipate and conquer every single turn of events as PoN progressed? And so I came to identify and cheer Kellhus on (like many others, I suspect). He was the one with all the answers, with deepest understanding and all the technically correct (the best kind of correct) solutions.

There were hints of troubles in TAE. We didn't get many chapters from Kellhus' POV and none that sufficiently illuminated his perception of events, outside of handling Proyas. Maithanet's assassination showed limits to Dunyan control of events. Kellhus himself was only saved from White-Luck's assassination attempt by Kelmomas' interruption. And yet I believed - believed! - that Kellhus had all the answers and would be in control of events. If his son, The Survivor, had seemingly "solved the problem" with such limited time and access to the outside world, then surely Kellhus with his decades of experience would be able to do even better. I did not expect a "good ending", I was fully expecting Neuropath-style ending. But it would be "the correct solution". I had faith Kellhus would find a way between damnation at the hands of gods and shutting the world against them with No-God - a third way if you will.

In other words, I had come to have all the same expectations and identification of a traditional fantasy hero with a character meant specifically to undermine and subvert the very same genre and expectations! What a terrible disappointment it had been to find my hero fail at the end of the book. But I suspect this was the trap Mr. Bakker set for us all along.

If I set aside my feeling of disappointment and rejection of my hero failing, the end of the book plays out quite nicely. Think of the dark irony and revealatory horror a la Planet of The Apes ending "You Blew It All Up!" Or imagine a Twilight Zone episode ending, with Rod Sterling declaring "And so ends the Great Ordeal, meant to prevent the Second Apocalypse, it became the very vehicle to deliver their enemy's main weapon and doom mankind".
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Madness on August 23, 2017, 12:47:13 pm
If memponti arises, I'll tell Bakker the internet needs to know what movie it was.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Somnambulist on August 23, 2017, 02:13:25 pm
If I set aside my feeling of disappointment and rejection of my hero failing, the end of the book plays out quite nicely. Think of the dark irony and revealatory horror a la Planet of The Apes ending "You Blew It All Up!" Or imagine a Twilight Zone episode ending, with Rod Sterling declaring "And so ends the Great Ordeal, meant to prevent the Second Apocalypse, it became the very vehicle to deliver their enemy's main weapon and doom mankind".

Overall, very similar feelings on my end.  The bold is great.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TaoHorror on August 23, 2017, 02:22:18 pm
Cat - well said!

Wilshire - put me down as a sadist who "loved" the depravity and violence!

H - agreed, like how you put it, "thematic powerhouse"

Wodon - don't agree, the "abruptness" of the ending was perfection ... eventually the tipping point of disaster is crossed and it was a crashing down effect that I loved ... it inspired panic in me as I was reading it ... kinda like the titanic sinking, for hours it was slowly filling up with water and then snap, it breaks in half and sinks ... it is, simply too late.

Yellow - nice!

For me, I immersed myself into the work - so when the baddies ( skinspies? ) at the end showed up with chorae in their hands, I imagined that scene in my head, transporting myself into that room with them. When they freed up and that one guy just grabbed and end him - wow, so cool, so intense! Bakker, in my 2 pound brain opinion, put so much style and color into the story, so many wicked cool scenes.

This was a work of horror as much as other styles - the ending is horror, which is typical of the genre. In a way, after plowing over so many story conventions, he stayed true to the horror story architecture. And the way he's able to turn me into so many knots - here we have Kel who is the monster of monsters, murdering his siblings ( I conceded when he murdered his twin, I had to put the book down for a few days ) and I feel EMPATHY for him when he's dragged into the box by the Mutilated - not just empathy for the world having to face Mog, but felt little Kel's terror as he was restrained and "modified" by the horrors of that thing. In no way should I have felt that - but Bakker is a master scribbler, one for the ages. Don't let your dissatisfaction ruin the fun to be had reading this thing. He held true to that very important tenet - in addition to all of the important philosophy he wanted to indulge - he made it fun.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TheCulminatingApe on August 23, 2017, 07:17:52 pm
I was quite upset and depressed the evening I finished the book, but I felt better about it later on, like so many here...

Wasn't it wonderful to watch Kellhus manipulate and control everything through the first trilogy? Anticipate and conquer every single turn of events as PoN progressed? And so I came to identify and cheer Kellhus on (like many others, I suspect). He was the one with all the answers, with deepest understanding and all the technically correct (the best kind of correct) solutions...

And yet I believed - believed! - that Kellhus had all the answers and would be in control of events. If his son, The Survivor, had seemingly "solved the problem" with such limited time and access to the outside world, then surely Kellhus with his decades of experience would be able to do even better. I did not expect a "good ending" ... I had faith Kellhus would find a way between damnation at the hands of gods and shutting the world against them with No-God - a third way if you will.

In other words, I had come to have all the same expectations and identification of a traditional fantasy hero with a character meant specifically to undermine and subvert the very same genre and expectations! What a terrible disappointment it had been to find my hero fail at the end of the book. But I suspect this was the trap Mr. Bakker set for us all along...

