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  2. Minutiae: OpalCat Minute by Minute
  3. Namesake vocalization

Oh, I've read some of the bigger fantasy titles and given up on others, but that's not for this review and know the exact conventions this book plays with. It does a good job. You'll find a number of references and allusions to things you know, and some of them may even surprise or delight you. This is no good starting point if you're looking at getting into fantasy, though. I'd like to thank the incomparably named author, Mary Gentle, for keeping this book lively, putting the odd chuckle in it, for being goofy and juvenile.

Your prose isn't great, but I admire your spirit and forgive you for the parts of the books that made me cringe. It can't be easy to write a book for the crowded fantasy humor genre, let alone a passable one. I have seen a lot more negative reviews about this book than I expected since I totally loved it. If you are looking for Hemmingway or Shakespeare class prose then you are in the wrong place. However if you want a high fantasy story with plenty of black humor that doesn't take itself seriously at all this is a must-read.

Despite the plot holes I really enjoyed every minute of reading this book. The reader must suspend disbelief multiple times but really, the whole book is outrageous so is that s I have seen a lot more negative reviews about this book than I expected since I totally loved it. The reader must suspend disbelief multiple times but really, the whole book is outrageous so is that so much to ask?

I have the red cover with an orc holding the muzzle of an M to his face so that kind of gives away some of the plot but there is a lot more to it than orcs with modern firearms. The halfing "entrepreneurs" to be kind were very interesting characters and I was glad to see they weren't just throwaways.

Where there some disjointed passages? Sure, however they were not so jarring that they broke my immersion. That is one of my biggest tests for a book, if there are so many structural, spelling or grammar errors that my immersion is broken by my annoyance with basic errors that should be caught by a decent proofreader then I will reduce my rating of the book.

This one didn't have that problem at all. I would recommend this to anyone who likes high fantasy with a sense of humor. Sep 27, Martin rated it it was amazing Shelves: g-fantasy , g-humor , g-sword-and-sorcery , g-techno , favorites , tbr. This is one of my favorite books, and the best parody I've read. The story is told from the perspective of a gang of Orchs, which are the canon-fodder of evil and are usually just there for the blonde and bright eyed hero to slay on his way conquer evil. Ever consider This is one of my favorite books, and the best parody I've read.

Ever considered how life must look from their perspective? Well here's you chance to find out! For a hint read the title again. Sep 16, Kaoru rated it it was ok. It took me a while to get through this book, but now that I am, I'm not sure what the point of it was. Yes, I get the rather obvious ways in which the author transferred marine behavior to a fantasy setting. Sometimes those ways were somewhat amusing, but often they were simply incongruous. The addition of other worlds and the like sort of made the interesting aspects of that transfer feel even more forced.

The author mostly skips over things she finds inconvenient to solve, and the book moves sim It took me a while to get through this book, but now that I am, I'm not sure what the point of it was. The author mostly skips over things she finds inconvenient to solve, and the book moves simultaneously too fast and too slow, dragging through minutiae, but glossing over anything that smacks of a larger plot than "orc marines get ambitious, fight themselves, others. Giving magic-fearing orcs automatic rifles and Apache helicopters is a fun idea, but that is about as much fun there is to be had.


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Not much else to see in this book. Jan 10, Rusty added it Shelves: prose , fantasy , books-i-couldn-t-finish. I have a rule in life. Um, a suggestion, I suppose, for myself. No matter how bad it is. This book, I gave it pages. I almost never force myself to enact this rule. I quit on a few books over the years, but not many.

Even books I ended up hate-reading, I at least got through them. I got real I have a rule in life. One the plane I anxiously began.

Half-Life - Human Grunt Speech System and Lines

About halfway through page 1 in I knew I was in trouble. I did not enjoy this. I did not understand it. I was bored, I was confused, I was disengaged immediately. It's not fair I guess, since I don't know how it ends. All I know is that pages in and I was mostly frustrated and had been counting down to that magical mark for most of the two hours or so I tried to read this.

My apologies to the author, whom I am sure is a great writer. Aug 28, Ryan Ziegler added it Shelves: fantasy. A great turn on classic fantasy. What do a bunch of orcs do when they find a cache of modern weapons? Sep 04, Scott Warren rated it really liked it. I make no secret of loving the monstrous races.

So when I see an orc on the cover of a book, and come to learn that he's the main character I'm pretty predisposed to reading it. Grunts is the story of Ashnak, the leader of the Man-Smart Agaku in the days leading up to the last battle. On orders from his master, the Nameless Necromancer, he infiltrates a long-dead dragon's horde to find a cache of weapons and equipment kept in the the dragon's I make no secret of loving the monstrous races.

On orders from his master, the Nameless Necromancer, he infiltrates a long-dead dragon's horde to find a cache of weapons and equipment kept in the the dragon's collection of artifacts from across time and space. The contents of this cache will be immediately familiar to fans of Vietnam era movies. M16s, M60s, humvees, Hueys, and an assortment of odds and ends from the 's era US army.

Capable of shrugging off magical defenses, the Nameless Necromancer's hope is that these weapons will give Ashnak and the orcs the edge against the forces of Light in the coming apocalypse. But things aren't quite so simple. The weapons carry the dragon's curse, that only those steeped in the training and attitude of the gear's origin are capable of employing it. And so very quickly, the orcs begin to take on the qualities of cinematized Vietnam Era Marines. Naturally this is not without a great deal of hilarious juxtaposition between the high fantasy and modern military tropes expertly jumbled into a great genre mashup.

