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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Shanglestone Strand to Pergolo ..., 26 Jan 2007
This review is from: Cugel's Saga (Hardcover)
For a second time, "Cugel the Clever" has been snatched up and deposited upon a distant and desolate shoreline.

Yet again he must undergo a wild and arduous journey to return home, seeking revenge upon the laughing magician responsible for this cruel joke.

Cugel is a complex man -- affable, capable, indeed often likeable and not averse to lending assistance. But .... when it suits him he can be the most venal, self-centred and devious of creatures.

And "clever" he may be, but he habitually under-estimates others.

Cugel's Saga is witty, thrilling, thoughtful and ... well ... clever ! Packed with ideas and peopled with villains and innocents, it's plain to see how much Vance must have enjoyed writing it.

"Lovingly crafted" may be a cliche, but it's SO apt for this book, as is the simpler term -- "masterpiece".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey through strange lands - evocative writing!, 10 Jun 2010
By 
Henk Beentje "Henk Beentje" (Kew, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cugel's Saga (Paperback)
The book: Cugel 'the Clever' has boobed again, and for the second time he has been transported to the Far North, to make his weary way back to Almery, his homeland. Under the rays of the dying Sun he has to make his way through strange remnant cultures, across weird and wonderful landscapes, alone or in joining caravans, ships with strange propulsion systems, or with assorted companions. He makes fortunes, loses them; most of the time he only has his sword, his boots and his hat as survival tools...

My opinion: Jack Vance is a very special writer. He is sneered at, for writing 'Space Opera' and non-hard science fiction; but in my mind, he is among the very best, because his books inspire my imagination like few others do. His writing is poetic, in a few deft strokes he conjures up whole cultures, wistful landscapes, communities... his personages may not be politically correct (for example, Cugel can be a nasty piece of work at times) or described to a very great extent - but they are vivid personalities, and they remain with me for quite a while. I have been reading Vance since the mid-1960s, and I come back to his books regularly; they are a lasting, deep pleasure. And how many writers can you say that for?
The Cugel books (this is the second, the first being 'the eyes of the Overworld') are mere whimsies, no complicated storylines, 'just' a description of a perilous journey, or quest; they are like a glass of nice wine, drunk with an old friend while overlooking strange, strange landscapes.
There is no-one like Vance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No better fantasy story, 22 Oct 2012
This review is from: Cugel's Saga (Paperback)
There is no better fantasy story than this. The language is rich and seemingly ancient, like the world it describes. The main character is such a rogue that you can't help loving him and laughing out loud at his hopeless self delusion. Read it...you will not be dissapointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The second and final book of "The Eyes of the Overworld", 10 Nov 2011
By 
niels (Santa Monica, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cugel's Saga (Hardcover)
For maximum enjoyment, I'd suggest reading them in order, even though both can stand alone as far as story goes.

Both are like a fantasy version of a road movie about a clever rogue who's luck is sometimes with him and sometimes against... He's not without capability, but he tends to overstretch his good fortune.

Terse dialogs make both books sparkle, and the twists and turns keep you turning the pages while soaking up vividly drawn impressions of everything imaginable.

Yeah, I'm trying hard to talk generalized and not give away any of the story. I do like the first book (The Eyes of the Overworld) better, but both are great.

You'll find that the first book's title "Eyes of the Overworld", which might at first seem like pompous fantasy nonsense turns out to be part of a great and funny parable :D
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Cugel's Saga
Cugel's Saga by Jack Vance (Paperback - 7 Mar 1985)
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