Joe Abercrombie – The Heroes (2011)
Abercrombie has a nice setup portraying the foultasting underside of fantasy conventions, from epic quests in the First Law trilogy to vengeance in Best Served Cold, and now warfare in The Heroes. It’s brutal, but there’s a humaneness at bottom that keeps this from being just 500 pages of blood&gore. Abercrombie is a cynic, but in an older sense of someone who skewers pretension while still having the courage to believe in something himself. The depressingly ugly events of his world play out against a sense that goodness is possible, if you choose it.
Henrik Jensen – Ofrets århundrede (1998)
The break-up of social order and tradition has resulted in a society where individuals find meaning by identifying themselves with the victims of 20th century catastrophies.
Read: 50 pages
Recommended: No. Partly because I don’t find his cultural conservatism a relevant approach to victimology, and partly because he bases an entire chapter on the social theories of Johan Galtung.
Jerome K. Jerome – Idle Ideas in 1905 (1905)
The amused thoughts of a useless person, balancing on the edge of being interesting because they’re old, but I pity his contemporaries.
Read: Five chapters.