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Customer Reviews: 7
Top Reviewer Ranking: 15,730,282
Helpful Votes: 60




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Ian Kell "muzak fan" RSS Feed (Seattle, WA United States)
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So Sad
So Sad
by Inflatable Soule
Edition: Audio CD
2 used & new from $30.77

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great find, September 16, 2007
This review is from: So Sad (Audio CD)
This is a great 90's disc, if you can find it. Similarities to The Belltower or Sky Cries Mary.


The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, Book 1)
The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, Book 1)
by R. Scott Bakker
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from $4.63

32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic fantasy of the year!, June 9, 2003
Wow, there's something in the water up in Canada, and US publishers are really missing out. Good thing for the Internet! Manitoban Steven Erikson, still without distribution in the states, has established himself as the penultimate epic fantasy writer of the day (except for maybe G.R.R. Martin). Now along comes 'The Darkness that Comes Before, an unequivocal stellar debut by Ontario native R. Scott Bakker.
All of the usual superlatives apply. Simply put, TDTCB is incredible, and any fan of epic or high fantasy should already have it on order. Bakker is an expert craftsman...his world is rich and believable, the characters godlike, and the plot constantly engaging and in motion. Toss in the requisite humor, flawed leads, sex and betrayal, and a true gem emerges from the fantasy morass.
Brief plot summary annotated from the book sleeve: Two thousand years have passed since Mog-Pharau, the No-God, last walked among Men. Now the Shriah of the Thousand Temples has declared Holy War, and untold thousands gather, determined to wrest Shimeh, the Holy City of the Latter Prophet, from the hands of their heathen kin. Among them, one man stands apart, a man who uses redemption to deceive, and passion to elevate and enslave... Anasurimbor Kellhus. Two couples, a barbarian chieftain and his concubine, a sorcerer and his harlot lover, share his trials and tribulations, each compelled by what they think they see: the possibility vengeance, the promise of redemption, the threat of apocalypse, or the hope of escape. As the violent fortunes of the Holy War transform Kellhus into an all-conquering prophet, they finally begin to ask: What is he really?
References have been made to Tolkein, but this novel is far more postmodern and machiavellian than LoTR. Bakker has more in common with Erikson, Stephen R. Donaldson, Martin or early Robert Jordan. There are multiple threads and disparate points of view (hence 'epic'), but as the book progresses they are wound tighter and tighter until the gripping conclusion.
Don't be misled by self-admitted Marxist reviewers.... Modern philosophies don't easily translate to fantasy novels (witness Goodkind's terrible slide), and Bakker himself wrote a great short article on sffworld.com about the current role of the fantasy genre in modern life (Why Fantasy and Why Now?). Bakker may come across as an educated, intelligent writer, but more importantly, he's a talented one. Avoid this debut at your own peril.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2008 7:39 PM PDT


House of Chains (Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 4)
House of Chains (Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 4)
by Steven Erikson
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from $2.43

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, essential and underappreciated, January 23, 2003
Steven Erikson is hardly known here in the states, where he's yet to publish, but his four fantasy novels are unequivocal modern classics. "House of Chains," the newest entry in the long-winded "A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen" series, continues the fascinating saga.
Fans of Jordan and Martin will be wowed by Erikson's epic, sweeping narrative and complex plots. Stephen R. Donaldson is quoted on the back of House of Chains, and for good reason. Comparisons could also be made to Glen Cook's "fantasy-noir" style, and other postmodern fantasy/scifi authors who effectively blur the lines between notions of good and evil.
Erikson's world is endlessly complex, replete with thousands of societies, deep history, vast geographies, and unique magic. There is plenty of humor, a fair amount of gore, and constant action. And an important, unavoidable facet of Erikson's writing style is that he challenges the reader. He doesn't deliver stock characters and cliched, predictable plots on a silver platter.
Start with "Gardens of the Moon," and order from amazon.co.uk if you must. Fingers crossed, Erickson will publish domestically, and all of those weak, poorly written, hackneyed derivative juvenile fantasy books currently choking the shelves of your local bookstore will be swept aside.


Secaucus
Secaucus
23 used & new from $2.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! A hidden classic, September 6, 2002
This review is from: Secaucus (Audio CD)
After reading a ridiculously glowing review on pitchforkmedia.com, I immediately found this album on the Wrens' label website. It's hardly left my CD player since... Each reviewer will mention a different comparison, so for what's it's worth I hear similarities to Sugar, Archers of Loaf, Built to Spill, and the Pixies. Each of the songs is different and engaging. The Wrens have a new album coming out soon, and it should be amazing, so get on the bandwagon while you still can.


A Series of Sneaks [US Bonus Tracks]
A Series of Sneaks [US Bonus Tracks]
Price: $14.57
37 used & new from $0.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proxy Rock, September 6, 2002
Spoon (or rather Britt) has the unusual style of stripping the clutter and gloss from pop-rock, leaving spare but catchy gems where occasional handclaps and single guitar chords have more import than the melody itself. Check out the UK version of this CD, which has 3 fabulous b-sides different than the US version.


World
World
10 used & new from $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreampop country shoegaze superband, September 6, 2002
This review is from: World (Audio CD)
Fans of Rollerskate Skinny, Mercury Rev, Lotus Crown, Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, etc will love this album. It features a great song by Jimi Shields (the underappreciated younger bro of Kevin), Martin Carr of the Boo Radleys, and others. Increasingly difficult to find, snatch it if you can.


Ideal Crash
Ideal Crash
Price: $15.66
50 used & new from $1.08

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's the US Release?, December 12, 2001
This review is from: Ideal Crash (Audio CD)
An incredible album (their last???), it sounds better exponentially with every listen. But their label Island should do a US release (see: Idlewild, Clinic, The Strokes)


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