Chapter Titles

I really like how Abercrombie titles his chapters. I have to admit, when I first saw that he employed chapter titles, it felt a bit juvenile, but when I read how he used them, I loved it. Each chapter title seems to say one thing and then as the chapter progresses takes on an entirely different meaning than what appears at face value. For example, one chapter title was “How to Train a Dog” – and it dealt with an inquisitor torturing a prisoner so that the prisoner would testify “correctly” at the trial. Over and over and over again. He asks the prisoner if he knows how a dog is trained. The answer? Repetition. And the torture begins afresh.

Or another example, the chapter title “Means of Escape” – wherein you know the guards are coming for the criminal and the title leads you to believe the criminal will escape. But then the criminal hangs himself. An altogether different kind of escape.

Anyway, they’re very clever and this book is very dark, and that works well together.


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