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The Graveyard Game (Company) [Paperback]

Kage Baker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Jan 2005 Company (Book 4)
You wouldn't take Lewis for an immortal cyborg: he looks like a dapper character from a Noel Coward play. And Joseph - short and stocky in his Armani suit, with a neatly trimmed black moustache and beard that give him a cheerfully villainous look - you'd never guess that his parents drew the Neolithic cave paintings in the Cevennes. What are these two operatives of the Company doing in an amusement arcade in San Francisco in 1996? They're looking for Mendoza, fellow cyborg of Dr. Zeus Incorporated, who has been banished Back Way Back. They're also trying to solve the mystery of her impossibly-reappearing mortal English lover. Soon they will begin uncovering some extremely hush-hush stuff about what the Company has been doing with the cyborgs it no longer wants in the field.

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The Graveyard Game (Company) + Mendoza in Hollywood (Company Novel)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (28 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765311844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765311849
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 822,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"I recommend this without reservation. It's smart, funny, and sardonic: nicely blended portions of each. Crisp, skillful writing and can't-miss characters kept me up until two in the morning. I expect you'll lose sleep, too."--Harry Turtledove

About the Author

Kage Baker is best known for her time travel series about The Company, of which this is the fourth volume and, more recently, for her popular fantasy novel "The Anvil of the World." Born in Hollywood, California, she has been a graphic artist and mural painter, a playwright, bit player, director, teacher of Elizabethan English for the stage, stage manager and educational program coordinator. She lives in Pismo Beach, CA.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And I thought the world was ugly *now* 11 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
Four books into Kage Baker's science fiction series about "The Company," and things are getting quite interesting. The Graveyard Game is yet another standout addition to a series that doesn't stop, as we learn even more sinister secrets about the Company and how it handles the immortals that it has created. Baker's writing seems to have matured, tackling an even broader story that encompasses not only the personal (as she has done superbly before) but also the politics. She takes bits and pieces that have only been hinted at in previous books and ties them up, leaving us with even further questions about what is going to happen. With three more books left in the series (and the next one is coming out this year!), the situation is wide open. I love being along on this ride, and part of me wishes it wouldn't stop. With The Graveyard Game, Baker continues the roll she's been on since the hiccup that is Sky Coyote (and I say this to indicate that I don't necessarily like everything she's written).
The Graveyard Game opens in 1996, with one of Mendoza's best friends (Lewis) wondering what happened to her, especially after he briefly encounters a version of her that was inexplicably thrust forward from 1862 (before she ran away). He tries to recruit Joseph into his search, who is more than willing to join. It seems he thinks he saw Mendoza and her lover in 1923, plus he feels responsible for her. Years pass as their investigation continues, and they uncover more and more dirt on the Company. Why do some operatives disappear with no record? Why, as the 24th century approaches (this book actually ends in the late 23rd century), do secrets become even more impenetrable? Why is there little record of what happens leading up to 2355?
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Graveyard Game (A company story) 20 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback
The story depends on your knowledge about what was going on before. It answers some questions, opens up many new ones, and gives you a hint about what might have happened before this novel's narrative took place. I liked this book, too. I recommend it to to all readers who like the company stories.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fortunate preview 7 Sep 2000
By Wayne Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was both fortunate and cursed if you will, by the occasion of borrowing a galley copy of this book. The latter for I shall have to wait another 18 months or so before reading the possible fifth book in the 'Novels of the Company' series. (Provided I cannot again get chance at a preview). The former for it is an excellent ride of a book, carrying me on a Mr. Toads wild ride at times around the world.
The best thing I could say about this book I think would be to tell you that I intend to purchase this book immediately. And, I've already read it once!
I'm also a fan of Asimov's Science Fiction and Amazing Stories, both of which have printed related novellas and short stories which really add extra flavor to this book series. I constantly found myself connecting the dots as they say, which added to the experience.
Mind you the story stands on its own, but I implore you to read the whole lot! Ms. Baker is a consumate story teller, I found myself really THERE with Joseph and Lewis. If you pick up this book I guarantee you will never look at two locals in California the same again, Catalina Island and Ghiradelli Square. I defy you not to laugh out loud at the antics of Joseph and Lewis in San Francisco in the late 1900's. I found myself saying "Of course he would! I would!"
I cannot type more for fear of spoiling my favorite parts for the rest of you.
Read this book! If for no other reason than so you may wait with me for the next wonderful installment!
-wayne
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You weren't expecting closure... or were you? 19 Jun 2002
By Kim Unertl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have to admit that my review is going to be a bit skewed because I was definitely expecting things that this book did not deliver. I don't necessarily think it's Kage Baker's fault. She really didn't lead me on or anything. But really, I was expecting to find out exactly where Mendoza was, to find out what happens after 2355 (when the big silence falls), and to understand what the heck was going on. I don't really feel like I got any of those things from this book, but I did get a very entertaining and fun story.
