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The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker
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The Folding Knife (original 2010; edition 2010)

by K. J. Parker (Author)

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2271076,995 (3.99)4
Member:uscer
Title:The Folding Knife
Authors:K. J. Parker (Author)
Info:Orbit (2010), Edition: 1, 465 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:fiction, England

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The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker (2010)

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Finally, a KJ Parker book that I can recommend to friends without worrying about them never speaking to me again.

Seriously, this is the usual gripping mixture of fascinating characters and waiting on tenterhooks for everything to come crashing down, but with less unusual violence. Even the ending is not as unremittingly bleak as many of the author's other books. It's not a lesser book for it, just different.

The description of national finance and a war of conquest for resources made me consider similar issues in the real world, but it never seemed didactic. More people must start reading this author. ( )
1 vote hatpin | Jun 18, 2018 |
Yes, but Kindle.
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
http://tenaciousreader.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/the-folding-knife-by-k-j-parker/

Loved this book! Basso is fascinating, loved the politics. Very much a book that relates easily to the real world, and one that I think people should read. Ill definitely be reading more by Parker. ( )
  tenaciousreader | May 24, 2014 |
A surprisingly enjoyable book about fantasy and economy (!). ( )
  StigE | Feb 22, 2014 |
Fall-Winter-2010
  lencicki | Aug 28, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
The one thing The Folding Knife most definitely isn’t is a traditional objectivist Chosen One narrative.
...
Parker’s narrative structure picks apart the traditional, impersonal way that we record events. Time and time again, we’re given the official recitation of events with allusions to the historical record—House documents and the like. Then, Parker pulls back the curtain and, through conversations with Basso, we learn the unofficial recitation of events. It is the “Great Man” theory of history, with Basso as the prime mover.

Yet, invariably, there’s a second curtain: Basso doesn’t know his own reasons. He does what he does either as a reaction or as a compulsion that originates from the swampy interior of his subconscious. The reader is left to craft their own interpretation of the cause of events: we know what happened, but we may never know why....

one huge theme of The Folding Knife—and, indeed, much of Parker’s work—is the “butterfly effect” of small actions having vast, unknowable consequences. Parker likes to hide things in tiny, throwaway details. ... Because of this, I’m going to hazard a guess that Basso's mistake is something that’s tiny, almost inconsequential. Something as tiny as “carrying the knife in his pocket” or “going home early one day” or “using the wrong courier.” A tiny decision with huge impact.

Second, a huge recurring theme is that of choice. And this is the trickiest: I think the mistake has to be something that Basso chose to do. ... we’re looking for failures that came as a direct result of his independent action.

Thirdly, I think the mistake is something personal. This fits with the reasons within reasons theme of the book. .... I think The Mistake that topples Basso has to be something that history would overlook, but we, the reader, understand is critical.

the mistake needs to be early in the book. A big mistake that happens two-thirds in is too late to be consequential—we need the first flap of the butterfly’s wings long before then. ... Parker likes to reinforce the idea of working from first principles: we should look for the mistake in the early pages, when Basso is writing on a blank slate.
 
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Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. Basso the Murderer. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man. He is ruthless, cunning and, above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he’s only ever made one mistake.One mistake, though, can be enough.
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Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. Basso the Murderer. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man. He is ruthless, cunning and, above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he's only ever made one mistake. One mistake, though, can be enough.… (more)

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