- Paperback: 768 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (14 Jun. 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1857983270
- ISBN-13: 978-1857983272
- Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 4.7 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The First Book of Lankhmar (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 14 Jun 2001
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More About the Author
The First Book of Lankhmar is one of a series of Fritz Leiber's stories, involving Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, which are among the best pulp fantasies ever written. Leiber was an intelligent and gifted writer who, throughout his adult life, used the sensitive barbarian hulk and the "not as clever as he thinks he is" urban rogue as voices for the two sides of himself. Some of the stories here are hilarious farces, others exciting adventures, a couple passionately sad tragedies of disappointment and lost love. Somehow Leiber manages to keep the same consistent tone in these stories, in which he was learning his craft, as those from later in his distinguished career. This omnibus compilation brings together four collections that deal with the earlier stages of the rogues' lives. The title correctly emphasis Lankhmar--the Alexandria-like metropolis where they experience many of their set backs and adventures--because over the years Leiber never took them away from it for very long. Particular highlights here include "Lean Times in Lankhmar", in which they discover the seamier sides of temple protection rackets, and "Ill Met in Lankhmar", in which we learn how they fall foul of the Thieves' Guild. --Roz Kaveney
Some of the finest heroic fantasy ever written.' SF Chronicle 'One of my very favourite books, by one of my very favourite writers, starring two of the most delightful characters in the history of fantastic fiction.' Neil Gaiman 'Most fantasy writers, if asked, admit that Fritz Leiber is our spiritual father, and for the most part we're sweating to keep up, let alone overtake him.' Raymond E. Feist 'A writer who is, in my opinion, still the greatest of us all.' Michael Moorcock; 'The most literate and important sword and sorcery series.' Mike Ashley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
For those who've not heard of them, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are, respectively, a northern barbarian and a city slum kid who get together in the third story (the first two stories introducing them seperately.) Despite being two very different people they get on and after tragedy strikes in the third story go wandering off around the world engaging in various types of (usually illegal) business. Thus far they're similar to Conan. But the stories differ in being more cerebal, exotic and entertaining than Conan. Lets face it, Conan's response to any problem is to hit it. Fafhrd and the Mouser do hit things but, and this sounds terrible, are usually more thoughtful about it. What I'm trying to say here is that the appeal of Conan (and I am a fan of Conan) is his brute fury, his barbarian rage. That's not the case here, the characters are far more thoughtful and realistic, they do get angry but it isn't their central characteristic, there's more to them than that.
And the writing is wonderful. Leiber was able to describe the weird, the wonderful and the exotic in ways that hold your interest and never becomes overblown. The world in which Fafhrd and the Mouser live is magical and yet also deeply sordid and decadent and Fafhrd and the Mouser too are ocasionally engaged in sordid and reprehensible deeds. The result is to have a world and heroes which are both more realistic and more entertaining than most of the current crop of Fantasy writers.
These are the best of the Lankhmar stories.Read more ›
The stories can be hit or miss, and as other reviews have noted, they're best enjoyed in small sips rather than a full dose, but by god, when they're done well, only Robert E Howard's Conan series comes close to matching them.
I whole-heartedly recommend these stories to all lovers of Fantasy fiction, and am deeply baffled by the mediocre reviews this book has received, for it is certainly undeserving of them.
Read and enjoy - These are great romps, full of ale and adventure, that never fall fowl of the "men with big muscles hitting monsters and rescuing pneumatic amazons" trappings that some pulp fantasy has....
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must background-read (along with "Conan Chronicles"). Maybe a bit juvenile storyline - but explains totally the basics of all "AD&D" -characters and adventures.Published 8 months ago by tero mikkonen
Before reading this book I’d heard a lot about it. The saga of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Fritz Leiber was apparently responsible for the invention of the term, “Sword and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by SirChutney
Great book reread for the first time in 30 years. Still an excellent read that puts many of the modern books to shamePublished on 18 Oct. 2013 by Dave
I used to read a lot of fantasy, and have read most of the 'greats' . This is not one of them , this book is awful. Read morePublished on 4 April 2012 by Mr. T. Eagling
I don't get why the Lankhmar stories are praised to high heaven. In theory I should have loved this. Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2012 by Jason
This is not one book, but five books in one binding.
In fact, it's not even that. It's a few dozen short pulpy adventure tales, divided into five nominal books, bound... Read more
A weighty tome of easy-going spell and hackfests, providing a good dose of entertainment in a light hearted manner. Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2006 by A. Johnston