This is a good post, Mandos, and pretty much mirrors my thoughts.

As Cnaiur says, "they make us love" and "it all a ruse, he's Dunyain (or something very similar)"    :o :'(:-[
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Wilshire on August 23, 2017, 07:54:05 pm
I was quite upset and depressed the evening I finished the book, but I felt better about it later on, like so many here...

Wasn't it wonderful to watch Kellhus manipulate and control everything through the first trilogy? Anticipate and conquer every single turn of events as PoN progressed? And so I came to identify and cheer Kellhus on (like many others, I suspect). He was the one with all the answers, with deepest understanding and all the technically correct (the best kind of correct) solutions...

And yet I believed - believed! - that Kellhus had all the answers and would be in control of events. If his son, The Survivor, had seemingly "solved the problem" with such limited time and access to the outside world, then surely Kellhus with his decades of experience would be able to do even better. I did not expect a "good ending" ... I had faith Kellhus would find a way between damnation at the hands of gods and shutting the world against them with No-God - a third way if you will.

In other words, I had come to have all the same expectations and identification of a traditional fantasy hero with a character meant specifically to undermine and subvert the very same genre and expectations! What a terrible disappointment it had been to find my hero fail at the end of the book. But I suspect this was the trap Mr. Bakker set for us all along...

This is a good post, Mandos, and pretty much mirrors my thoughts.

As Cnaiur says, "they make us love" and "it all a ruse, he's Dunyain (or something very similar)"    :o :'(:-[

and then :):D ;D
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Artsuhtaraz on August 24, 2017, 01:37:42 am
Bakker put us through the most vile celebration imaginable, and the fact that it becomes tedious after a while is a statement in itself. It's pointless and glorious and transcendent.
Good point.  It's not just about being vile for pure shock value, but also about mind/body dualism, the "holiness" in transcending our subjective selves to the objective world, of existing as paradoxical beings-in-the-world, our finitude, etc.

If Meppa doesn't play a big part in the follow-up, then there was no point in letting him survive Esme's chorae.
I kept thinking that it's a great way to present Kellhus's POV without actually doing it.  It's a narrative device.  This allows us to be observers even when no one else is present (often so that we can be justifiably mislead regarding Kellhus's own thoughts/nature/state).    [shit ... I was thinking of Malowebi, not Meppa!  Sorry for the confusion.  I'm confused.  Too many names.]

 
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Artsuhtaraz on August 24, 2017, 02:03:04 am
It subverts the Epic Fantasy Grand Finale just as well as the characters and story have so far subverted every trope and cliche in fantasy writing.
I do recognize that there are several significant subversions of fantasy tropes, but not "every."  (This is not as much a criticism of Bakker's work as a criticism of the hyperbole surrounding it.)  This applies to his "Epic Fantasy Grand Finale," too, since TUC isn't the end.  Every series has reversals of fortune.  If you'd stopped reading after Morgoth stole the Silmarils, you could say the same thing about Tolkien.  So we don't have enough information yet to determine if this is actually as subversive as you're claiming.     

What I will say is, TUC suffers far more being the second half of a split novel than TGO suffered being the first half. You can positively feel the absence in places. (Probably less impactful if you've read TGO obsessively numerous times, or had opportunity for a re-read shortly before TUC's release.) The one ridiculously long novel would have been better, financial realities of modern publishing be damned.

I didn't feel the splitting of two novels as much for TUC as for TGO.  The episodic feeling of the latter can't be a criticism of the former, since it's the finale.  It would have ended at the same place regardless (I assume) and thus suffered exactly the criticisms being levied now. 


Would have liked a bit more time with the New Consult, Kellhus and the Mutilated waxing philosophical about their opposing agendas, rather than a curt, "Whatcha gonna do? Gnosis goes one way, Tekne the other!" analysis of the differences.
I agree.
 
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: solipsisticurge on August 25, 2017, 10:59:59 pm
I do recognize that there are several significant subversions of fantasy tropes, but not "every."  (This is not as much a criticism of Bakker's work as a criticism of the hyperbole surrounding it.)  This applies to his "Epic Fantasy Grand Finale," too, since TUC isn't the end.  Every series has reversals of fortune.  If you'd stopped reading after Morgoth stole the Silmarils, you could say the same thing about Tolkien.  So we don't have enough information yet to determine if this is actually as subversive as you're claiming.

Fair enough. It feels like the ending, and was the intended one at some point (though I'm assuming certain details about the World, its metaphysics, etc. would have been made clearer by this point if it had remained the final installment. And, yes, I am perhaps a touch hyperbolic in my praise at times, though I do still contend he takes at least most of the most overutilized tropes (the wise old sage, the unknowing descendant of kings and heroes coming from a secluded existence to save the world, the noble savage, etc.) and runs circles around them.

