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Down The Bright Way Paperback – 2 Oct 2003

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; paperback / softback edition (2 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841492558
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841492551
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,121,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

An awe-inspiring vision of humanity's destiny and a heart-stopping thriller, DOWN THE BRIGHT WAY is SF at its best.

About the Author

Robert Reed is the acclaimed author of numerous SF novels. He has been nominated for the prestigious Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards.


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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I really hate to be a killjoy on someone else's work, but in the case of this book, I have to make an exception.
Maybe it's just me, but this book was dull. I found it hard to find any of the characters sympathetic and the plot really dragged. It's not until the final 50 pages that the book actually gets going and it was then I actually stared to enjoy it.
A friend lent me Marrow which I did enjoy. It's almost as if this (Bright Way) book was written by someone else.
I wouldn't recommend this.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reed takes the premise that, some time in the Earth's distant past, an elder race seeded the Earth's crust with a lattice of degenerate matter, the consequence of which was that somehow this lattice is able to admit passage - via a portal - to an infinite string of alternate Earths.
It's a large-scale production contrasted - as in 'An Exaltation of Larks' with a neatly detailed portrait of small town America.
For a million years, an alternate species of human with large crania and furry faces, have been travelling the Bright - as the chain of portals is called - in both directions from their homeworld, uniting and civilising each Earth.
Jy, the million year old leader of one of the two Founder missions, has now reached our earth.
It's not one of Reed's best, but even here the characterisation is excellent. The people are real; they have flaws. Kyle (an Earth teenager) is a fantasist and is pretending he is one of the aliens' envoys, a Wanderer, in order to impress and seduce women. Confused adolescent males turn up a lot in Reed's work and are generally portrayed with a blunt honesty. With some writers this may have made them seem heartless and cold. However, as with characters in other Reed books, Kyle emerges as a sad victim of himself. Reed makes us see his flaws - perhaps Reed's own early flaws - through more understanding eyes.
Reed is also fascinated by the concept of near-immortal beings who bear comparison with similar characters in the work of Van Vogt who also painted his highly colourful tales against absurdly vast backdrops.
The immortality issue is addressed, but does not satisfactorily convince that the central characters are over a million years old.
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Format: Paperback
I read "Marrow" by accident and instantly became a fan, reading Sister Alice and The Well of Stars in quick succession. I didn't enjoy those quite as much as Marrow, but Down The Bright Way picks up some of the themes from Marrow (near-immortal humans, crazy technology etc.) and is similar to it in pace and expanse of ideas.
It sounds strange to say that SF can be criticised for not being believable, but for some reason there are reviewers that criticise this work on the basis of the concepts being "too far out there". That is Reed's greatest strength. More than any other SF author I've read, his books take you somewhere that I guarantee you will have never been before and if you're like me, you'll be eager to go there again. This is exactly how I felt reading this one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Robert Reed, this is not his best.
Doesn't deliver. Too long, a bit of a let down towards the end.
Better start with Reed's The Great Ship
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