A Recommendation for Joe Abercrombie

Q: Is Joe Abercrombie one of those writers who just brutally murders all his characters?

A: No, not quite. Here’s why I like his books.

I’m a confrontational person. Lots of New Yorkers are. Since I moved to the West Coast, I’ve been taught that expressing myself with that kind of sincerity comes off as impolite, inconsiderate, and anti-social; rather than genuine, efficient, and solution-oriented.

Abercrombie’s books are full of people who swear, call each other out, joke, lose their nerve, fuck around, fuck up, and kill when they have to. They do horrible things, even if it’s for the so-called right reasons. As he said last night, “Gimli and Legolas laughing over their body counts, to an orc, sounds like two psychopaths discussing mass murder.” His books don’t hide that kind of perspective.

There are brutal murders, yes, but never for no reason. The cruelty in his stories is packed so tightly with honesty and sincerity that you come to trust his telling — the way you’d trust a dear friend when they say you’re acting like a shithead.

It’s brutality, but it’s brutality that unearths deeper questions and yields deeper understanding.

For me, that’s the definition of safe space.


Half A King tour, July 2014


Check out his latest book, Half A King and see for yourself.


4 thoughts on “A Recommendation for Joe Abercrombie

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