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  • The Black Company

  • Chronicles of The Black Company, Book 1
  • De : Glen Cook
  • Lu par : Marc Vietor
  • Durée : 10 h et 54 min
  • 4,8 out of 5 stars (9 notations)

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    Description

    Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead - until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more.

    There must be a way for the Black Company to find her....

    ©1984 Glen Cook (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

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    Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Black Company

    Moyenne des évaluations utilisateurs. Seuls les utilisateurs ayant écouté le titre peuvent laisser une évaluation.
    Global
    • 5 out of 5 stars
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    Interprétation
    • 5 out of 5 stars
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    Histoire
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars

    Great rendition of the Black Company

    ■ Book :

    The Black Company is one of my favourite fantasy book and series.
    It was the first fantasy book which I was able to love unreservedly, without the usual annoyances which kept ruining perfectly good books for me.
    (Such as the moral complexity of a story told by a five year old child. Or the same old tropes I have seen so often that it feels like reading the same book over and over with a few variations...)

    I have read all the Black Company books and I do like them all, but this one is my favourite, the only of the series which I have read more than a dozen times. There is something in this book which keeps making me come back to it, and each time it manages to keep its fascination.

    I definitely would recommend it to anyone interested in a good fantasy story without the usual nauseatingly self-righteous heroes.

    ■ Narration :

    The narrator of this audio book had a difficult task, and he did very well. He manages to hit on just the right tone of voice for Croaker, perfectly suited to the tone of the book.
    The voices of the other characters weren't as good, but that was expected with only one narrator. The essential is that :
    1. They are all distinct enough from each other. I never wad confused as to who was talking.
    2. They are not exaggerated enough to make me cringe. I really dislike exaggerated fake voices and accents. Fortunately, this wasn't the case. Even the least natural of the voices do not sound forced enough to make them painful to listen to.

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    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Jefferson
    • 18/03/2011

    Hard Boiled Morally Ambiguous Epic Fantasy

    Glen Cook slaps a devastating battle magic spell on epic fantasy cliches (e.g., evil empire, virtuous rebels, dark lord, blasted wasteland around his headquarters, and clear division of good from evil). He writes a hard-boiled fantasy about the heroic feats of human anti-heroes in a world in which, as in our own, the historians of the victors determine good and evil. His novel is by turns funny or scary, horrifying or moving, grotesque or beautiful. It's enjoyable to watch the memorable members of the mercenary Black Company playing cards or pranks and suspenseful to follow them going on dangerous missions. Cook vividly captures the way that men working together in intense situations indulge in petty resentments even as they bond into a family through shared adversity. The short story chapters--without transitions between them--are narrated by the company's doctor and historian Croaker to make a single compelling tale.

    I sympathize with the reviewers who find the novel too rawly written, but I liked most of the graphic similes and the in medias res openings of each chapter-story and appreciate how each new chapter adds a few more pieces to the dramatic situation of the fantasy world.

    I can't understand why some reviewers dislike Marc Vietor's reading of the novel. I feel that he does a fine job, enhancing Croaker's hard-boiled exterior and sensitive interior, as well as modifying his voice appropriately for the other characters, from the hysterical high-pitched mage Goblin to the laconic Clint Eastwood-like killer Raven. Vietor's reading of each of the very different voices of Soulcatcher's different souls is fun, creepy, and impressive.

    The novel, first in a long series of Black Company annals, feels complete enough at its conclusion and at the same time promises an eventful, long future for Croaker and his mercenary brothers. A vivid and satisfying audiobook.

    103 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Peter
    • 21/09/2011

    Great Story, Narrator Takes Getting Used To

    A refreshing romp through a gritty yet colorful medieval fantasy setting that follows a mercenary company recruited by the arch villain. They'll stick it to the rebel "good guys" all the way, often with cheerful deviousness. The story follows the sole 1'st person perspective of the Black Company's annalist/historian/medic giving it a distinct grunt's eye view of a much bigger conflict. There's also no shortage of likeable characters to get attached to; it's neither too serious or too somber.

    The narrator definitely takes some getting used to though. At first he sounded like he was channeling Captain Kirk or something and it was most distracting; you'll see some hate on that topic in the other reviews. However, I think he settles into the role eventually and about 1/3 in I didn't even notice anymore. He manages the few female voices there are well enough. Certainly not so cringe worthy as other male narrators I've heard trying the same.

    50 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Kim D Sabourin
    • 03/09/2010

    Finally - The Ten who were Taken!

    Glen Cook's The Black Company is one of the best series ever written. I've been waiting years for Audible to carry these books! The Black Company stories have been described as Vietnam War on peyote. The fantasy genre told by soldiers, sign up today to become a member of Black Company.

