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181. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,
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182. Olympos
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183. The Man in the High Castle
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184. Foundation and Empire (Foundation
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185. Oryx and Crake
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186. Doomsday Book
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200. Cyclops (Clive Cussler)

181. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo
by J.R.R. Tolkien
list price: $6.99
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Asin: 0345277600
Catlog: Book (1988-07)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 13283
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT, PEARL, and SIR ORFEO are masterpieces of a remote and exotic age--the age of chivalry and wizards, knights and holy quests. Yet it is only in the unique artistry and imagination of J.R.R. Tolken that the language, romance, and power of these great stories comes to life for modern readers, in this masterful and compelling new translation.
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
J.R.R. Tolkien is best known as a fantasy writer. But his lesser-known profession was that of an professor and linguist, working at Oxford for over three decade. These three translated poems are excellent examples of his non-Middle-Earth work.

"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" is a relatively little-known Arthurian legend, in which the knight Sir Gawain must forfeit his life to a knight who allowed Gawain to behead him -- then picked up his head and rode out. "Pearl" is a beautifully written, though somewhat more difficult to read, poem that chronicles the death of a child (possibly allegorical). "Sir Orfeo" is a version of the classic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Tolkien's method for these works is unusually readable -- most translators sacrifice either readability or meaning; as far as I can tell, Tolkien sacrificed neither. "Sir Gawain" is probably the easiest translation I have come across; "Pearl" is haunting, laced with religious references, and very beautifully written; "Orfeo" is not so substantial as the first two, but still entertaining. It's a bit like a medieval ballad.

This book is not so much for fans of Middle-Earth, as for fans of all Tolkien's works. Beautifully written, highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars supreme translations
Before he was known as the writer of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien was an acclaimed translator, a deeply scholarly philologist, and a professor of the same at Oxford University. His love for language and his proficiency with Old English dialects is nowhere more evident than in these translations. The beautiful prose and poetry that flows easily from the lips will intrigue and delight even the lay reader. The accuracy and brilliance with which Tolkien sets down these words will make a fan out of any scholar. All told, these aren't of the same stock as Tolkien's fantasy novels, but they are a great find for scholars, Tolkien fans, and anyone else for that matter.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pearl of Wisdom
Gawain is the Tolekin translation of one of many versions of the story. The story is exciting but ultimately disappointing because of the incongruence of the ending with the opening. The opening indicates that King Arthur is all too aware of the false beheading trick being played in his court as he primes the action for the hapless Gawain. The ending indicates the Green Man alone instigated the trick with Morgan le Fay. The point missed by Tolkein (jnr) in the Introduction is that the brocade is the sole tangible due to the green man in the exchange of acquisitions, so a real dishonour. Anyway Camelot' s self advertised mythology is well and truly pricked.
Pearl, on the other hand is a true medaeval pagan gem, arguing that religion is the exploitation of bereavement. Religion claims the deceased for heaven; it offers reunion to the survivor conditional on temporal faith. If the departed is beloved of a survivor then that cat runs headlong into the priest' s bag with little prompting. The poet becomes so seduced by the vision of the New Jerusalem he comes to see his former reason as madness and so went the world.
The strength of Christian theology surely developed from these kinds of rational resistence. Ultimetely reason conquered and theology relapsed to a dogmatic statement of faith in the shape of pearl (Aquinas). A great and thoroughly authentic work of transitional pagan genius saved by Tolkein.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great ME text
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the most famous Middle English works. This edition contains NOT Tolkien's TRANSLATION, but the original MIDDLE ENGLISH TEXT with his (and late prof. E.V. Gordon's) glossary and notes.
Their edition was published in 1925, and revised by Norman Dabis in 1967. It still remains the most authoritative and standard text. I strongly suggest that students who study this alliterative poem buy this great Middle English text. The language is quite difficult so you also need Tolkien's Present Day English translation version (on HarperCollins, Ballantine Books,etc).

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Metrical Translations in English
Between Tolkien's legendarium and scholarship fall his translations, which are by far the most regularly metrical translations in English. "Sir Gawain" includes 101 laisses or verse paragraphs of varying length, head-rhymed on the head-stave, each with an end-rhymed bob-and-wheel refrain; "Pearl" includes 101 12-line stanzas with regular (alternating) end-rhymes in addition to the head-rhymes, plus stanza-linking rhymes. Not even Professor Lehmann's Beowulf includes 101 bob-&-wheel refrains.

Tolkien's international reputation as a scholar began with his revival of "Sir Gawain" in the early '20s, and he developed these translations over the course of some 50 years. Scholarly consensus has held that "Sir Gawain" and "Pearl," the masterworks of the 14th-century Middle English alliterative-stave revival (standing in relation to Chaucer as Marlowe to Shakespeare), were composed by a West Midlands author whose name has not survived, the authentically bereaved father of the "Pearl" herself. Tolkien's "Gawain" lecture (published in The Monsters and the Critics) enlarges very helpfully on the early-'50s radio preface included in this volume.

"Sir Orfeo" is a mere frippery by comparison, in stichic ballad couplets, but probably originated as a single-author work as well. Admittedly there are more authoritative sources on the Classical myth of Orpheus and Eurydice than "Sir Orfeo," but that's part of the point: the Classical elements in these translations are real-life analogues of elvish/dwarvish influence in hobbit poetry.

Another translation of "Sir Gawain" had been added to the Oxford Anthology of English Literature by the time Tolkien's became the first posthumous edition released by his youngest son, and Tolkien's will probably replace the current translation at some point during the 21st century. Tolkien has been taken to task for failing to complete a proof that "Sir Gawain" is a single-author work (which he might conceivably have done, considering his 1934 achievement with Chaucer's "Reeve"), but his translation answers eminence with eloquence even so.

These works reflect a vibrant tradition of storytelling and minstrelsy, and the best way to read them would be to read each canto/stanza/couplet twice, once silently and once aloud; to which approach the prose paragraphs would recommend themselves as well. Tolkien's translations are associable with his other scholarly hobbies, including calligraphy, drawings and theatrical performances as well as prose fiction. Admirers of the verses in The Lord of the Rings will most likely find these translations well worth the substantially larger effort. ... Read more


182. Olympos
by Dan Simmons
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Asin: 0380978946
Catlog: Book (2005-07-01)
Publisher: Eos
Sales Rank: 53092
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183. The Man in the High Castle
by PHILIP K. DICK
list price: $12.00
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Asin: 0679740678
Catlog: Book (1992-06-30)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 3975
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

It's America in 1962--where slavery is legal and the few surviving Jews hide anxiously under assumed names; all because twenty years earlier America lost a war and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan. ... Read more

Reviews (123)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest novels ever written
This is quite possibly the greatest book I've ever read. It completely addicted me in the few short days it took to finish it, and really struck me with just how solid it was. It didn't have good characters but amateur writing, or good ideas but poor characters, and the quality was incredibly consistent, as it doesn't take long to suck you in, and doesn't feel like it has a single unneeded page, nor should anything have been done differently. What really makes this so perfect is how the ideas and setting are so well woven into the character's and their story. You may start off thinking "I'll read that book about the Axis winning WWII", but the book only reveals information about its setting as it pertains to the characters, and it works perfectly. By showing the world through the eyes of four excellent developed people, you get a much more real and vivid picture of the world while at the same time creating a much more enjoyable novel. The fact that Dick seamelessly layers interesting questions about reality on top of that just cements this novel's position as being as close to perfect as a book can be.

If you're going to read a Philip K. Dick novel, this will probably leave the strongest impression on you, although if you got into him from the many movies based on his works, you may want to start with one of the stories or novels that inspired them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alternate history sci-fi...
The outcome of World War II results in Germany and Japan wining the war and dividing America down the middle. Persecution of the Jews by the Nazis is still prevalent, while the Japanese are more interested in authentic American novelty items as collectors pieces. The world is not stable and everyone seems to have things to hide and fear.

A book, "Grasshopper Lies Heavy", has been written that tells the story that Germany and Japan lost the war and Hitler suicided. This underground and banned book has cult following and gives hope to those that have read it, while the Nazis want it and its author removed permanantly.

People determine their fate and make decisions with a toss of the "I Ching", while the world has not advanced too greatly and both the Nazis and Japanese distrust each other; staunchly enforcing their law in their territory.

Dick and his excellent imagination allow you to feel how the world is run in a post war alternate history masterpiece, showing us the kind of life he imagined if the War had not been won by the allies.

A brilliant idea for a novel that is filled with life searching questions, immoral acts and paranoia. The only down side is the ending, that leaves you slightly confused, asking yourself what next? A highly recommended read for anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of PK Dick
I doubt there are many writers as wildly inconsistent as Dick. He can be vapid and very bad--stylistically and materially--or knock-your-socks-off intelligent and excellent. This book is ranked among the latter.

The book's main theme is the one that Dick excels at developing in challenging, complicated, and provocative narrative situations--the theme of the nature of reality. A recent bio-novel about Dick by Emmanuel Carrere makes the point that novels such as The Man in the High Castle are very likely pretty accurate reflections of Dick's mind and often unsettled mental state; that is, he often doubted what was real in his own life timeline.

Many of my friends are disappointed with the conclusion of the novel, but I think Juliana Frink had it right at the end--while the novel describes an alternate timeline, it is really about our very own timeline.

If you've ever speculated about historical turning points--what if an event had or hadn't taken place--you will really enjoy this novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars On the track of the I Ching.
This book earned 1963 Hugo Prize and well deserved. PKD shows his master writing craft depicting an alternate world in which Allied has lost the war. The USA is dismembered into three different countries: one under the influence of the Germans, one under Japanese influence and the third one in the middle of the other two.
The plot follows different threads showing how life is in this barren new world. Germans had expanded over Africa and carried there their "final solution" schema. In contrast the Japanese show a more humanistic and restrained politic, but falling back in technological aspects, they are menaced with extinction.
Two books inside this book pick up the center of the show: the Chinese book of Changes (I Ching) and the fictional "The Locust is Down" describing an alternate world more near to ours but NOT the same. This last twist is a provoking "what if " inside another one.
PKD describes his characters with a firm hand, giving them deep human traits. They strive to survive against dangerous odds. At the same time they try to discover the ultimate sense of life.
As I've seen in some other great sci-fi books, behind the surface of the current action lie powerful moral and ethic questions.
The end of the novel satisfactorily closes all threads.
When I first read this book in the early '60s, I was puzzled by the I Ching and started studying it and finally consulting it. A great experience to be sure.
A real Classic with capital letter. Enjoy!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.

5-0 out of 5 stars Which one is the alternate reality?
Winner of the Hugo Award in 1962, the basic premise of this book is irresistible: that there is an alternate universe in which Germany and Japan won World War II. Philosophically, the book has proved deep enough to spark plenty of critical debate, and its use of the I Ching helped popularize that five-thousand-year-old Chinese oracle in America in the 1960s. Naziism is portrayed as an unmitigated evil, the yang to Japan's yin, and the Japanese come off much better in comparison, becoming humane rulers in the world of the novel, which is set in California. Even more interesting than the alternate history scenario are the questions the novel raises about ontological priority-which reality is real and which fake? Are we the ones living in the fictitious reality? Additionally, the characters are memorable and subtly drawn. Their lives touch tangentially in a fascinating dance. The narrative point of view switches among them, often in a stream-of-consciousness mode, in one of Dick's most successful uses of the multi-focal technique. ... Read more


184. Foundation and Empire (Foundation Novels (Paperback))
by ISAAC ASIMOV
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Asin: 0553293370
Catlog: Book (1991-11-01)
Publisher: Spectra
Sales Rank: 7160
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Although small and seemingly helpless, the Foundation had managed to survive against the greed of its neighboring warlords. But could it stand against the mighty power of the Empire, who had created a mutant man with the strength of a dozen battlefleets...?
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Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Golden Age Classic Continues
Asimov's Golden Age classic Foundation Trilogy is one of the early milestones of the science fiction genre. This second installment is less episodic than the first volume, focusing on just two specific stories. The first volume, "Foundation", sets up the whole idea of the Seldon Plan, a mathematically based view of sociopolitical forces that enables one brilliant scientist to grow a new galactic empire from a foundation of one hundred thousand scientists and their families. "Empire" starts off in the same vein, showing how the Foundation staves off annihilation at the hands of the currently decaying, but still dangerous Galactic Empire. Once again, the magic of this section is the subtle means by which the Foundation overcomes impossible odds, and the convincing arguments Asimov uses to make the solution seem inevitable. Part Two involves an internal struggle between the Foundation's authoritarian central government and the Independent Traders who spread that government's economic power. While the Foundation is threatened with civil war, the rise of a new warlord on Kalgan poses a danger to the entire human race.

