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Monument Paperback – 3 Jul 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New edition edition (3 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841491969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841491967
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.7 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 749,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Ian Graham is a magnificent storyteller (David Gemmell)

A very promising debut indeed (THE ALIEN ONLINE)

The most exciting fantasy novel you will read this year (David Gemmell)

Bloodthirsty, action-packed fantasy ... this author is going to be one to watch (STARBURST)

Ian Graham writes with energy and inventive nastiness ... impressively unpleasant (SFX)

Book Description

A major debut novel from a British author who will take the fantasy genre by storm.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ballas is a shifty, ill-mannered, incorrigible, self-interested, perpetually drunk brute of a man with basically no morals and a natural dislike of every other living person on earth. If you think I'm describing the villain of this novel, you are quite mistaken. Ballas is actually the "hero" - or, to be precise, anti-hero, of Ian Graham's absolutely captivating debut fantasy novel. Fantasy as a genre suffers from repetition of themes and outlines more than any other genre (just think of all the Lord of the Rings clones out there), so it is quite refreshing indeed to come across a story that eschews all traditional approaches to the subject at hand. Of course, courageous risk such as that displayed by Ian Graham carries with it possible consequences -namely, some readers may find the main character so roguish and unlikable that they will not consider reading the novel, put it down in disgust after a chapter or two, or grudgingly finish the book in order to tell everyone just how unenjoyable it was. On the other hand, this type of unusual approach, distilled through the talents of an undeniably gifted author, can make for a most memorable experience, one sure to deeply impress many fantasy readers.
Ballas is a thief who roams from village to village in the land of Druine stealing anything he can get his hands on in order to support his drinking habit. He is a big, ugly brute of a man who looks as if he has been on the wrong side of many physical confrontations - and he has. This pattern continues, as Ballas is beaten to a pulp on a regular basis (but not without leaving a path of human destruction in his own wake).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like gritty fantasy this is a must read. The main character, hero???? I'm not so sure, has true grit and is not a person to meet in a dark alley. If you don't enjoy this book then it's time to start on something new, maybe romance would suit you!!! Just buy the damn book and do yourself a favour. Definitely on the grrrrrrrrrrrr scale.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has to be one of the strangest books I've ever read,(and over the years I have read thousands of books). That's not to say that its bad; actually I'm not sure how to describe it. The main character, Anhaga Ballas has not a single redeeming quality, and yet he was absolutely fascinating; in the same way that a train wreck is fascinating, you know its horrible, but you simply cannot look away. It has to be said that the society from which Ballas comes is hardly one to inspire good character. The land of Druine, in which the story is set, is ruled by the Church of the Four Pilgrims, and this institution is every bit as vile as Ballas, and throughout the book is responsible for an equal share of death and mayhem, to achieve its own self-serving ends. A few of the other reviewers have said that this book was poorly written, and while it certainly isn't Dickens or Shakespeare, I have to disagree. I found this book compelling reading, and I don't know why, but I would certainly read another book by this author, if he ever decided to write one, which apparently he hasn't. Totally confused as to why I like it, but I did like it.
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By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
I confess I bought this as the great David Gemmell had made positive comments and then I was almost put off by the picture of the author and his description (long hair and a degree in romanticism!!) but all that proved was that Gemmell was right and I should not make assumptions!
This is a solid story that shows great promise for the author. The lead character is a drunken, violent thief and as the story starts there is not much to admire about Ballas. As the story unfolds you do warm to the character, warts and all as he does display a certain animal cunning and determination. Eventually the whole world seems to be after Ballas as he flees towards the mountains he thinks offer him a way to freedom. The story does falter slightly towards the end, there were a couple of bits I had to read a few times for it to click in but otherwise it hangs together well.
An enjoyable romp which suggests that Mr Graham has a lot to offer in the future (but get your hair cut son)!!!!!
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Format: Paperback
I notice that when reviewing fantasy/sci-fi people tend to start off making comparisons to other contemporaries so I'll quickly get that out the way by saying that Graham combines the lightning-paced style of David Gemmell with the realistic characterisations of Joe Abercrombie (both authors I'm a huge fan of by the by).

I got this book several years ago at least but to the credit of Ian Graham I find myself re-reading it at least once a year. Ballas' tale of a fugitive on the run I still find utterly enthralling, even after the numerous readings I have had already, and I any fan of the genre will be hooked. "Monument" is different from may books in the genre owing to the askew morality of the protagonist, Ballas being a violent liar, drunkard and criminal, can't help but root for the man every time despite his flaws. I won't delve into too many details of the plot but after robbing a valuable artefact Ballas finds himself on the run and hunted throughout the land. Manically seeking refuge from those who hunt him he travels wide and far and comes into contact with a superb ensemble of supporting characters. While the book does not go into too much detail concerning the lore and history of the world it is set in this does not detract from the story as I found myself as motivated as Ballas to reach the end and find resolution.

The ending itself I immensely enjoyed and the book as a whole. Ian Graham has yet to release a second novel but I look forward to it very much.
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