    49 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Ryan
    • 05/10/2012

    Lord of the Rings meets Platoon

    The Black Company is gritty-as-can-be swords-and-sorcery fantasy, written years before that became a trendy idea. The “Company” of the book is a group of mercenaries that hires on with a powerful sorceress known as The Lady, and does various unpleasant jobs for her high command, a circle of grotesque and generally nasty wizards called The Taken. Imagine if the Lord of the Rings were told from the perspective of a group of Sauron’s hirelings, and you might have a sense of what to expect. Except, here, there isn’t much chivalry from anyone -- the “rebels”, while less defined, aren’t much more savory than the Lady’s minions.

    The writing, accordingly, has a bracingly hard-boiled flavor. The story’s narrator is the Black Company’s chief medic and historian, a man named Croaker. He entertains few illusions that his brothers in arms are “nice people”, as they go from territory to territory, pacifying the inhabitants in the traditional manner, but there’s a sort of professional honor code that holds the company of rogues, fallen men, weirdos, and thugs together. They might be fighting for money, but they operate with discipline, take care of their own, and display occasional human decency. In a world where the unimportant often end up dead in piles as the armies sweep through, that’s better than nothing.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the Platoon-meets-Lord of the Rings feel. The writing is a little choppy, though, often skipping past major events with a terse summary, or dropping in new characters with minimal introduction. But, the style fits well -- Croaker isn’t a guy who believes in the glory or righteousness of the cause and he’s patched up the wounded so many battles, he has little taste for describing what happens on the field, but, at the same time, he feels that what happens to him and his comrades ought to be recorded. I found the simple immediacy refreshing -- even in a fantasy world, the experience of ground soldiers might be universal, including their distance from the politics of everything. That said, some of the anachronisms got a little annoying: I wouldn’t expect someone in this world to know about biological evolution or use the term “sandbagging”. On the other hand, I suppose the use of spellcasters in the lines would enable soldiers to employ somewhat more “modern” tactics.

    Other aspects of the book aren’t as ground-breaking. Once you get past Cook’s different take, the world-building and plot fall into familiar molds. But the action, initially aimless, begins to take on a purpose, and I got caught up in the story around the midpoint of the novel. The climax features an epic siege battle as good (and ghastly) as any in fantasy. I also enjoyed the endless bickering between two rank-and-file wizards, who seem to devote more energy to petty magical squabbles with each other than doing their jobs. I don’t know how well Cook maintains the strengths of his grunt-level perspective in subsequent books, but I’ll have to check out the next one. You can certainly enjoy this entry as a standalone work, if you choose not to go further.

    Audiobook notes: I thought the narrator did a competent if uninspiring job. He sounds a little “older” than I would expect Croaker to be, but, then, it’s not clear how many years after the fact he’s supposed to be telling his story.

    35 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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    • Thomas
    • 29/10/2010

    Superlative books, good narrator but WRONG.

    Glen Cook's *Chronicles of The Black Company* are, bar Tolkien, some of the finest works of fantasy ever written. With exceptional atmosphere, a fascinating and tangled plot line, a bleak but abundant, trenchant, wit and an anti-hero narrator who I can relate too all to well... these books, especially the first three (particularly 1&2) are something special.

    Sadly the narrator was, IMO, wrong for these books. He never seemed to get the feel for Croaker's voice, at least as I hear it in MY head. He brings plenty of drama and feeling to his readings, and that is the problem. Croaker, and his cohorts, call for a certain laconic quality this reader didn't seen to feel in the text. Maybe that's just my feel for the books (I've read them 20x, if that matters, and I am career Army Infantry, which also probably influences my ideas, for good and ill.) Veitor's Croaker is certainly hearfelt. It's just that really, most of the time, Croaker doesn't DO heartfelt, and since he's the predominant voice, it doesn't ring right. IMCO Real shame-- these are fantastic novels.

    26 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      2 out of 5 stars
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    • Jim "The Impatient"
    • 14/01/2012

    Feet first is the only way you leave the Black Com

    Necropolitan Hill, rained stones, statues bleed, sacrificial victims, bowels were opened and ten black vultures. All of this is in the second paragraph of the book. Some of the characters are One-Eye, Croaker, Pickles, Mercy, Raven, and Tom-Tom. Sounds like a great start to a great creative story, right?

    Well you would be wrong. There is no plot. The author show he has imagination in his colorful naming of characters and setting, but can't seem to get past that. What usually happens is these tough guys with weird names sitting around playing games and talking tough. Super Macho talk. When any action takes place we get the start and the ending with no middle. There is no story line. Each chapter was once a short story and is loosely tied to the chapter before. A say short story, but there really is no story. GC needs to team up with another writer who can plot stories. This seemed to have so much potential.

    I only got through the first three chapters which are a hour and half long each. With out reading the rest of the chapters I can guess that each chapter will have corpses and flies.

    If you like listening to guys sitting around talking tough, buy the book, if you like a plot or developed characters look elsewhere.

    24 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Toby
    • 30/12/2012

    The origin of dark, gritty, epic fantasy

    Would you listen to The Black Company again? Why?

    Yes, it is a fantastic book with characters that are easy to love. Though the narration takes maybe a chapter to get used it really starts to work after that point

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    One-Eye and Goblin, they squabble like children are just very entertaining to read about

    What about Marc Vietor’s performance did you like?