Because each story is substantially longer than those in Foundation, this volume focuses more on individual characters. In fact, it is not too much to say that a major theme is the historical question, "Do individuals matter?" As a result, the characters are developed slightly more, and there's even a wistful love triangle, and considerably more action than was featured in the first volume, which tended to be distant and impersonal. If you liked Foundation, you'll surely enjoy this and the climax to the series, Second Foundation.

Although these books will strike many as hopelessly dated, Asimov's sweeping historical vision should not be missed by any fans of speculative fiction. They have a directness and honest charm about them that is rare in contemporary science fiction. Later additions to this series, both sequels and prequels, don't adhere to the tone of these original novels, and really add very little except bulk.

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful sequel
Welcome to the second book in the Foundation trilogy (although Asimov did write further books, it was a trilogy originally). The book picks up where Foundation left off - the Foundation has established itself as a formidable force in the Periphery of the Galaxy. Of course, everyone is too well aware that gaining control of the local warlords is small potatoes compared to what's to come. In Foundation and Empire, the inevitable comes.

As the previous novel, Asimov has divided this into books, however here there are only two. As a result, he gets to explore the characters at more length then in Foundation. But again, expect wonder, amazement and enjoyment at the themes, issues and grandeur of this book, not the characterisation and "literary" qualities.

In the first book, the conflict between the Foundation and what's left of the Empire develops. This however is a much bigger game - in the past, the warlords barely out-war-powered the Foundation, while here the Empire dwarfs it even in its twilight. As always, something must be done other than a brute force tactic. Furthermore, the "heroes" of the Foundation are no more, in the conflict there are no Mallows or Hardins to guide the political intrigue, so it is here that Seldon's plan is put to the ultimate test.

In the second book (not to give away too much), a new threat to the Plan arises. A man known only as the Mule comes to light. And for the first time, an individual drastically changes the course of history. Indeed, he consists of the biggest threat to the plan thus far. What's so special about him?.. Personally, I found this book the most enjoyable in the whole trilogy - it reminds me of the little cryptic "detective" plotting from other Asimov works I read, such as I Robot and Steel Caves. However, here, it's an almost perfect melodrama played out (and unlike many detective elements in novels includingthose of Asimov - this one doesn't seem contrived or make you feel at all "cheated"), as we follow some Foundationers in their quest to find out what the Mule is and how to deal with him.

This is a great continuation of the saga and will also bring out many interesting questions - like whether an individual can change the course of history. It will also shake up your conception of the Seldon plan - overall, a great book.

3-0 out of 5 stars A good story, but somewhat weak on characters
This may be a classic and I may be a science fiction fan, but read Asimov's "The Gods Themselves" instead of this. His later work is definitely better. "Foundation and Empire" is like its predecessor ("Foundation") in that you get several stories told in different periods throughout Foundation history. Everything Asimov has come up with in these books is fundamentally good sci-fi story stuff, but the lack of character development makes you think while you're reading, "Why am I reading this?" I'll read the last in the trilogy ("Second Foundation"), but that's as far as I'm going to go with these.

For great sci-fi, read "Hyperion," "Fall of Hyperion," "Ender's Game," "Childhood's End", "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep."

For good sci-fi, read "More Than Human," "The Gods Themselves," "Slan," "The Demolished Man," "The Stars My Destination."

TOO MUCH TO LIST, MY FRIENDS!!!

Good luck and good reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great twist at the end!!!
Hari seldom, the man who predicted the fall of the empire in the first book, established foundations on each end of the galaxy to prevent the rise of a dark age. The fallen empire from the first part of the book has incresed it's strength and with that strength, it plans to seize control of the foundation. With an ambitious and skilled general, and dozens of battle fleets, the foundation faces it's greatest enemy.

Personally, I liked the second part with the mule better then the war with the empire, because the main characters have nothing to do with the foundations victory, which makes the plot not a major factor for the story, but this also leads the reader into more surprises for the end of the section.

"I am the mule". As the reader discovers the identity of the speaker, all loose ends are tied up while creating a great twist for the end. Even though Seldon's predictions guide the foundation to overcome the first four crises, this is the book where his predictions turn the foundation into a disaster. A mutant is born, having the power to fight against any great power of the galaxy, a man that is able to defeat dozens of battle fleets, with the intelligence greater then any scientist of the foundation. .

The second part of the book is full of surprises, so please finish the book if you have started it or you might miss one of the best plots in science ficiton. While reading the story of the two couple's adventures, the reader needs to think deeply in their every move. Isaac lets the reader feel the negative consequences in prediction. The more hope the foundation has on Hari Seldon's prediction, the greater fall they will need to suffer. Although the plot of the couple's is resolved, the foundations destiny is discovered in the third book, the second foundation. I believe any reader that has read this book will definitely also need to read, the second foundation, so I recommend buying both books.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best laid plans of mice, men and mathematicians
The second installment in the mighty Foundation series deals with Seldon and the unpredicted spanner in the works, The Mule, a mutant whose strange abilities cloud the computed future events in the decline and fall of the Empire.

Asimov's vision is broad in this series, and he achieved much for an author with definite weaknesses in his characterization. A master of plot, Asimov is many chess-moves ahead of the reader, and at the end, one is hungry for the next installment in his vision of future history.

While I prefer the novels of Heinlein for future history (mainly due to Heinlein's superior character development), Asimov's imagination is remarkable, and the Foundation is his crowning achievement in fiction. ... Read more


185. Oryx and Crake
by MARGARET ATWOOD
list price: $14.00
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Asin: 0385721676
Catlog: Book (2004-03-30)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 5809
Average Customer Review: 3.82 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A stunning andprovocative new novel by the internationally celebrated author of The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize

Margaret Atwood’s new novel is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it.

With breathtaking command of her shocking material and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into a conceivable future of our own world, an outlandish yet wholly believable place left devastated in the wake of ecological and scientific disaster and populated by characters who will continue to inhabit your dreams long after the book is closed.

This is Margaret Atwood at the absolute peak of her powers. For readers of Oryx and Crake, nothing will ever look the same again.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Reviews (150)

5-0 out of 5 stars Atwood's Best?
Perhaps not. In terms of her use of language, form, depth of charaterisation etc. the 'The Blind Assassin' is technically Atwood's greatest novel so far. But having read all her novels, I've got to say that 'Oryx and Crake' is my personal favourite. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book, how engrossed I was with every word, and how moving, shocking and disturbing I found it. It's one of the best books I've ever read. It's one of those books that, once you've finished the last page, stays with you, and when you're not reading it you're thinking of it. And it's one of those books that, when you finally close it, you so wish that you could've put your name to it yourself. It's an immense work of imagination. I finished it well over a week ago and still think of it. I found it extraordinary. The way Atwood evokes her distopian futuristic world in every detail and makes it come alive and breathe is quite incredible. I was hooked. I was hoping it would be good but it far exceeded my expectations. The book's nightmarish vision of the future makes 'The Handmaid's Tale' look like a picnic, and while you're reading Atwood makes you live in that world, makes you feel what Snowman is feeling. What horror. Frighteningly, plausibly, brilliant!

3-0 out of 5 stars A page-turner but not Atwood's best
This books follows Atwood's usual formula of a slight mystery and a slow revel. The plot centres around one character, Snowman, who is living in an abandoned post-global warming world. He retraces the events of his life, starting with his childhood on an elite research compound where people work to develop genetically modified creatures, a place separate from the "pleeblands" where most ordinary humans leave. Snowman also slowly reveals the characters Oryx and Crake and their role in his life and current situation.

Atwood definitely succeeds at creating a sense of place - a terrifying, overgrown world of characters split between the elite research facilities of Snowman's childhood and the dangerous "pleeblands" where average people live. I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to find how Snowman got to the place he was.

But the characters in this novel aren't fleshed out. At the end we are still left wondering about the motivations of Oryx and Crake and Snowman himself.

There is also a child pornography sub-plot that was kind of pointless. We are expecting a great denouement but get none. I was left wondering "so what?" Why was this tawdry industry explored if not to offer us some sort of meaningful criticism of it?

To a lesser degree, the same is true of the genetic modification theme. Atwood is clearly horrified by the dangers but also seems fascinated by the possibilities, and in the end the question is not entirely resolved.

While I enjoyed this book, it felt more like a tawdry paperback than a novel by one of Canada's foremost authors. I am shocked that of all of her novels, this one won the Booker Prize. If you want Atwood sci-fi read The Handmaid's Tale. And if you want a compelling, mysterious read try Alias Grace.

4-0 out of 5 stars Compelling story
Atwood is a poet. This book, while not her best, is nonetheless a chilling, riveting story. Fans of The Handmaid's Tale will enjoy her return to sci-fi writing. Those who prefer Atwood's more traditional novels may not love this one, but even they won't be able to help being tranfixed by her craftsmanship.

1-0 out of 5 stars Atwood's worst
All authors have a weakness. Ms Atwood's seems to be her (vehement) refusal to accept her science fiction roots: there may be no flying cars or space aliens (terrestrial aliens, however, abound), but this is SciFi, try as she might to deny it. Perhaps she does this to avoid a less 'prestigious' genre and win another award? Not like she really needed it.

"Orynx and Crake" is mostly backstory, and we never really get a good sense of how Snowman develops, after the backstory, because there really isn't much actual story. The lovely prose is subverted by a much too unsubtle 'warning' about genetic technology that feels overly pedantic.

And then there's that warning itself, and all the ideas she uses to demonstrate it. If she'd accepted her scifi roots, and done some homework, she'd know that Heinlein and Dick (and others) did them all decades ago, and she could have revisited them with something new to say. She clearly did not.

2-0 out of 5 stars The author herself got tired
This is the first book I've read by Mrs. Atwood, so I can't compare it to her other work. Suffice it to say that it was not a compelling reading debut. "Oryx and Crake" is nothing: it's not science fiction simply because the "science" part could have been written by anyone who has no scientific background and has simply listened about scary fantasies like global warming and genetic manipulation. Both, of course, can be fascinating subjects, but here it's only cliches and commonplaces. It's also not a character study: Jimmy is sometimes compelling, but most of the times seems like a regular loser. Crake is never explored as a character, perhaps because he is like any other mad scientist so common in paperbacks and movies a la James Bond. But Oryx is the most absurd of the characters. What's with the child pornography story? I can imagine a very good novel written about the horrific world of child pornography and the human degradation it must imply, but the novel simply mentions the thing and doesn't give it any significance. It's not a thriller either. Certainly, what kept me reading was the interest to find out how the catastrophe came about, but in the end the author got bored or had to go to the supermarket, and it simply ended with some virus killing everybody, and we readers get nothing interesting about the process. An atomic bomb could have dropped from the sky and finished everything. Not recommended. ... Read more


186. Doomsday Book
by CONNIE WILLIS
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553562738
Catlog: Book (1993-08-01)
Publisher: Spectra
Sales Rank: 16494
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Connie Willis labored five years on this story of a history student in 2048 who is transported to an English village in the 14th century. The student arrives mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of "contemps" in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion. The book, which won Hugo and Nebula Awards, draws upon Willis' understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit. ... Read more

Reviews (330)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not your average SF, thank God. (Warning, some spoilers.)
"Doomsday Book" is probably the best book I've ever read. It occasionally still drives me nuts waiting for the real action to start, but every time I re-read it I discover something I missed. The writing alone is worth reading just to be enjoyed, even during the slow beginning.

