November 28, 2020, 02:28:54 PM

Author Topic: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!  (Read 11120 times)

Offline Arry

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Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2013, 01:47:48 PM »
It seems an odd choice of title really since the Folding Knife only actually crops up a couple of times.

It only crops up a couple of times, but they are critical points. When his mother murders the intruder, when he murders his wife (and Palo). When he loses it on the road after he has seemingly lost all else (his city, his legacy, his money, his wife, his nephew), losing the knife was losing the last part of his former life. At least that is how I took it when I read it.

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Offline Idlewilder

Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2013, 01:57:30 PM »
It seems an odd choice of title really since the Folding Knife only actually crops up a couple of times.

It only crops up a couple of times, but they are critical points. When his mother murders the intruder, when he murders his wife (and Palo). When he loses it on the road after he has seemingly lost all else (his city, his legacy, his money, his wife, his nephew), losing the knife was losing the last part of his former life. At least that is how I took it when I read it.

I think the fact it can be taken in so many ways just shows how unlike most fantasy Parker's writing is. Sharps (the title) was much the same in that it was fairly ambiguous in its meaning.
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Offline Arry

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Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2013, 01:59:38 PM »
I think the fact it can be taken in so many ways just shows how unlike most fantasy Parker's writing is. Sharps (the title) was much the same in that it was fairly ambiguous in its meaning.

I really enjoy ambiguity. I think it really encourages deeper thought/discussion on the text. It's fun hearing other people's theories/takes on things.
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Offline pornokitsch

Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2013, 03:33:54 PM »
Who else went back and reread the prologue after reading the ending?

Just have! Noticed a line which may pertain to the Bassano/Folding Knife idea:

"The folding knife has gone, as quickly, suddenly and irrecoverably as someone dying." - p.2

Oh nice spot!

There's also a pattern where everyone in the book has a different knife - Basso's is gold, Antigonus' is silver and functional, Aelius carries a plain military one... it is a nice little trick.

Offline Victoria Hooper

Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2013, 12:45:50 PM »
Really enjoyed this book, and loved the ending! Basso lost everything, but he's already finding his way back up - his luck really is amazing. I'm glad we still have this little bit of hope at the end.

I'm still not sure what the Big Mistake was. I think there are actually a lot of small mistakes that contributed to Basso's political downfall. But is the Big Mistake even about his politics or his money, or is it more personal? To history it might look like Basso's greatest loss was his political career and money, but for Basso, the biggest tragedy is losing Bassano, and losing the love of his sister a long time ago. I think the Big Mistake has to relate to what is actually the Big Loss for Basso, and so is more likely to be personal.

I still don't think the mistake was killing his wife or his sister's husband. It was killing his sister's husband that really affected his family relationships, but that was self defence and so wasn't really a choice. Perhaps the Mistake is something a bit more abstract, like putting too much faith and importance on Bassano, or using Bassano to try to win back his sister in the first place, or perhaps not being willing to let Bassano go once it becomes clear that his sister is fighting for control of her son.

I'm not sure, those all feel a little vague and unsatisfying. Maybe someone else can suggest something better. But I do feel like his Big Mistake is less about politics and more about family.

Idlewilder, I love the idea that Bassano might be the folding knife of the title.  :)

Offline Pablo

Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2013, 02:31:01 AM »
I found the book a little bit tedious until I passed the 150 pages milestone. I think it was mostly because I didn't like Basso's lack of feelings and that the story was very loose until that point (bits and pieces, here and there). It wasn't a waste of time, but it wasn't at all as good as Pornokitsch made me think it would be. Well, upon rereading  his promo-post I realize that his descriptions of the book are spot on, it was just that I had different expectations. Well, on to the extensive thinking on the book:

I don't really have a clear idea on what THE BIG MISTAKE was. Well, I found it kind of stupid to send your heir to the frontlines, but then again, how was he going to get the real "war-experience" (as in knowledge of what war entails) if he didn't watch it up close? But THE MISTAKE? Was it when he went and used imaginary money and made up paper money? That he didn't remove the threat his sister posed? Challenging The Empire?

Well, 'nuff of that since I don't have the answer.

I really like how the banking system is portrayed and how it reflects on what the federal banks did in the real world; how they gamble with their security (or whatever the name was), loaning money they don't have because they've already loaned it to someone else (or somesuch), dealing with imaginary money to create real money and giving paper a worth it doesn't have. (I saw a documentary on this just yesterday and thought to myself "Damn! That's exactly what happened in The Folding Knife!" Add omg-/wtf- and ahaaa-expressions*).

I really like the idea that Bassano/Basso's "past life" is the folding knife in the prologue, something that suddenly and irrevocably dissapears. Also that this is the theory that seems to make the most sense gives it a plus from me.  ;)

Well, thanks for bringing this book to my attention, bookclubbers!

/Pablo

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2013, 05:56:00 AM »
Thanks for joining in Pablo! Great point about the comparisons with our our modern day wankers sorry meant bankers. Fat thumbs!
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Offline DBASKLS

Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2013, 10:03:23 PM »
Funny isn't it how none of us can decide what the big mistake is!

Although it could have been killing his wife and brother-in-law, sending Bassano to the front or relying on the paper money, I think his reliance on Melsuntha could be it - it lead to Bassano's death and Basso's ultimate fall.

She was painted very much as a background figure - was that to fool us into thinking she wasn't important? Although early on we all expressed our doubts about her as the book went on, I for one thought - oh she isn't bad after all. Were we lulled into a false sense of security with her? And so was Basso?
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Offline Dan D Jones

Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2014, 08:49:35 PM »
I just finished this book and, after a bit of thought, I'd have to say that Basso's Big Mistake was when he became selfless instead of selfish.  Throughout the book, we're told over and over again how there are many reasons for his actions but that he is constantly acting in his own self-interest and benevolent results just sort of happen.  The invasion and all of the associated actions which lead to his downfall all occur when he decides that he wants Bassanno to succeed him.  Rather than work in his own best interest, he begins to scheme for Bassanno and disaster follows.  Thoughts?

Offline Arry

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Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2014, 10:46:24 PM »
I just finished this book and, after a bit of thought, I'd have to say that Basso's Big Mistake was when he became selfless instead of selfish.  Throughout the book, we're told over and over again how there are many reasons for his actions but that he is constantly acting in his own self-interest and benevolent results just sort of happen.  The invasion and all of the associated actions which lead to his downfall all occur when he decides that he wants Bassanno to succeed him.  Rather than work in his own best interest, he begins to scheme for Bassanno and disaster follows.  Thoughts?

I think the events you are talking about line up pretty well with Gariath's theory of being concerned about his legacy being his mistake. So then the question become the motivation of his actions. In your theory, you think he was making decisions out of interest in Bassano's future. In Gariath's the decisions are based on "his legacy" which would place himself and his own interests in the center of his decisions (how he is perceived after he is gone). Another interesting thing to think about. I think my gut tells me that his decisions where not selfless. I think he did genuinely care for his nephew on some level (as much as Basso is capable of caring), but I still feel like he likely had the interest of his name/reputation/legacy in mind when he made these decisions, preventing them from being selfless decisions.

I love this book. I love how many things like this can still come up to speculate over.
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Offline eclipse

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Re: The Folding Knife Week 4: Finished!
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2017, 11:01:19 PM »
This brings back memories good times, shame this topic is hidden away just look at all the theories here.
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