Quote
I didn't feel the splitting of two novels as much for TUC as for TGO.  The episodic feeling of the latter can't be a criticism of the former, since it's the finale.  It would have ended at the same place regardless (I assume) and thus suffered exactly the criticisms being levied now.

You just said it wasn't the finale. Make up your damn mind! ;)

My criticism of the separation into two volumes was aimed at the book as a whole, not so much the ending itself (which, yes, would be unaltered whether it was one volume or thirteen). Oft-criticized segments such as the Great Ordeal's Cannibal Sodomy Holocaust, I think, would carry more weight were the descent into madness not so seemingly sudden as the carving into two novels makes it feel in the absence of a re-read immediately prior.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Artsuhtaraz on August 26, 2017, 01:07:33 am
You just said it wasn't the finale. Make up your damn mind! ;) 

Ha! You're right.  I really shouldn't post after a few beers.  (I drink some pretty strong ales.)  My point was that TUC had resolution (which even portions of a story can have, before the end).  TGO, on the other hand, didn't feel like it had any resolution whatsoever, just a point where the narrative stopped.

Oft-criticized segments such as the Great Ordeal's Cannibal Sodomy Holocaust, I think, would carry more weight were the descent into madness not so seemingly sudden as the carving into two novels makes it feel in the absence of a re-read immediately prior.
I didn't realize these were oft-criticized.  I loved those segments.   
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Nil Sertrax on August 26, 2017, 02:36:13 pm
I think the criticism is generally the length and repetitiveness of these sections which, some believe, could have been shortened without losing their impact.  Some would have preferred additional words dedicated to describing events like Sorweel, Serwa and Moe's escape from Ishterebinth or a lengthier conclusion section inside the Golden Room. 

Personally, I have no problem with the sodomy cannibal holocaust as written but would have enjoyed a lengthening of the book to include those additional parts mentioned above.
 
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Simas Polchias on August 27, 2017, 11:00:27 am
I am very disappointed with TUC. That's all I want to say.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Monkhound on August 28, 2017, 11:18:40 am
Cannibal Sodomy Holocaust

Just saying: I'm loving this denomination. It could be a black metal band  ;D
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TLEILAXU on August 28, 2017, 12:05:49 pm
Cannibal Sodomy Holocaust

Just saying: I'm loving this denomination. It could be a black metal band  ;D
Kinda sounds like an Impiety song title.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: solipsisticurge on August 28, 2017, 06:19:54 pm
Cannibal Holocaust is a classic snuff horror film from decades back. Actors legitimately thought the director was going to murder them. Bakker and his wife would love it, if they haven't seen it yet.

And everything's better with sodomy, of course.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Madness on August 28, 2017, 10:18:43 pm
Cannibal Sodomy Holocaust

Just saying: I'm loving this denomination. It could be a black metal band  ;D

Thanks for that, solipsisticurge.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TLEILAXU on August 29, 2017, 12:30:01 am
Cannibal Holocaust is a classic snuff horror film from decades back. Actors legitimately thought the director was going to murder them. Bakker and his wife would love it, if they haven't seen it yet.

And everything's better with sodomy, of course.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
I was honestly disappointed by Cannibal Holocaust. It wasn't nearly as extreme as I'd imagined it. Sweet theme though https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kf1Vt6r-sj8
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: solipsisticurge on August 29, 2017, 12:49:24 am
Cannibal Holocaust is a classic snuff horror film from decades back. Actors legitimately thought the director was going to murder them. Bakker and his wife would love it, if they haven't seen it yet.

And everything's better with sodomy, of course.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
I was honestly disappointed by Cannibal Holocaust. It wasn't nearly as extreme as I'd imagined it. Sweet theme though https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kf1Vt6r-sj8
I watched it with my old roommate and her boyfriend at the time. I'm not a huge fan of snuff horror in general, too desensitized to care about the gore and not sadistic enough to revel in it. Give me psychological dread and existential doubt over blood and guts any day.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: NronFisher on September 09, 2017, 06:26:43 am
*points to himself*

I loved TUC, and I have enjoyed all of his books (not all are great, aka TWLW).

I know you hate it but you know what's great? You FELT something. How many books have you read that you just thought, "Meh" and forgot it after you put it down. How many pop songs have you heard that reverberate in your brain and never make you feel anything or inspire you? So much of the artistic medium is devoted to appealing to the most common denominator in order to hit all those same pleasure-receptors in your brain long enough for you to buy that stupid shit. Meanwhile originality gets suppressed and you live in a bubble never having to feel or think anything new. So it turns out you hated this work, but you know what? A work of art that can make you hate it is better than something that doesn't make you feel at all.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Srancy on September 09, 2017, 11:52:12 am
Loved it
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TaoHorror on September 09, 2017, 02:33:37 pm
*points to himself*

I loved TUC, and I have enjoyed all of his books (not all are great, aka TWLW).