I read an incredible amount of historical fiction, and Doomsday Book is one of the only books I've ever read that sounded authentic. For once the medieval characters really seemed medieval, not just 20th century people in costumes. Also about the characters, the reviewers who say they seemed flat must not have been paying enough attention! Sure, a lot of the characters (Gilchrist and Latimer especially) were archetypal. But they all still had enough personality of their own to be very real people. Gilchrist and Latimer almost became sympathetic characters at the end when you realize that they were vulnerable too, which is quite a feat considering how they start out. Several, like Father Roche and Eliwys, are not easily categorized at all. Father Roche was a typical saint-like figure but still was human enough to have carnal thoughts about Kivrin and shout at Imeyne. Eliwys was a loving mother but, firstly, never resolved her feelings about Gawyn (notice the scene where she sends him to Bath to get Guillame) and, secondly, had her own problems and priorities and could sometimes be snobbish or cruel, unlike most stereotypical good mothers. You can also see the family resemblance between her and Rosemund just clearly enough to make it interesting. Connie Willis's people are *human*. They do make dumb mistakes and have personality flaws, just like the rest of us.

But what really makes the book great isn't the characters or the story, but the writing. Anybody can write a book about a bunch of medieval villagers, but only Connie Willis could have written the scene where Rosemund dies. It just rips me apart every time. Also the scene where Father Roche quotes Romans to Kivrin after they bury Agnes, when he tries to help her stop being angry at God. And who can read "You are here in place of the friends I love" without crying?

What a great book. Everyone should read it. It really does a great job of showing how much all people have in common. It's a nice change to read a SF book with real people and themes in it, not just stereotypes of good and evil and everybody getting exactly what they deserve in the end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Time-travel is not always what it's cracked up to be!
The heroine of Connie Willis's award-winning Doomsday Book is a grad student in history at an English university in the near future. She's gotten approval to go back in time to the 12th century to do on-site research. Armed with her implanted language decoders and her anti-plague shots, she's sent back by an operator who is coming down with a contemporary plague and makes a mistake, putting her smack-dab in the middle of an area soon to be over-run by disease. As she struggles to get back to her own time, her mentor struggles to get her back as well, but bodies are piling up---all over time. A gripping, emotional read that transcends the barriers of genre fiction. Science-fiction is the category that's been assigned to this title, but it is so much more...mystery, romance, historical fiction... A terrific read that will stay with you. You know the cliche, "I couldn't put this book down!" Here, it's true---I hated coming to the end, I loved all the characters so. Jo Manning (drmwk@juno.com

5-0 out of 5 stars Wish I could put SIX stars...
After finishing this book all I could say was "WOW"!!!! I was at a loss for words. I haven't read anything quite like it before or since.
If you ever wanted to travel back in time to see what it was really and truly like back then, here's your chance. Willis has not only thoroughly researched that time period, she has created three-dimensional, live, fleshed-out people within it. She recreates not only the culture and speech, but also the smell, the feel, the temperature, the sound of that place and time. YOU ARE THERE!!
This book is not perfect, but it's a flawed emerald rather than a perfect rhinestone. The modern-day goings-on ("back at the ranch" in 2048) are often dull and tedious. But they're worth skimming through in order to immerse yourself in history (without actually catching the plague).
I've read a few of Willis's books - some were disappointing, some good, and one ("The Dog") extremely funny. In my opinion, Doomsday Book is her best. It would make an awesome movie.

4-0 out of 5 stars Full past and thin future
With 300+ reviews, maybe it has all been said. But just in case....

The parts of this book that deal with the middle ages are wonderful. The author really brings to life a small but fascinating English time and place. If one is interested in learning about life in the middle ages, the plague, and religious issues then this book will have much to offer.

The future the author describes, however, is another story. Her 2048 feels more like 1958. The book shares that odd quality that one gets from certain viewing certain British films, like Day of the Trifids or even the Avengers series, i.e. the total population of England is about 500 persons, and 50% of them are eccentrics in a shawl or odd hat. One can picture the hospital ward right out of a black and white movie, bare iron beds, shiny tile floors, women nurses with pointy white hats and starched uniforms jotting things down in the chart.

OK, this is supposed to be science fiction, so foreseeing that mobile phones might be in our future should not have been such a huge stretch even for a book written in 1993. This is especially vexing since the plot leans heavily on main characters running off to find a phone, or just missing a key phone call, etc. And, in 2048 will one comely and kindly local doctor and a few nurses be expected to handle an epidemic of SARS proportions on their own? It seems so at odds with the bureaucratic and journalistic frenzy that such things cause. The future in this book just seems very thin on people and new technology (not even new by 2004 standards). Oh, but a time machine? Well in 2048 THAT you can find in the basement of just about any ivy covered history dept. building. Just no cell phones.

I did, however, like the way that the author handled the time paradox issues (e.g. you prevent your grandfathers birth, etc.) Basically she just assumes there cannot be one - and that's that! Physics problem solved! Probably that is the most unassailable approach I have seen to this always pesky problem in any time travel story.

My advice - read the parts of this book that take place in 2048 quickly, but save time to relish the more carefully wrought and well researched sections on the middle ages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written, interesting, but VERY sad
This book was very engaging emotionally, without insulting your intelligence about time travel (you know who you are, Michael Crichton!). Interesting characters, well-researched history, solid plot. You may not feel good when you finish reading it, but you'll still appreciate the book. ... Read more


187. Dies the Fire
by S. M. Stirling
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451459792
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: Roc
Sales Rank: 6927
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Book Description

It all started when an electrical storm over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash, causing all electronic devices to cease to function-computers, telephones, engines, radio, television, even firearms-and plunged the world into a darkness humanity was unprepared to face. But even as some people band together to help one another, others are building armies for conquest... ... Read more


188. Spin State
by CHRIS MORIARTY
list price: $11.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553382136
Catlog: Book (2003-09-30)
Publisher: Spectra
Sales Rank: 9171
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In her debut novel, the terrific thriller Spin State, Chris Moriarty melds cutting-edge science with post-cyberpunk fiction and neo-noir suspense to create a complex, believable future inhabited by one of the most intriguing characters in modern science fiction.

Major Catherine Li is a veteran United Nations Peacekeeper in a future of world-nations. Humanity has spread across interstellar space by "jumping": teleportation enabled by quantum physics and a bizarre crystal found only on Compson's World. The jumps destroy memory, so jumpers back up their memories on computer. Despite this precaution, frequent jumpers still lose some memories, a fact that poses a far greater problem for Catherine Li than it does for other Peacekeepers. For Li has a dangerous, potentially deadly secret: she's an illegal clone.

When a UN mission goes awry, Li finds herself shipped on solo duty to Compson's World--her home world, to which she'd vowed never to return. Her mission initially seems simple: to determine if the death of brilliant physicist Hannah Sharifi was a crystal-mining accident or cold-blooded murder. Like Li, Sharifi is a clone--in fact, she's Li's genetic twin. Li swiftly finds herself enmeshed in the intertangled politics of the UN, the multiplanetary corporations, the miners, and the human-created Artificial Intelligences, who have enigmatic agendas of their own. --Cynthia Ward ... Read more

Reviews (19)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good hard SF concepts, average crime novel
This novel starts strongly, by showing us a glimpse of a 'posthuman' world where people backup their memories and where AIs can hijack ("shunt") human beings for a joyride. The protagonist is a strong, tough female, suggesting a welcome change to other SF male leads.

Unfortunately, the novel quickly devolves into a 'whodunnit?' about a scientist murdered in a coal mine. It's a bit sad that such interesting hard SF concepts such as quantum teleportation, 'spinstream' and Emergent AIs are presented through a very ho-hum, run-of-the-mill detective story, and this is what makes 'Spin State' so frustrating to read.

It gets better after roughly half of the novel, but the novel never really exceeds the awesome potential that it seemed to have. Whereby it could have been a gritty 'Snow Crash' set in space, it ends up being a detective story with a space opera backdrop.

If you're looking for a crime novel, skip this because it doesn't offer anything beyond clichés such as characters cryptically helping the protagonist along for convoluted reasons. If you're curious about intriguing new SF concepts, then it's worth to go through this book regardless of the detective story.

1-0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction At Its Worst!
Spin State could've been so much more. This novel had the opportunity to be one of the best I've ever read.

Mr. Moriarty saddles himself up beside other authors who chose to incorporate their own language (nouns, verbs, etc) into their work. Much like Tolkien and A/V's Clockwork Orange.

The problem is that Chris doesn't explain any of it. For every word that he makes up, it pushs the reader that much further into confusion, and ultimately, oblivion. I was so confused by the end of this novel that I wasn't certain exactly what happened. Sure, the novel takes place in the future, and new technologies will develop... but the reader is still here in the 21st century. If you're going to conjure several dozen futuristic words out of thin air, at least explain them to the reader!!!

The book is so vague and gray without these definitions that it seriously hinders the reader. I almost didn't finish the story.

VERY DISAPPOINTING!

5-0 out of 5 stars Moriarty certainly knows how to "spin" sci-fi!
This book captures your imagination and attention from the beginning and catapults you into the fantastic just as other books along similar lines: "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Foundation", "Ringworld", "I,Robot", "Rendezvous with Rama", "Childhood's End", "Advent of the Corps", and so forth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitely one of the best new sci-fi's to come out!
Chris Moriarty shall soon rank up there with people like William Gibson and even Issac Asimov in regards to her well-developed story and well-rounded characters in a future as vivid as it is fantastic. I am adding her book to my vast collection of Old and New Masters, such as: "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Mona Lisa Overdrive", "Childhood's End", "Puppet Masters", "Snow Crash", "Cryptonomicon", "Neuromancer", and "Cyber Hunter". Read them all.

2-0 out of 5 stars dissapointing
To be fair, I read this immediately following "Pandora's Star" by Peter F. Hamilton, by all accounts a tough act to follow.

I've also read Richard Morgan's fantastic Takeshi Kovacs novels, which Moriarity seems heavily influenced by.

Chris(tine?) Moriarity, however, is no Richard Morgan, which is demonstrated by the following failings evidenced by Spin State:

1. From a prurient standpoint, Moriarity tackles violence and sex in a far more restrained manner than Morgan--which is one large component of what makes Altered carbon so visceral. That the author toned down these elements gave the book a cartoonish aspect. Though I wasn't adverse to the books' one lesbian scene, albeit poorly described.

2. the characters seem to blur together, only to pop up and perform an action to jumpstart the ailing plot line. Although the book's antagonists are equally vile, they never really take on distinct form.

3. the poor male stereotypes in the book: the sadist, the stupid innocent, the charming manipulator (a couple of these). The author's opinions of mankind are verified with the female protagonist's choice of a mate at the conclusion of the book.

I wasn't sure if the author was female or not, due to the unisex "Chris" but these negative characterizations of men were a large clue and a big turn off.

All this is not to say I wasn't entertained by the book to a degree, though at times it felt like work, but all and all I was disappointed. I feel that Moriarity (must be contrived, the Sherlock Holmes villain, please...) has trespassed on sacred ground, that is the last sanctuary safe from the PC/multicultural blight that besets our age, the world of speculative fiction. ... Read more


189. Out of This World
by J. D. Robb, Laurell K Hamilton, Susan Krinard, Maggie Shayne
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0515131091
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 20174
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (40)

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the read!
I bought this book for "Interlude in Death," J.D. Robb's short story. It has a complete story, starting with murder at the Martian resort where the cops are gathering for a conference. Robb adds to the building of her characters with this short story and fills under a hundred pages to make the story complete.
I was introduced to Laurell Hamilton. This was a little disappointing at first since it was obviously an excerpt from her new novel but it was so great I want to read all the Anita Blake novels
Sue Krinard's story just might be the beginning of a romance series. This one was predictable, but very intriguing, not the best story but worth the read!
Maggie Shayne's story was the weakest of the four stories. I was not impressed with her style and the story had no interest for me at all.
All and all I enjoyed this book even through two were only excerpts. I never miss an Eve Dallas tale, short story of novel and I love to be introduced to new authors!

5-0 out of 5 stars A collection of four explosive stories...
This anthology was much more than I had hoped for. Laurell K. Hamilton and J.D. Robb are my two favorite authors, but I've never read books by Krinard or Shayne before. I was almost surprised that I enjoyed all four stories.

