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The Pnume [Kindle Edition]

Jack Vance
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Kindle Price: £3.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

The Pnume were an ancient race of the planet Tschai, living underground in a vast network of caverns with their human slave-species, the Pnumekin: The Pnume were the historians of Tschai, collecting its past with ruthless and scholarly dedication. Surface-dwellers never saw the Pnume - if they were lucky. Adam Reith was not so fortunate. The Pnume had heard rumors of a strange man, claiming to have come from the planet Earth, and they wanted him for Foreverness, the museum of Tschai life. Adam Reith was about to become an alien exhibit.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 656 KB
  • Print Length: 97 pages
  • Publisher: Gateway (19 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006FIH91E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #299,016 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic sci-fi fantasy 13 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
Welcome to the concluding book in the series set on the planet Tschai. Join Adam Reith as he finds himself opposed against the original inhabitants of the diverse and colourful world Tschai, the Pnume. The whole series set on this planet make compelling reading. Vance manages to conjur such vivid scenary, with a depth of realism rarely encountered in sci-fi. You will marvel at the strange races encountered, each with their own traits and idiosyncracies. You will be astounded at the level of detail in the environment of this strange planet. And, above all, you will thoroughly enjoy Adams travels, trials and tribulations from the moment you start reading, until the moment you finsh. A fantastic conclusion, to a brilliant series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Caverns Full of Memories 20 April 2003
By Marc Ruby™ - Published on
Having outwitted the three alien races that dominate Tschai, with the vessel that will take him back to Earth, Adam Reith encounters one last obstacle. The Pnume, who keep millions of years of history crystallized in their caverns have noticed Reith. And have decided he is a prime collectible. Aila Woudiver, who would like to see Reith dead, sells him to the Gzhindra, Pnumekin who wander Tschai's surface in the service of their underground masters.
Reith, by virtue of quick thinking, manages to arrive in the depths as a fugitive, rather than a prisoner. And so begins a series of adventures and travels more extensive than any that have happened so far. He kidnaps a young Pnumekin woman - to be named ZAP 210 and convinces her to lead him to freedom. No small task in a world full of secrets. But with the aid of a stolen map, they are on their way. Gradually, ZAP 210 finds Reith's 'boisterous' behavior less and less repellent. Achingly slowly, their relationship matures and becomes the second story of the series.
Vance gives us a whirlwind tour of yet another facet of life on Tschai, making us privy to the society of the Pnume and their servants. Quiet and subdued, their entire focus is the keeping of 'Foreverness,' their great museum. And on the surface, we discover such thinks as crooked ell racing. Vance again proves his ability to paint his story in vivid colors and deftly go beyond the constraints of simple action fiction.
This ends a series that I will always consider one of Vance's best efforts. He will go on to write countless new tales, and with each one, I always wonder, "Will this be just as good as..." Almost without fail, it is. But only rarely is it better.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vance's finest? 7 Sept. 2007
By Mitchell Glodek - Published on
I read the 1979 DAW paper edition, which has a weak cover illustration, but a charming black and white drawing of one of the title creatures, accurately depicting its skeletal horse head, black hat and black cloak, opposite the title page.

I am a Vance skeptic. I often feel his novels lack plot and characterization, and that the cultures and situations he creates are totally unbelievable, not even internally consistent, and just exist as a frame on which Vance lovingly hangs his long baroque descriptions of clothes, food, and landscape, and a canvas on which Vance paints his unrelentingly cynical and pessimistic view of people and life. Vance, however, is highly regarded, including by people I greatly respect, like Gene Wolfe and Robert Silverberg, so I am still willing to give him a chance now and then. "The Pnume," the fourth of the "Tschai" books, is making me reconsider my harsh assessment of Vance.

Each novel in the Tschai series is better than the one before it, and "The Pnume" is the best Vance I have ever read, focusing more on character development and relationships. I recommend it, and am inspired by it to seek out some more Vance.
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent ending to this science-fiction adventure series 9 Dec. 2013
By Christopher Culver - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
THE PNUME is the fourth and final volume of Jack Vance's Planet of Adventure tetralogy (eventually republished in one volume by Tor), written in the early 1970s. In this series of science-fiction novels, the earthman Adam Reith is stranded on the planet Tschai, home to four different alien races and the human slaves they plucked from Earth in some prehistorical era. In this book, Reith is kidnapped by the mysterious Pnume, the only alien race that is actually indigenous to Tschai, living deep underneath the planet's surface. After Reith has raised scandal all over the planet, the Pnume, who have sat back and let alien races contend on Tschai for their own amusement, want this bold earthman for their underground museum. Reith, however, wants to finish building a new spaceship and get back home.

Before writing the Planet of Adventure series, Vance was commissioned to produce a young adult work. Eventually he added some sex and more profound themes. THE PNUME features more explicit sexuality than the earlier books. A human female that Reith rescues from Pnume slavery knows nothing of human reproduction, but Reith decides to show her in practice, yet another damsel in distress whose weakness and ignorance he takes advantage of to fulfill his own lusts. This tetralogy is definitely of its time, and just a few years later science-fiction would come to examine gender issues and ethics in greater depth.

However, this is an entertaining read, and the underground world of the Pnume is more intriguing and thought-provoking than the dull Dirdir plot of the preceding volume. While this -- and Planet of Adventure as a whole -- is not great literature, it may prove worthwhile for readers interested in classic science-fiction.
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare (for Vance) romance 18 Jun. 2012
By Patrick Moore LMT Educator - Published on
The hero is taken underground by the Pnume, who are the native population of Tschai. Humans also live down there. He happens to pair up with a female who does not realize who she is. It is sort of a coming-of-age story for her, with a hero who has been everywhere and seen everything. However, the hero must now wrestle with the idea of being gentle with a fragile person. All this is quite unusual among Vance novels, and very interesting. I am actually thinking my wife might enjoy this book.

About editions of this book: This is my second reading. The photo for this book at the top of this page is purple, with a drawing of a Pnumekin on the cover. This photo comes from the illustrated hardback edition, which I once owned. Of all the Vance novels I've read, this is the only illustrated one I've seen. The illustrations are great, if you can find one. When buying, if you want the illustrated edition be sure to ask the seller if it is illustrated before buying.

The books were written around 1970. Now all four of the planet Tschai novels are sold as one 500+ page paperback from TOR called Planet of Adventure. You can still find used paperbacks for the last two books, but for the first two are more difficult to find. They are also being reissued as ebooks and kindle now.

About Vance and Kindle: I am TOTALLY enjoying Vance on Kindle. Know why? The dictionary function! In each chapter Vance sprinkles words I don't know, and with the Kindle you can just hover over the word to see a 2-line definition, or click on it to see the full entry from Oxford. Vance the vocabulary teacher!

Jack Vance is my favorite author and I intend to re-read all the novels as they come out on Kindle.
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