Tad Williams' Message Board

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'
-    Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Welcome to the message board for tadwilliams.com. All comments are welcome, whether kudos or brickbats. However, please bear in mind that Tad would like this to be a friendly, civil message board, at least in the relations between users. We reserve the right to remove postings, or even ban postings, from anyone who crosses the boundary of reasonable taste. Basically, you can argue vigorously with someone, but watch your language, okay? We have a lot of young readers as well as grown-ups, so please show them some respect.

But the main requirement here is: have fun.


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#1 2005-06-26 06:31:00

lupi91
Pilgrim
From: Chicago
Registered: 2005-03-13
Posts: 4

The War of the Flowers

Just wondering what peoples opinion of "The War of the Flowers" were.

[ June 26, 2005: Message edited by: lupi91 ]

 

#2 2005-06-26 07:36:00

LoveMartine
Pilgrim
From: Sydney
Registered: 2005-04-13
Posts: 47
Website

Re: The War of the Flowers

'War of the Flowers' was my introduction to Tad's work. I've still only read that and the 'Otherland' series, but hey, I'll get there.

The characters in 'War' are wonderful. The entire created world is believable and very colourful. I really enjoyed it (attested to by the fact that I went out and found more Tad to read).

If you're wondering whether to go and borrow/buy it, do. :)


The blind witch of a New World

Love, Martine.

 

#3 2005-06-30 12:12:00

SunsetChild
Pilgrim
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 7
Website

Re: The War of the Flowers

I usually gauge how good a book was by how long it takes me to read it (following the logic that the more into it I am, the more I'm going to sacrifice work/school/etc. to read it)... Yeah, I had this book done in about a week.  I couldn't put it down.  I was reading it at work just because I found myself wondering what was happening next.  I felt so involved that when I wasn't reading I almost felt like I might be missing something!  Definately a great book.


(-SunsetChild-)

 

#4 2005-07-28 04:52:00

ArcticSwan360
Pilgrim
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2004-11-06
Posts: 1075
Website

Re: The War of the Flowers

I was skeptical at first when I picked up a copy of War of the Flowers, because this idea beens done before right? How stupid was I to underestimate Tad's brilliance and imagination to rejuvinate an idea? Dumber than a rock with negative eight trillion brain cells. Or one of those ogres from the books. It's pure great fun, very humorous, yet also a mixture of light and dark to make it realistic, with many subtleties and complexities to make it extremely and utterly realistic. One of the best books I ever read.


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#5 2009-06-15 02:21:15

Nidrus Hellebore
Pilgrim
From: Cracow, Poland
Registered: 2009-06-15
Posts: 7

Re: The War of the Flowers

I am in total love in "War of the Flowers". This is my favourite book, not only from Tad's and I am so happy it came to my life and remained.
First at all, great idea for fairy world being so close to ours - I always seen Faerie as dark and different place, not looking as close to ours as Tad probably wanted to show, but it was in the same hostile as huge city's streets at night.
Great villains, especially my namesake, probably best villain in both worlds.
And main character, so similar to avarage peoples lifes...I strongly felt connection with him. Not perfect but brave and responsible.

Love it!


Do it yourself.

 

#6 2010-01-20 17:31:42

Tailchaser
Pilgrim
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 12

Re: The War of the Flowers

I was skeptical as well of the beginning to War of the Flowers, I mean to say, I really thought the main character was a loser in the beginning, but I, too, was wowed by this book. The experience alone is worth it, and then on top of that you get this awesomely refreshing view of Faeire. I loved the girl who ended up being his love interest - can't remember her name - and it had a nice twist.

Haha gotta agree Hellebore was a terrifying character. :D


We are the sum of all ages, are we not? And as a result there is nothing that marks this age of ours, save that one thing. We are the sum.
-Michael Moorcock

 

#7 2012-01-15 19:38:43

jonadab
Pilgrim
Registered: 2011-10-22
Posts: 11

Re: The War of the Flowers

Tailchaser wrote:

I really thought the main character was a loser in the beginning

He kind of was, actually.  Isn't that rather the point? 