J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, contributed "Interlude in Death." This mystery/romance story follows her bestselling In Death series, as NYPD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, chases an esteemed *rogue ex-cop* at an intergalatic conference. The cop harbors a personal vendetta against Roarke because of his mysterious past. As always, Eve and Roarke catch the villain, and manages to find time to chill out together. All in all, the story stands well alone, and will prove satisfying whether you're a long-time Robb fan or a new reader to the series.

Susan Krinard's story "Kinsman" is a futuristic/romantic thriller. When her brother's ship disappears during a secret space mission, a young princess of a small planet asks a "Kinsman," (a member of a special human *race* that possess certain telepathic powers) for aid. Along their journey to find the missing prince and his crew, the two discover a conspiracy brewing among the Kinsman's own people. They also discover that they're falling in love. I find this the weakest of the four stories, mostly because there were a lot of names and species that I didn't really understand. Also, *alien* type of stories are just not my thing. Perhaps I'll try her next wolf novel, SECRET OF THE WOLF, of which there was a short excerpt in the anthology.

Maggie Shayne's "Immortality" continues her Witch series. Puabi is an Immortal High Dark Witch who finds, after 4,000 years of existence, that she doesn't want to continue her old, evil ways. After being rescued by an unsuspecting human man and getting stranded on his island, Puabi rediscovers the zest to her life, as she and Matthew grow ever closer. However, Puabi's powers are slowly but surely diminishing. And there is unknown danger on the island. Tied into all this is the memory of Gabriella, Matthew's dead wife, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Puabi, although the two women are polar opposites. The ending is very poignant, with a wonderful plot twist. I had no difficulty following the plot, although I am new to Shayne's Witch books. I really loved this story, and I'll definitely pick up her other books now. A short excerpt of Shayne's upcoming romantic suspense novel, THE GINGERBREAD MAN, is included in the anthology.

"Magic Like Heat Across My Skin" is a sizzling, six-chapter preview of Laurell K. Hamilton's long-awaited NARCISSUS IN CHAINS, the 10th book in her bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. After six months of celibacy, our heroine comes back to St. Louis and finds out that her wereleopards have been kidnapped by a rival group of shapeshifters. To get them back, she seeks her old lover, the sexy vampire Jean-Claude, for help. Jean-Claude agrees, but only if Anita will take the *fourth-mark* so that she has a chance to fight and live. At the S&M club Narcissus in Chains, Anita, Jean-Claude, and Richard (Anita's werewolf lover) *marry the marks,* merging their energies and completing their triumvirate of power. Anita may be a vampire hunter, necromancer, lupa of Richard's pack, and Nimir-Ra of the wereleopards, but she is human nevertheless. The line between humans and monsters is all-too-thin sometimes, and by consumating the marks, Anita may have become irrevocably changed now. Also, the story tends to lean toward the "erotic" side of romance, which will no doubt create mixed feelings among Hamilton's loyal fans. I found Laurell's writing style a bit "off," but I still can't wait for NARCISSUS IN CHAINS in October!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent anthology!
Excellent!
This is 4 pieces of fiction by the top names in paranormal romance fiction! The J.D. Robb is a fun Eve Dallas short novella, Susan Krinard gets a new take on her werewolves, the Maggie Shayne offering is part 4 to her Witches trilogy Eternity, Infinity and Destiny, and the Laurel Hamillton is just plain Anita Blake brand of fun! This is not a themed collection so much as a treat for fans of all 4 authors- and a chance to get to know these series in short form. One of the best! I have read this several times and wish it was available in a hardcover ( not large print) to go on my keeper shelf - my paperback is worn out!

Also recommended: Maggie Shayne Immortal Witch series: Eternity, Infinity, Destiny, Anne Rice The Mayfair Witches series, Karen Harbaugh The Vampire Viscount and watch her new vampire books! They are hot!

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next one.
I bought this one for Puabi's story Immortatily by Maggie Shayne. She was the evil dark witch in Destiny & I thought how can Maggie write a story about a dark one & then I thought there's more here than meets the eye & Puabi is not a dark immortal witch, but I was wrong. How Maggie did it was brilliant. I loved the twist in the end & can't wait for the next story. This series is brilliant, please keep it coming & bring us back the other immortals from the previous books.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the effort
I BOUGHT THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT CONTAINED A "NEW" ANITA BLAKE STORY. IN FACT IT ONLY CONTAINS THE FIRST 6 CHAPTERS OF NARCISSUS IN CHAINS. THE ROBB STORY WAS GOOD, IF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE EVE DALLAS SAGA, ELSE, YOU MIGHT NOT BE TO INTREAGED BY IT. I LIKED IMMORTAL AS WELL, BUT WAS GLAD IT WAS ONLY ABOUT 100 PAGES, I DON'T THINK I COULD HAVE TAKEN ANY MORE. IF I HAD REALIZED THAT THERE WAS NO NEW HAMILTON STORY IN THIS ANTHOLOGY, I WOULD NOT HAVE BOUGHT IT. AS IS IT, I'M MORE THAN A LITTLE SORRY I WASTED MY TIME AND MONEY. I SUGGEST YOU READ THE ANITA BLAKE SERIES BY HAMILTON, THE DALLAS SERIES BY ROBB, AND THE DARK JEWLES SERIES BY ANNE BISHOP. DON'T WASTE YOUR VALUABLE TIME ON THIS BOOK UNLESS YOU ARE A DIE HARD FAN OF ONE OF THE AUTHORS. ... Read more


190. Battle Royale (Battle Royale)
by Koushun Takami
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156931778X
Catlog: Book (2003-02-26)
Publisher: VIZ LLC
Sales Rank: 14483
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Battle Royale, a high-octane thriller about senseless youth violence, is one of Japan's best-selling - and most controversial - novels. As part of a ruthless program by the totalitarian government, ninth-grade students are taken to a small isolated island with a map, food, and various weapons. Forced to wear special collars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one "winner" remains. The elimination contest becomes the ultimate in must-see reality television. A Japanese pulp classic available in English for the first time, Battle Royale is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world. The first novel by small-town journalist Koushun Takami, it went on to become an even more notorious film by 70-year-old gangster director Kinji Fukusaku. ... Read more

Reviews (66)

5-0 out of 5 stars brilliant.
Honestly, you assume with a movie like Battle Royale that the book will pale in comparison. And maybe, for the first 100 pages it does: you have -seen- this happen, and a dully translated description of it feels like nothing.

However, the backstories encorporated in the novel Battle Royale really serve to strengthen your empathy with the overall plot and characters. Characters that seemed to have no real emphasis in the movie become three dimensional and not merely gore devices.

The background story of the Republic also serves crucially to explain a parable that, while close to a Japanese view of world and government, should serve closer to an American one. While Battle Royale seems to be an unthinkable act of violence to put 15 year olds through for wagers, perhaps this parable is something that in the 21st century we should be considering. How far is too far?

Kiriyama in the book, however, I just don't find dreadfully evil and delicious as in the movie, but I supposes sacrifices must be made for a well rounded piece of fiction. Definately worth the read, and the movie is brilliant as well. Perhaps after this encounter with the original book I can justify the ugliness of Battle Royale II.

5-0 out of 5 stars "A student is not a tangerine..."
Takami Koushun is, simply put, a freakin' genius. Battle Royale is a twisted, frightening and totally honest look at the result of "successful facism" and a metaphor for modern life. The characters are all incredibly realistic and disturbingly familiar. It's a thought provoking and brutally violent story that begs the question: "Would I [destroy] my friends to survive?"

Although the characters are young, this book really isn't for Junior High students. The incredible level of violence plus some disturbing character histories (if you've seen the movie, you know who I'm talking about...) are almost certainly more many young people can handle. Blowing someone up in Quake is one thing but reading a graphic account of a teenaged boy being blown up for trying to protect the girl he loves is quite another thing.

It's a shame too, though, because young people would benefit most from reading this. In a way, it voices the thoughts of the current generation: Can I trust my friends? Can I trust anyone? Why are adults always trying to [foul things up]?

All in all, Battle Royale is an excellent book. If you can handle extreme violence then, by all means, look into it.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT ¿ a page-turner and instant Japanese pulp classic!
I'm not the type who likes extreme violence, guts, and gore (which this book is filled with, but for good reason), but I really, really enjoyed this book. It is the best pulp fiction I've ever read. Keep in mind, though, that it is no masterpiece along the lines of Shakespeare and Fitzgerald in terms of language usage (it was translated from the Japanese language, and I thought the translator still did a fine job).

However, "Battle Royale" is a very memorable book; you will be surprised how all the events stay in your mind. Despite there being some 42 kids with difficult Japanese names, I remembered each character, how they lived, and how they died. And this book is literally impossible to put down-it's v. v. compulsive reading. I finished it in one sitting.

You probably already know what this book is about, but here's a quick plot summary anyway: the Japanese government institutes "Battle Royale," and randomly selects 50 ninth-grade classes for the program. Each class is left on a deserted island, supplied with different weapons, and forced to kill each other until there is only one survivor. Most are unsure of each other's intentions and cannot trust anyone; this is what the government wants: for no one to trust each other well enough to form a group against the government.

"Battle Royale" has understandably been criticized as violent exploitation (esp. since these kids are 14-15 and some are more than willing to hack each other up), but there is something much more deeper than that. The book explores tricky relationships between people, and there are many questions asked in the film, like "Who can I trust?", "Can I trust my best friend?", "Can I trust my boyfriend/girlfriend?", "What is right/wrong?", "Can we fight the system?", "Since we're dying anyway, should I tell you I have a crush on you?", etc. These are all v. interesting questions and the author does a fabulous job of answering them, showing the devastating results. The description of violence is v. graphic as to be over-the-top and distracting sometimes, and the writing is sometimes corny and painful, but as a whole, the book moves extraordinarily well.

On the whole, most of the characters are developed well and we understand why they are doing what they are. In every page, we find teenage angst, lust, love, treachery, betrayal, goodness, jealousy, suspicion, hatred, and all those goodies. Although many of the characters do unspeakable things to their classmates (either willfully or out of fear), we feel for them. We understand them and therefore, feel pity for them when they die or are wounded. Only good books can elicit that kind of feeling for 42 different characters. I highly recommend the book. Don't expect to be blown away by the writing style, but do expect to be blown away by an interesting and irresistible premise, thoughtful ideas, and a GREAT story of friendship and other human relationships.

(If you enjoy the book, you should definitely watch the movie "Battle Royale", which is the best movie coming out of Japan in years. I read the book before I saw the movie, and although I think the book is better, the movie is also incredible. Some of the scenes in the movie, especially the lighthouse scene with Yukie, even outdo the book. Of course, some characters aren't as well developed, but that's expected and understandable. With excellent acting, great direction, fantastic use of classical music, and a superb story, the movie is definitely a must-see.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Born to Run
I am sure that most individuals who read this thick book will have most likely viewed the Fukasaku Kinji film of the same name. I was interested to see how the entertaining, but not so deep, film deviated from from the novel. Let me say that it deviated quite a bit. However, this of course is not unusual, especially with a book clocking in at 600+ pages. The characters are much more fleshed out than in the movie. Kiriyama Kazuo is actually given a background instead of just being evil. We learn why he is so emotionless. Also, the reader learns much more about students who were quite minor in the movie, such as Chigusa Takako and the two girls who were killed on the cliff, Yumiko and Yukiko. It is nice to get this additional information because one is able to get into each character's head better and understand their reasonings to kill and not to kill. Souma Mitsuko and even a minor character such as Ogawa Sakura are much more fleshed out than in the film.

The book itself is definately not what one would call a great piece of literature. Although I lauded the details above, one begins to grow tired of basically the same story over and over again: who one likes; why one likes a certain someone, and, for the most part, never telling said loved person that they love them. This might appeal to fans of anime and manga who enjoy drawn out love triangles and the such, but for someone who wants to only enjoy a novel, it gets quite old. However, it is good to see this book translated. not much Japanese "pulp" literature has been released in America. Maybe _Battle Royale_ can serve as the key to allow a trickle to come into the States.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not "Lord of the Flies."
Everyone seems forced to compare Battle Royale to Lord of the Flies. Sure, it's a group of kids on an island who are forced to survive by their own skills. However, LotF was about the need for law and order, as murder and chaos would fill that void. Battle Royale is rather an allegory (if that would be the right term. It's really more of an exaggeration) based on the Japanese culture. If you really look at it, the education system is extremely cut throat when it gets to high school age, which the characters are around.