I know you hate it but you know what's great? You FELT something. How many books have you read that you just thought, "Meh" and forgot it after you put it down. How many pop songs have you heard that reverberate in your brain and never make you feel anything or inspire you? So much of the artistic medium is devoted to appealing to the most common denominator in order to hit all those same pleasure-receptors in your brain long enough for you to buy that stupid shit. Meanwhile originality gets suppressed and you live in a bubble never having to feel or think anything new. So it turns out you hated this work, but you know what? A work of art that can make you hate it is better than something that doesn't make you feel at all.

Well said, nFisher - you articulated the point much better than I could. Though I'm hampered by the fact I loved all of the books ( including TWLW - not sure how that was called out as not great ), so I don't identify with those who "hate" the story/books. So much of it was exciting and Bakker's descriptions of horror resonate richly for me ... some of this stuff really scared me, which is awesome.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TheCulminatingApe on September 09, 2017, 08:14:14 pm
*points to himself*

I loved TUC, and I have enjoyed all of his books (not all are great, aka TWLW).

I know you hate it but you know what's great? You FELT something. How many books have you read that you just thought, "Meh" and forgot it after you put it down. How many pop songs have you heard that reverberate in your brain and never make you feel anything or inspire you? So much of the artistic medium is devoted to appealing to the most common denominator in order to hit all those same pleasure-receptors in your brain long enough for you to buy that stupid shit. Meanwhile originality gets suppressed and you live in a bubble never having to feel or think anything new. So it turns out you hated this work, but you know what? A work of art that can make you hate it is better than something that doesn't make you feel at all.

Well said, nFisher - you articulated the point much better than I could. Though I'm hampered by the fact I loved all of the books ( including TWLW - not sure how that was called out as not great ), so I don't identify with those who "hate" the story/books. So much of it was exciting and Bakker's descriptions of horror resonate richly for me ... some of this stuff really scared me, which is awesome.

I agree with both your points.  Bakker is on record as saying that the task of the fantasy author is to give meaning to something meaningless (or something similar).  The ending of TUC left me feeling numb on the inside.  No book has done that before.  It took me about an hour and a half to shake it off.  It fuckin meant something :o :'( :)
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Rots on September 14, 2017, 07:42:43 pm
So i have completed my re-read and i have thoughts.

1. The Cannibal Rape Holocaust is better upon a re-read. But its hard to tease out exactly why. I think i appreciate it more, full stop. I also think that i wasnt impatient to get to the part of the book where, you know, maybe the Unholy Consult gets the detailed treatment many of us assumed it would. Since that obviously didnt happen i was better able to just carefully read the CRH and appreciate it for what it is. Its still too large a portion of the book but since the book is what it is i know longer hate it and take it on its own terms

2. There are still a whole lot of Chekhov's Guns laying around. My initial criticisms of RSB stand in regards to Akka and Mimara going for a fucking 4 book walkabout and do a grand total of jack shit. That doesnt mean that i dont hold much love for both of them, i do, however, their integration into TUC was a whole lot of sound & fury signifying nothing.

3. The title should be changed to: The Horns of Golgotterath - sure, the boards had guessed about the Dunsult twist but obviously no one knew. What was in actual evidence was that the most devious and evil minds of inchies/non-man/man were still the Unholy Consult. I think the title vs. the actual substance of the book is a cheap 3 card monty type of subterfuge. At least we have The False Sun and ill consider that my go to for cool Unholy Consult pov and background. The ppl on this board and others around the 'net are by definition a very small subset of RSBs very small fan base - how many ppl have actually read and discussed TFS? probably not many in the grand scheme of things. This title sucked.

4. Has anyone figured out wtf RSB was referring to when he talked about everyone missing something important? Dear RSB, if everyone is missing it the fault is with you, not the reader. RSB is very glib when pushing back on the readers and while i am 100% fine with ambiguity (as previously stated i loved the ending of TTT for example, or the pulling of Serwe's heart, etc etc) but when everyone is fucking clueless than perhaps pull back a bit on your glibness and spell some shit out and please spare me the sanctimonious crap regarding how the people who dont get it are actually the ones who get it the most of all. That the sort of BS i expect out of upper mngt trying to pull a TED talk out of their ass while they are announcing layoffs.

5. Because i dont have TGO near me i have a quick question that i just cannot recall the answer to. At the end of TGO when future/current/always No-God Kel interrupts the Narindar creeping up on Kellhus, which god does that WLW belong to? Yatwer, Ajokli, Momas? I just cant recall. 

Anyways, upon review, i like TUC (HOG) better than before but i am still moderately unsatisfied. Meh.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Yellow on September 15, 2017, 06:12:35 am
At least we have The False Sun and ill consider that my go to for cool Unholy Consult pov and background.

Well said! Agree with you 100 % here. I wanted more like that in TUC.

5. Because i dont have TGO near me i have a quick question that i just cannot recall the answer to. At the end of TGO when future/current/always No-God Kel interrupts the Narindar creeping up on Kellhus, which god does that WLW belong to? Yatwer, Ajokli, Momas? I just cant recall. 