The book is deliberately and successfully funny, playing off genre stereotypes and expectations to great effect. It's very easy to fall in love with Ashnak and his varied and versatile orc compatriots, but they will very quickly remind you of what they really are. This book is not for the young'ns. Gore, profanity, and even some sexual violence abound in this story about Orcs being the leanest, meanest forces of darkness around. It's all handled in a very cavalier and casual attitude that completely honestly made me a bit uncomfortable at times.

But I do not consider that a strike against the book in any way, shape or form. Rather, I feel it was the intent. Despite the light-hearted tone of the book, there is some very dark subject matter to be aware of going into the experience. But it's an experience I wholly recommend. I have never read a book quite like Grunts, and to say I devoured it would be something of an understatement. Read this book if you like: Rooting for the bad guys, orcs, Apocalypse Now, genre mashups. Avoid this book if you do not like: Extremely dark subject matter, classic tropes.

I don't think I have ever read that I hated, loved, was disgusted by, laughed at, gave up and started again, in quite the same way as this one. It's insane! The story revolves around a group of orcs, the traditional cannon fodder of the Dark Lord's army, who steal some Dragon's treasure and are cursed to become what they have stolen. The treasure? As the curse takes effect, they sl I don't think I have ever read that I hated, loved, was disgusted by, laughed at, gave up and started again, in quite the same way as this one. As the curse takes effect, they slowly become marine-like, although still keeping their orcish nature.

It's such a crazy premise and turns everything we know about fantasy-land on its head. The story line is almost non-existant though, just a series of adventures to show the changing nature of the orcs, although as it progresses, it does get stronger and melds the characters together. There are some funny set pieces - the Orcball match with unicorns and tanks - and some funny characters - the Undead Squad were my faves. But there is also some very dark humour running through it, which sometimes does cross the line from gross-out smiles to out and out yuck.

But in a weird kind of way, I did enjoy it. Not one that I would read again and not my favourite Mary Gentle book, but still an ok companion for a few days. Ok I will have to admit that I have been reading this for some time - I do in fact read a lot of books a bit at a time but I don't list them all here as it would look like I am a total fruit for reading and chopping and changing all the time.

Anyway this book I have known about for some years - it is quite dated now - since there have been numerous books where they have taken a character I almost said class there - wow thats showing my roots type and taking the preconceptions that Ok I will have to admit that I have been reading this for some time - I do in fact read a lot of books a bit at a time but I don't list them all here as it would look like I am a total fruit for reading and chopping and changing all the time.

Anyway this book I have known about for some years - it is quite dated now - since there have been numerous books where they have taken a character I almost said class there - wow thats showing my roots type and taking the preconceptions that go with it and totally changing them.

Ok I will not give anything away but lets say that the cover does do a good job of showing what you will meet.

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The book like many of Mary Gentles works I have not read them all is easy to reading and I think filled with colourful characters. The storyline may now seem a little tried, possibly even cliche but it still fun to read but it is at its heart a satire, mainly against high fantasy so if you like to have a wry smile to yourself this is certainly a good place to start.

Some love, some hate this book but the fact that the version I have is its 20th anniversary edition says a lot about its staying power. Jun 09, Althea Ann rated it it was ok.

Minutiae: OpalCat Minute by Minute

Mary Gentle's work is usually rather surreal, complex, dealing with cryptic symbolism and occult knowledge — and gritty violence, often done by female warriors. Well, except for the warriors and violence, this is quite a departure. And more. It is pretty funny at times, but I have to admit that as far as humorous fantasy goes, it's no Pratchett or Adams. The scope is a little too broad, the plot doesn't really flow like it could, and at over pages, it goes on a little too long.

This is a strange one for me - I'm a bit old fashioned in that I like to see the good guys win. And I like to be able to empathise with the protagonists. But in this book, the good guys are prety much all arrogant twerps, and the bad guys are the - for want of a better word - protagonists. And every time you start to empathise with them, BAM! The author smacks you right between the eyes with something shocking that blasts away that empathy.

Also, the book feels like it could have finished about th This is a strange one for me - I'm a bit old fashioned in that I like to see the good guys win. Also, the book feels like it could have finished about three times during its length. I can see why it didn't there was apparently still more story to tell , but It may have served better as three novellas rather than one long novel. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it!


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If you want to read something that turns the traditional fantasy tropes on their heads and aren't easily offended , then I would recommend Grunts! Yo the Marines! There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Mary Gentle. Sign In. Please check your inbox and follow the instructions to confirm your email. Enter your email address below 2.

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Celebrating Britain Firstly, when more herring are in a tank, the researchers record more FRTs per fish. Secondly, the herring are only noisy after dark, indicating that the sounds might allow the fish to locate one another when they cannot be seen. Thirdly, the biologists know that herrings can hear sounds of this frequency, while most fish cannot. This would allow them to communicate by FRT without alerting predators to their presence. Wilson emphasises that at present this idea is just a theory.

But the discovery is still useful, he says. Herring might be tracked by their FRTs, in the same way that whales and dolphins are monitored by their high-pitched squeals.


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Fishermen might even exploit this to locate shoals. There may even be a conservation issue.