Overall, the book is a relatively fun read, with some violence, some plot, some [obvious] "twists", and lots of dying. Sure, you can try and find some deep meaning in it, but what meaning there is is not hard to find and understand. So while it may be a releveant cultural commentary for Japan, readers in other parts of the world will really only find a interesting tale which strips bare the savageness of people, especially kids (which, I guess, is kind of like LotF.) ... Read more


191. Perdido Street Station
by CHINA MIEVILLE
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345459407
Catlog: Book (2003-07-29)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 6895
Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none—not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.

Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger.

While Isaac's experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly colored caterpillar that feeds on nothing but a hallucinatory drug and grows larger—and more consuming—by the day.What finally emerges from the silken cocoon will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon—and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it invokes . . .

A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader's imagination.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
... Read more

Reviews (167)

5-0 out of 5 stars Year's Best Fantasy Novel
This is fantasy/weird fiction the way it should be written; highly inventive, filled with wonder & terror, featuring a cast of believable characters who carry you along with them. This is far and away the best fantasy novel of the year and, in my humble opinion, among the five best of the the last ten years. Read it & discover for yourselves!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Spectacular Canvas
Far from the city of New Crobuzon, on the Cymek desert, Yagharek the Garuda, commits choice theft and faces harsh tribal justice - his wings are cut from his body. The Bird Man's quest to regain the power of flight trigger's a series of events that release a terrible evil on the citizens of the city. Slakemoths, who can strip the spirit and thoughts from any intelligent creature, leaving a helpless husk, are freed to feed at will. Isaac der Grimnebulin, rogue scientist, in undertaking Yagharek's task, is instrumental in first releasing the moths and then in leading the tragic struggle to free the city skies of terror.

New Crobuzon itself is the main character of "Perdido Street Station." Mieville describes the city as a combination of London, Cairo and Havana. But even a shallow reading reveals far more than that. Founded on the bones of some legendary beast, it is peopled with hundreds of different cultures, many non-human. The Kephri, insect headed, who excrete fantastical art, the Vodyanoi water masters, and the isolationist Cactus People. Some are actually shaped by magic and machine. Each individual culture has its own life style and environment. New Crobuzon is a crazy quilt mix of these peoples and their artifacts. The sum of their contributions and more. There are mages, thaumaturges, scientists, artists and artisans of every discipline. Slums and fashionable neighborhoods and decayed elegances abut one another. This is a city made in the image of Hieronymous Bosch's most fevered visions of hell. Wherever the reader looks there are countless layers and distractions to study.

Desperately trying to trap the slakemoths, der Grimnebulin acts as our guide through this city. Having first conceived of the idea of a crisis engine as a way to grant Yagharek flight, Isaac realizes that it is the only hope of undoing his mistake. Aided by revolutionaries, remade men, immense intelligent machines, an eerie spider creature and others almost too numerous to catalog, the inventor scours the city for the knowledge and materials the he needs. Finally, atop the Perdido Street Station, the center of the city's links to the world, Isaac weaves New Crobuzon itself into the his final weapon. If he can win, the dreams of the city will no longer be invaded by the slakemoths and New Crobuzon can return to a semblance of sanity.

This is a book about transformation, the tragic nature of heroism and the pain of inexorable justice. Each character must face the outcome of their decisions and actions. New Crobuzon itself, its vastness sprawling beneath the heights of Perdido Street Station is the court in which each one's mettle is tested, and all too often found wanting. The book has an eerie flavor of the Victorian Gothic about it and one finds that the most memorable characters are creatures of accident - the remade man Half-a-Prayer, the spider creature Weaver, and the housecleaning automaton that develops intelligence and leads the others to their best hope of survival.

If "Perdido Street Station" has a fault, it is that it is too rich a diet for easy reading. On more than a few occasions I found myself putting the book aside after a chapter or two, to think over all the images and ideas that Mieville uses freely. What surprised me is that the writing was so vivid that I found it easy to pick up where I left off, even after a day or two pause. The book is a wonder on many levels, with enough content to populate more than a single city. Indeed, we are promised that there is a forthcoming tale also set in the same venue. The intrepid reader will find this book a deep well of ideas and imaginings.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark, Complex, Fantastic
Although I don't usually like fantasy that reads more like science fiction, China Mieville's "Perdido Street Station" is so original, so inventive and so complex that I had to read it, and I'm certainly glad I did.

"Perdido Street Station" takes place in New Crobuzon, a huge, sprawling, polluted city-state quite reminiscent of the very worst of London. New Crobuzon is home to, not only humans, but a variety of mutants, aliens, modified criminals and xenians...a particular species of humanoid that is part bird, part insect, part cactus, etc. In New Crobuzon, humans and humanoids, mutants and aliens, live and work and socialize alongside one another. In fact, the origin of the xenians is never made known, it is simply accepted as the way the world is today. The fact that Mieville does not tell us everything about everything in this novel is a plus, not a minus. In a novel such a "Perdido Street Station" one's imagination needs free rein to create along with the book's creator. Mieville has generously given us this free rein.

The protagonist of the book is rebel scientist Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin who is assigned the task of restoring flight to a criminal garuda bird-man, Yagharek. Isaac's lover, Lin, is a xenian, or, more specifically a khepri sculptor. This jeopardizes Issac and his career in academia for two reasons: humans are not allowed to enter into affairs with xenians, and, Issac is not the only one with an assignment, Lin has one herself, involving New Crobuzon's most notorious gangster. Both Isaac's assignment and Lin's have potentially disatrous results, on the personal level and on a more cosmic level as well. And both threaten the existence of New Crobuzon.

Because this is fantasy (weird fantasy, but fantasy nevertheless), the brand of science practiced by Isaac is not science as we know it, but something more akin to alchemy and magic. The world of New Crobuzon simply overflows with marvelously-realized characters; for Mieville, obviously, anything and everything, goes. Yet, odd as New Crobuzon is, there is something strangely familiar about it as well. The social ills, the corruption, the love, the hate, the friendships are what we, ourselves, experience in our day-to-day life. New Crobuzon, however, is a far darker place than the places we usually inhabit. In fact, the tone of this novel is so dark that, despite its modern elements, there is a vaguely Gothic feel about it.

It's not easy to write about "Perdido Street Station" without giving away some of the plot and I certainly don't want to do that. This book is so good that one should discover the plot within its pages and not in a review. This is also a book that just may possibly be "too much of a good thing." Everything seems to abound in New Crobuzon--monsters, demons, slakemoths, frog people, the spider-like Weaver, the scarab-headed khepri. Does Mieville have anything left over?

As good as "Perdido Street Station" is, I think some readers are going to be disappointed with its ending. I found it to be powerful, but after such a complex plot, I think some readers might be expecting something different. For those who are disappointed, my advice would be to let the novel simmer in your imagination for awhile, absorb it. Then I think the ending might make more sense.

It takes a very special book to cause me to become absorbed in science fiction. "Perdido Street Station" is exactly that kind of book. Even if science fiction or fantasy is not for you, I think you should give this book a chance. You just might be surprised.

4-0 out of 5 stars Heavy on imagination, light on story
It's not very often that i'm moved to buy a book by the oversimplified, standard-issue blurb on the back cover , but this one actually did the job. The setting alone sounded too good to be true. I bought the book, went home, sat down and started reading.

I had a hard time really getting into the novel, but that didn't scare me away. I've read a lot of books that i didn't find gripping until page one hundred or so. Then i found i didn't really care for any of the characters. Don't get me wrong, i didn't particularly dislike any of them, but i also didn't find myself growing attached to any of them either. It's not that they were boring or two-dimensional, they just didn't breath for me. Still, i read on, and i'll tell you why.

All the positive reviews i've read of this book, and many of the negative ones, at least mention the staggering number of ideas present in this book. I wholeheartedly agree. The level of orginality is, in my opinion, unsurpassed by any other book i've read in ten years. Additionally, while the characters themselves did little for me individually, the setting as a whole did indeed come alive in my mind as i read. That part of the book was not, in fact, too good to be true.

With more appealing characters and a more interesting story, i wouldn't have hesitated to give this book five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mieville is the new star of Science Fiction
Mieville proved already in King Rat that he can write circles around most contemporay Science Fiction authors. This book is also inspired by London (UK). The city of New Crobuzon is a mix of London and Gormenghast. It is not your standard Science Fiction book, Mieville has many sources of inspiration. He mixes elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Magical Realism. His descriptions of the various races living in New Crobuzon are reminiscent of Jack Vance.
So, the city, its inhabitants, and the main characters are very well developed, cmplex, and interesting. The plot is s little bit weak at times. The Dream-moths are well described, but they suspiciously eaily defeated. It is almost as if the fight against them is added to justify the book. What I really like in the book is the end. He does not fall in the trap of a "living happily ever after end." No, the end leaves many question marks, many unresolved problems are still there, the main characters are left truly scarred and marked by their experiences, they need to live with the consequences of their actions. The end feels very realistic, life goes on, some conflicts are resolved, some persist, most characters, bad or good, survive. I think that the melancholy ending more than redeems the weak resolution of the plot. Real life is like that. ... Read more


192. Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels
by Stephen J. Sansweet, Pablo Hidalgo
list price: $150.00
our price: $94.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811847357
Catlog: Book (2005-12-30)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 6609
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Book Description

For the true Star Wars fan, it doesn't get much better than this mammoth compendium in its evocative die-cut slipcase: a companion to the volume that covered the original trilogy and a visual tour through the final three Star Wars films. Photographs, behind-the-scenes production stills, early sketches, computer renderings, outtakes, and more from Lucasfilm's archives deconstruct Episodes I, II, and III—every vehicle, character, planet, and plot line is examined. Featuring more than 3,000 out-of-this-world color images, an insider's-perspective text, and production specifications, this is a gorgeous tribute to the most successful movie saga of all time. ... Read more


193. Naked Lunch
by William S. Burroughs
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
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Asin: 0802132952
Catlog: Book (1992-01-01)
Publisher: Grove Press
Sales Rank: 3521
Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

"He was," as Salon's Gary Kamyia notes, "20th-century drugculture's Poe, its Artaud, its Baudelaire. He was the prophet of the literature of pure experience, aphenomenologist of dread.... Burroughs had the scary genius to turn the junk wasteland into a paralleluniverse, one as thoroughly and obsessively rendered as Blake's."

Why has this homosexual ex-junkie, whose claim to fame rests entirely on one book--the hallucinogenicravings of a heroin addict--so seized the collective imagination? Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch ina Tangier, Morocco, hotel room between 1954 and 1957. Allen Ginsberg and his beatnik cronies burstonto the scene, rescued the manuscript from the food-encrusted floor, and introduced some order to thepages. It was published in Paris in 1959 by the notorious Olympia Press and in the U.S. in 1962; thelandmark obscenity trial that ensued served to end literary censorship in America.

Burroughs's literary experiment--the much-touted "cut-up" technique--mirrored the workingsof a junkie's brain. But it was junk coupled with vision: Burroughs makes teeming amalgam of allegory,sci-fi, and non-linear narration, all wrapped in a blend of humor--slapstick, Swiftian, slang-infested humor. What is Naked Lunch about? People turn into blobs amidst the sort of evil that R. Crumb, in thedecades to come, would inimitably flesh out with his dark and creepy cartoon images. Perhaps the mosteasily grasped part of Naked Lunch is its America-bashing, replete with slang and vitriol. Read itand see for yourself. ... Read more

Reviews (195)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning!!!
Burroughs takes the reader on a tour de force journey inside the mind and experiences of a junkie. The novel is unlike any other your will ever be likely to read. The scenes of the Black Mass in James Joyce's Ulyssess, inside an Irish whore house, are perhaps the closest literary experience to Burrough's Naked Lunch. Ironically, for a noble and steadfast reader, Burroughs places the "prologue" for NL at the end of the book. I found reading this very helpful to understanding the novel, as much as I could understand it on first read.

Burrough's placement is not arbertrary, to say the least. In that moment of "waking clarity" that preceeds sobriety, and eventually, kicking junk for good, ("there are no old junkies", Burroughs reminds us), the glimmers of sanity from obscure madness shine through at this point.

