I have grasped the Absolute

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DarkGlaive

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« on: August 28, 2017, 02:17:08 am »
I just finished the series.

Hi there! I think my first encounter with SA was as an Amazon recommendation in the late 2000's. I was put off by the comparisons of it being high fantasy in the tradition of Lord of the Rings. My interpretation of high fantasy LotR is page after page of description of horse lineage and fantasy songs I don't care about.

Many moons later, I flipped through TDTCB at a Barnes and Noble and thought the prologue with Kellhus was inscrutable. I didn't really understand what was going with Leweth at all and lost interest. Years later, I once again I got it as an Amazon rec and remembered it as "that hard to read book" and decided to look up its description on TvTropes. I didn't read spoilers, but I was really tantalized by the idea of this weird monk dude who may or may not be a savior and who uses questionable means to justify the end of saving the world. I finally took the plunge and was hooked once I got to Achamian spying in Carythusal.

I've since turned one of my best friends on to the series and have tried to get my fellow fantasy nerd relatives and co-workers to read it. I haven't really figured out a succinct way to describe that doesn't sound totally unapproachable. Right now I go with "Game of Thrones politics, if some logic monk dude came out of nowhere and knew how to manipulate everyone into doing what he wants." My friend I got into the series really loves Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, so I was able to talk about how it was philosophical instead of the Game of Thrones comparisons. I also mentioned to him that the Consult was basically like a bunch of hentai villains with the weird sex stuff. He thought that was hilarious and the intellectual stuff intriguing so gave the series a shot and ended up loving it.

Anyhow, I just finished up the series and will probably post some questions I have about the ending at some point. Definitely my second favorite fantasy series behind The Wheel of Time which will always be near and dear to my heart due to nostalgia points.

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 10:59:23 am »
It's kind of hard to describe without spoiling. When I read PoN I didn't actually think the Gods were real, but the central tenet of the overall story is that they are. Another quick but incomplete description would be Tolkien + Dune.

Wilshire

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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 06:11:21 pm »
I just finished the series.

I was put off by the comparisons of it being high fantasy in the tradition of Lord of the Rings. My interpretation of high fantasy LotR is page after page of description of horse lineage and fantasy songs I don't care about.

Fully agree. In my experience most of the people that still find LOTR to be the only and best Fantasy book out there generally just don't read fantasy. Glad to have you here :)

I've since turned one of my best friends on to the series and have tried to get my fellow fantasy nerd relatives and co-workers to read it. I haven't really figured out a succinct way to describe that doesn't sound totally unapproachable.

Depends on what people have read, but I try to go with a similar 'its like this book and this book combined' type deal. So for example, pick some of the most highly read fantasy books right now, Got, NotW, MbotF:

"Second Apocalypse combines the politicking of Game of Thrones, the magic and intellect of Kvothe in Name of the Wind, and the war novels of Malazan book of the Fallen in an entirely unique and extraordinary way. "

That's good enough for an intro sentence. TDTCB is a fine setup for the rest of the series, if they read through it and think its too complex, too dark, too convoluted, etc.,  then imo they won't like the series. There was nothing a pitch with more information might have help or hurt.

Plenty of other books you could pick from that will get people excited, just pick a couple that you're both familure with and shoehorn a similar description. I just picked those because they are all very identifiable to most fantasy readers today. Tolkein/Herbert for LOTR/Dune works just as well if they read older books, McCarthy's Blood Merridian and some historic Crusades texts if they read those. Throw in philosophy if the person you are talking to swings that way, etc. There's a little bit for everyone within TSA, so I don't try to decide for them if they'll like it or not, just give a quick one-liner for interest.

The old adage 'you can't say the wrong thing to the right person, or the right thing to the wrong person' applies here.

Anyhow, I just finished up the series and will probably post some questions I have about the ending at some point. Definitely my second favorite fantasy series behind The Wheel of Time which will always be near and dear to my heart due to nostalgia points.

Haven't read WoT, though it does seem to bring strong emotions one way or another when people talk about it.

Plenty of opinions to be had around here regarding most any subject though.

Again, welcome to the forum. :)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 06:17:19 pm by Wilshire »
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2017, 07:11:24 pm »
I've failed miserably referring the series to others - one guy simply traded it in for something else at a used book store after 1/3 of the way through, another pissed on it before even reading it. I guess "if you love being screwed over and exposed to wild violent/sexual depravity, this is the book for you" is not the correct approach.

I like your approach, Wilshire - stem the enthusiasm and give them a taste of what they might like about it.
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Madness

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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2017, 10:01:52 pm »
Welcome to the Second Apocalypse, DarkGlaive :).
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ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 12:58:25 pm »
Welcome to the forum.  :)

I feel much the same about trying to introduce people to TSA, though unlike you, I haven't managed to introduce anyone to the series yet. Most of my friends/relatives either don't read much or don't like the genre at all, and the few who do read fantasy would find this series too violent and disturbing.
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SuJuroit

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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 04:50:37 pm »
If forced to describe TSA in a nutshell, I usually go with, "Sociopathic kung fu Jesus unites humanity to battle interstellar rape aliens, played completely seriously."

I haven't had much luck attracting new readers, but I'm not giving up!

Woden

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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 06:36:54 pm »
If forced to describe TSA in a nutshell, I usually go with, "Sociopathic kung fu Jesus unites humanity to battle interstellar rape aliens, played completely seriously."

I haven't had much luck attracting new readers, but I'm not giving up!

Don't know why you didn't succeed. I would buy that review.
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