Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly annoying
This book is annoying. Few of the characters are in any way sympathetic. The story meanders.

And then it all suddenly makes sense and becomes somehow worthwhile. Incidentally, I'm not sure that this book has anything to with alternate realities (see other reviews) at all. In fact, I'll go further and say that it definitely doesn't have anything at all to do...
Published on 9 May 2008 by BroDisBoDia

versus
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars V.well written. Interesting concept, weak story realisation
I chose this largely based on the book cover notes with a mind that it may be along the lines of Moorcocks Dancers at the End of Time. Though no relevance to that, Polystom sketches an engaging world , HG Wells/Victorians in Space, however does not follow through with plot execution or characters you really invest in whilst reading the book. On reflection its culmination...
Published on 3 Nov. 2003 by AAEwing


Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly annoying, 9 May 2008
This book is annoying. Few of the characters are in any way sympathetic. The story meanders.

And then it all suddenly makes sense and becomes somehow worthwhile. Incidentally, I'm not sure that this book has anything to with alternate realities (see other reviews) at all. In fact, I'll go further and say that it definitely doesn't have anything at all to do with alternate realities - and the fact that the other reviewers missed this may have something to do with their low scores.

More of a clinical exploration than a breathless dash through otherwise typical space opera territory, a book that demands a little patience as it sacrifices pretty much everything in favour of its high-concept core. But I like high concept.

Finally, one of the things that makes high-concept 'high' is the general irreality of it all. Clearly, there won't be any alternate reality that we can experience. But what happens in this book WILL happen, in some way shape or form. Therefore: read and be intrigued.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophical Steam Punk, 29 Oct. 2010
Adam Roberts writes extraordinary books. There are not many science fiction (or even 'speculative fiction') writers around doing anything quite like Mr Roberts. Saying that, of course, not all his books are equally successful. But, for me, this is a good one.

Perhaps the central idea, not revealed until close to the end, is not wholly original, and perhaps the ambiguity of the ending may leave some dissatisfied but, for me, it works. In fact it couldn't really end in any other way.

Still, getting to the end is a wonderful journey. The book is in three parts: 'Polystom - A Love Story', 'Cleonicles - A Murder Story' and, finally, 'The Mudworld - A Ghost Story'. In the first, we are introduced to this rather unlikely universe of bi-planes flying to the moon and atmosphere surrounding all the bodies of this solar system. The technology is a rather whimsical 'steam punk'; the society too, seems rather Victorian. But really, it's not as clear-cut as that. Many characters have Ancient Greek sounding names - such as Polystom's uncle, Cleonicles and, as the story develops, we can see that the society in which they live is more a mixture of the Victorian or Belle Epoque age and Ancient Greece. Polystom is the hereditary Steward of a huge estate populated by servants who, as we slowly discover, are more akin to slaves. At first, this world seems ordered, almost stately, albeit very conservative. But, as we begin to see revealed in the second book, there is an underlying violence and oppression to this neo-feudal society.

The third book brings everything into sharp focus. The end of the Belle Epoque was brought about by war, and similarly war threatens Polystom's ordered society. He is increasingly disabused of his previous beliefs in the justness of his society, and these moments of revelation lead to the final scenes of the book. So, in one sense, the book is simply about Polystom's journey to a new perception of the world he lives in. But it also manages to be rather more than that. Some of Adam Robert's books, such as 'Salt' and 'New Model Army' have an overt political message. There's a similar message here, but rather more discreet. On top of that, it is a beautifully written 'steam punk' novel. And I'm sure there's plenty more to it all than that as well.

All in all, I'm slightly in awe of Mr Roberts. If you like challenging, very well written, 'off the beaten track' speculative/science fiction, you can't go too far wrong with Adam Roberts.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars V.well written. Interesting concept, weak story realisation, 3 Nov. 2003
I chose this largely based on the book cover notes with a mind that it may be along the lines of Moorcocks Dancers at the End of Time. Though no relevance to that, Polystom sketches an engaging world , HG Wells/Victorians in Space, however does not follow through with plot execution or characters you really invest in whilst reading the book. On reflection its culmination veers towards a cyberpunk concept of alternate realities; interesting though not defining.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice concepts - failing implementation., 12 July 2004
By 
S. Holm (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have previously read three other (stand alone) novels by Adam Roberts, namely Stone, Salt and On. Well...Polystom makes 4 and I will not be buying a 5th.
I find myself buying his books because the ideas and concepts of this author are brilliant - especially when presented in condensed 'synopsis' form on the Amazon website.
The problem is - I have yet to witness a successful implementation of Adam Roberts' brilliant ideas. Maybe he would benefit from teaming up with a co-writer who could take the stories a step further and actually make me care about events and characters along the way.
I'll rate this one at 3 stars - solely for for the interesting concept.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An average tale of alternative realities, 5 Nov. 2006
By 
A well written and reasonably enjoyable novel with an imaginative, if slightly derivative, dual reality ending. The problem is that it reads as if Adam Roberts had no idea how the novel would turn out when he started. The denouement when it comes in the form of the two alternative realities, one of which involves a sub-Victorian/Hapsburg alternative future, renders fully a third of the preceding tale redundant or perhaps part of a different novel, which is all slightly frustrating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Polystom (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Polystom (GOLLANCZ S.F.) by Adam Roberts
£4.49
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews