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Maybe your thesis is just a little too simple, then. Legolas Send a noteboard - 01/07/2010 01:20:01 PM
OK - well, I don't mean to imply that fans of this series enjoyed lewd or brutal depictions of horrible pain and torture. It's just strange to put this in a fantasy series when worse happens in real life - I'm of the opinion that we read fantasy to escape, but some of it seems to be more about escaping the modern, Western world to descend into and read about more barbaric practices. Like having a 9-5 is such a soul crushingly bad thing compared to being a member or victim of a horde of bloodthirsty ravagers who rape and pillage :P.

Because as you say, fantasy worlds tend to be rather more violent and rather less comfortable than the modern Western world, even if most aren't as bad in that regard as Erikson's. One would imagine that, in many cases, the attraction is in reading about a world where things are morally simple, the good guys are good and the bad are bad. Of course, that doesn't apply either in Erikson. So I suppose in his case we'll have to attribute his success to the sheer "epic-ness" of the series, and the puzzling out that the readers have to do to figure out things - in that regard the series is more intellectual than most "epic fantasy", and even someone like Larry mostly likes it. It can indeed be fun to suddenly start seeing a pattern or finally discover an explanation you've been wondering about for a while, with the satisfaction of having it worked out for yourself instead of being told directly.

So, yeah, escapist it may be, but it's neither brainless (as in, reading you don't have to use your brain for much, as many people seem to like) nor utopian or fluffy.
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Erikson's Dust of Dreams (no real spoilers) - 01/07/2010 12:21:07 AM 5147 Views
Excellent review. Strengthens my resolve to reread at least part of TtH before starting. Thanks. *NM* - 01/07/2010 02:08:40 AM 972 Views
You don't need to reread TtH, actually. Reaper's Gale is much more relevant. - 01/07/2010 09:44:43 AM 1267 Views
But I didn't like Reaper's Gale. *NM* - 02/07/2010 02:30:01 AM 724 Views
I feel your pain, then. *NM* - 02/07/2010 09:46:24 AM 706 Views
Good review, thanks! *major spoilers* - 01/07/2010 05:34:59 AM 1592 Views
What enraged me was the blatantly sexist treatment of... (Spoilers!) - 01/07/2010 06:09:21 AM 1884 Views
Yes, that was the main thing I was getting at with the "strong stomach" comment. - 01/07/2010 09:58:14 AM 1815 Views
The thing is... - 01/07/2010 04:51:22 PM 1380 Views
I keep hearing about this 'Hobbling of Hetan'. - 01/07/2010 12:16:39 PM 2111 Views
Okay... (spoilers, obviously, and yes it is gruesome). - 01/07/2010 12:30:28 PM 1636 Views
OK I see. *edited for spelling* - 01/07/2010 12:41:16 PM 1340 Views
Re: OK I see. - 01/07/2010 12:52:27 PM 1400 Views
Re: OK I see. - 01/07/2010 01:09:30 PM 1349 Views
Maybe your thesis is just a little too simple, then. - 01/07/2010 01:20:01 PM 1417 Views
It's not really a thesis statement. - 01/07/2010 01:33:03 PM 1351 Views
I knew I was forgetting something... - 01/07/2010 04:57:16 PM 1371 Views
Yeah, agreed. - 02/07/2010 09:50:57 AM 1367 Views
It'll be re-reading that starting in the next couple of days - 01/07/2010 10:11:42 AM 1240 Views
Waiting for Part Two - 28/07/2010 02:47:00 AM 1339 Views

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