Anyways, upon review, i like TUC (HOG) better than before but i am still moderately unsatisfied. Meh.

It was Yatwer.

I also prefer the title Horns of Golgotterath, much more fitting and inspiring.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TLEILAXU on September 15, 2017, 11:58:09 am
I like The Unholy Consult. I prefer titles to be more general rather than reference specific in-story locations/characters.
Also, I can't be the only one who'd have preferred if the book had ended with "Thus the Great Ordeal of AnasŻrimbor Kellhus ended in BLOOD and salt" instead of butchery.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Sausuna on September 15, 2017, 12:51:33 pm
I still find it baffling someone even takes titles in a very serious manner to the point of saying it sucked. A title is just a title. We already had an idea of what some of the story would be from the outline/blurb and prior comments. If someone thinks the title was subterfuge, I think they buy too much into titles in general.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Yellow on September 15, 2017, 01:49:07 pm
I find your bafflement baffling!
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Sausuna on September 15, 2017, 03:57:48 pm
I find your bafflement baffling!
Well, I think there is a difference between saying another title might 'much more fitting and inspiring' compared to saying it is 'a cheap 3 card monty type of subterfuge ... it sucked.'
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Yellow on September 15, 2017, 04:32:52 pm
Yeah, fair enough.

I do think titles are very important, though.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Rots on September 17, 2017, 02:10:50 am
I still find it baffling someone even takes titles in a very serious manner to the point of saying it sucked. A title is just a title. We already had an idea of what some of the story would be from the outline/blurb and prior comments. If someone thinks the title was subterfuge, I think they buy too much into titles in general.

Titles matter because words have meaning. The previous 6 titles have been very on point and appropriate, imo, in a way that this title and book were not. The title primes the reader and in this case there was a misfire. I find that disappointing. RSB had mentioned something about the g-string (or whatever) coming off in this book and that primes his audience to expect X when instead we got Y.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TaoHorror on September 17, 2017, 12:47:59 pm
I actually agree with Rots, but for a different reason. I'm fairly well put off by the title as it's a spoiler. For any new readers, The Consult could well be bullshit for several books, maybe even into the 6th as we don't see Aurang until near the end of that book. Even in TUC, the eerie  silence and apparent "no one's at home" approach to the horns was yielding some confusion and "what if the damn thing's abandoned" were my thoughts. VERY cool, clever writing and would've been more wild if the title was more along the lines of what Rots is suggesting.

So I find the ending very satisfying and don't find it to be a betrayal by the author, myself - but I do take exception to the title for "spoiling" the story before the book is read.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Yellow on September 17, 2017, 01:35:40 pm
Maybe I don't understand your point, but we see Aurang in pretty much every book, right?
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Redeagl on September 17, 2017, 02:12:36 pm
I actually agree with Rots, but for a different reason. I'm fairly well put off by the title as it's a spoiler. For any new readers, The Consult could well be bullshit for several books, maybe even into the 6th as we don't see Aurang until near the end of that book. Even in TUC, the eerie  silence and apparent "no one's at home" approach to the horns was yielding some confusion and "what if the damn thing's abandoned" were my thoughts. VERY cool, clever writing and would've been more wild if the title was more along the lines of what Rots is suggesting.

So I find the ending very satisfying and don't find it to be a betrayal by the author, myself - but I do take exception to the title for "spoiling" the story before the book is read.
We do see Aurang from TDTCB though.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TaoHorror on September 17, 2017, 05:12:00 pm
Yes, of course, youíre both right Ė in spite of my poor argument, the mystery of The Consult was altered by the title of TUC - for me, anyways. I'll spare you more of my flawed perceptions on the books - I'll leave it as it does seem to matter the book titled the way it is. And now the next series could be titled, The No-God? For us who have journeyed with the author, this is fine. But for new readers to the series, thatís a big spoiler of a title. Making the titles more abstract like the previous books is the way to go.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Sausuna on September 18, 2017, 12:55:13 pm
I still find it baffling someone even takes titles in a very serious manner to the point of saying it sucked. A title is just a title. We already had an idea of what some of the story would be from the outline/blurb and prior comments. If someone thinks the title was subterfuge, I think they buy too much into titles in general.

Titles matter because words have meaning. The previous 6 titles have been very on point and appropriate, imo, in a way that this title and book were not. The title primes the reader and in this case there was a misfire. I find that disappointing. RSB had mentioned something about the g-string (or whatever) coming off in this book and that primes his audience to expect X when instead we got Y.
And some words have less importance than others. The comments about everything being revealed is an entirely different complaint than comments on the title.

