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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the pleasures of intelligent writing, 16 Feb 2009
By 
Joanpau Rubies (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Solitudes (The Aegypt Cycle, Book 1) (Paperback)
This is a complex, long, ambitious novel, set in 1980s New York (the setting is semi-mythological) but harking back to the Renaissance; written in a careful, beautiful prose; it is a sophisticated work with lots of flashbacks, alternative paths and hidden references, some erudite, others simply literary - dramatic and psychological. The book is about history, or perhaps rather, the magic in hidden, alternate history, and especially about the writing of a history that never was and yet existed in people's minds. It may confuse some readers, and it goes slowly.

I first came across this book, the first part of an ongoing tetralogy, in the late 1980s, then lost sight of it, and could not find it anywhere (it was out of print for many years). It was never far from my mind, even as (as a Renaissance historian) I read and discarded Francis Yates and Ramon llull and moved on towards other, less Neoplatonic threads. In the meanwhile I read Little, Big, and other books by John Crowley. When Daemonomania, volume three of the series, first came out, it was upsetting that Aegypt/The Solitudes remained unavailable. Now, finally, this nice paperback reprint has given me the pleasure of a long-awaited read. This is really one long book in four parts, to be read together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, 10 Jun 2012
By 
Gareth Power - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Solitudes (The Aegypt Cycle, Book 1) (Paperback)
It took me about four attempts to get into this beautiful book, but once I did I was hooked and was completely immersed in it right to the finish.

Crowley's prose is world-class. His particular strength, for me anyway, is his ability to make you feel like you're grasping little pieces of the ineffable.

The historical vignettes about Shakespeare and Dr Dee were particularly enthralling.

My one quibble is that the central character seems to be little bit of a cold fish, and a bit humourless. It makes me feel that there's a dimension absent from what otherwise is an incredibly rich and multi-faceted story.

But that's just a personal thing that may apply to no one else.
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The Solitudes (The Aegypt Cycle, Book 1)
The Solitudes (The Aegypt Cycle, Book 1) by John Crowley (Paperback - 2 Oct 2007)
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