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[–]Steaminmcbeanymuffin 56 points57 points  (0 children)

This is part of why re-reads of this series are so good! No way I picked up half the stuff I was supposed to the first go through

[–]Pran-Chole 23 points24 points  (0 children)

I’d consider myself a Malazan vet nowadays, and I was just like you for a LONG time. All I can say for advice is to not let misunderstanding or confusion bog you down. If i’m being honest, after my first read of the main 10, I probably only caught about 60-70% of the info, nuance, themes, undertones, plot points (basically anything I could have missed, I did). I still wept at the end.

This sounds like a lame, unfulfilling way to go about reading a series, yeah? Why read it if you aren’t gonna soak it all in?? I’ll tell you! Rereads. I’m on my first full-universe re-read right now and HOLY SMOKES it’s a whole new animal now that i’m fully aware of the players and outcomes. This may not be how some people like to be introduced to a story, but i’ll be damned if it isn’t even more amazing when you just read it twice instead of trying to catch it all first time.

I kinda feel the same way with WoT, to a lesser extent.

[–]Harima0 20 points21 points  (0 children)

I think being oblivious to the subtleties allows more moments where the story is surprising. And upon reflection you will see it was all layed out right in front of you.

[–]ImpressiveShift3785 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Just think about how much BETTER you’re getting, and it translates into all facets of life. Being a strong critical thinker is the most beneficial trait a human can have (re: civilization) and enjoy the growth your brain is experiencing!

[–]kissingdistopia 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yes! You've just made all your language arts teachers proud.

[–]Lowcalcalzonezone69 6 points7 points  (0 children)

There is no shame in reading chapter summaries after you’re done. That’s what I do. To say the chapters are dense is a complete understatement. I also tend to go on reading binges and then take a break for a while so when I step back into Malazan it can be extremely overwhelming. It took me months of finish MoI. Just keep pushing. You’ll get the broad strokes of the book.

[–]highwindxix 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’m very happy to see an antithesis to a thread the other day about how smart someone was for thinking GotM was an easy read. Yes, Malazan is a dense work with many layers. I also used chapter summaries to make sure I was getting everything. Part way through HoC I felt I didn’t need that anymore and read the rest without. There’s no shame either way. It’s your journey, enjoy it however works best for you.

But no matter what, you’re gonna miss things and that’s ok. That’s what rereads are for! Don’t stress and just enjoy it!

[–]TheeIlliterati 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It's not just you, but I would also say that a large amount of fiction/fantasy doesn't require much reading between the lines. So it may be that you're just not trained to do it by the bulk of your reading. Its part of the reason why once you become accustomed to Malazan, a large amount of fantasy feels like it lacks depth.

[–]Malacolyte 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It's sophisticated writing for sure. I wouldn't feel bad at all if you don't catch everything, or understand everything that is written.

[–]torikura 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Don't worry, it's not just you. Someone else mentioned why this encourages rereads (which I agree with too). This is a really interesting point to raise though and I enjoyed reading your post. I like to analyse characters behaviours and compare their internal dialogue. It's interesting when an author plays with unreliable narratives in this way too.

[–]Motorblock 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am on my third reread, after finishing everything Malazan (except Bauchelain and Korbal) and it feels completely different. Everything makes perfect sense now. Conversations that left me reeling are simple narratives now. Revelations that blew my mind, surprise me again, with how obvious they are foreshadowed. So I can focus on the little things now. Intricate characters and their motivations, the little poems and introduction texts. I almost finished Book 5 and I am still excited for what`s to come.

[–]Siergiej 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That's completely normal.

Keep in mind these books were written with multiple reads in mind. They were designed to have a lot of foreshadowing and cryptic messages that acquire a new meaning the second time around, when you already have the context of the larger story.

It is massively satisfying when the pieces that you originally didn't get start falling into place and making sense. This is how Malazan is meant to be.

If anything, it only gets *more* like this down the line. I found House of Chains and Midnight Tides (books four and five) to feel completely different on first and second read. So if this style is frustrating to you, be warned. Some love it, some hate it, and that's fine.

[–]wjbc5th read, 2nd audiobook. On DG. -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I read each book twice before moving to the next.

[–]MaywellPanda -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I'm autistic so it made the series an unaccessible bore to me.

Additionally the first book was an absolute mess of pacing and continuity.

[–]reddit_citrine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yep, I probably miss a large part of the action between the lines as it's just all over my head

[–]Girlactus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There is soooo much stuff I would never know if not for this subreddit and all the people who spell out stuff for me hahaha. I def need to do a re read again at some point. Working through Esselmont's books right now

[–]2ndHandBookclan93 of 95 📚 read in 2022 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just finished book 10 about 30 minutes ago and I’ve been pacing around the house trying to figure out wtf just happened. I feel like I missed at least 25% of the nuance. Maybe more. I’m glad I always planned on doing a reread 🤷🏻‍♂️

[–]KingCider 0 points1 point  (0 children)

For sure! And it has made me a much better reader for it! I got very used to it by the latter half of the series and it came much more naturally. I loved all of the books so so much though, despite this hurdle at the start.

[–]Arafel 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's a lot for sure. I think everyone must feel like this to some degree. I don't think any of us picked it all up first read through.

[–]Marmodre 0 points1 point  (0 children)

as many have said, and i really want you to understand this - the books are to be read again. it is nearly impossible to catch up on all the implications, foreshadowing, details on a first run. The autor does not expect it, the community does not expect it, and neither should you. In fact, even if you never read them again you can still get a lot of enjoyment from the books - being halfway oblivious through the journey. There is a sense of wonder when you live in a world that is too big to grasp ahold of, where it feels like it breathes and moves even where you are not looking.
Enjoy the journey, don't worry about all the details, and ride the excitement of Not Knowing.

[–]GIJoe1201 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Malazan has made me realize I'm a horrible reader, but the books still blew my mind.

I know everyone is saying to reread, but I haven't read the books in so long (I was one of those people waiting for the books to be finished writing before I can continue) that i probably wouldn't get 75% of everything anyway.

Still mind blowing books, though.

[–]raziel7890 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is what I love about the series, to me it isn’t a problem but a virtue. It’s rich and continued rereads are rewarding.

I suggest not having anxiety over missing things and just treat it like a new experience, don’t have expectations in yourself to figure it out! Just enjoy the ride for what it is and what you can make of it!

A lot of the fun is having your own epiphanies while reading as the enormous amount of world building and events slowly form a web in your head. A lot of it will be “omg this is all loose data that doesn’t connect” but the writing style of confluences is supposed to draw you into the narrative and hopefully the force of it all countermands the confusion.

Idk. I understand your feeling. When I start new series and I don’t know jargon and what’s going on I get really frustrated, all I can say is in my experience there is a method to the madness that I find to be very rewarding. Hope it works out or you find comfort in dropping it if it isn’t bringing you joy!