Gardens of the Moon: Will I start to Understand It...

TJR357

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#1
Will I start to understand this confusing read if I continue to plough through it? I'm just a little under 25% finished (on my iPod touch).
I just find that the story is all over and I'm having difficulty figuring out what the story is really about.
I picked it up via a recommendation from a family member, knowing nothing about it going in to the novel.
 

nixie

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#2
Carry on reading, it will start to come together. Although a lot of people don't really start to understand it until Memories of Ice. I was drawn into the book straight away, I'm not saying I didn't get confused at times or that I fully understood where he was going with it at times but I went with the flow and little pieces I didn't quite get at first would suddenly hit me. I don't think we will totally get it until the last word in the series is written even then there will be a lot of questions left unanswered. Still for me it is the best series ever.

I've had a terrifying thought, currently reading Dust of Dreams, there is only one more to go:(
 

TJR357

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#3
Carry on reading, it will start to come together. Although a lot of people don't really start to understand it until Memories of Ice. I was drawn into the book straight away, I'm not saying I didn't get confused at times or that I fully understood where he was going with it at times but I went with the flow and little pieces I didn't quite get at first would suddenly hit me. I don't think we will totally get it until the last word in the series is written even then there will be a lot of questions left unanswered. Still for me it is the best series ever.

I've had a terrifying thought, currently reading Dust of Dreams, there is only one more to go:(
Okay, I will keep ploughing on. Should I do some external, and extra, research to help make sense of it all, or will that spoil the story?
 

HoopyFrood

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#4
This is pretty much the exact thing everyone goes through when they first start the Malazan Series. It's such an epic story, with so many characters, and Erikson is pretty ruthless in throwing you straight into the action and only choosing to reveal things when he's good and ready. The first half of the book usually takes a bit of wading through, but I'm pretty sure you'll be starting to get hooked by the end. Then you have the fun thing of being thrown in with another lot of different characters in an almost separate story arc in the second book! But it really is a series worth carrying on with, it is so worth it. When it gets going...well, whoa, it really gets going.

And it doesn't change throughout the series, you'll probably always be confused about some point or other! But it's a series where it best to not try and understand everything and just go with it. Revelations and understandings come when they will, and when they do, it's another "oh my god! Now that bit all makes sense!" moment.
 

TJR357

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#5
Well that was the sort of advise I was given when the book was recommended to me: to just keep reading.
I was just wondering at what point it'll grab me...
 

Connavar

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#6
It grabbed me around the middle point. The second hand was much better read than the first 200 or so pages.

If you dont like it by the end then its time to worry you wasted that effort,time on the book.
 

TJR357

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#7
I'm at the bring of throwing in the towel on this one...
It's just so hard to know wtf is going on...
I'm 30% through now. The problem is that these characters come in and out and I have no friggin' idea who they are, what they are doing, and the purpose of them.
It's hard to keep reading when you start not giving a crap what's going on.
 

Wiggum

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#8
When Rake has to engage the Imperial demon is when I got hooked.

And TJR, I never would have gotten through Gardens if I hadn't been on a flight from LAX to O'Hare.

The series is some good, good reading though.
 

Lofwyr

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#9
I'm at the bring of throwing in the towel on this one...
It's just so hard to know wtf is going on...
I'm 30% through now. The problem is that these characters come in and out and I have no friggin' idea who they are, what they are doing, and the purpose of them.
It's hard to keep reading when you start not giving a crap what's going on.
I have only finished Memories of Ice...but I'm going to roll with the rest of these peeps. GotM is a difficult read but well worth it. Sometime shortly after the middle all these disparate characters and stories start to shift course. You realize pretty quick that everything is kind of angling together.

A recommendation i can make: If you get to a point that tickles your memory in a "i've heard something about that earlier" type way, you should take a moment to page back through the book and try to find the part you're thinking of. It helps to organize all the threads and get a better picture of where/how things are going. Even so, you'll be twisting in the wind for a good 3/4 of the book. Also, use the "personae dramatis" section in the beginning of the book to help keep track of who's who.

The biggest issue is that Erickson's world has some 500k years of history that he knows and we don't. He readily uses that history in his story and we, the readers, are essentially clueless to the references being made. Readers get to play archeologist to some extent while reading the series...trying to piece together this massive history while at the same time fitting the puzzle pieces together to form the current, ongoing story.
 

