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Galactic Effectuator [Mass Market Paperback]

Jack Vance
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace Books; First THUS edition (1 Jan 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441272320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441272327
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Two cases in the life of Miro Hetzel, Galactic Effectuator - a private eye. "A clever man, with the soul of a nomad and pretentions beyond his class" as one of his clients says when he tries to crick up his fees. The son of an engineer and a Gael from the Isle of Skye on Old Earth, he 'does' cases for well-off clients with large and strange problems.

The first of the two told cases to us here is about high-tech materials emanating from a planet where *any* tech is forbidden, as the local species, the Gomaz, are ferocious warriors who once almost conquered known space. Three species, including humans, oversee the planet from a single occupied city. At a session of the occupying powers, where Hetzel is about to raise pertinent questions, two of the commissars are murdered - but not all is what it seems.
The second case concerns an old schoolmate of Hetzel's (with a personality at times reminiscent of one of the Devil's Princes, I thought), who is thought to be responsible for the theft of some vital parts of a wealthy socialite - his wedding tackle, to put it politely. Hetzel's old contacts are useful in tracing the culprit, who is very good at disappearing.

I thought the first case, the longer one, was excellent, while the second one was rather solution-driven. But as usual it is not so much the storyline as the atmosphere and Vance's dry observations on human peculiarities that keep us (well, me) spellbound.
Four-and-a-half stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Miro Hetzel is the long-suffering wheeler-dealer protagonist linking two stories previously published separately, 'The Dogtown Tourist Agency' and 'Freitzke's Turn'. This takes place in Vance's usual future history.

Jack Vance has an instantly recognisable idiosyncratic style, and we are not disappointed here, especially when reading between the lines. The Effectuator Hetzel might be a Detective, or a Mercenary, or a Con-man, or perhaps even poetic justice personified. But somehow he always seems to rise above adversity on behalf of the most deserving people, and the villans are suitably discomforted.

But then consider the imagery, the descriptions of characters and worlds, the shady dealings and even shadier dealers. This book is wonderful for immersing oneself in an escape to another place and another time. The pictures in the mind are fantastic.

Why only four stars? It feels to me as if it has been hurriedly cobbled together, and I would have liked to have read more about this character, it all seems to end a bit suddenly. In my opinion it is not quite up to Vance's usual standard, but still better than most other SF authors.

His earlier and more rounded creation Magnus Ridolph can be found in the Ace double The Many Worlds Of Magnus Ridolph / The Brains Of Earth which is very similar in style and character.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Galactic Effectuator - Sci-fi PI 13 Jun 2000
By Bill Dowding - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is an extremely well constructed PI type of adventure set in the far distant future, told in his typically highly literate style. The depth of the universe it is set in is ostensibly his usual Gaian Reach, although it smacks somewhat of an earlier model. The proponent, Miro Hetzel, charms, scams and thinks his way through violent but gentlemanly primitives and strange effete cultures to solve the "case" he was originally given - that, strangely, hardly told him what he was in for. Classic Vance, told with his usual brilliance and erudition.I have read it many times, and still have the original copy I bought nearly twenty years ago.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars far adventures 5 Feb 2006
By Penwiper - Published on Amazon.com
The hero of these adventures is a private investigator with a twist, he does not only investigate, but also effectuate a certain result. The name is strange for Jack Vance, the hero's name being Miro Hetzel, probably the author thought of the editor of Jules Verne whose name was Hetzel. With Jules Verne's adventures this book and so many others by Jack Vance share the phantastic scenery, the strange customs and of course the travel and the travails of the hero. Unusual also for Jack Vance is the presence of intelligent, developed, starfaring races which compete with the humans, even though they play little direct role in the plot. So this work stands out in the opus of Jack Vance as portayal of vastly different cultures and outlooks from human view, whereas in most of his other books it is just evolved humans who form colorful societies which give the background for the adventures.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange mystery on a far-off planet 26 Mar 2001
By Ventura Angelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jack Vance is the rare writer who can fill you of sense of wonder,entertain and exilarate you...and,contemporarily,be a master of S.F. Mystery.You find yourself investigating a strange world lit with an oddly coloured sun...meet strange people,interact with fierce aliens at home in hot climates.You savor the athmosphere,absorb the feeling.Vance is the artist of alien landscapes.Only a flaw:you can only guess how the Olefract and the Liss look like.A good mystery,and an exquisite Vancean xperience
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dave H 17 Aug 2011
By Dave H - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a fun read, elegant verbiage, melifluous pacing, and somewhat of a departure from the standard fantasy/adventure storylines indited by Jack Vance. The is more of a mystery story featuring Miro Hetzel as an effectuator=private investigator in the fantastical otherworldly environment on the planets Maz and "The Sisters". Truly enjoyable, this book features two separate stories featuring the same protagonist; "The Dogtown Tourist Agency" and "Freitzke's Turn. Vance at his best!
4.0 out of 5 stars I have always enjoyed Jack Vance's eye and his wry voice 3 July 2014
By William Tredinnick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Vale Jack Vance. I have always enjoyed Jack Vance's eye and his wry voice. This is perhaps the first of his books I brought - & lost to some one in an attempt at conversiom. Not a great book; no complex characters; no grand strategy. Just people with flaws being observed & right overcoming might. So reassuring in our world of failing certainties.
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