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The Boat of A Million Years Paperback – 28 May 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; New edition edition (28 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765310244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765310248
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 344,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Succeeds admirably!" -- "The New York Times "Here at last, the big Anderson book we've all been waiting for! An unforgettable novel, with a cast as big as mankind and an adventure that charts the course of time. Read it, enjoy it, savor it...this may well be the best book of the year, hell, decade."---Jerry Pournelle "This is the book we've all been waiting for!"--Joe Haldeman

About the Author

The bestselling author of such classic novels as "Brain Wave" and "The Boat of a Million Years," Poul Anderson won just about every award the science fiction and fantasy field has to offer. He won multiple Hugos and Nebulas, the John W. Campbell Award, The Locus Poll Award, the Skylark Award, and the SFWA Grandmaster Award for Lifetime Achievement. His later books include "Harvest of Stars, The Stars are Also Fire, Operation Luna, Genesis, Mother of Kings, " and" Going for Infinity," a collection and retrospective of his life's work. Poul Anderson lived in Orinda, California where he passed away in 2001.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Poul Anderson's book follows a handful of characters through millennia of their unnaturally long lives. We first encounter them in ancient times and hide with them in the dark corners of history from the jealousy and superstitious fear of others. The author's braided story structure resembles a Tom Clancy novel as the characters paths first twist near each other and finally come together. Once united in the "present," this small band of immortals shapes the future by helping medical researchers share their immortality with humankind. The original immortals then crew a spaceship in search of nonhuman civilizations.

The first half of this book, from the past through present time, is excellent. Readers feel the special concerns of long-lived individuals among normal humans. We feel the pain of losing loved ones to death, and the different pain of love grown cold. The lessons we learn ring true--lessons about keeping secrets, hiding up treasure, and always preparing to run from that heavy knock on the door. The suspicion and distrust of others makes the few good relationships precious, and is believable motivation for our heroes to find and join with other immortals.

I wish the book had ended shortly after the immortals found each other. The transition to the "normal" science fiction of space exploration is jarring. In my opinion, it was not particularly interesting space exploration, either. I continued on out of loyalty to the characters, having spent so many centuries with them. Perhaps it was part of the author's strategy to make readers feel trapped with the characters the same way some of them did with each other. I think a good editor should have removed the future scenes, leaving us with excellent historical fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John Frank Herbert on 1 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
Not so much a book, more an unforgettable experience. This fascinating theme of immortals living through our time zones had me hoping that we'd meet famous historical characters along the way, but it doesn't happen; yet strangely enough their relatively ordinary lives enhances the believability of the whole concept.

And of course you're dying to know what happens to them in the end when they hit modern times and beyond. My only reservation - I was hoping for a punchier ending.

Having said that I would heartily recommend this epic saga.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian T on 4 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once you embrace the neo-classical prose, you realize the author cleverly uses that delivery tactic to put the reader in the zone, the prose "evolves" with the story, I haven't checked but I suspect the word "yonder" must have an inclusion on every page. I fully accept that the author is describing a timeline story and needs to impact the reader with the longevity of immortals and he does that well.
And hats off to him for touching on the issues later in the story which would arise with greater information distribution in the media, which would only be 100 times worse now with social media but he could see that coming; Visionary stuff - which is why we read it.
Regretfully for me, it did fail to deliver in the final stages as I think so much more could have been done to round it off - I first read this on original publication on paper no less and revisiting it still held the same wonder of a good story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave Jackson on 11 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this novel by Poul Anderson when I was in my early twenties. That is a lot of years ago now. I was browsing Amazon for 'old' book titles when it came up, and I thought a re-read might be in order. Well I was not disappointed, the story I remembered had not changed (why should it) after all these years. I fine read, if a bit dated when it comes to the technology in the later chapters, but you can't have evrrything. Technology advanced beyond even a Sci Fi writers imagination.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Graham Wright on 15 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First read this novel thirty something years ago and its lost none of its charm or engagement with the passing of all that time. Only difference was yours truly moving into the digital age with a kindle. Its inventive, filled with rounded characters and doesn't treat the prospect of long life as just a hook on which to hang a story. Well researched historicallky. Can recommend
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