@Tao, that seems a more reasonable complaint. And one I can generally agree with. Even more-so with The No-God coming up.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Wilshire on September 26, 2017, 04:44:57 pm
For us who have journeyed with the author
Its been a thrilling and exciting time to be a TSA fan. I regret nothing, including the future experience of readers that might not exist ;)
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Bolivar on September 28, 2017, 03:04:01 am
I've always felt this way about the title. I can't believe we saw more of the Ark proper in TTT than we did in TUC. Maybe it's unfair to hold him to this standard but when you build it up for years that the final book is The Unholy Consult and the way it was described in interviews in the years leading up to it, you're expecting some crazy shit. Then The Great Ordeal raised the anticipation further with the nuke, Ishterebinth, the Survivor's Son, and the head on the pole. Aurax should've been an insane encounter. We're told about the Mangeacca existing during the First Holy War now we're supposed to believe they all died out.

I expect it was intended to be frustrating and maybe it was a stroke of genius, that eery feeling that Golgotterath was abandoned, the horn coming down (holy shit), Kellhus decimating Aurang and subduing the Dunsult, only for it all to turn on them in the end. But I agree The Horns of Golgotterath would've been a better title.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Dez on October 05, 2017, 04:32:54 pm
I thought the title was fitting because it goes to not only the obvious in that everything was leading to the confrontation with what we thought the Consult was, but also the twist regarding its actual configuration. I also thought the reveal of Kellhus's own dealings with the Outside, and the fact that it ends in disaster gave the title another layer of meaning. Kellhus had his own consult going.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Cuttlefish on November 09, 2017, 03:02:21 pm
I didn't very much like it, I'm afraid. In addition to prose being hard to understand at parts, I felt like a lot of the storylines hit dead ends. That, and my every favourite character getting killed off made this one the book I least enjoyed.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TaoHorror on November 09, 2017, 07:09:03 pm
I didn't very much like it, I'm afraid. In addition to prose being hard to understand at parts, I felt like a lot of the storylines hit dead ends. That, and my every favourite character getting killed off made this one the book I least enjoyed.

Bakker wanted us to be dismayed by the ending - don't let him manipulate you, let him know we're too quick to allow us to be Dunyain'd by him - LOVE the ending, toss the book up into the air and shout to the heavens, "Humanity loses, AWESOME!"
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Bolivar on November 09, 2017, 07:32:42 pm
The more I think about it, the angrier I become.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: H on November 09, 2017, 07:53:08 pm
The more I think about it, the angrier I become.

That bad?

I've was wondering where you'd been....
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: BeardFisher-King on November 09, 2017, 09:26:33 pm
The more I think about it, the angrier I become.

That was me, two months ago. My copy of TUC has rested, untouched, on my bookshelf, since it was put there at the end of July.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TaoHorror on November 09, 2017, 10:05:53 pm
The more I think about it, the angrier I become.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

I'm telling you'all, Bakker is playing you - don't let it happen. Don't let anyone ( including me ) manipulate you! Time to root for the bad guy(s), go Consult! He says those who hated the ending get the books more so then those who didn't ...
 he's outright admitting he's fucking with us.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Dora Vee on November 09, 2017, 11:10:28 pm
Quote
That, and my every favorite character getting killed off made this one the book I least enjoyed.

If they're who I think they are, I can't say I blame you. :(

Loved the gay cannibalism though. I don't think any other author could have pulled that off.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Cuttlefish on November 10, 2017, 12:10:25 am
I didn't very much like it, I'm afraid. In addition to prose being hard to understand at parts, I felt like a lot of the storylines hit dead ends. That, and my every favourite character getting killed off made this one the book I least enjoyed.

Bakker wanted us to be dismayed by the ending - don't let him manipulate you, let him know we're too quick to allow us to be Dunyain'd by him - LOVE the ending, toss the book up into the air and shout to the heavens, "Humanity loses, AWESOME!"

Perhaps... Perhaps we should just give in. The world should be destroyed! Rape monsters and genocides for the win!
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Dora Vee on November 10, 2017, 12:22:03 am
Quote
Perhaps... Perhaps we should just give in. The world should be destroyed! Rape monsters and genocides for the win!

Heh. That's pretty much what I thought when Proyas was "hung out to dry".
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Bolivar on November 10, 2017, 02:25:20 am
The more I think about it, the angrier I become.

That bad?

I've was wondering where you'd been....

Not that bad!

I also got married in mid-October and was honeymooning for a bit after that, so haven't been able to participate in as much of the followup discussions.

Quote
I'm telling you'all, Bakker is playing you - don't let it happen. Don't let anyone ( including me ) manipulate you! Time to root for the bad guy(s), go Consult! He says those who hated the ending get the books more so then those who didn't ...
 he's outright admitting he's fucking with us.


I'm telling you'all, Bakker is playing you - don't let it happen. Don't let anyone ( including me ) manipulate you! Time to root for the bad guy(s), go Consult! He says those who hated the ending get the books more so then those who didn't ...
 he's outright admitting he's fucking with us.

You might be onto something.

My frustration is a result of that Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, where he said he's basically had this image of the No-God rising and has been trying to get to that point for the last thirty years. So I feel like he wanted to tell this really dark, epic story that would culminate in this ultra bad ass scene. And then he realized he should probably write a prequel series that took place twenty years earlier to explain how those characters got there.