Naked Lunch is not for the casual reader. It is a book to be devoured and continplated, and frequently leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Such is addiction to junk, nothing glamerous, only pain, death, madness, and the relentless search for the next fix.
But for those willing to embark on this journey into hell, be advised that the best advice, echoed by several reviewers here, is to just read the words and don't force a meaning into them...you will find no meaning in addiction to junk, only pathos and dispair.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not For The Faint Of Heart
This novel is unlike anything that I've ever read. Burroughs's flights of fancy are wildly imaginative and often repugnant; he displays an unusual mastery of language and an outrageous prose. With its highly volatile and pornographic content, sometimes homosexual in nature, it's somewhat hard to believe that "Naked Lunch" was printed in 1959. (In fact, censorship proceedings are documented in the introduction to the paperback version. For this episode alone, the book is important.)

Whether you like this fiction is a serious matter of taste, but it IS vilely artistic and undeniably useful to the student of literature. What's ultimately the point of the novel? I can only offer a subjective opinion. But we are fed the notion that the novel condemns all forms of addiction -- addiction to drugs, power, subservience, sex, etc. -- though it's difficult to see this without prior guidance. I thought that I'd seen and heard everything, but my first encounter with Burroughs proved me wrong -- big time!

This kind of writing isn't for the faint of heart. Although Burroughs definitely displays a prodigious talent, his art may be compared to Henry Miller on drugs. If you feel that you COULD'VE liked this book, but the style threw you off, give Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" a whirl.

5-0 out of 5 stars Imagination and Exotica: A Compelling Trip
NAKED LUNCH is the ultimate cut-up/quote bible/scrapbook of what it was like to be alive and a free-thinker in the Fifties. As well, the horrors of the "oil-burning junk habit" and the worlds in which the visionary dwells, are covered in great detail. There is somewhat of a back-story, dealing with a kind of Rodgers-and-Hammerstein-meets-HR-Giger-meet-sthe X Files cabal of aliens and other species infiltrating the human race. Burroughs sees himself as a catch-as-catch-can reporter on all this, "like an agent who has forgotten his own cover story [but] all agents defect and all resisters sell out."

This book is one wild ride, and as I said, should be read as a poetic scrapbook. Burroughs' contributions to all forms of media have been absolutely invaluable. This book was declared innocent of obscenity charges by the United States Supreme Court in 1959, and thus are we allowed to cuss (to an extent) on TV and on the radio. Burroughs made a great leap for free speech that is still being felt today: if a work uses questionable material within contextual merit, then it is not obscene. And NAKED LUNCH is anything but a hemmorhage of the imagination.

The role of drug use as it relates to artistic endeavor, the role of the writer as idol-breaker, and the very form of writing itself. His work is hard to access, and very much an acquired taste. But when you acquire the taste....the world never looks the same. Pick up a copy of this great book, and take your time. If nothing else you're bound to appreciate the exotic settings, Burroughs' imagination, his dry caustic wit, and some gorgeous surreal visuals: i.e. take in the Mugwumps (p.46): if this is not worth the price of a book, nothing is! Another cult novel I'd like to suggest is THE LOSERS CLUB by Richard Perez

4-0 out of 5 stars The Depths of Insanity
I have read this book three times and every time I feel something twisting and breaking inside of my head. Like I'm losing part of my sanity with each passing sentence. It is one complex yet enjoyable read. It's disturbing and beautiful. If you've only seen the movie then you owe it to yourself to read the book. Because the book is incredible. You'll get a lot more out of it. Though the Cronenberg film is one of my favorites.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't just say no, kid; say exterminate all rational thought
Stronger than a thousand 'just say no' campaigns, Burroughs wanted to show the reader what's "on the end of that long newspaper spoon" by taking his own drug addiction both concretely and as a metaphor for human existence--in a strange sense, that we're addicted to being who and what we are, and that forces in our "civilization" are living vampirically off the energy of our frozen patterns of behavior, like a power-pyramid whose apex is anywhere the Man can be found. There are those addicted to controlling their own and others' humanity, and those who let reality speak through them.

The form of this book is a revolt against habit as well. "Naked Lunch" is a loose collection of writings about the yearning for freedom from embodiment. In this, it's like a contemporary work of Gnosticism. While reading it you get the sense of a tremendous self-exorcism, a huge confession from a diseased state of being. Burroughs' content will be the most repellent imagery you'll ever encounter in fiction--visceral and dehumanized sex and violence, overlapping conspiracies between transpersonal agencies who are fighting each other for continual exploitation and total control on all levels. Burroughs' truncated medical training (and his interests in anthropology and "primitive" religions) shows up almost continually, through an obsession with exotic diseases and bodily functions and in the character of Dr. Benway, a perverted scientist obsessed with mind control. On top of all this, it's written in underworld slang which is frequently hilarious and for which he provides a glossary.

The "Deposition Concerning a Sickness" and "Atrophied Preface" of "Naked Lunch" are the best things Burroughs ever wrote; they are powerful indictments of the misguided policies of law-enforcement zeal for purity. Yes, Burroughs may have had a terminal case of "shock-the-bourgeois", but as Norman Mailer once said of "Naked Lunch" it was written with utter seriousness of intent. Burroughs' writings are simultaneously some of the most precise, shocking, evocative, and almost poetic prose I've ever read. ... Read more


194. Cable/Deadpool Vol. 2: The Burnt Offering
by Fabian Ninieza
list price: $14.99
our price: $10.19
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Asin: 0785115714
Catlog: Book (2005-05-04)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Sales Rank: 162742
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Book Description

A floating city promises hope for humans and mutants alike! But if Cable plans to be Earth's Savior, will Deadpool accept the role of Judas? Plus: the traumatic, tragic, and tantric events of "The Burnt-Offering" have left Cable - well, "regurgitated" - now Deadpool has to save the day! Even if it means confronting his fear of very big-headed villains! And the challenge of finding someone who can fix technology from thousands of years in the future.Collects Cable/Deadpool #7-12. ... Read more


195. Jurassic Park
by MICHAEL CRICHTON
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
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Asin: 0345370775
Catlog: Book (1991-11-13)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 16987
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Unless your species evolved sometime after 1993 when Jurassic Park hit theaters, you're no doubt familiar with this dinosaur-bites-man disaster tale set on an island theme park gone terribly wrong. But if Speilberg's amped-up CGI creation left you longing for more scientific background and ... well, character development, check out the original Michael Crichton novel. Although not his best book (get ahold of sci-fi classic The Andromeda Strain for that), Jurassic Park fills out the film version's kinetic story line with additional scenes, dialogue, and explanations while still maintaining Crichton's trademark thrills-'n'-chills pacing. As ever, the book really is better than the movie. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (533)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Linden approved"
Having been the first book I read by Michael Crichton, I must say I could only hope the rest of his books are on par with Jurassic Park.
Crichton truly wrote a page-turner having kept me thoroughly entertained from start to finish even having seen the movie. Unless you were born yesterday you have seen Jurassic park, and liked it. In short, a diverse group of inspectors travel to ambitious Dr. Hammond's island where they find the doctor decided to play god and take dinosaurs off the extinct species list. On the island they find themselves and Hammond's grandchildren in a slight predicament when Ian Malcolm's chaos theory takes effect, and the dinosaurs break free. Crichton devises plenty of colorful and outright brutal ways to bite the dust as the group encounters troubles in their efforts to get off the island to safety.
Unlike the book, the movie leaves many of the juicy details/entrails out for the practicality of viewer friendliness. With that said, the book Jurassic Park is delightfully gory, and more explicit. Several pages into the book you'll notice stronger plot and character building. In effort to not divulge all details I'll say that several major scenes are omitted from the movie such as baby-eating, chicken-sized dinosaurs found on another island other than the doctor's "Isla Nublar" subtly hinting at a sequel from the start of the book.
Jurassic Park was a great book that I would recommend to anyone looking for a culmination of action, suspense, and stunning realism.

4-0 out of 5 stars Jaws Takes a Back-Seat!
When I was a kid, WGN from New York had a habit of showing "King Kong" every Thanksgiving. I'm not sure if that's completely true or a memory lapse, but I seem to remember that, and it works for purposes of this review. I've always loved dinosaur movies. I'd watch the cheesiest stop-action animation over the best "big lizards" in make-up any day.

Michael Crichton's novel, "Jurassic Park," takes me back to those days. The dinosaurs in Crichton's books are not just animals, they are CHARACTERS. Characters with personality, with wit, with style, and you don't forget them easily. Especially in your nightmares, do you not forget them easily!

Crichton has been criticized, and somewhat rightly so, for his cardboard people characters, but in "Jurassic Park," you know each character; human and saurian alike!

It's a fast read. You can't help but wait to see what's going to happen on the next page! Yet, the book makes the thoughtful reader think a little more. When Ian Malcom discusses the theory of Chaos, the reader begins to think about the madness of life in this day and age, where random chance and inexplicable events seem to shape the fabric of existance. . .

Then Jurassic Park, in the story, comes apart. . .not unlike real life so often comes apart. . .and the reader is swept along on this roller-coaster ride of exquisite story-telling!

BUY IT. READ IT. CONSIDER THE IMPLICATIONS. . . just remember the words of the poet. . .

"there be tigyeres here. . ."

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't Put it Down
Sometimes, in reading science fiction books, readers get lost in the scientific mumbo-jumbo of it all. Other times, the story is the predominant feature and the scientific parts of the book are overlooked. Jurassic Park is one of the rare books that pleases both perspectives. While some of the ideas are far-fetched (what sci-fi book doesn't have those?), the story makes it all believable and entertaining at the same time. The book was so well-written that it puts the movie version to shame! Even Steven Spielberg (in my opinion) could not capture all the book had to offer. This is a quick read that could be completed in a weekend or over a few nights. This made me a Michael Crichton fan!

5-0 out of 5 stars After all these years...
This is still one of Crichton's best. We all know about the plot to Jurassic Park (if you seen the movie, then you know), but if you don't....then where have you been in the past 11 years?! Jurassic Park is about how cloning Dinosaur DNA (the construction of life itself) from mosquoties trapped in amber. So now Hammond; a rich successful man then comes up with an idea to bring back the dinosaurs and have them in a theme park for the world to see. It sounds nice, but as Dr. Grant, his associate Ellen both palenotiogist (excuse the spelling), Ian Malcom; a math wizard who tell's Hammond and the crew about Chaos Theory and how the park is going to fail. Now you also have the lawyer Mr. Gammond (in the movie he dies, but in the book he lives), and Hammond's grandkids Tim and Lex. We then meet Dennis Nerdy; a programmer who works in the control room constructing the security in the park, Mr. Arnold, another programmer who is overseeing the park itself. Then Mr. Wu; a scientist who clones the animals. Now the thing is that Mr. Wu tells the crowd that all of the dinosaurs are female so they cannot bread. But then Dennis Nerdy is the man in to grab the dino embroys to sell them to a man named Donson; both of them will be billionaries by selling the embroyos to coporations and so forth. With this Nerdy then SHUTS DOWN ALL THE POWER to the park so he can go in there and get the embroyo's which Dr. Grant, Tim, Lex, Dr. Malcom out there in the park looking at it. Then the T-Rex comes out and sideswipes one of the cars which Lex and Timmy are in. Dr. Grant then get's thrown in with them. So now they are in the park with the dinosaurs.
Nerdy then grabs the embroyos and tries to get to the docks with Dondon is. Except he is killed by one of the free animals.
So while the whole crew is trying to find him, they are stuck with no power! Now in the park, Dr. Grant, Lex, and Tim are trying to get back to the visiting center which is not a easy feat. They come across the T-Rex and raptors along the way. So now, Ian Malcom's Chaos theory is right. These animals are living in a different world, and they cannot be house-trained because that is not how God created them. Man brought back animals that were dead for 65 million years, and man didn't know how to contain them. That is pretty much the whole book in a nutshell. The action is GREAT! There is more scenes in which the movie didn't have, but just read the book and trust me it is worth reading.