    Marc Vietor perfectly embodied Croaker, the main character. His performance and delivery did justice to the dry wit and cynicism contained within the story. Most importantly he did not distract the listener from the story

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Not sure it could be made into a film. Audiences would probably not appreciate main characters who are mercenaries...the whole raping and pillaging thing probably wouldn't go over well

    Any additional comments?

    A common complaint about this book is that it is not descriptive enough. This may be true, but it is actually a strength. Rather than inserting a few hundred pages to add descriptions of every tree the company walk by the story focuses on characters and event. This book is only 350 pages, a mere short story in today's world of tomes. It includes whats necessary and not superfluous words added simply for the sake of being there.Also, in today's world of epic fantasy this book is good, but not quite as dark as the First Law Trilogy or aSoIaF. What makes it stand out is that it predates those series by decades. This was possibly the first book in the genre that did not have the ultra good vs the ultra bad, and in that way it was revolutionary. For this reason alone, let alone the great story and wonderful characters, this book is an important read/listen to any true fan of the genre

    17 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Michael
    • 13/10/2012

    I Saddled Up With The BAD Guys. And LIKED it.

    Here's a very interesting twist to the typical fantasy story.

    What if the Lord of The Rings had been told from the BAD GUYS perspective, say, from Mordor's elite guard?

    They'd tell a story of thirteen rebels sent from different kingdoms bent on destroying Lord Sauron's passion to bring order to the chaos of the world. This rebel fellowship carries an ultimate doom with them, a ring once held by their glorious leader to keep peace between the races. They now carry it to its ultimate destruction, which will not only destroy that one last hope for unity, but also to destroy their king, who will die when the ring is consumed in the fires of Mount Doom! The fellowship must be stopped from completing their master plan to disrupt the world and kill their lord!

    Guess it's all about perspective.

    Glen Cook has created such a series, although not tied to Tolkien's work. A similar situation, yet a different world, using different literary vehicles and tools to accomplish the task.

    You'll come to know Croaker, chief physician and historian for the Black Company, and many others in the group, along with a dark queen who holds their world in sway. The company is pressed into various quests, deeds, and services for her majesty, and they begin to question the ethics and intent brought on by the influence of her rule.

    Sound interesting? It definitely is, and I've enjoyed Cook's twist on the typical.

    Descriptive, rich and story-driven, this is a pleasure to the ears of fantasy lovers everywhere. It's mature, thoughtful, dark and entertaining. Cook suspends reality and draws you in, and THAT, my Audible listener, makes for a good audiobook.

    I liked this audiobook so much, that I now own the entire series (ten audiobooks to date, I believe).

    And the rest are good listening, as is this first in the series.

    Who'd have thought I'd saddle up with the BAD guys? And LIKED it?

    16 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      1 out of 5 stars
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    • mark
    • 18/03/2014

    I don't get it....

    Any additional comments?

    There are numerous glowing reviews of this book, but I had a hard time finding positives about it. Full disclosure, I really tried but I could only make it 1/2 way through the book. My main issues are 1. Characters are just thrown into the mix - no description, examination, or reason why I should care about them 2. The story seemingly skips around - in one sentence the company is sailing toward a city, and the next they arrived and in the middle of a battle. 3. I didn't like the overall writing style-the final straw for me was having to listen to a 15 minute description of a card game - being played by characters that were not described even remotely as well.

    15 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      2 out of 5 stars
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    • Paula Stein
    • 27/01/2012

    If You're Looking for Sophistocation, Look Elsewhe

    Would you try another book from Glen Cook and/or Marc Vietor?

    If really wish I had not purchased the first two books in the series. All my past experiences with Epic Fantasy have been so good, that after reading the reviews and matching them with other books I had enjoyed, I thought this would be, at worst, an okay read...I was wrong. I will pass on any other Glen Cook stories.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I cannot decide if the narrator's reading was flat and ponderous by choice or if the actual writing doesn't provide much room for another interpretation.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was deeply disappointed when I finally realized the writing was not going to improve after the first two chapters. The author seems to have no sense of description, other than the obvious. There is no sophistocation to either the description or the narrative. The writing feels rather like a graphic novel. Perhaps this would be an acceptable book for adolescents or younger, but anyone who truly appreciates the complex thematics and writing style of George R R Martin or Joe Abercrombie or even the delightful humour of Lois McMaster Bujold will be disappointed with this book.

    14 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      2 out of 5 stars
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    • Amazon Customer
    • 19/02/2019

    hard to follow at times.

    A good concept but the way it's written leaves too much unsaid. The history of the world and lots of background information needs to be interpreted and the titles and names for the people involved are generic and interchangeable. One of the big bads has the phonetic word "four" at the beginning making it sound like there is four of them in all/ or that they always come in fours until about half way through the story.

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Oleg Bogdan
    • 02/07/2021

    Eternal Saga

    I can not get enough of this series. Every Book is Special and the whole lot make an awesome univerce, Just read it!