So basically, in the process of his original vision, he inadvertently wrote one of the greatest fantasy trilogies of all time. I was expecting more for that story, instead of something just building up to a really badass scene. I feel like the curtain finally got pulled back and behind it was a giant mirror of everything we had already seen. Everything about the mythos, the Nonmen, the Inchoroi, the First Apocalypse, the Dunyain, has pretty much been explained since the Thousandfold Thought. There's no hidden agenda behind the Consult's disappearance 300 years ago, the Scholastic Wars, Fanimry, or everything that went down with Moenghus and Maithanet. The story isn't what I thought it would be, which is more my fault than anything, but I do feel the Prince of Nothing portended more than what we got from the Aspect Emperor.

I guess what I really want at this point is an interquel series about the Unification Wars. I really enjoyed the entries about it in the expanded glossary.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Madness on November 10, 2017, 02:58:43 am
Welcome back, Bolivar :P.

To interject, Bakker is being unnecessarily cagey regarding the content of TNG. It very much seems that he's had the scaffold of TNG's narrative decided for time but, as per TAE, he doesn't know how he wants to put it all together. He's very conscious of what he's seeded across TAE.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: MSJ on November 10, 2017, 03:12:55 am
Quote from:  Bolivar
The story isn't what I thought it would be, which is more my fault than anything, but I do feel the Prince of Nothing portended more than what we got from the Aspect Emperor.

Nice to see ya around buddy. And, congrats on being married. Well...have fun and make it as fun as possible. If not, grows stagnant. Just some MSJ pointers. Your Welcome!

The bold, I wholeheartedly agree 100%. But, TAE was just a gripping as PoN, just the style changed. Individual views. And, not a the political B.S.. Cil-Aujus, the Mop, skinnies, deranged Wizard, Sauglish, Ishual, Ishteberenth and much, much more. Great world-building in TAE. Though, I will agree that PiN is my favorite trilogy of all-time. I can't even pick a book, just make an omnibus already. From beginning, to Akka repudiating Kkellhus, As me and the Mandate. Biggest balls move of all-time and everyone thinks him weak. I bet we see just how strong Akka is in TNG.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: H on November 10, 2017, 12:37:49 pm
Not that bad!

I also got married in mid-October and was honeymooning for a bit after that, so haven't been able to participate in as much of the followup discussions.

Glad to hear it, on both accounts!

You might be onto something.

My frustration is a result of that Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, where he said he's basically had this image of the No-God rising and has been trying to get to that point for the last thirty years. So I feel like he wanted to tell this really dark, epic story that would culminate in this ultra bad ass scene. And then he realized he should probably write a prequel series that took place twenty years earlier to explain how those characters got there.

So basically, in the process of his original vision, he inadvertently wrote one of the greatest fantasy trilogies of all time. I was expecting more for that story, instead of something just building up to a really badass scene. I feel like the curtain finally got pulled back and behind it was a giant mirror of everything we had already seen. Everything about the mythos, the Nonmen, the Inchoroi, the First Apocalypse, the Dunyain, has pretty much been explained since the Thousandfold Thought. There's no hidden agenda behind the Consult's disappearance 300 years ago, the Scholastic Wars, Fanimry, or everything that went down with Moenghus and Maithanet. The story isn't what I thought it would be, which is more my fault than anything, but I do feel the Prince of Nothing portended more than what we got from the Aspect Emperor.

Well, for me, I don't know that it's bad the have an end in mind when working toward the series.  I mean, I do agree that PoN is the "better" series, despite TAE having better quality parts throughout.  I think it has to do with striking (to me) the better balance between mystery and narrative.  I think TAE sometimes doubles down on the former and the expense of the latter.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TaoHorror on November 10, 2017, 02:25:43 pm
You guys are talking me out of loving these books  ;) - I thought they got better and better as it went along. I think your points are valid, but just what resonates is different for every reader. Reminds me of the "war" I popped my head into whether Prometheus was a good movie on Amazon blog ( I enjoyed the movie ), while the criticisms were all valid ( the scientists were more personality than scientist, clearly absurd narratives ), they just didn't matter to me in enjoying the film.

You guys are right, your points are valid - they just didn't "ruin" the story for me. I enjoyed TAE more than PON, thought Bakker was getting better and better as a writer. And his showdowns ( Kellhus v Moe Sr, Kellhus v Mutilated ) are the best showdowns I've ever read/seen. Maybe this is so due to I didn't have any expectations which allowed me to enjoy the ride all the more. I was genuinely surprised with the ending, didn't think the ending was cheap/nonsensical/boring. It was exciting and fun, can't ask for anything more. He could've really screwed us over by having Kellhus be hit by a random chorae on the way into the Ark - at least he made it in there. And the timing of disparate moves to the Ark could've been worse ( everyone pretty much showed up at the same time ). So it could've been a so much worse without even a showdown - at least he gave us that. But I agree with the sentiment on Kellhus v Akka meeting, that was bizarrely lackluster and a legit hit on the story.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: H on November 10, 2017, 04:07:52 pm
You guys are right, your points are valid - they just didn't "ruin" the story for me.