I mean, he wasn't a _bad_ guy, in the sense of being a constant jerk or anything (that would make him much harder to swallow as a protagonist), but his life was going nowhere, and he didn't really have the drive to do anything about it.  Come to find out, he didn't really belong here at all.  His live was NEVER going to go anywhere here.

It's a reasonably good formula for escapist fiction:  anyone who's not really happy with how their life is going can sort of identify with the character, and even people who aren't in that situation currently may be able to sympathize.  Virtually everyone can dream what it would be like to visit a completely other world and find out you actually belong there, instead of in the boring mundane regular world (which, for all its objective value and quality, does nonetheless leave something to be desired on occasion, for everyone I think).

But the basic formula isn't what makes the book good.  You could give most writers the same basic formula (dude's life is going nowhere; then his mom dies; come to find out his uncle left some weird journal and an account that leads to a secret way to get to fairyland; when dude gets there, people are trying to kill him, et cetera right on through to dude falls in love with emo-egalitarian fairy chick, decides to stay in fairy land, then realizes he couldn't have left anyway) and they'd churn out a book that wouldn't be nearly as good.

 

#8 2012-06-26 04:12:18

brutal_atlas
Pilgrim
Registered: 2012-06-24
Posts: 3

Re: The War of the Flowers

'War of the Flowers' was also my introduction to Tads work.

I absolutely loved it. The characters were brilliant and the twists were great.
Its the only book that I've actually read more than once.


Twitter: @Mr_Ian_Canning

 

#9 2016-02-18 07:52:36

bfishburne
Pilgrim
Registered: 2016-02-18
Posts: 1

Re: The War of the Flowers

I have really enjoyed a lot of what I have read by Mr. Williams.  I am only now, however, getting to the War of the Flowers.  As I began the book, I immediately sunk into it like a warm leather chair.  You can imagine how surprised I was when the cold water of an analogy for which I had no reference leapt from the page.

There is one simile at the beginning of the book, "Hospitals were like T.S. Eliot poems somehow..." that stopped me abruptly.  There is little poetry I enjoy (think Shel Silverstein) but I have read a fair number of poets.  Somehow, T.S. Eliot has never interested me and has not crossed my reading desk.  As a result, I stopped reading War of the Flowers and jumped to Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1567/1567-h/1567-h.htm) for a sampling of T.S. Eliot's work.

I realized that my Latin surely needs some refreshing when I turned to the humble poem, "Hippopotamus."  Turning there was an effort to stay awake after the first few lines of "Gerontion."  I was not well rewarded by my stumbling through Eliot.  Neither did I, in either of these poems which are surely a poor sampling, find anything like a hospital.  There is the remote possibility that I had found something when it occurred to me that reading this poetry was kind of like hitting my head against a pristine white wall, but I fear that while this analogy may be apt for my condition, it does not reflect Mr. Williams' intent.

If anyone out there would be so kind as to point me in the proper direction to a few of T.S. Eliot's poems that might embody the sense of a "well-lit wasteland" or "places of quiet talk that could not quite hide the horrible things going on behind closed doors" I would be most appreciative.

 

#10 2016-08-25 21:28:21

eisbergmatgar
Pilgrim
Registered: 2016-08-25
Posts: 1

Re: The War of the Flowers

I'm new here as of thurs the 25th.  I've been wondering for some time if there would be anything like a sequel to War of the Flowers?

 

#11 2016-08-26 03:56:33

Olaf
Mantis
From: Germany
Registered: 2001-07-16
Posts: 4907
Website

Re: The War of the Flowers

There is no sequel planned at this moment, since Tad will be busy in the next couple of years with his new set of Osten Ard books. Additionally, WOTF was one of his least successful novels in commercial terms, so a sequel seems rather unlikely at this point, I´m afraid.

