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4.0 out of 5 stars really glad I've read this book
Really, really glad I've read this book. I'd make 3 comments on this: 1) A good read; its simplistic prose hides different levels with many sections where you want to stop and think about the previous sentence. It reminded me of The Prophet in that respect. 2) It has greatly enhanced my understanding and enjoyment of the Clockwork Angels album. Is it just me (being dim)...
Published 4 months ago by Neil A Singer

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm...
I love the Clockwork Angels album and was hoping this book would expand on the story. It does do this and the story in itself is a good enough adventure story, with, as has been pointed out already, plenty of Rush lyrics and song titles sprinkled throughout. However, the style of writing was IMO a complete let down. It felt to me that it was written by someone who has...
Published on 3 Dec 2012 by Amazon Customer


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm..., 3 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Hardcover)
I love the Clockwork Angels album and was hoping this book would expand on the story. It does do this and the story in itself is a good enough adventure story, with, as has been pointed out already, plenty of Rush lyrics and song titles sprinkled throughout. However, the style of writing was IMO a complete let down. It felt to me that it was written by someone who has never written before, attempting to write an adventure story aimed at 10 year olds. The simple vocabulary and descriptions were almost embarassing at times and the book lacked any real pace/excitement/danger etc. - almost as if the author had no experience of ever writing an adventure before. I've not read any other work by Anderson so can't say if this is how he always writes and have no desire to find out. I'm convinced that the same story in another authors hands could have been a 5 star cracker.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but lacking, 25 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Hardcover)
Clockwork Angels: The Novel is the novelization of Canadian rock band Rush's 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels. The album itself is of a concept that made the band famous on "2112": excellent musicianship twinned with story-led lyrics, producing a wholly satisfying and engaging musical experience that I thoroughly recommend. And while the book here presents itself as a competent side to the main dish that is the album, as a standalone product it is found wanting.

Owen Hardy, and indeed most of the other characters (with the exception of the Watchmaker and the Anarchist) are gravely underdeveloped, and in truth it is hard to care what happens to any but the aforementioned exceptions. That both of these characters are then left in a disappointing cliffhanger of uncertainty over their fates means that the overall ending of the book also left me dripping with apathy.

The story itself also seems to have been rushed through, and although the author is restricted by the parameters of the album, the parts of the story that stray from Peart's vision and plug the gaps feel like a wasted opportunity. The story jumps from point-to-point, and while each destination is eagerly anticipated, upon arrival you are left very much to feel as though the words on the page really only need one thing; to be replaced by the song that inspired them.