3-0 out of 5 stars Jurassic Park
I have always enjoyed reading books by Michael Crichton, and this one is no different. He does a great job of keeping the reader involved.
When agroup of scientists are invited to an island, they did not know the adventure that they would soon embark. When they arrived, they found a park full of creatures that were thought to be extinct. Yes..... they were dinosours. Created by an old millionaire, with a love for the monsterous creatures, the park was designed in hopes of eventually becoming a high tech zoo. The scientists loved the park, until everything started to go wrong.
All in all, this is a great science fiction book that is enjoyable for people of all ages. It's a great read that makes you want to keep going. You can never anticipate what happens next. This is, in my opinion one of Crichton's best works. ... Read more


196. Breeding Ground
by Jaid Black
list price: $13.49
our price: $10.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1419951289
Catlog: Book (2004-10-31)
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Sales Rank: 8054
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197. On Stranger Tides
by Tim Powers
list price: $89.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441626866
Catlog: Book (1988-10-01)
Publisher: Ace Books
Sales Rank: 266321
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Too Good to Be True
This was the first Powers book that I ever picked up, back in the '80's, and he immediately became one of my favorite authors. This is the perfect pirate story, the characters are well-written and the original 'explanations' Powers concocts to cover some of history's puzzling moments are works of genius. If you enjoy fiction, you must read this book...and if you do, you'll surely be a Powers fan for life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Average Powers still better than most
For some absolutely bizarre reason some person gave this book to my grandfather (whose favorite book is Popular Science) thinking that he might like it. So that explains how I wound up with this novel, which I had actually been seeking out for some time. And it turns out to be an awful fun read, not as consistently dazzling as The Anubis Gates or Last Call, but definitely falling into the solid entertainment catagory. Powers turns back to the clock to the time of the pirates, and into that pot throws voodoo magic, zombies, sorcerers and the Fountain of Youth. His plotting remains are deft as ever, although everything feels relatively straightforward this time, most of the major twists you can see at least a portion of them coming from somewhere, there isn't a huge amount of complexity going on and overall it's probably safe to say not a lot really happens. But even Powers on auto-pilot has much to offer and his depiction of the pirate community is great fun and the introduction of the fantasy elements never feels forced or contrived, the journey to the Fountain of Youth is one of the book's creepiest and most magical moments. And even though there's not a huge amount going on, Powers keeps the action coming and moves things along swiftly enough that at least you're rarely bored, even if you're being more entertained than amazed. To date, Powers hasn't written a bad book and he still has tons more imagination than most of his writing peers so that his novels are at the very worst merely interesting instead of jaw droppingly good. That's the case here, you'll find the book a pleasant enough time but it certainly doesn't rank with his best work. Still, it's great fun and who said being merely entertaining was bad? This should be next on the list after you've whetted your appetite with The Anubis Gates or Last Call. You won't be disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Voodoo pirates
Other reviewers have dealt with the plot in great detail, so I'll limit myself to saying that the cross-over of genres between voodoo and piracy is brilliantly executed. This is, in my opinion, the best book by Tim Powers, with the possible exception of "Declare." That "On Stranger Tides" may be sold for almost thirty dollars in "acceptable" condition shows the tremendous demand for it by cognoscenti.

Blackbeard the pirate with slow matches smouldering in his beard -- a terror to behold. He's even more terrible when you learn WHY he keeps those matches smouldering, and why he's made common cause with an insane one-armed widower who carries his dead wife's head in a box, ably assisted by a lecherous "student" whose has two main aspirations: to win the love of the widower's bewitched daughter, and to ... well ... to become God. Opposing them is reluctant puppeteer-turned-pirate Jack Shandy, who wants nothing more than to claim his stolen inheritance ... and to win the girl, of course.

This one proves the rule that "price denotes quality" -- of the text, if not the physical medium. A beat-up paperback priced more than a new hardback? That means "classic." I strongly reccomend it to all, me 'earties. Aargh!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorites.
This is one of those books I find myself reading over and over again. The historical detail sucks the reader into a fascinating "secret world." I read this book when it originally came out in the 80's and have continued to enjoy it ever since. It's like a vacation for your brain.

5-0 out of 5 stars Never throw a dead bocor into the sea . . .
For the past couple of years, I've been re-reading all the earlier Tim Powers novels -- the yarns that got me hooked on his writing in the first place. He has a way of interweaving tidbits of "real" history with fantasy and mythology, resulting in a "secret history" novel that can have you questioning what's *really* real. In this one, John Chandagnac, son of an itinerant French puppeteer, most recently a bookkeeper in London, discovers that his late father's brother is a wealthy merchant in Port-au-Prince because he embezzled the elder brother's inheritance. John intends to journey to Haiti, get his late father's money back, and see his crooked uncle hang. And the transatlantic voyage is made more enjoyable by meeting young Beth Hurwood and her father, a one-armed Oxford don. But then life takes a turn. The merchant vessel is waylaid by pirates -- and Hurwood turns out to be in league with them. John is pressed into the pirate crew, is renamed "Jack Shandy," and discovers why Blackbeard twisted smoldering slow-match in his hair and beard. Then the plot really starts to move, with pirates who make everyday use of voodoo (now virtually extinct in the Old World), and a quest for the Fountain of Youth, and a quest to rescue Beth from her father's evil designs, and a renewed quest to even the score with his uncle Sebastian. The last third of the book is narrated at a dead run, as everything comes together and explanations are made for some of the story's more puzzling earlier events. And Jack's skill as a puppeteer comes in very useful indeed. This is one of Powers's best. ... Read more


198. First Meetings : In the Enderverse (Enders, 3)
by Orson Scott Card
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765308738
Catlog: Book (2003-08-05)
Publisher: Tor Teen
Sales Rank: 11190
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Welcome to the Enderverse.

When "Ender's Game" was first published as a novella twenty-five years ago few would have predicted that it would become one of the most successful ventures in publishing history. Expanded into a novel in 1985, Ender's Game won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novel. Never out of print and translated into dozens of languages, it is the rare work of fiction that can truly be said to have transcended a genre. Ender's Game and its sequels have won dozens of prestigious awards and are as popular today among teens and young readers as adults.

First Meetings is a collection of three novellas-plus the original "Ender's Game"-that journey into the origins and the destiny of one Ender Wiggin.

"The Polish Boy" begins in the wake between the first two Bugger Wars when the Hegemony is desperate to recruit brilliant military commanders to repel the alien invasion. In John Paul Wiggin-the future father of Ender -they believe they may have found their man. Or boy.

In "Teacher's Pest"-a novella written especially for this collection-a brilliant but insufferably arrogant John Paul Wiggin, now an American university student, matches wits with an equally brilliant graduate student named Theresa Brown.

It is many years since the end of the Bugger Wars in "The Investment Counselor." Ender's reputation as a hero and savior has suffered a horrible reversal. Banished from Earth and slandered as a mass murderer, twenty-year-old Andrew Wiggin wanders incognito from planet to planet as a fugitive. Until a blackmailing tax inspector compromises his identity and threatens to expose Ender the Xenocide.

Also reprinted here is the original landmark novella, "Ender's Game," which first appeared in 1977.

Fully illustrated, First Meetings is Orson Scott Card writing at the height of his considerable power about his most compelling character.
... Read more

Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Children in College, Mr. Card?
First, this is a nice collection. Anytime Card publishes, it's a delight. The stories work, and the original Ender's Game novella is a delight to see.

However. . .I get the distinct mental image of OSC about 3 or 4 years ago reviewing how many of his rug rats would be in college at the same exact time, figuring up how much college costs these days and going into full scale PANIC mode; hence this volume and another Alvin Maker and all those Ender volumes in such a short period of time.

Not that I blame him, and I bought all the books in hardback and enjoyed them more than I've enjoyed most of the books I read. But it's still very interesting to me that he's being so productive and publishing so many "safe" books (i.e. Ender's world books) in such a short time when his kids are at college age.

I pray that none of them want advanced degrees so that Mr. Card may go back to a more leisurely pace and do some original works in the future.

4-0 out of 5 stars Expensive for such a short book
Well written and interesting for all those who have eagerly read the book from the "enderverse". Led together by something other than fate, Ender's parents marry and have super children. Their children's brilliance is unexplained in the novels, and unquestioned, until the Shadow books. Ender's parents are decoded in these short stories as bright individuals born too early for the child military program. The pictures provide in the hardback book are cartoonish and didn't fit with my vision at all. In all actuallity, the drawing were a distraction that I could have done without. The original Ender short story is interesting from a writer's perspective; Orson's skill for story telling has greatly improved since it was written. After reading it, there was no doubt in my mind why he chose Bean to star in his parallel novel.

Overall I enjoyed the novel, though my wallet was still smarting from the price when I finished it. It took me about two movie lengths to finish the book, so it was about two movie tickets worth of entertainment.

Judge for yourself if that is worth the buy. I have the whole Ender collection, so I couldn't leave it incomplete for lack of this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars To buy or not to buy: hardback vs. paperback
I think it's worth it to get the hardback, because there are two problems with the paperback. First, the hardback illustrations are missing in the paperback, and they do change the way I see Ender's parents - Theresa is an entertainingly annoyed and angular grad student, and John Paul's insouciant arrogance and manga-like good looks make a fun contrast.

The other thing about the paperback is that unless I'm much mistaken, it's actually missing text - in story 1 someone is supposed to hit someone else, and it never happens in the paperback version (at least the one that came to Singapore). The text doesn't show any blank paper, but the rest of the plot does refer back to it just like in the hardback version, so I think it's a glaring printers' error.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good stories, but nothing new
I normally don't read short stories, but I liked the Ender series so much, the I thought I would make an exception for this collection.

I enjoyed all the stories, but I didn't feel like I was reading anything all that new. Card did a good job in the original books of giving you an idea of the history of everything, so these stories just seemed to give me more detail about the specifics. I really enjoyed reading the original Ender's Game story again, it makes me want to re-read the book.

All four of the stories were good, so if you are a fan of the Ender series, I would recommend this book, but don't expect anything exceptional.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good backstory.
I would not call these three new works novellas, but simply longish short stories; they are very quick reads.

The most memorable, I think, is "The Polish Boy". Concerning duels between a 5-year-old and various administrative figures, it recalls some of the best of "Ender's Shadow": the illustration of how a very young child can, with sufficient wit and preternatural maturity, overcome adult opposition.

"Teacher's Pest" is the least of the three. It concerns cleverness used in the furtherance of adolescent romance. While this might be as excitingly done as the first story, it would have to be on a higher level of wittiness to succeed as well. But it doesn't reach that level, and it seems a bit pedestrian.

"Investment Counsellor" is set in Ender's "quiet" stage--after he's overcome the trauma of "Ender's Game" and before he's set out upon his Speaker of the Dead life. The fireworks of his passion are missing here--neither his command skills nor his personal interaction livelihood are generating the sparks that provide much of the interest in the books. It's a connector piece, showing some origins of things to come. These are good things, and it's good to have their origins, but it's not very exciting story-telling.

The illustrations do nothing for the book but take up page-space, adding 10 or 12 pages to the total. Without them, the book would be under 200 pages in length--and better, in my estimation. (When are illustrators going to stop putting airplane wings, rudders, and elevators on spacecraft??)

Having the original "Ender's Game" included is rather interesting, allowing for comparison with the novel it spawned. Bean is there, in all his arrogance, but essentially none of the other characters that have made the continuing saga so memorable: no Valentine, no Peter, none of Ender's other sub-commanders, nor his tormentors. The Hive Queen has not yet been imagined, and Buggers are entirely faceless. But all the pathos of the child used as a soldier--that essential kernel is there in boldface. ... Read more


199. Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi - Redemption
by Kevin J. Anderson, Chris Gossett
list price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1569715351
Catlog: Book (2001-07-25)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Sales Rank: 82600
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ten years after the Sith War, the Dark Lord of the Sith`s chief lieutenant, Ulic Qel-Droma has been stripped of his Force powers and has isolated himself in a distant corner of the galaxy, trying to escape from a life he would rather forget. But his past is about to catch up with him as he is tracked down by Vima, the daughter of Nomi Sunrider, the woman who blinded Ulic to the Force. Vima seeks a teacher and Ulic sees in her a chance at redemption. Unfortunately, Vima`s disappearance draws attention, and the search party sent to look for her includes a vicious Jedi seeking revenge upon Ulic for killing her mate. Collecting the four-issue mini-series. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Redemption in the Star Wars universe
Although the universe of Star Wars novels are cluttered with terrible stories, one can always count the talented writers at Dark Horse comics to deliver a redeeming story for fans, and 'Redemption' is a good one.