And welcome to the boards!

Join us in the Mint!

http://www.tadwilliams.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=11958


Scrollbearer

Writing books, especially long books, is a careful balance between laziness and masochism.
Tad Williams

 

#12 2016-08-26 10:33:50

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23117
Website

Re: The War of the Flowers

*waves to Eisberg*

Welcome!

I enjoyed WotF, too!


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#13 2016-09-09 07:21:08

Nachtlicht
Pilgrim
From: Munich, Germany
Registered: 2016-09-05
Posts: 7

Re: The War of the Flowers

Olaf wrote:

There is no sequel planned at this moment, since Tad will be busy in the next couple of years with his new set of Osten Ard books. Additionally, WOTF was one of his least successful novels in commercial terms, so a sequel seems rather unlikely at this point, I´m afraid.

And welcome to the boards!

Join us in the Mint!

http://www.tadwilliams.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=11958

oh... that´s kind of sad to hear... not the part about the new set of Osten Ard books :) But how can it be that WOTF was not successful; maybe because it´s somehow too...  one of a kind- at least I´ve never read anything similar.
It was my introduction to Tads work, too, and it´s still among the books I love most and have to read at least once a year. It would have been nice to see how Theo is doing. And all the others, too. But well- *sighs and switches imagination on* I´ll just have to invent it then...

 

#14 2016-09-15 15:02:40

Tad
Hierarch
From: California
Registered: 2001-05-30
Posts: 7612
Website

Re: The War of the Flowers

bfishburne:

I'd say "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" would be a fairly good place to get a hint of what I intended.  Also "The Hollow Men".  The word "wasteland" itself is a reference to perhaps Eliot's most esteemed poem, "The Wasteland", but that's a long, complicated piece with a lot of stuff in it that has to be unpacked.  I think the first two, which are much shorter, will give an idea of what was meant.

Best wishes,

Tad


"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours."

-- Dylan

 

#15 2017-08-22 21:56:19

pixiejen
Pilgrim
From: At my desk
Registered: 2008-01-18
Posts: 95
Website

Re: The War of the Flowers

Just finished this last night.  Been ruminating on it today a little bit.  I liked it quite a lot, but I had some small issues with the pacing of the book overall.  And this not my first dance with Williams' work, either.  I've read everything but the Bobby Dollar series (and I am getting to that).

Have you ever worked with a computer music mixing program?  Or a video program?  Anything where you can mix tracks.  This metaphor cropped up into my mind when I was describing what I thought about it to my husband last night after finishing it and it won't go away, so I'll use it here.

I feel like the last parts of the book, after Theo meets Button until the climax, should be dragged backwards across the whole story.  It felt compacted at the end.  The climax felt extremely rushed and it was all over incredibly quickly.  I have no bones with the payoff, it was a miraculous payoff, but the climax itself -- I feel like we should have gotten more.  Williams has innumerable skill with many facets of writing, but he is best when he reaches into the light and the darkness and crosses the void for us and shows us all the many ancient and epic things that lie in wait. For me, personally, I did not get enough of that.

The first part of the book, particularly the bits with his mom were too long -- but only in hindsight.  I had this feeling during reading the whole book of "so when is something going to happen" and it just continued to feel that way until finally the climax.  This was the very first Williams book I have ever felt that way reading before.  It wasn't a bad feeling.  Just different.   And as I said, the climax was very good indeed.

I feel like Williams here was like Dowd in the end -- telling us to wait, be patient, he was telling us his story and we are just going to have to sit and wait it out. ;).

Overall I think it was different for me because I am a student of folklore and of faerie in extreme particular and so I have my own ideas with regard to that.  Normally Williams forays into faerie have been more aligned with the faerie that is 'out there' in the world as we used to understand it.  Dark, deadly, unknowable.  This was a wild change of direction and yet his scholarship was top notch.  Every single creature accurately portrayed to what 19th century romantic visions of them were.  Its like Frazer wrote a little sci-fi story ;)

If he isn't using Briggs as a reference I'll eat my shirt.

