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let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

maybe this has been posted already? I truly enjoyed reading all of these series. his take on the Grail and Arthur were both amazing, and then the Saxon series was probably the best.

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let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

For the GBS poster arrived in the Book Barn.

mallamp
Nov 25, 2009



I liked some books by Ken Follett and heard Cornwell was same,so I tried reading the saxon one but it felt like a fantasy book without the autism and I was like gently caress that, why not just go full retard and read about wizards if I'm gonna do this., well I didn't, but didn't continue reading Cornwell either

3D GAY WORLD
May 15, 2007


Really enjoying reading his Saxon Stories series right now. I'm up to the third book, the first major point after it really breaks from the show as far as forward plot movement.

I read a huge amount of history non-fiction, but I love fiction and being able to read novels grounded in actual history is really satisfying.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!






Morbid Hound

I did a big thread on king arthur a while back, link here:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3617881


I've read all of Cornwell's Sharpe series and enjoyed it. It's not quite on the same level as Renault or O'Brian but you can tell he does his research. The interesting thing was that it's the only major series I know of that you really should read in internal chronological order rather than published order, because he plotted all 20-odd books out in advance before writing the first one; though of course basing it on a foot-soldier's view of Nelson's career helped. EDIT: not Nelson, Wellington, I just woke up here

How can anyone like Ken Follett, though. I mean, poo poo, people complain about fantasy novels being rapey. Pillars of the Earth is the only book I was ever assigned for class that I didn't finish reading; It's like someone took an Edward Rutherford novel and just added a rape scene on every fourth page.

One good book to read after reading Cornwell's saxon stories is White Horse King by Benjamin Merkle.

Hieronymous Alloy fucked around with this message at 16:35 on Jan 1, 2016

Arc Hammer
Mar 4, 2013

Got any deathsticks?

I'm reading through The Winter King and I'm quite enjoying it. I like how Derfel presents his accounts to Igraine and then quickly explains how things really happened, but who wants to read boring history bullshit? He's certainly self aware but I still think it was a nice touch.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

part of the fun is derfel's progression through the series while he's being a Christian narrator writing the books with the mouse lord checking in him. He starts out all pious and at the end is touching his hammer and forgetting to capitalize god and then goes to die as old man hoping to hold his sword.

these books are great but cornwell seems to reuse the exact same phrases to end chapters

"For the Saxons had arrived" blah blah

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

same thing with the grail quest books but there he was focused on how strong archers were and "then the arrows flew" blah blah

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

How he closed the grail quest was perfect though, that was probably the best ending to any Grail search story that could exist

mallamp
Nov 25, 2009



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

How can anyone like Ken Follett, though. I mean, poo poo, people complain about fantasy novels being rapey. Pillars of the Earth is the only book I was ever assigned for class that I didn't finish reading; It's like someone took an Edward Rutherford novel and just added a rape scene on every fourth page.

Raping doesn't make other parts less entertaining though, not in fantasy, not in follet. Besides, while I like Pillars of Earth and the sequel a lot, I especially like his newer trilogy which is not rapey, and is 20th Century historical fiction in epic scale, something I haven't seen often. Whereas medieval historical fiction kinda competes against all fantasy novels aswell. If we overlook the fact that fantasy is manchild genre, it's often more entertaining than its realistic cousin

mallamp fucked around with this message at 15:14 on Jan 3, 2016

Arc Hammer
Mar 4, 2013

Got any deathsticks?

I was flipping through Netflix and saw that there was a new original series based on The Last Kingdom. Haven't read the book, but has anyone here read it/seen the show? Is it any good?

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

I've read all of Cornwell's Sharpe series and enjoyed it. It's not quite on the same level as Renault or O'Brian but you can tell he does his research. The interesting thing was that it's the only major series I know of that you really should read in internal chronological order rather than published order, because he plotted all 20-odd books out in advance before writing the first one; though of course basing it on a foot-soldier's view of Nelson's career helped. EDIT: not Nelson, Wellington, I just woke up here

I've been reading these as a break from more serious books. They're good fun, but kind of repetitive. I've lost count of the number of times Sharpe makes an enemy who threatens his career, or falls hopelessly in love with a woman he can never have and curses himself for a fool.