Primitius

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#11
just picked this up after reading good stuff about the series here. I have that sort of mouth watering expectation of how good this is going to be, and I like a challenging read so it shouldn't be too daunting for me, after all i'm reading the silmarillion at the moment and really liking that and it's known to be a bit on the complex side.
 

Klowny

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#12
I'm wondering if TJR ever finished GotM?

Poor guy. He seemed so frustrated. Unfortunately, what can you tell someone but the truth?

"It's like this, see. You're going to have a lot of questions that you're not going to get too many answers to. But don't worry about it overmuch, because it only gets worse. For every answer you get, Erikson is going to inspire you to ask another half-a-dozen questions about what the hell is going on."

I'm willing to bet that, up to this point (Dust of Dreams), Erikson has resolved less than 25% of the puzzles he's presented us with. I'm bracing myself for only another 25%, with just half of my befuddlement eased by the end of The Crippled God. :confused: :D

Regardless, it's been a hell of a ride!
 

Ross

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#13
I'm officially going to start reading DOTM this evening after finishing Stormed Fortress by Janny Wurts.

From what i've read its a pretty confusing read to begin with but is well worth it by the time you've finished the first one?

I'm pretty good at persevering with something even if I find it hard to make sense of it. (stephen donaldson comes to mind)

I am looking forward to this. I've had it stored away...along with several of the Malazan Series in my cupboard for a few years now.
 

Rosemary

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#14
I was one of the readers who found Gardens of the Moon very difficult to get into! However, with lots of encouragement and determination I finally finished.

Since then I have re-read it and so many pieces seem to fall into place so much easier.

If you are good at persevering, Ross, then it is worth every moment.
 

Ross

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#15
Well i've read just shy of 100 pages and so far I'm really enjoying it.

Maybe things don't seem to be going in a constructed way but when that happens I feel it's best to just live for each moment and figure out everything later. It makes things much more fun and easier.
 

HareBrain

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#16
OK, after reading the first few pages on Amazon, and noting the warnings in the reviews about flat non-characterisation and utter confusion, which somehow haven't put me off, I'm about to embark on this. Wish me luck!
 

Clansman

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#17
Vital to keep your mind open, and expect confusion. Hell, welcome it, and embrace it like an old friend. Make sure you read Erikson's foreword (in the newer editions). It explains why he wrote the book the way he did. I began to get some idea of the shape of his story by the second book, and by the third, the big picture was there, albeit not in focus (and some parts completely shrouded in mystery, others being fuzzy). I am just finished the fourth book, and this story just gets better and better (and bigger) with each book.

But he means it to be this way, so confusion is a good thing, because Erikson intends for you to be confused.

Here I come, Midnight Tides.
 

GOLLUM

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#18
Indeed. Go with the flow and in the end you shall be rewarded by your patience ten-fold. That is is the best advice to give for someone embarking on the finest EPIC series I've read to date.
 

HareBrain

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#19
Really enjoyed the first 200 pages, but seems to have gone a bit flat now. I shall stick with it, though. Seeing as how I was expecting to have to endure the first couple of volumes merely as a hurdle before the others, I've been pleasantly surprised. And I haven't had any trouble keeping track of what's going on or who everyone is. I think.

I read his intro. To be honest, i thought he came across as a bit full of himself, but I did appreciate the point he made about being ambitious, and I'm glad he and a few others have been, rather than cranking out romance novels about the latest monster du jour.
 

Clansman

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#20
I read his intro. To be honest, i thought he came across as a bit full of himself, but I did appreciate the point he made about being ambitious, and I'm glad he and a few others have been, rather than cranking out romance novels about the latest monster du jour.
*cough* Stephanie Meyer *cough*

Tickle in me throat. Yes, Erikson does come off a bit inflated in that bit, but he does make his point. GotM to me could have been better were Erikson a little more willing to "spoon feed" as he calls it. He turns off a lot of readers who are not willing to stick it out, and of the four books I have read, it is the weakest, because the reader has the least amount to stand on. A little (no infodump) foundation in the book would be beneficial, and a lot more readers would have grabbed on to this series.

At least he's nothing compared to Terry Goodkind, who seems to think that he should have a Nobel Prize in literature, and if you don't like his tripe, you are a "hater".
 

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