OT: New Bujold Story

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Mon Mar 15 16:01:12 EST 2004

Liz replied to Aimee's question:

>> I have Memory and Komarr (my first Bujold) on my shelf waiting to
>> be read...
>> do they stand alone? Which one should I read first? Are they good compared
>> to the others?

>I read Komarr a few weeks ago, and it was also my first Bujold. Having since
>read Shards of Honor, Barrayar, The Warrior's Apprentice and The Vor Game,
>I'd say Komarr was of a lower quality than any of these - I wonder whether
>long-time Bujold fans would agree? For the first half of the book, I kept
>wondering what all the fuss was about - to me it just seemed like
>straightforward space opera, which isn't a genre I'd normally go for, and
>the stylistic niggles that other DWJers mentioned a couple of weeks ago
>irritated me, too. By the end, though, I was certainly sucked in far enough
>to order Cordelia's Honor, and by the time I was half way through Shards of
>Honor I was convinced that Komarr had been a really bad place to start - not
>just because of chronology but also because of the difference in the quality
>of the writing and characterisation.

Under the influence of DWJ and this list, both urging me to read Bujold in
spite of my resistance to it on account of it having been hyped to the
skies by three people whose praise of a work generally means I'll find said
work dire, I recently read the whole lot on loan in as random an order as I
could manage.  Random seemed to work very well, but I suspect this may only
have been because I had all of them available at once.

The ones I was least engrossed by were *Ethan of Athos* and *Falling Free*;
the one I have determinedly got in hardback to make sure it won't fall
apart on re-readings is *Komarr*.  The collection on the shelf is now that
plus six in paperback, and I am actively looking for the ones I don't have.

>I'm gradually trying to get hold of the others, and will be rereading Komarr
>in its chronological place, so perhaps I'll revise my opinion of it, but
>that's what I think at the moment.

If it is a comfort, you're with DWJ in your opinion: she doesn't rate
*Komarr* as highly as I do.  Maybe that says more about our respective
marriages than it does about the book, though.


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