Earwicker
Jan 6, 2003



I never read the Sharpe books but I did watch a bunch of the tv show with Sean Bean. It's good. But I have a question because the tv show starts out as a somewhat grounded, realistic depiction of the Napoleonic wars but then starts getting into some weird supernatural territory a little bit, a few episodes in. Specifically I remember a bunch of nonsense about some "Aztec gold" and this creepy Aztec warlord who was trying to hypnotize one of Sharpe's girlfriends by meowing at her. It was a weird scene.

Is that kind of stuff in the books or did the tv writers go off the rails?

mallamp
Nov 25, 2009



Arcsquad12 posted:

I was flipping through Netflix and saw that there was a new original series based on The Last Kingdom. Haven't read the book, but has anyone here read it/seen the show? Is it any good?

I haven't read the books so I don't know howe good adaptation it is but I though it was bit worse than Vikings but good if you want to watch something like Vikings

Arc Hammer
Mar 4, 2013

Got any deathsticks?

Earwicker posted:

I never read the Sharpe books but I did watch a bunch of the tv show with Sean Bean. It's good. But I have a question because the tv show starts out as a somewhat grounded, realistic depiction of the Napoleonic wars but then starts getting into some weird supernatural territory a little bit, a few episodes in. Specifically I remember a bunch of nonsense about some "Aztec gold" and this creepy Aztec warlord who was trying to hypnotize one of Sharpe's girlfriends by meowing at her. It was a weird scene.

Is that kind of stuff in the books or did the tv writers go off the rails?

That episode has nothing at all to do with the novel Sharpe's Gold, and is pretty easily the worst episode of the entire series. It is just so ridiculous and stupid. Thankfully it's the only episode that's like that, and while there are a few other TV series only episodes not based off of books, they're still pretty good.

Earwicker
Jan 6, 2003



Arcsquad12 posted:

That episode has nothing at all to do with the novel Sharpe's Gold, and is pretty easily the worst episode of the entire series. It is just so ridiculous and stupid.

actually I liked it when that guy was meowing, its one of my favorite things that happened on the show. That and every single scene with Pete Postlethwaite.

Genghis Cohen
Jun 29, 2013


Earwicker posted:

actually I liked it when that guy was meowing, its one of my favorite things that happened on the show. That and every single scene with Pete Postlethwaite.

Pete Postlethwaite carried most scenes he was ever in, but in Sharpe he's loving phenomenal.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Arcsquad12 posted:

That episode has nothing at all to do with the novel Sharpe's Gold, and is pretty easily the worst episode of the entire series. It is just so ridiculous and stupid. Thankfully it's the only episode that's like that, and while there are a few other TV series only episodes not based off of books, they're still pretty good.

It's especially bizarre because Sharpe's Gold is a good story that could have easily been adapted for TV.

I haven't read the whole series yet, but I think Sharpe's Rifles is my favorite book so far, and a good entry point for new readers.

Arc Hammer
Mar 4, 2013

Got any deathsticks?

Juaguocio posted:

It's especially bizarre because Sharpe's Gold is a good story that could have easily been adapted for TV.

I haven't read the whole series yet, but I think Sharpe's Rifles is my favorite book so far, and a good entry point for new readers.

Sharpe's Rifles was specifically written by Cornwell to provide an introductory episode for the television series before throwing the audience into Talavera and Badajoz. So yes, it does do a good introductoin.

Samog
Dec 13, 2006
At least I'm not an 07.


i really liked cornwell's arthur books. well, bye

Unctuous Cretin
Jun 20, 2007
LUrker

I've read almost Cornwell's entire catalog, barring Sharpe and the boat mysteries. They're formulaic as hell, and after the third you'll see it coming.

That being said, I love them. His enthusiasm for the history and settings shine so brightly, it's easy to ignore a lot of the quirks.

I'm pages from the end of the newest Uhtred, and unless an arrow flies over the wall and kills him, there's going to be more coming.

I want to see the The Last Kingdom show, but have good way of getting all the episodes.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum


let it mellow posted:

guys I think Uhtred might take bebbanburg (sp?) in the next book

I was right and it owned think the grail series was actually his best. Thomas of hookton owned

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 05:53 on Feb 20, 2017

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

his king arthur trilogy is a lot of fun because he went back and read a lot of the super-obscure welsh/celtic sources (and scholars who 'reconstructed' the same) and based his mythos in them. his scholarship in that area is genuinely pretty impressive for a pop historical fiction novelist

a lot of other medievalists, and esp. arthurians, really dislike him though

Unctuous Cretin
Jun 20, 2007
LUrker

let it mellow posted:

guys I think Uhtred might take bebbanburg (sp?) in the next book

I bet his current girlfriend will not die and be replaced by a new one whose characterization is oddly familiar!

