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The Folding Knife (2010)

por K. J. Parker

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3911263,899 (4)5
Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. Basso the Murderer. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man. He is ruthless, cunning and, above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he's only ever made one mistake. One mistake, though, can be enough.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
It's like the whole book is a giant Mary Sue, but it's on such a huge scale that you feel like it's allowed? The plot is just "this is how I'd build myself up if I were in ancient(?) Rome(?) because I'm a genius and I'm the one writing this." I liked it maybe as much as four stars, but it can't have that many. Sorry, Knife, nuh uh, not for you.

Pros:

- This book pulled me in. It was intriguing at first, when the main character and most people around him didn't have names... Somehow this evolved into women not having names. Ah, well. Can't say I really care.

- Often, during the first half, I would think "I'll need to make a shelf called 'bang for your buck' for these books that are low on filler. Ah, things that happen, how I love you! Ah, GRRM, how much you resemble a wet sock to me right now. Except I don't use "bucks" what the hell not everybody is American

Cons:

- Basso kind of has the same voice as he ages, as does Aelius, so it's hard to place their ages without specifically looking out for the time markers. Hell, everyone has the same narrative voice as everyone else, so it's hard to think of them as separate people and not "this book." You especially notice this when he thinks I would have said that better. LOL dude you sound exactly the same as this guy you're describing as "boring as shit."

All in All
I don't know, go for it. It's better than a lot of... fantasy? and you only wish it didn't lose strength at the end, but that's really the only place it did. Go on. It doesn't cut. ( )
  brutalstirfry | May 6, 2022 |
Only KJ Parker could write a fantasy novel about the global financial crisis. (Discuss.) ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
Finally, a KJ Parker book that I can recommend to friends without worrying about them never speaking to me again.

Seriously, this is the usual gripping mixture of fascinating characters and waiting on tenterhooks for everything to come crashing down, but with less unusual violence. Even the ending is not as unremittingly bleak as many of the author's other books. It's not a lesser book for it, just different.

The description of national finance and a war of conquest for resources made me consider similar issues in the real world, but it never seemed didactic. More people must start reading this author. ( )
1 vote hatpin | Jun 18, 2018 |
http://tenaciousreader.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/the-folding-knife-by-k-j-parker/

Loved this book! Basso is fascinating, loved the politics. Very much a book that relates easily to the real world, and one that I think people should read. Ill definitely be reading more by Parker. ( )
  tenaciousreader | May 24, 2014 |
A surprisingly enjoyable book about fantasy and economy (!). ( )
  StigE | Feb 22, 2014 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The one thing The Folding Knife most definitely isn’t is a traditional objectivist Chosen One narrative.
...
Parker’s narrative structure picks apart the traditional, impersonal way that we record events. Time and time again, we’re given the official recitation of events with allusions to the historical record—House documents and the like. Then, Parker pulls back the curtain and, through conversations with Basso, we learn the unofficial recitation of events. It is the “Great Man” theory of history, with Basso as the prime mover.

Yet, invariably, there’s a second curtain: Basso doesn’t know his own reasons. He does what he does either as a reaction or as a compulsion that originates from the swampy interior of his subconscious. The reader is left to craft their own interpretation of the cause of events: we know what happened, but we may never know why....

one huge theme of The Folding Knife—and, indeed, much of Parker’s work—is the “butterfly effect” of small actions having vast, unknowable consequences. Parker likes to hide things in tiny, throwaway details. ... Because of this, I’m going to hazard a guess that Basso's mistake is something that’s tiny, almost inconsequential. Something as tiny as “carrying the knife in his pocket” or “going home early one day” or “using the wrong courier.” A tiny decision with huge impact.

Second, a huge recurring theme is that of choice. And this is the trickiest: I think the mistake has to be something that Basso chose to do. ... we’re looking for failures that came as a direct result of his independent action.

Thirdly, I think the mistake is something personal. This fits with the reasons within reasons theme of the book. .... I think The Mistake that topples Basso has to be something that history would overlook, but we, the reader, understand is critical.

the mistake needs to be early in the book. A big mistake that happens two-thirds in is too late to be consequential—we need the first flap of the butterfly’s wings long before then. ... Parker likes to reinforce the idea of working from first principles: we should look for the mistake in the early pages, when Basso is writing on a blank slate.
adicionada por feeling.is.first | editarTor.com, Jared Shurin (Jul 26, 2013)
 
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Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. Basso the Murderer. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man. He is ruthless, cunning and, above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he's only ever made one mistake. One mistake, though, can be enough.

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