A sequel to the 'Sith War' and possibly the last of the Tales of the Jedi books, 'Redemption' focuses on Ulic, a Jedi-gone-bad who seeks to find peace from his crimes. Of course, like in all melodrama, this can't be allowed, as the daughter of his former love comes looking for him. Of course, there are those who seek revenge as well, and come looking for it.

'Redemption' is a good story. Not great, but it definately has all the elements for a fun read. There's some action (although not as much as most other Star Wars stories) plenty of angst and drama, and just a touch of romance. A good story and strong characters make this one of the better Star Wars graphic novels out there, and an excellent finale to the 'Tales of the jedi' series.

4-0 out of 5 stars The end of the Great Jedi - Sith Wars?
Redemption takes place 10 years after the Sith War, or on my Time Line, 3986 before NH. It is a TPB Comic collecting the issues 1 through 5 of STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI REDEMPTION.

It is the continuing story of Ulic Qel-droma including Nomi Sunrider. Exar kun has been destroyed and Ulic stripped of his powers. This is his story of redemption, and his journey back to from the dark side. This is also supposed to be a story that is in the holocrons discovered 4000 years later.

We are still in the old republic Era but this comic released in July, 2001 presents Art and coloring that are a stunning improvement. Dark horse is on it way to arriving at the products that they finally start releasing in 2002.

On the SW timeline this is the first time we get to see the future of art, drawing and coloring that dark horse will be putting out in the future and it is spin chillingly great! Made in singapore, the binding is good and can stand the stess of someone actually opening the beook and reading it. After Dark Horse moves manufacture to China, the binding takes a sharp decline. Any attempt to actually open and read the comic can result in it falling apart in your hands.

This is written by Kevin j Anderson, so the continuity and foreshadowing are all here for those who are actively reading the SW offering of comic and Novels. I know Kevin gets his knocks, but I am a fan. He is one of the two authors I'd love to meet and talk to. Kevin, I hope you are alive and well! I also still argue that his JEDI ACADEMY trilogy is extremely important to the expanded universe.

The story at times appears to be a splice job, but that is not uncommon with dark horse. The cover is one of the worst ever produced, so turn the cover page out of site and enjoy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Redemption is something Anderson will never find.
I am a person that loved the old Tales of the Jedi Saga. Originally Started by Tom Veitch, It was a Series ripe with Character, heart, action, and the certain charm that the jedi mythology is known for, all writtem magnificently well. In the Beginning tales of the Jedi was Dark Horses Flagship Star Wars Series. It was a Golden Age.

Then Tom Veitch made a horrible mistake. That mistake was Working with Kevin J Anderson, to create a Villan that would Appear in Andersons Novels, and in the TOTJ Series; Exar Kun. The Villan was one of the favorites in Star Wars expanded universe, but working with anderson meant that Veitch would have to allow Anderson to write the later half of the 12 issue series revolving around Exar Kuns rise to power from Jedi student to Sith Lord. From that Point onward, Thanks to Andersons horrid writing and complete dirth of talent, the TOTJ series started a downward spiral. Andersons Assault and the TOTJ series started with the Sith war, a lackluster story compared to the magnificent Dark Lord Of the Sith Prequal that set it up... Then Anderson Continued to obliterate this once grand series with Golden Age Of the Sith, and Fall Of The Sith Empire. This, was Andersons last chance to revive the series, why they didnt just ask Veitch to write it, I dont know. But this is the last TOTJ story that has been, and likely will ever be published. The Breathtaking and grand saga that Tom Veitch Began, was destroyed by a force darker then any Sith Lord or Dark Jedi; Kevin J Anderson has MUCH to answer for.

In all honesty, for most of this story, it seemed as though Anderson was on the right track. Ulic Found that during a near death experiance, in which he was welcoming death, he had a jedi vision from his dead master. Which should have been impossible, seeing as how his jedi powers were supposed to be sealed. This gave Ulic hope, and purpose to continue living, later... The daughter of the woman he once loved, Vima, showed up asking him to train her in the Jedi arts. Why him, well its a contrived plot point, but Nomi was supposedly too busy As a Jedi to train her daughter, and the other 5000 jedi that were around at the time were busy doing stuff to, or so would Anderson have you beleive. But despite the hideous amount of Plot Contrivance, including Andersons most hideous attempt at a romantic pairing yet, he did manage to create some decent story telling for once... Ulic finds peace with the force, forgive for his crimes, a place back amongst his former comrades, and potentially a way to feel the force once again... Until in the last pages he is shot in the back and killed by a smuggler wanting to be known as the man who killed Ulic Qel Droma, and runs back to the bar to tell his friends. *IM NOT KIDDING*

I dont know what Anderson was smoking at the time, but the thought that this is a suitable way to end Ulics tale of Redemption was just plain Idiocy. In the prior Stories, Ulic had been poisoned by Sith Chemicals, been driven mad by the murder of his master, Disowned the jedi and his lover in his madness, fought and murdered his own brother, and had his Jedi powers sealed by the very woman that once loved him. If he was meant to die, there could have been a thousand more suitable deaths then just to be shot in the back by a unnamed piece of Bar Trash. In the Ten years since he was punished by Nomi Sunrider, his life was one of isolation, and dedication. such a death, is as pointless and meaningless as it is contrived, and a slap in the face of the fans that were looking for The Tales of the Jedi Series to return to its former greatness.

Anderson I doubt will ever write for Star Wars Again, as it is a popular rumor that Lucas himself asked anderson not to write any further tales set in his Universe. Unforutnately the damage is done, and one of my favorite series, is no more. The Title of the story is named redemption, But in the eyes of lucas and casual Fans of the Expanded universe such as myself, Redemption is something Anderson has yet to find.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fitting end to a series
Redemption is the last of the Tales of the Jedi comics, a series that recounted the events during the Great Sith War 4,000yrs ago. Redemption is better read after at least reading Dark Lord of the Sith and The Sith War. The conflicts here are on a personal and emotional level, not another interstellar battle.

A decade after the Jedi defeated the Sith reemergence, a fallen Jedi wonders the galaxy for solitude, blind to the Force and searching for absolution for past crimes. But when a young girl decides he's the ideal candidate to tutor the Force to her, and a bitter Jedi wants to hand justice to an unpunsihed war criminal, they find they all have much to learn from each other on a frozen world.

The quality of art is much better than the horrible fare Tales of the Jedi is renoun for. While the superb art and vibrant colours inherent in current Star Wars comcis was not available at the time of the TOTJ series, that Redemption was clearly better could have said more for its earlier siblings. Here, you won't find salivating mouths, half-rendered illustrations, or simplistic dialogue. The primary characters have defined roles, where age and events have changed appearances, and an ending that will touch your heart.

However, at times there are just too many single, even double, page shots. This flows the pages to the end way too fast. Some panels and scenes were a bit absurd, but the overall quality of this story balances things up. Qel-Droma genuinely looks grey, as though the price of his actions have drained all colour from his features; while young Vima is bright and chirpy, the vengeful Silvar predatory and relentless.

I'll never understand why Nomi is half bald for a human woman.

Overall, if you've suffered through the earlier comics, this one is a fitting end to the series. And even if further fault is found within, solace can be taken in the fact that we are shown places we rarely have seen, and not yet another Tatooine visit for the twentieth time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kevin Anderson WROTE a good story? Judgement day is here...
This takes place some 10 years after The Sith War. All the characters have changed, grown old, morphed (the tiger female looks way cooler) and grown up. Nomi Sunrider's daughter is a teenager now and wants to learn to be a Jedi. Ulic Qel-Droma is hiding on some ice world and wants to die. She seeks him out to learn the ways of the Jedi. The reason I took away a star was because how she found him. Some random guy (who looks exactly like the guys at the start of the original Star Wars) took Ulic to the snow planet and she just randomly picks a ship to stall on and guess who's ship it is? 10 billion people in the universe and she picks the guy who saw Ulic a day earlier. Wow, ironic, eh? There really is no bad guy in this story, it just shows Ulic teaching the girl. The closest thing to a bad guy has to be the good Jedi tiger girl, Silvar. Anyhoo its a good book to end the series with. ... Read more


200. Cyclops (Clive Cussler)
by Clive Cussler
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671704648
Catlog: Book (1989-11-15)
Publisher: Pocket
Sales Rank: 17299
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A wealthy American financier disappears on a treasure hunt in an antique blimp. From Cuban waters, the blimp drifts toward Florida with a crew of dead men -- Soviet cosmonauts. DIRK PITT discovers a shocking scheme: a covert group of U.S. industrialists has put a colony on the moon, a secret base they will defend at any cost. Threatened in space, the Russians are about to strike a savage blow in Cuba -- and only DIRK PITT can stop them. From a Cuban torture chamber to the cold ocean depths, Pitt is racingto defuse an international conspiracy that threatens to shatter the earth! ... Read more

Reviews (28)

4-0 out of 5 stars The best Cussler novel I've read (and I've read six)
Cyclops was the first Dirk Pitt novel I ever read, and actually, that's a bad thing. Because it's the best. Almost all the other books are bogged down in between by scenes of politicians sitting around discussing what they'll do about the badguy when we know that that's toally unnecessary cuz Dirk will eventually just walk in and save the day.

The story flows beautifully until the climactic Cuban island showdown, where Pitt fights Foss Gly. (an absolutely perfect villain, I might add) But the entire last third seems so tacked on and unnecessary and just an excuse to tie up loose threads (and to have really cool destruction scenes, which is cool, but still) that it threatens to ruin the story, and that's why Cyclops gets four stars instead of five.

Now I know all Dirk Pitt novels have to have an unimaginable-treasure-that-no-can-find-but Dirk-manages-to-because-he's-a-genius subplot, but I really do hate it when the treasure has nothing to do with the exciting rest of the story. (see Sahara, Flood Tide, etc.) Of course, the worst was Dragon, when the object appeared to have nothing to do with the story, then it turns out that the plane had been just sitting there all this time with no particular value until it just happen to be an imperative aspect of the Dragon story, but that's for another review.

I assume that all Cussler readers realize that the material truly belongs on the big screen, and I pray that Cyclops, almost more than any other Dirk Pitt novel, can eventually be seen in all its glory in theaters, and that in that case, the story will be trimmed and perfected for shorter showings and easier digestability. I will offer no suggestions for actors.

Cyclops the book remains a spectacular read and Clive Cussler's best novel so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Clive Cussler classic
This contains all the important elements of an enjoyable book. It's got the action, adventure and typical near impossible and impossibe scenarios that make Cussler's books so great. I have read nine of Cussler's "Dirk Pitt adventures" they are all excellent, and completly enjoyable books, this is no exception.

This adventure has battles on military compounds in Cuba to battles on the moon. And as always Dirk Pitt is suave, fearless, and inventive. And for anyone out there who loves classic cars, you'll enjoy brief descriptions of Pitt's collection. So go ahead and help yourself, I'm sure you will enjoy it and many others as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is one of his best!!!
I have read more than ten of Cussler's books and can honestly say that this is one of his finest reads. Lots of nail bitting, edge of your seat action and the usual Cussler twist, but I have to tell you, I could'nt put the book down. Great job!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars another hit
clive takes you thru twists and turns, both natural and man made and the danger is really page turning. a GREAT BOOK TO READ DURING A THUNDER STORM.

5-0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST READS
Clive Cussler is one of my favourite writers.
I would like to thank my friend who introduced me to this author. She recommended his Sahara but i laid my hands on Cyclops first and now wont let go of Cussler.
I however didn't like his The Serpent, which was a total washout. I dont blame him when almost everybody has faltered at some time or the other.
this book is a real roller coaster ride and you will thoroughly enjoy this book.
It crackles at a fast pace and will leave you gasping for more.
The hero Drik Pitt is almost a leged for all Cussler fans....
In me Cussler has his biggest fan....... ... Read more


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