Who actually liked TUC?

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MondoŽnghus

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« Reply #30 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.  ;)
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Likaro

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« Reply #31 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.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 09:56:30 pm by Likaro »

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #32 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)

Madness

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« Reply #33 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.
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TwoMinutesToApocalypse

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« Reply #34 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.

Nil Sertrax

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« Reply #35 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! 

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #36 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.

False Man

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« Reply #37 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.

Mandos

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« Reply #38 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".

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« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2017, 12:47:13 pm »
If memponti arises, I'll tell Bakker the internet needs to know what movie it was.
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #40 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.
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #41 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.
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TheCulminatingApe

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« Reply #42 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 :'(:-[
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Wilshire

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« Reply #43 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
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Artsuhtaraz

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« Reply #44 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.]

 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 02:43:20 am by Artsuhtaraz »