The most important thing for you to know before you buy this book is that you should do some pre-reading. Although the story does stand on it's own, it will make a heck of a lot more sense if you've read Baker's earlier Company books. BUT in addition to reading the books (Garden of Iden, Sky Coyote, and Mendoza in Hollywood), you'll understand a lot more of what is going on if you read Baker's short stories featuring several characters important to the story. The only place that I know of to get these stories is online at fictionwise.com. It's a set of 6 stories that explain where the heck these characters came from and what they are doing.
If there is any shortfall in this book, it is in the details missing from the story but present in the short stories. Since I had read the short stories already, this didn't bother me. But if you haven't read the short stories, I personally think you will spend a lot of time scratching your head and going "what the heck?", "huh?", and "who is THAT?!?".
When last we saw everyone's favorite Company operative Mendoza, she was having a major breakdown and killing a bunch of mortals. Then she disappeared. Graveyard Game (which has oddly few graveyards) is about her friends Joseph and Lewis searching for her. Joseph was the operative who originally recruited Mendoza and it seems like he feels a lot of personal guilt for what has happened to her. Lewis has a bit of a crush on Mendoza and he's also fascinated or possibly obsessed by her love affair with "the tall Englishman" (Edward).
This book is radically different than the early Company novels because all of those novels start in the past. This novel starts around the current time and moves forward from there. One of Baker's major strengths in earlier novels is that she is great at writing historical fiction. She puts in all sorts of neat details and goes to the extra effort to make her history believable. In earlier novels, I could always understand the perspective of the cyborgs with their technological sophistication reacting to backwards mortals. However, in the Graveyard Game, Baker does a relatively good job of showing people in the future. I had a harder time understanding the world she was creating, though.
Overall, as with all of the earlier company novels, a fun read and definitely worthwhile.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Company Novel 28 Feb 2001
By Michael Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Kage Baker churns out another of her fantastic novels starring a group of immortal time-traveling cyborgs. 'The Graveyard Game' picks up where 'Mendoza in Hollywood' left off. Mendoza, having violated Company directives, is exiled to Back Way Back, many many thousands of years in the past. 'The Graveyard Game' relates the quest of two cyborgs, Facilitator Joseph (a main character from Books 1 & 2) and Literature Specialist Lewis, to find Mendoza and discover the ugly truth behind The Company's secrets.
Secrets like, what happened to the prehistoric Enforcers? What lies behind the mysterious date of 2355? And what happens to good cyborgs gone bad?
I love Baker's Company novels. They're well-written and easy to read. Baker creates enjoyable characters that stay within their parameters. They don't veer off into directions that leave the reader shrugging shoulders in exasperation. I enjoy the fact that Baker incorporates Cyborg characters from her other novels and short stories. It's fun to see how the various characters mature and grow over the centuries (especially watching Latif grow from a child to a cyborg).
Baker's novels are light easy reading. They won't challenge you, but they will intrigue you and more than likely keep you up past your bedtime. Recommended.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, someone is destroying the immortals 13 Mar 2001
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The 'Company' controls time, sending its immortal agents to capture and 'save' lost plants, books, artwork, and whatever else might have value in the future. Yet all of the company's power seems unable to prevent the spread of plagues that decimate the world's population and earthquakes that destroy much of the rest of the world. Or is it, perhaps, that the company is behind this destruction and lying even to its own agents?
Two immortals, Lewis and Joseph, share an obsession with a strangely vanished immortal, Mendoza. Immortals are not supposed to disappear--they are, after all, immortal and Joseph and Lewis have all the time in the world to find her. As they investigate, they discover that more and more of the immortals have vanished, are vanishing as the world counts down to the year when all future communications ends.
Just by looking, Lewis and Joseph create powerful enemies, yet they seem compelled to continue, to take risks that their thousands of years of life must tell them are dangerous. Their obsession continues to tug them on, however.
Kage Baker does a wonderful job describing a future that is bleak largely because of people trying to do good--and an organization of incredible power but riddled with factions seeking their own, conflicting, goals. The concept drives the novel even when some of the individual characters are not fully motivated.
I found THE GRAVEYARD GAME to be both page-turning and thought provoking--a powerful combination.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Yet And Tantalizing! 12 Feb 2001
By Kathleen Bartholomew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Every one of Kage Baker's Company books are great, either alone or taken as a series. This one, though, is the finest and most complicated yet. It's darker, but not bleak - a mature, complex story, very satisfying in itself and yet definately whetting the reader's appetite for more, more, MORE!
The New York Times said that if John Le Carre wrote science fiction, it would read like the Graveyard Game. I think it's better than that: Le Carre lacks the intimate connection with the fate of the characters that Baker does so well and so easily. She clearly cares about her heroes, even when putting them through horrific adventures and fates - and because she does, so do you.
As always, her evocation of place and time is flawless. It's even more interesting this time, since so much of the Graveyard Game takes place in the actual future. It's not a particularly NICE future, but it's awfully believable. And as usual, even her darker visions are leavened with genuine humor and stalwart heroism. Joseph and Lewis shine.
They also entertain richly. There are scenes that are fall-off-your-chair funny (you'll never be able to keep a straight face in an ice cream parlor again) and absolutely gripping action takes, like the fate of the famed Lost Ninth Legion of the Romans. Ms. Baker continues to add romance to her story, so sadly lacking in most science fiction, but this time it's definately guy-stuff romance: toughness. Heroes. Action, adventure and chivalry, determined fights for lost causes.
This is great story telling. I recommend it highly, and can hardly wait for the next one!
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