Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie

Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
#1
What did you guys think? I was super excited for this book, because Abercrombie does death, violence, and loss better than just about anybody. A book of short stories with characters that don't need to live past the end of their chapter? Hell yes!

The book provided nice insight into the backstories of several important characters: we got to see Glokta as an asshole, Rews as a fat coward, Bremer dan Gorst behind closed doors with a whore at Cardotti's, Whirrun as a sane man and then later as a crazy one getting laid, Bethod as a broker of peace, Logen before the regrets stacked up, and Shy being chased for her bounty.

But it just really didn't do it for me the same way the novels did. Without the context of an ongoing storyline, the fighting didn't mean all too much for me. Many of the chapters featured PoV's that belong to the least important of the characters in the chapter. For example, we get Salem Rews's perspective on Glokta and West, but I'd have much rather read it from Glokta or West's point of view. Similarly, we get Bethod's view of Logen. The chapters I appreciated most were those with my favorite characters as the PoV rather than as other characters in the scene.

I'll give it an 8/10, because I swallowed the whole thing in one sitting and didn't even realize time was passing. But that's on the low end of my expectations for a non-YA Abercrombie book.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#2
8/10 from me as well.
Really great if you get along with Abercrombie's books. With the exception of few new characters, it's basically all backstories about the characters you know and love.
Terrible place to start if you're new to Abercrombie (these are not the short stories where you can dip your toes in to test the water type of deal). Also if you dont like Abercrombie, this book will not make you like him better.

This is as far as I'm concerned a thank you note from Abercrombie to his fans. And it's a pretty sweet one. If you like his work, like I do.
That being said, I can't get enough of Whirrun. Glokta's story was too short and the weakest one from the bunch. But Whirrun man....Whirrun is the deal. And Bloody Nine. Javre (the new character), she was great as well. She's basically Brienne of Tarth, only slightly mad and way more promiscuous. She just doesn't give a fuck. Her and Whirrun's encounter on that bridge had me laughing so much. He's mad, and she's used to getting her way. The dialogue that comes from that dynamic is a treat to read.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#3
I really want to read this, as I'm a big Abercrombie fan, but it's only available in e-book and hard-cover. I absolutely hate it that publishers first publish the hardcover only and only half a year (or sometimes a year) after that original release go for soft-cover. It's just to make an easy buck. Absolutely horrendous. I want the book in freaking soft-cover to add it to the rest of my Abercrombie collection (all of which I have in soft-cover).
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#6
I've just finished Two's Company, which is one of the best things I've read by Abercrombie.
Ah yes, Whirrun and Javre. A match made in heaven.