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CBRG #1: The War Hound and the World's Pain

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  • #16
    Well done to whoever came up with this reading group idea - it'll hopefully provide a great incentive to read or revisit a few useful books.

    I remember borrowing War Hound - complete with the Chris Achilleos cover - from South Woodford library when I lived next door during my first year at college (86-87)*, although I struggled to recall much from the book itself.

    I'm ploughing through it again at present, so I'll probably be back with a few notes.

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    • #17


      I was really excited to read WAR HOUND, misty becaus of the awesome cover + title, but I can not tell a lie. writing this post has made me realize that WAR HOUND is pretty far from the top of my list. of best mm novels. I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, sorry.
      Last edited by aeymxq; 02-20-2012, 03:06 PM.

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      • #18

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        • #19
          The stuff with the love interest in the castle is less than a chapter in length. Funny how these things can seem exagerrated in hindsight. My gf had the same reaction when trying to read LotR: "It's all one long hobbit birthday party!" Umm, that's only one chapter, honey .

          Got stuck into the first couple of chapters of Warhound the other night. Really enjoyed von Bek's character - his uncompromising honesty was very appealing, especially in his conversation with Sabrina. Having read the book before, it was also fun to understand all of her hidden references and von Bek's seemingly rational inability to grasp what she was talking about.

          The name that can be named is not the true name.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ThanosShadowsage View Post
            One thing that I noticed right away, and it isn't really a spoiler so I won't mask it, is the language Mike adopts for this period. I'm not a historian so I can't point out any inaccuracies (if there are any) but the vocabulary he uses feels appropriate without being difficult to read. And (as always) Mike keeps us moving at a nice brisk pace; descriptive but not too descriptive.
            While Warhound is based on the testimony of Graf Ulrich von Bek, the first page clearly states it is a "modern translation." Any inaccuracies are no doubt due to the editor's efforts to present the tale in a fashion readily understandable to modern audiences.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
              Originally posted by ThanosShadowsage View Post
              One thing that I noticed right away, and it isn't really a spoiler so I won't mask it, is the language Mike adopts for this period. I'm not a historian so I can't point out any inaccuracies (if there are any) but the vocabulary he uses feels appropriate without being difficult to read. And (as always) Mike keeps us moving at a nice brisk pace; descriptive but not too descriptive.
              While Warhound is based on the testimony of Graf Ulrich von Bek, the first page clearly states it is a "modern translation." Any inaccuracies are no doubt due to the editor's efforts to present the tale in a fashion readily understandable to modern audiences.
              Something else that struck be about that intro was the note that the original translation was done by Lobkowitz and came into Moorcock's hands through family connections. For some reason that immediately made me think of The Rose. Wasn't she married to Lobkowitz at some point? Or was that Una?
              The name that can be named is not the true name.

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              • #22
                In the better late than never department...

                Gah!
                Procrastination + Life Interference = I really dropped the ball on this one

                I have a bunch of scribbled notes ...somewhere. The short, poor memory, version goes:
                I really enjoyed reading this book again.

                As previously mentioned, I thought the initial scene-setting passage was tremendously vivid. While there was a lot of colourful, and colourfully grim, imagery, for myself stand-out imagery included the damp and decrepit hometown of the WildGrave, the WildGrave himself and his dejected men, the maggoty, mad hermit and the scenes depicting the death throes of the eagle and the dragon.

                I thought the main themes were well-woven into the narrative and that von Bek's character was particularly apt for the story. I also found von Bek's many little psychological insights quite entertaining, perceptive and, in many cases, still apt. Unlike others I didn't find the passage in the castle slow, and even thought von Bek's hasty falling in love was appropriate (i.e. as a complement to his otherwise cynical rationalist bent of mind).

                Another thing I quite liked was how the story seemed to follow a lot of what I see as the basic Arthurian quest tropes (i.e. the lonely castle in the forest, the captive lady, the land that seems bigger than it looks on the map, the knight's instant love for the damsel, the brigands on the road, hermits) but still managed to treat them with originality. Also, while these tropes were often twisted, even subverted, it always worked for me and never felt like cheap pummeling of the cliches.

                One thing that confused me, and which I need to re-read, was the scene with the big animal in the sky. Did Philander Groot have an air-ship?

                If I find my notes, I may post more thoughts.
                Anyway, I liked Warhound so much when I finished I set it down and immediately picked up The City in the Autumn Stars, which I am now close to finishing.
                Last edited by Heresiologist; 04-13-2012, 02:09 AM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
                  Gah!
                  Procrastination + Life Interference = I really dropped the ball on this one
                  Same here! Thanks for bumping the thread - I'll try and add my thoughts asap

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                  • #24
                    I know I will be very late to the party, but I just received my White Wolf Von Bek Omnibus(hardcover) in the mail today and I am sooo looking forward to reading it. As soon as I finish it I will post a few thoughts on it.

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