Well, I don't mean to imply it ruined the story for me.  But I do think it could have been better in some places.  However there were legitimately places where it is Bakker's best writing, hands down.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: obstinate on November 12, 2017, 08:28:05 pm
My 2c: some things go beyond liking and disliking. I didn't "like" Schindler's List. I'm not sure I "liked" TUC either. I do think it was important and that there was something true about it.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TLEILAXU on November 13, 2017, 04:10:18 am
A man once  said "Schindler's List is the worst comedy movie I have ever seen" and I agree with those words.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: TaoHorror on November 13, 2017, 01:01:22 pm
A man once  said "Schindler's List is the worst comedy movie I have ever seen" and I agree with those words.

Well, its been decades since I watched it, but remember liking it. Though now that I've been reading holocaust history recently, I wonder the accuracy.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Thing called Sarcellus on November 17, 2017, 03:17:14 am
I enjoyed it.  Clearly not the end of the story.  Now I knew this before I finished, and I can see how it may have been upsetting to anyone that was unaware.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: SalvatorDunyain on December 06, 2017, 01:39:54 pm
One of the most different and amazing things I have ever read.  It didn't go the way I wanted the story to go, but I thought it was perfect.  I did not let that color my feelings on the book.  I am Team Kellhus all the way and I wanted a win for him; obviously not what happened.  Bakker books read like scripture and tell me more about me as a person than any other thing I have read. I can't wait for more.  It transcends reading because of how he writes; how can you not want more of this?  ASOIAF, Kingkiller Chronicles, Dresden, The Iron Druid, and even Dragonlance and that old stuff doesn't come close to what Bakker has done with his books and world.  Time spent rereading, lurking on here and researching related topics to *know*.  That is amazing.  The only thing that comes close is Richard Kadrey or Wily Vlautin; check them out- good thinking man writing.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Wilshire on December 06, 2017, 02:51:48 pm
Definitely agree with the sentiment SalvatorDunyain, and thanks for sharing. I think that's probably a well-shared feeling around here - that the stories here go beyond mere fantasy writing and seem to encourage some inward reflection in a way that appear totally unique to the genre.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Dora Vee on December 06, 2017, 03:49:34 pm
One of the most different and amazing things I have ever read.  It didn't go the way I wanted the story to go, but I thought it was perfect.  I did not let that color my feelings on the book.  I am Team Kellhus all the way and I wanted a win for him; obviously not what happened.  Bakker books read like scripture and tell me more about me as a person than any other thing I have read. I can't wait for more.  It transcends reading because of how he writes; how can you not want more of this?  ASOIAF, Kingkiller Chronicles, Dresden, The Iron Druid, and even Dragonlance and that old stuff doesn't come close to what Bakker has done with his books and world.  Time spent rereading, lurking on here and researching related topics to *know*.  That is amazing.  The only thing that comes close is Richard Kadrey or Wily Vlautin; check them out- good thinking man writing.

Actually, Malazan comes pretty close too.

Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: SalvatorDunyain on December 06, 2017, 05:24:28 pm
Wow, an Old Name responding!!!  Thanks, Wilshire.  Dora Vee, I have never been able to get into the Malazan.  I should try again.
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Wilshire on December 06, 2017, 05:30:41 pm
I'd hesitate to call Malazan similar to TSA on almost any metric. Loved the series, don't get me wrong, but other than both of them being fantasy war novels I'd say they are quite dissimilar, tbh. Plenty disagree though :)
Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Old Gnostic Fool on January 02, 2018, 01:52:05 am
I'd hesitate to call Malazan similar to TSA on almost any metric. Loved the series, don't get me wrong, but other than both of them being fantasy war novels I'd say they are quite dissimilar, tbh. Plenty disagree though :)

They have some superficial similarities such as both having philosophical elements that spread throughout the series in addition to the focus on war. Theology plays a big role on both series, though the approach to divinity differs, with Malazan taking on a Silmarillion style.

Just for fun I think we can equate the following:

Cnaiur = Karsa (both of them are barbarians with a penchant for violence and an intellect that goes beyond what their station would suggest). Both also say "witness"  ;D

Wracu = Eleint (Incredibly superficial since they both serve different purposes. The only real similarity is that both universes feature powerful  sentient dragons)

the Ark = Jade Statues?

No God = Crippled God
(click to show/hide)

Outside (damnation) = Dragnipur (both are places of eternal torment)

Title: Re: Who actually liked TUC?
Post by: Wilshire on January 02, 2018, 02:21:46 pm
Right. Superficially there's some common elements that they share, no more so than most other fantasy novels though.
There is defeinatly more philosophical commentary in Malazan than is typical in the genre, so in that they are a bit similar.
But as you point out, while the archetypes exist, their application differ dramatically in every case.

(btw, Arc/Jade-Statues is a good one, hadn't though of that)