Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Price set by seller.
On (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Kindle Edition
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Tighe's story is part quest through a setting as bizarre as any in Gene Wolfe's 'New Sun' series, part the story of a coming of age into a true age of wonders. Yes, it's strange, yes it's unusual, indeed almost 'fantastic' in flavour, but it does have a very solid hard sf basis - and there's always been more to science fiction than just robots and spaceships, as Roberts more than ably demonstrates.
Give 'On' a try - take your head in new directions.
The worst offence of all, in my view, was the appendix which explained in painful technical detail the origin of the unusual phenomenon which is the breathtaking central premise of the book. There was more than enough room in the body of the book to explain all of this in a much more friendly and exciting way; and goodness knows it needed a bit of that. The appendix managed to make this audacious idea into a dull and pointless sideshow. A tragic waste.
The main character manages to skulk his way through 90% of the story by coasting on automatic. He does nothing of any consequence-events happen to him and in most cases he fails to react, let alone act. Even faced with a chance to push his cannibilistic captor over a cliff he considers acting but 'Something stopped him' Flabby writing at best.
To cap it all in the last part of the book Tighe finally starts taking a little responsibility for his life and is punished with an ending whose message seemed to me to say 'How dare he try to have a life of his own'
The book finishes off with a few pages where the author explains how everything he created is technically possible. Pardon me but I always thought a work of art needs no excuses. However I found this book to be far from a work of art...
Although the ideas and issues raised are all of a high intellectual quality and potentially interesting, Roberts simply isn't a very good writer. Whenever he talks about how the main character Tighe is thinking, you get the distinct impression he's just listing what ought to be said there - you don't get any real idea of what Tighe feels or believes, only the voice of Roberts dictating at you. There is a definite difference in there, and one which led me to stare in incomprehension at the page on far too many occasions, trying to work out why I was continuing reading. And I realised that reason was because several reviews I had read said the book was really very good.
It isn't. Anyone who has read a superior style of science fiction/fantasy such as Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton or J.V. Jones would be appalled by the way this novel has been executed. The style is such that I could not immerse myself in it as I can with those authors; the impression throughout is of Roberts dictating to you what is happening, and he isn't even any good at that. His hamfisted attempts at creating a "zany" world are laughable - novelty names are one thing, but "Pahe" and "Pashe" for father and mother respectively just don't ring true, and are a mouthful to articulate.
When I come across a book which I fundamentally dislike as much as this one I always wonder distractedly whether I have "misread" it, and that I've rather missed the point, as so many other people seem to have enjoyed reading it. Therefore, despite my vigorous condemnation, I suggest that if you want to try this book, borrow it from a library to see what YOU think of Roberts's style, and don't spend money on him until you're sure.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Would have made a good short-story, but just went on too long.Published on 18 July 2014 by Amazon Customer
What a very strange book. It is based around a single, huge concept that results in a world that is almost unrecognisably alien. Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2010 by Diziet
The quote on the cover says "very high concept". This is true, but the story is driven along by the need to reveal the "high concept" underpinnings of the world, not by the... Read morePublished on 28 Dec. 2007 by Pie56
Reading the reviews here I find myself agreeing with some of the main points- yes the main character is a bit passive, the deus ex machina explanation was a trifle unnecessary and... Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2007 by Kindle Customer
Various reviewers have either raved or ranted about the lack of conclusion to the book but actually, it kind of stops on a bit of a cliff-hanger that feels like ON - Part 2 may... Read morePublished on 20 Nov. 2002
Having read so many positive reviews for this author and the reviews on the book cover I was left deeply disapointed by the actual book. Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2002