Living Image
Apr 24, 2010

HORSE'S ASS



chernobyl kinsman posted:

his king arthur trilogy is a lot of fun because he went back and read a lot of the super-obscure welsh/celtic sources (and scholars who 'reconstructed' the same) and based his mythos in them. his scholarship in that area is genuinely pretty impressive for a pop historical fiction novelist

a lot of other medievalists, and esp. arthurians, really dislike him though

I think King Arthur is his best work. Keeping it to a trilogy gave him a clear arc to work through over three books - unlike the Saxon stuff, where he's gonna keep knocking them out yearly and therefore just does a self-contained story which is basically identical to the other ones. gently caress it though, they're fun and light to read every now and then no matter how half-heartedly he wanks them out.

Eugene V. Dubstep
Oct 4, 2013
Probation
Can't post for 10 years!


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

How can anyone like Ken Follett, though. I mean, poo poo, people complain about fantasy novels being rapey. Pillars of the Earth is the only book I was ever assigned for class that I didn't finish reading; It's like someone took an Edward Rutherford novel and just added a rape scene on every fourth page.

I only remember maybe one or two in a 1,000 page book.

Arc Hammer
Mar 4, 2013

Got any deathsticks?

Cornwell is in a strange spot where his novels are all extensively researched and authentic while remaining fun popcorn reads.

The Rat
Aug 29, 2004

You will find no one to help you here. Beth DuClare has been dissected and placed in cryonic storage.



The authenticity comes through sometimes when you aren't quite expecting it. I remember one portion where Derfel is reminiscing on how beautiful his wife was and said something like "she even still had most of her teeth!"

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

i'd like to know how he even came to Derfel. derfel cadarn is a genuine historical/folkloric character, but he's hugely obscure even as far as welsh arthurian scholarship goes.

e: even derfel's name is crazily well-researched. iirc it's glossed in the books as meaning something like 'pertaining to a druid'. irl it means something close to 'pertaining to an oak [tree]' (der, 'oak', fel, 'as', lit. 'as [an] oak'), and there's a classic etymology which derives 'druid' from the words for 'oak knowledge', thus you could actually make a case for derfel's name meaning that

this is probably interesting to no one else but i think it's cool and anyway my point is cornwell goes deep into some seriously obscure lore just to accurately colour in the background stuff that most people don't even notice

chernobyl kinsman fucked around with this message at 02:10 on Oct 31, 2016

Unctuous Cretin
Jun 20, 2007
LUrker

Maybe he's a descendent of Derfel.


More likely, he saw an awesome name while doing his research and it stuck with him, leading to looking more into it.

Ulio
Feb 17, 2011



at the date posted:

I only remember maybe one or two in a 1,000 page book.

Ya I don't remember rape being every 4 page or anything like that in Pillars of The Earth. The one main character who was raped it kinda defined her character's struggles and life progression. Although Ken Folett and Cornwell are very different types of writers even if they write mostly historical stuff. All of Follett's novels tend to all take place over many years where you see the characters grow up and change slowly. Cormwell tend to be more narrow, concise and more about war/battle. I like both though since you can learn some history through their books since both of them do good research for fiction writers.

I need to read more of Cornwell. I have only read the Arthur Series and loved it for the most apart even though I felt the series got weaker with each book it was still very good. Cormwell writes some of the best battle scenes in the world. I remember GRRM saying exactly that. I feel like a lot of fantasy readers would love Cormwell because his series are realistic but as epic as most fantasy series out there.

Unctuous Cretin
Jun 20, 2007
LUrker

The Thomas of Hookton / Grail Quest series are a lot of fun. It's more jerking off about English longbowmen than shield walls, but otherwise checks all the same boxes.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Unctuous Cretin posted:

Maybe he's a descendent of Derfel.


More likely, he saw an awesome name while doing his research and it stuck with him, leading to looking more into it.

actually he's a descendant of uhtred if you believe him

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Unctuous Cretin
Jun 20, 2007
LUrker

Therein lies the joke.


Has anyone read any of the non-sword / soldier books he's written? I know he's got several sailing yacht-themed mysteries, but I've never really bothered.

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