However, I would like to say that I did enjoy the book. Upon reflection, it may not have been as accomplished but it was certainly worth a read. The book is rarely challenging, and presents a getaway into the pages that is easy to follow. With a small application of imagination and empathy, it was possible to bring the story to life and surprisingly, I found my enjoyment of the album was greatly increased as the imagery the book paints comes to the fore when listening. In conclusion: The album is a must-have for rock fans, one of Rush's best in many years, perhaps since Moving Pictures. The book is an easy, entertaining read, but if you are looking for Tolkien-esque story-telling, you will be disappointed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you wish for..., 2 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Kindle Edition)
As an accompaniment to the album, it's ok, but as a stand alone novel this is mediocre at best. If you want to play 'spot the Rush lyric/song title' you're on to a winner, but don't expect this book to be up there with works by Raymond E. Feist or Terry Brooks.
Given the pedigree of the author and collaborator I am extremely disappointed in the quality of writing I encountered. I paid full book price for a work of a quality that would barely qualify as an album insert by Spinal Tap.
As a lifelong Rush fan I feel this does not merit being marketed under the Rush logo.
Buy it at your peril!
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4.0 out of 5 stars really glad I've read this book, 30 July 2014
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Really, really glad I've read this book. I'd make 3 comments on this: 1) A good read; its simplistic prose hides different levels with many sections where you want to stop and think about the previous sentence. It reminded me of The Prophet in that respect. 2) It has greatly enhanced my understanding and enjoyment of the Clockwork Angels album. Is it just me (being dim) or was the concept / story somewhat obfuscated? This book has hugely widened my overall appreciation of the overall concept. 3) Wow, Neil Peart thinks big (he can't stop it). This book has really tied a few threads together that run through the last 30 years of music from Rush. Personal choice. Controlling forces. Opportunity through endeavour.
One aspect I didn't always enjoy was the liberal sprinkling of quotes from Rush lyrics; sometimes they worked and made me smile, sometimes they jarred.
Overall, if you like the band, you need this book. If you don't you'll like it a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clockwork angels, 12 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Hardcover)
Every Rush fan should have one. Well written and beautifully illustrated,highly recommended for the Rush fan in your life. Look out for all the Rush quotes within.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must for all Rush fans, 21 Aug 2013
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Fantastic book - it really brough the album to life. Having been a Rush fan for many years it was also amusing seeing the lyrics from previous albums being interwoven within the book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not thrilling, 2 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Kindle Edition)
Quite without humour and a rather boring, monotonously written depiction of dystopia/utopia themes. An almost childlike story, without enough bright energy in the writing to carry you through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expands on the music LP, 14 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book if you enjoyed the 'Clockwork Angels' album by Rush, as it answers all of the questions you may have had about the story. There are a lot of Rush references in this book too, so Rush fans will have fun spotting them! If you purchase this book you can contact the publisher for a free ebook copy, so this is great value. See details at the back of the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Peart's epic adventure does not disappoint..., 9 Aug 2014
Bought this as a life-long Rush fan and more particularly because I find the "Clockwork Angels" album magnificent. Probably their best work in my view - and after so many years and albums. I was expecting to find the novel a bit contrived, especially since I had heard that numerous Rush lyrics from their whole back catalogue were scattered throughout the text. I was proved quite wrong. I did not find the storyline contrived or predictable at all. Instead, I was pretty glued to Owen Hardy's coming of age adventure and I enjoyed the way the strands and philosophical ideas of the novel got drawn together to a climax which I found quite thought-provoking and even emotional. It's a must for any Rush fan - to support the album and for the lyric references if nothing else. I would also recommend it as a cracking good read for anyone who's never actually been BU2B.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk philosophy, 23 Sep 2012
By 
Theophania Elliott "Theophania Elliott" (Somewhere on this planet, honestly.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Kindle Edition)
Clockwork Angels is the companion book to the new Rush album of the same name. It's a steampunk fantasy describing a young man's dissatisfaction with his safe, ordered life in the Watchmaker's precisely ordered realm (even the rain arrives on time) and his embarkation on an impulsive adventure that rapidly spirals out of control. Through the book, the hero - Owen Hardy - changes from a naive boy to a young man.

However, if you are expecting complex plotting and multi-layered characters, you will not find them. Clockwork Angels is an allegory; Owen's physical journey represents his (and everyone's) journey to maturity, with the inevitable disillusionments and discoveries along the way. As you travel with him, you get to think about the virtue of balance, and the fact that extremes of either order or chaos can be equally undesirable; the nature of life and death; the purpose of imagination; and freedom - the freedom to choose, and the freedom to fail; and more. Some of these concepts occur as themes throughout the book (such as freedom) and others as vignettes covered only in one scene or part of a scene.

Anyone with an interest in philosophy or French literature will recognise a strong resemblance to Voltaire's Candide; in some ways, Clockwork Angels might be regarded as a retelling of Candide for a modern audience; the authors - for I include Neil Peart, Rush's drummer - say in an afterword that Candide 'was an early model for the story arc'. For Rush fans, there are also plenty of references to Rush's previous work.

So in conclusion, you can read this just as a steampunk fantasy and enjoy it, but by doing so I think you would miss out on the best bits. Read it slowly, and allocate it the brain space and time for some good thinking. You'll be glad you did.

So why do I only give it four stars out of five? Because, as I said, it doesn't have complex characters and multilayered plot. Maybe it seems a bit much to demand that AND philosophy as well, but hey, I'm a perfectionist. So sue me.
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Clockwork Angels
Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson (Hardcover - 11 Oct 2012)
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