At any rate, it was a wonderful volume and it's uniqueness and cleverness was quite enjoyable. 

And, just saying - the Old Night is Unbeing :p. Aint it :p


"When the windows of perception are cleansed, man will see the universe as it truly is - infinite."

-W. Blake.

pixiejen.com

 

#16 2017-08-26 00:34:26

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13270

Re: The War of the Flowers

I also think that Old Night is Unbeing. The term itself is mentioned once in TGAT when Leleth talks to Tiamak on the Road of Dreams:

TGAT wrote:

“. . . from the North . . . grim . . . found the old night . . .” There was a lag, then a last heroic e ort. “. . . Nisses’ book . . .”

Old Night is a trope appearing in all of Tad's major works: MST, Otherland, WotF, Shadowmarch and iirc even in the Bobby Dollar books.


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
Scrollbearer
Titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Arsonist of the probably most spectacular Mint burning ever

 

#17 2017-08-26 19:30:21

Ad1tu
Pilgrim
From: Buffysadharc
Registered: 2004-02-22
Posts: 6336

Re: The War of the Flowers

Is that perhaps where the ghallu came from? I did see some similarities between the ghallu from BD and the irrha from WotF. It's been ages since I read Caliban's Hour, so I can't speak on that, but didn't Child of an Ancient City have something similar? *eyes her copy* Also, Tailchaser's Song has the line "Blind Night, the night of greatest darkness was coming. Some whispered that this time the darkness would bring the os." (Beginning of chapter 27.) I think there's more, but that's the first thing I could find immediately. It certainly is an overarching theme throughout Tad-books...


If you should do what makes you happy, and no one can tell you what makes you happy, then that means no one can tell you what to do!

Tamishu's Ramblings

 

#18 2017-08-31 16:05:09

lasciel
Pilgrim
Registered: 2017-08-31
Posts: 1

Re: The War of the Flowers

This book always stuck with me, read it a couple times over the years. I probably like a bit better than the Bobby Dollar series , though I admit I haven't be able to get into the Otherland series nor Shadowmarch.  I just listened to MST, after having read it a couple times over the years as well.  But this one seems to be lost in time a bit.  It was a bit of tonal change for Tad and I think that may have put off his readers at the time of it's release.  The title and subject matter, I find a lot of High Fantasy, readers don't really like to stray out that genre.   I've long secretly hoped that Tad would revisit this world, even if it was a completely, unrelated story.  That said, these days I don't really read much, I consume most of my books via audiobook.  I've looked but never found an audio version of this book. Does anyone know of one, maybe originally released on a stack of cassettes or CDs?

 

#19 2017-09-01 10:35:26

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23117
Website

Re: The War of the Flowers

lasciel wrote:

This book always stuck with me, read it a couple times over the years. I probably like a bit better than the Bobby Dollar series , though I admit I haven't be able to get into the Otherland series nor Shadowmarch.  I just listened to MST, after having read it a couple times over the years as well.  But this one seems to be lost in time a bit.  It was a bit of tonal change for Tad and I think that may have put off his readers at the time of it's release.  The title and subject matter, I find a lot of High Fantasy, readers don't really like to stray out that genre.   I've long secretly hoped that Tad would revisit this world, even if it was a completely, unrelated story.  That said, these days I don't really read much, I consume most of my books via audiobook.  I've looked but never found an audio version of this book. Does anyone know of one, maybe originally released on a stack of cassettes or CDs?

Hi Lasciel! Welcome!

Sadly, WotF is not available in Audiobook format. Even best-selling MS&T only recently came out in audiobook format.

The scene where Theo's mom dies brings tears to my eyes every time. But for me, MS&T remains Tad's best work.


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

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