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Cugel the Clever

Cugel the Clever [Kindle Edition]

Jack Vance
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In the dim far future of Earth, when the sun had shrunk to a small red disk in the dark sky and the race of man lived in isolated cities that echoed with the vastness of the world's history, science, myth and magic had become one. Sorcerors who read the books of ancient times held great power, and fearsome monsters created in ages long forgotten stalked the land. In this world of mystery and danger, the adventurer known as Cugel the Clever was forced to undertake a quest for Iucounu the Laughing Magician--a quest that was to take him to lands stranger than any he had dreamed of, and pit his wits and his sword against powers from beyond time itself.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 315 KB
  • Print Length: 106 pages
  • Publisher: Gateway (29 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061QGJB6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #133,455 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny 18 July 2013
By sallyc
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First read as a teenager as The Eyes of the Overworld, it was just as great second time around. I'll probably read it again in a few more years. Cugel is is a fantastic character and Vance draws you into the world of the dying Earth brilliantly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humour At The End Of The World 20 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Whereas the stories in Vance's earlier book The Dying Earth felt mythical and romantic, these tales of arrogant rogue Cugel and his wanderings are cynical, sometimes tragic and always funny. I started off kind of hating the smug opportunistic little git but ended up looking forward to reading the sequel - The SkyBreak Spatterlight, which is even better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking and Breakneck 6 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Jack Vance is renowned as the writer's writer when it comes to fantasy and science fiction. His imaginative thrust is, quite literally, beyond compare, and his baroque and intoxicating writing style, although easy enough to digest, has been rightly referred to as 'word drunkenness.'

I have read many of his books but keep coming back to read the tales of Cugel the Clever, the irascible thief, rogue, knave and, lets be honest, psychopath, who is as alluring as he is frightening.

Set in the Dying Earth created by Vance, the last gasps of a withered sun are a mere backdrop to the fantasy land that people and other beings use a playground.

I find Cugel an immensely interesting character and probably one of the best written characters I have ever read about. He is, in turns, aggressive, conspiring, obsequious and displays an outraged affrontery when anyone displays a negative attitude towards him.

He strolls from conning people to killing aggressors without so much as a contemplative pause. He is a man drive to forward his own achievements despite the huge cost to others.

That such a man can be rooted for is testament to Vance's skills, despite Cugels disgusting characteristics his droll wit, dark humour and wordy responses to agitators will, literally have you laughing your head off.

One scene involves Cugel aboard a raft with a group of devouts enroute to a religious ceremony. Cugel plays dice with them and slowly removes them off their riches. One man cries foul and Cugel is found in possession of loaded dice. In a brilliant turnaround he entreaties the group that the loaded dice are 'curios only' and, with his repartee, turns the group against the man who accuseds him of of foul play.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for all fans of fantasy 8 Aug 2012
By Phil Jensen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Jack Vance has offered many unforgettable masterpieces to the Fantasy and SF genres, and this may be his greatest. It is the second book of the Dying Earth quartet, but can be read first. The first novel in the series, "Mazirian the Magician," is composed of short stories which share a setting but no plot or characters with the Cugel novels.

If you are a fantasy fan, you should read this book. If you like the idea of fantasy, but are sick of Tolkein/Howard knockoffs, then you must read this book. It contains two of the greatest characters in fantasy: the amoral trickster Cugel, and the devious Laughing Magician. Over the course of the novel, Cugel negotiates a series of obstacles, mostly solved by manipulating the irrational taboos of the societies that he encounters. The novel is fascinating, fast-paced, hilarious, suspenseful, and creative.

As a trivia note, the Dying Earth books were favorites of Gygax and Arneson and influenced the formation of D&D.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 7 Jun 2012
By Domestic Goddess - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This is probably the biggest must read for author Jack Vance. The language, the world, the plot... I can't say more without spoiling the story. If you like fantasy, get this before another second of your life passes by.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book now 20 Jun 2013
By Walter Jackson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It continues to astound me that I only stumbled onto Jack Vance's novels through a tribute compilation (Songs of the Dying Earth). Cugel the Clever is maybe one of the best novels I've ever ever come across. Diabolically funny, fascinating in it's Edwardian (?) use of the English language, and at times terrifying. Cugel roams a world lit by the dying light of a sun millions of years in earths future and it's inhabitants, many of which are non human, seeing the possible end in sight, treat each other in ways that make for great reading. Stop reading this review and buy this great book now.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Jack Vance story 1 April 2013
By JDV - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Cugel the Clever is a tongue-in-cheek story that takes place in Jack Vances' Dying Earth setting. Cugel is a rogue who is not above lying and stealing to get ahead, however, many of the characters he encounters are also of dubious moral stature and the contest is over who will cheat whom. I enjoyed this book and it's sequel, "The Skybreak Scatterlight". Both are full of the weird people and cultures that Jack Vance excels at.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Genius 16 Aug 2013
By T Johnson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Vance captured human behavior in all its forms inevitably told via the actions of mostly amoral individuals. He did it in an incredibly imaginative way that is really unparalleled.
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