Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of the First Law

Dan Jones

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Just met him at the Waterstones in London Wall, got him to sign Sharp Ends and Half A King. Top man, as crooksy says. Thoroughly nice chap. he was very amenable to everyone who stopped by.

In truth he looked like the cat that got the cream - I mean, it's the job we all want isn't it :)

Then again, I've only been able to get through a few stories, as the formatting in the review copy is seriously bad.
I can confirm that the hardback official version is a beautiful thing, and no formatting glitches (so far)
 

Brian G Turner

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How are you all finding the stories?

Joe Abercrombie is one of my favourite writers, and I thought his Shattered Sea YA trilogy was superb. But with Sharp Ends I felt there was a serious lack of depth - as if, being short stories, they were never given much care or attention.

The first one about Glotka is just someone watching. It was interesting to read - but it's a prequel scene, a fragment, rather than a story. In itself, a minor complaint - but the collection never seemed to improve beyond this.

The Shevedieh and Javre stories came across as woefully underdeveloped for me - it was like reading a cartoon. Writing that someone is "dark-skinned" and a lesbian is not a proxy for character development. The story where they meet Whirrun opened with pages of chatter about the cold and little else, and I would not have expected that to have been allowed to stand in one of his novels.

There is an argument that these are just short stories, therefore there isn't the ability to devote so much attention - but Javre and Shev take up around half this book.

All in all, rather than Sharp Ends it comes across as Scrap Ends. I'm not trying to sound mean-spirited, but I just never felt as though the stories were treated as anything other than throw-away leftovers and discards, that were never given the serious treatment, thought, or consideration, normally found in Abercrombie's novels.

I sincerely hope everyone else disagrees with me - I just couldn't help feeling disappointed with this.Maybe I just had too much of a writerly head on and needed to let go.

Though, it probably didn't help that my review copy suffered so badly from formatting issues that the whole reading experience suffered. Never heard back from Gollancz when I emailed them about it, and didn't want to kick up much of a fuss when the launch and signings were imminent.
 

Boaz

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In the US, we like to cook out/grill/barbeque... as do many (if not all) cultures. When I'm the cook, I have to slice off a bit of that tri-tip, grab a shrimp, and eat a rib before the meat is served... because I'm responsible for the food and it would be unconscionable of me to serve under cooked, over cooked, or tasteless food. Some people claim that's just an excuse for me to eat before everyone else.... but it's kind of like my own personal appetizers.

Sharp Ends feels like eating a few bits of delicious kebabs or ribs, but not eating an entire meal. It tastes great, but does not fulfill.

I agree with Brian's point about Shev and Jav. But Whirrun and others come across better because I already know what they taste like.... I like them. They are good. But I wanted more.
 
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