Joe Abercrombie: best book to read

Brian G Turner

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I was ... cynical ... that minor characters from the First Law trilogy might spoil my enjoyment of it.

However, I can safely say anything but, and if anyone wants a good quick introduction to Joe Abercrombie, then Best Served Cold is definitely it. :)

However, I haven't read "The Heroes" yet, though that's ready and waiting on my desk.

Just in case anyone didn't fancy taking on the trilogy of First Law first. :)
 

stevietee

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I'm currently reading BSC, having no previous exposure to Joe Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy. Have to say I find the writing style isn't exactly to my taste, and it took a while to grow accustomed to the characters or to care about the situation in which they find themselves -in fact I considered giving up on it a couple of times. However I am now 400 pages in and will definitely see it through to the end, but I'm not sure I'll be picking up any more of his books any time soon.
 

stevietee

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Just really getting back into reading after a long hiatus. Used to read a lot Terry Brooks and Gemmell before progressing from straight fantasy to the likes of Michael Marshall Smith and Kim Newman et al. but more recently I have rekindled my interest in the fantasy genre and been ploughing through ASoIaF, just thought I'd have a break between books 2 and 3 by dipping into Best Served Cold.
 

thaddeus6th

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Really?

I'm mildly surprised. I'd go for the First Law Trilogy. It's been a little while since I read it so I couldn't single out one book as the best, though.
 

stevietee

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No doubt I will give the First Law Trilogy a try at some point, but I'm discovering that there are a lot of writers out there at the moment that have passed me by of the last 15 years or so. Lots of catching up to do. Reading Best served cold hasn't made me want to sample more Abercrombie just yet
 

Grunkins

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I stopped reading The Blade Itself about half way through, the cartoonishness of the minor characters turned me off, and all the "er" and "um" dialogue did as well. But after hearing so much praise for Abercrombie I gave him another shot and read Best Served Cold and really enjoyed it, and on the strength of that book ordered The Heroes.
 

Coolhand

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Personally, I think it's best to start with the trilogy, as the later books have so many little nods anc cameos (and even major appearences) to events and characters in the trilogy that not having that prior knowledge really robs you of the full enjoyment of the stories.

However, I do agree that the BEST book overall is probably Best Served Cold, as the First Law Book 1 is a very slow start and slow burn, FL2 and 3 require you to have read 1, and The Heroes, whilst a great read, isn't quite as twisting and turning as the plot of Best Served Cold, and relies a little more on knowledge of the trilogy to get the impact of some of the events.

So if you're only going to read one of the books BSC is the one, I think.
 

Dante DiBenedetto

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I guess it really depends if you're an avid reader or not. If you read a lot, I say start with the trilogy. If you don't, pick up THE HEROES. It's well assembled, and drops you smack dab in the middle of an epic battle with memorable characters.

I read his books in order, but frankly, THE HEROES would have been enjoyable enough without all the backstory that I knew ahead of time.
 

alchemist

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I recently read The Heroes and really thought it one of the best books I've read (it ain't Fantsay, though, but that's for another thread). Not having read any of his other books didn't hamper my enjoyment at all.
 

VALIS13

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I'm thinking of trying this Abercrombie fellow, is Best Served Cold still the general concensus about his best work for someone who hasn't sampled him before?

Or has he written something more suitable since?
 

thaddeus6th

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Lots of people think it is, Valis, although personally I like the First Law Trilogy and Red Country more.

I'd probably go for the trilogy, as it's the first (so it can't spoil later stuff for you).
 

VALIS13

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Cheers thaddeus, I'm in the mood for some rip-roaring fantasy as the cerebral sci-fi is kind of bogging down my brain at the moment.
 

Bart Sistrunk

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I'd have to lean towards The Heroes, specifically because of Bremer Dan Gorst. He's definitely on my top list of best fantasy characters of all time.
 

Brian G Turner

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I tend to recommend Best Served Cold because IMO it's a more balanced standalone novel, that nicely introduces a wider range of what Abercrombie can deliver than his other two standalone novels. Plus it's a self-contained story, that requires no understanding of his other writings.

The Heroes I did very much enjoy, but I'm not sure it has the same wide appeal.
 

soulsinging

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I'd have to lean towards The Heroes, specifically because of Bremer Dan Gorst. He's definitely on my top list of best fantasy characters of all time.
I was JUST trying to remember that guy's name... great character.

I love First Law trilogy and think it's excellent. I also loved the Heroes. For some reason, I never finished Best Served Cold. This is making me think I need to pick it up again.
 

biodroid

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I am currently reading Half a King and reckon its brilliant. It is classed as young adult, but doesnt really feel like it. Good plot, characters and twists, has violence which is typical of Joes writing. Really enjoying it and its half the length of his other books
 

Bowler1

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Best Served Cold for me and as per Brian above (this happens far too often for my liking). I had come on to this thread for a insight into the Half a King book, which based on Biodriod review I will now up load to my kindle. I have a long flight coming up soon and Joe was being held in reserve for these wasted hours flying - but now about to be well used reading Joe.
 
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