The Healthy Dead



It is with great pleasure that I returned for more misadventures featuring my favorite necromancers and their manservant. Though I'm a huge fan of The Malazan Book of the Fallen, these Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas are refreshing and make for a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience.

Here's the blurb:

Things are going all too well in the city of Quaint. So well, in fact, that something has to be done. The zeal for goodness can be catastrophic, and no-one knows this better than Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, two stalwart champions of all things bad. For the innumerable citizens of Quaint, driven to neurotic distraction and overwhelmed with good living, desperation breeds nefarious bed-mates, and before long the two homicidal necromancers - and their beleaguered and substance-addled manservant, Emancipor Reese - find themselves ensnared in a scheme to bring goodness into disrepute, if not utter ruination. To Reese's bemusement, laudable motivations are, in a bizarre twist, uncharacteristically relevant to Master Bauchelain, although, of course, the payment of a chest filled with gold helps. Even so, sometimes, it turns out, one must bring down civilization... in the name of civilization.

As was the case with Blood Follows, the worldbuilding remains in the background throughout this novella. Still, it introduces readers to yet more locales, customs, and people, once again showing just how vast in scope the Malazan universe truly is. And although the format precludes going in depth into most of these new concepts, it does show just how rich in details Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont's creation is. And how much of it is still left unexplored. . .

The still down-on-his luck Emancipor Reese found out the hard way that working for his new employers isn't always easy. So much so that he now requires a vast array of drugs to cope with the workload. His conversations with Bauchelain remain some of the funniest moments found within the pages of The Healthy Dead. A lot seems to have taken place between Blood Follows, The Lees of Laughter's End and this novella, and one can only hope that Erikson will one day reveal those juicy details.

The Healthy Dead is somewhat of a satire directed at those obsessed with healthy living. At times absurd and at times thoughtful, it will make you laugh out loud in several instances. The only problem is that one reaches the end too quickly. You can breeze through these novellas in no time, unfortunately.

I'm well aware that many Malazan fans, though interested in the novellas, could never afford these novellas. Indeed, each came with a rather hefty price tag, especially considering their small size. But now that Tor Books published an omnibus comprised of the first three in trade paperback format, anyone can afford to read them. And believe me, the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas are worth it!

The final verdict: 7.5/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe. The Healthy Dead is also collected in Bauchelain and Korbal Broach (Canada, USA, Europe)

2 commentaires:

J said...

Yeah, these are ridiculous separately, but a bit easier to swallow in omnibus form; though I still dislike the omnibus' cover art=\

Ty Johnston said...

Thanks for the reminder. I keep meaning to read the omnibus. Erikson doesn't get nearly enough recognition.