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I think the books flawed, and very uneven.
There re some superb sections (the Ents, the Mines of Moria), some terrific characters (Gandalf, Saruman, Gollum), some ideas - once original, now a somewhat tired cliché - the idea of weak kings, evil counsellors, fueding brothers, the Wise Mentor, kings who will be revealed by destiny, gorgoeus and impossibly attractive elves, grasping dwarves, bucolic bliss, and so on, and some absolutely awful characters (Tolkien couldn't write a credible female character to save his life, and Frodo and Samwise do not - remotely - appeal), and some sections that just drag interminably.
I far preferred Bilbo - wise, witty, humane, sane, brave but not reckless, with a perfectly understandble appetite for many of the good things that life has to offer, - to Frodo, and would have liked to have read about his quest, and what that journey would have done to him and how he would have coped with it.
Ah, yes.You are once again quoting me from a totally different discussion.
In a ]1996] speech at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jiang proposed the creation of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
This turned out to be an important first move in a momentous two-step. Upon his return to China, Jiang gave another speech in the city of Tangshan, in which he explicitly directed the country’s firms to “go out,” meaning go overseas in search of business. No Chinese leader had ever said anything like that before, and from the very start Africa was clearly a principal target.
“Outsiders are awed by China’s extraordinary economic growth over the last thirty years [since 2014], during which time its GDP had increased tenfold. But along with that growth has come cutthroat competitiveness and grinding stress in daily life that many find unbearable, and which drove many Chinese to leave the country. Time and again, Chinese told me they did not fully realize how oppressive things were at home until after they had left. Living in Africa, they said, it felt as if a lid had been removed from a pressure cooker. Now they could breathe.
Hao was the first person I had met, however, who had chosen his destination in Africa because he believed there would be few Chinese there. He was a new kind of frontiersman, and I would meet many others like him. Collectively they challenged another common image about the Chinese, who were held to be a reflexively insular people who constitute self-enclosed communities wherever they go.”
From his age and from his references to “eating bitter” during the Cultural Revolution, I knew Hao to be a member of the Lost Generation, a group that included people in their late forties to early sixties who had grown up in the bygone era of the iron rice bowl, with its expectation of cradle-to-grave socialism. When China opened up and turned capitalist in the early 1980s, members of that group were too old to recover from the deprivations of the most radical period of Maoism, which had lasted from 1966 to 1976.
It was a time when higher education, and even secondary school for many, was interrupted and the country was plunged into political and social turmoil. Unlike the overwhelming majority of his age cohorts from undistinguished backgrounds, though, Hao had thrived in spite of his generation’s unlucky timing.
I returned to the question of how he had chosen to settle in Mozambique in the first place.
“I went to an African trade fair in Fujian province and there were lots of Chinese businesspeople there,” he said. “I got excited by all the talk of business opportunities in Africa. Later, I figured my English is no good, though, so I got the idea that if I went to an English-speaking country, English being a popular language, Chinese people would be everywhere.
"Mozambique is a Portuguese-speaking country, though. This might bring me luck. I’ll be damned if I understood Portuguese, but damnit, I figured, neither do most Chinese people in general, so what the fuck? There must be great undiscovered opportunities there, and I won’t have to be constantly looking over my shoulder for other Chinese people coming to compete with me, cheat me out of my money, or steal my ideas.”
I told him I’d just been in Ethiopia, which produced a look of deep puzzlement, and that the next country I would visit was Namibia.
“What is Namibia?” he asked.
I drew him a crude map in my spiral notebook. “Ethiopia is up here,” I said, pointing to the continent’s northeastern shoulder. “Mozambique is here. And Namibia is over here. It’s on the Atlantic coast.” Hao wanted to know how far away that placed Namibia from where we were. Several hundred miles, I said. I started to fill in the map to show him some of the other countries I planned to visit. When I sketched Senegal’s position, at the continent’s furthest point west, I decided to give him a little more context and added Europe, tracing its downward slope toward Africa that culminates in the Iberian Peninsula.
“Here is Portugal,” I said, which produced another look of confusion. He asked me what Portugal was exactly. It was the colonial power that once controlled Mozambique, I told him. As he nodded, still looking uncertain, I added that it was the place where the Portuguese language came from. He knew that Mozambique had been a European colony, a zhimindi, but he had not known it had been Portugal’s colony. “I thought Portuguese came from Brazil,” he said.
I drew South America on the map for him, separated, as one would expect, by a large blank expanse for the Atlantic Ocean, and told him that Brazil, too, had been a Portuguese colony. Hao began making some connections, thinking of Macau, the tiny formerly Portuguese enclave near Hong Kong. “Son of a bitch,” he exclaimed. “You wonder how the fuck little countries like Portugal controlled so many big, faraway countries? It’s just like the way the Europeans carved up China, I suppose.”
After a pause, he asked: “Where is America?”
I sketched North America onto my crude and now crowded map, and Hao was astounded to learn that it was not of a piece with Europe, as he had always assumed.
Delighted that you enjoyed it.View attachment 13520
The artist who created this series of covers, bravo!
Just finished the Mistborn trilogy, and this story is epic, creative, intriguing, and exciting with a strong female character. I don’t know if using metals to produce magic is a common idea in fantasy stories or not, but if not, this author created a complete basis for a system of magic granting physical powers involving metal that are related to Gods. You have to read all 3 to get the complete story and the arc climax and resolution to the story.
Is there a movie in the works? Maybe, maybe not… this from 2015:
Re-Mistborn trilogy. It is quite impressive how each character, the protagonist at the start, the various members of Kelser’s crew, the on-going research by Sazed to reveal a lost history, the role of mists and metal, what these represent, and even how the classes of mythical creatures fit into their cohesive parts of the narrative, and especially the origin of these creatures and how mist and metal is involved from start to finish in not only their existence, but their actions, motivations, and control. And finally the revealed answer as to why this dying world is the way it is Is simply awesome.Delighted that you enjoyed it.
I must say that I also loved this series; I loved Vin (a seriously strong, female, protagonist, her arc was wonderful) and also loved her relationship with Elend and how it evolved over the course of the three books.
And Sazad just rocked (as, indeed, did TenSoon).
Moreover, the system of magic in the Mistborn trilogy was one of the best, most original, most credible (yet internally logical and narratively satisfying) that I have ever encountered in (fantasy) fiction.
Agreed.Re-Mistborn trilogy. It is quite impressive how each character, the protagonist at the start, the various members of Kelser’s crew, the on-going research by Sazed to reveal a lost history, the role of mists and metal, what these represent, and even how the classes of mythical creatures fit into their cohesive parts of the narrative, and especially the origin of these creatures and how mist and metal is involved from start to finish in not only their existence, but their actions, motivations, and control. And finally the revealed answer as to why this dying world is the way it is Is simply awesome.
If you like this genre of story, it is the best for these reasons: Besides a cohesive and compelling plot, with a bevy of interesting and likable characters, the magic wielded by mortals is not completely vague where anything goes. And although the realm of Gods and supreme but limited power is touched upon, (due to an initially unexplained status quo), instead for mortals and magic, although related to Gods, it is based on metals and is presented as a defined framework of abilities with rules and limitations. You don’t usually see this kind of effort in a story involving magic, where usually it’s power is not as well defined
Lois McMaster Bujold (with the brilliant Vorkosigan series) and Elizabeth Moon (the excellent Serrano-Suiza series) are both also exceptionally good on "epic military space sagas".I am reading yet another series by John Ringo. When it comes to epic military space sagas, there’s no one better.
Runaway Horses by Yukio Mishima (the second in the tetralogy that marked the final works he wrote. I read Spring Snow last year and loved it).