Customer Reviews for

Best Served Cold

Average Rating 4
( 142 )
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5 Star

(67)

4 Star

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(13)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Another pulpy home run, IMHO.

Realism in a completely unrealistic setting is what makes all of Joe Abercrombie's books (or at least all that I have read) ones that I am not at all ashamed to turn friends on to.

I have been a closet fantasy/adventure fan my entire life, starting with David Edd...
Realism in a completely unrealistic setting is what makes all of Joe Abercrombie's books (or at least all that I have read) ones that I am not at all ashamed to turn friends on to.

I have been a closet fantasy/adventure fan my entire life, starting with David Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean, which I must have read 15 times, but to my shame, only shared with a few people.

Many fan/ad books later (I should say, many dissapointing fan/ad books, and a few good ones), I ran across George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Here, I thought, is a series with no magic, no dragons, nothing to prevent me from sharing it with those of my friends who really have never "gotten into" Costume Fiction. I was right, except for the intimidating, door stopping size of each book, not to mention the labrynthine plot, character interactions and locations.

Great books, George R.R. Martin's, but not for the casual reader.

I stumbled across Abercrombie while reading a "Maxim" (or something very much like that) in an airport. In it was a review for "Best Served Cold".
No chance I will be reading that book if it was reviewed and approved by a "Toolrag" like that, I thought.
Of course, desperate for something to read which had nothing to do with my job, I did get "The Blade Itself" within a week and was hooked from the get. I eventually understood that what made the book appropriate for "Maxim" is what makes Joe Abercrombie so fresh as an author of fan/adventure; he is accessible and direct, seemingly concsious of avoiding that which is often "cringe-worthy" in other books of a similar ilk.
Like "Blade" and the rest of "The First Law" series, "Best Served Cold" is gritty, has a compelling Anti-hero protagonist, plot and cast of characters. It is not at all flowery or idealistic, and seems to consider all of the selfish, beastly things that real people consider, and sometimes do. The characters swear, a lot, just like all of the people I know. There are absolutely No Elves, No Unicorns, No fainting fair maidens.

I think I mentioned David Eddings and George Martin in the beginning of this review because I find a parallel between them and Abercrombie.
In books by all of these authors, the characters have swords and odd names, to be sure. There may be a magician or two, of course, but the one thing that ties these authors together is that one truly wants to know what happens next in the books. You are angry if left with unanswered questions, frustrated when the book ends and you have to wait to get the next one.

I have a suspicion (which I know is true in the case of Eddings) that none of them take the fan/ad genre very seriously, and are not fans of it. They write good books, interestingly paced and concocted, without the frippery that normally goes with the genre. Are they selling themselves short? Who cares!

In short, if you are the kind of person who can get all the way to the front of the line at the bookstore holding a book with a cover like this one, you will be glad you did. If you aren't, more's the pity... You are really missing out. Take a chance, buy it online and get ready for some low guilt escapism.

posted by brewer-T on February 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Just ok

Not as good as the first law trilogy but it does add to the lore and explores new areas of the world.

posted by Anonymous on September 8, 2012

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    Cant recommend this enough

    My first review so bear with me. This is a sequel to the "first law" trilogy but stands on its own if you haven't read the trilogy. As usual with Joe Abercrombie, its well written with good and often witty dialogue and you develop real empathy for the characters. It's under fantasy but don't let that fool you, it has a certain grit to it that I find refreshing. There's also some good humor injected to offset the somewhat grim world the characters find both in the world and within themselves.

    A brief summary of the plot is betrayal and revenge ("You killed my brother, NOOOOOOO!") mixed with "The Magnificent Seven" (or "Seven Samurai"). A damn good read. If you can, get and read the "First Law" trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings)as they're all in the same world. Sadly at this time Barnes & Noble doesn't have it for E book yet but if you enjoy drama, action and humor it's a must have.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Violent, crude, and boring

    The opening chapters seemed to hold promise, but the story quickly degraded into nothing more than a string of violent and crude encounters. By the middle of the book, the story was just dragging as nothing new or interesting seemed to happen for chapters at a time.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I am disappointed...Mr Abercrombie

    The Blade Itself, Last Argument of Kings and Before They Are Hanged were wonderful stories. They processed characters you could love and love to hate. But Best Served Cold is just that...Cold. There was not one character you could like or even root for. I was sadly disappointed. All the characters were mean, sadistic and just plain evil. I love your writing style and will look for future books, but will read sample chapters if available before I purchase. I do urge folks to read his first 3 books.

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    Posted January 4, 2010

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    Posted January 26, 2011

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    Posted June 26, 2011

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted February 25, 2011

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