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The Book of Ptath Paperback – 1 Apr 1969
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1st edition 1st printing paperback, vg++ In stock shipped from our UK warehouse
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Alfred Elton Van Vogt was one of the staple names of early SF, and this, I think, was the first novel of his that I read. It enthralled me as a teenager (No! Not in 1947 when it first published. Not even 30 years later...). The older I've grown, the more I've read & the more widely I've read, the more critical I've become. Not in the sense of "this is rubbish", but in the sense of "I can see what is good / bad in this". Especially where fiction is concerned. Despite that, I still find this enthralling.
It's set so far in a (low-tech) future that even the "magic" of prayer-sticks, and the godhood of the three main protagonists doesn't jar or feel dated (this is actually more F than SF in feel). The story is, given the internal parameters explained as you read, not only plausible, but convincing. It's really very good. Maybe not one to rank right alongside Asimov's Robots, or the best of a Zelazny or an Iain M. Banks. But I still love it. And "Love it" is Amazon's definition of 5*! So, just for once, I'll let that callow teenager dictate to the "I now know I don't know-it-all" errmm... older bloke!
Holroyd was stunned by the words, then closed the book. His attitude of amazement grew and grew, and slowly word became bond: He had kicked off. With exception of this resurrection in a God's body, he was lying deceased on a battlefield. But now he was aged two a hundred million subsequent years, and he the world was destined to govern. He was the God that they venerated like PTATH.
This swell tome was published first as Two Hundred million A. D. and originally as The Book of Ptath in 1947. Deliberately not of the apex delivered by Mr. Van Vogt, still we groan under weight of his genius. A passage or two is high up with the rest of his gentle magnificence.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Still, a great read.