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niels (Santa Monica, CA USA)

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Cugel's Saga
Cugel's Saga
by Jack Vance
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The second and final book of "The Eyes of the Overworld", 10 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Cugel's Saga (Hardcover)
For maximum enjoyment, I'd suggest reading them in order, even though both can stand alone as far as story goes.

Both are like a fantasy version of a road movie about a clever rogue who's luck is sometimes with him and sometimes against... He's not without capability, but he tends to overstretch his good fortune.

Terse dialogs make both books sparkle, and the twists and turns keep you turning the pages while soaking up vividly drawn impressions of everything imaginable.

Yeah, I'm trying hard to talk generalized and not give away any of the story. I do like the first book (The Eyes of the Overworld) better, but both are great.

You'll find that the first book's title "Eyes of the Overworld", which might at first seem like pompous fantasy nonsense turns out to be part of a great and funny parable :D


Emphyrio (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Emphyrio (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by Jack Vance
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, meaningful ending rewards for a steep climb, 10 Nov. 2011
Without wanting to give away anything about the story, I have to say, during some phase of this book, it got to me so much, I had to put down the book for a while... That doesn't happen to me very often.

Of course its well written as all Vance books, and the ending is pretty amazing, its a surprise in more than one way and leaves you thinking "this wasn't fantasy, this was about reality"...


The Eyes of the Overworld (Tales of the Dying Earth)
The Eyes of the Overworld (Tales of the Dying Earth)
by Jack Vance
Edition: MP3 CD

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books, 10 Nov. 2011
Its like the fantasy version of a road movie, very engaging, vividly drawn, with amazing detail and fantastic terse dialogs.

Brimming with hidden meanings and parables you can ponder or ignore as you can't stop turning to the next page anyway...


The Dying Earth (Tales of the Dying Earth)
The Dying Earth (Tales of the Dying Earth)
by Jack Vance
Edition: MP3 CD

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars far in the future, the sun has already turned dark red and no one knows how long its got left, 10 Nov. 2011
This is a collection of enchanting stories of varying length; several long enough to have been released as separate books.

The setting is our earth far into the future. We apparently failed to develop any space travel, and with multitudes of cities and civilizations rising and falling over the aeons, technology eventually was superseded by a magic based on true mastery of math (which curves all time and space). This magic too, has mostly been lost and forgotten to most, while a few still strive to follow the great masters. The surface of our earth is rich with ruins built upon ruins, every corner filled with dark, long forgotten secrets and things bearing witness to humanity's past failures and mishaps.

There is a thin red thread linking the stories, but they are distinct stories and only some have the same characters.

Be prepared to fall in love with more than a few of the characters, the superbly terse dialogs and just about everything else.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful color pallet, nice leather quality, great soles, 10 Nov. 2011
Its like other sports shoes that offer vents to avoid hot sweaty feet. But without the usually garish colors. My english friend laughed about the design and probably wouldn't be caught dead with them on.

But tastes are different and I find this shoe not only practical, comfortable and sturdy, but also well designed and more original than most of the me-too shoes around.

I'd be more happy to give them 5 stars if it wasn't for the upper ridge of the soft inner boot:
It will probably be the first thing to wear out on this very sturdy shoe. Its not worn out yet (I have them for 6 months now) but that orange bit of fabric around the rim (you can see it on Amazon's picture) pulls material from your socks while you walk and the resulting lint sticks to it, its pretty hard to get it off, which should be done carefully by hand, in order not to damage the shoes soft orange inner rim.

So, really, I'd give it 4.5 if I could

+ sturdy, lasting sole
+ sole bent up in the front prevents scratching the leather when you stub the shoe on something.
+ very comfortable
+ vented, reasonably cool to wear
+ nice color scheme that's not garish and goes with most colors without clashing.
+ nice leather quality
+ no tying of shoelaces needed

- rim of inner soft boot keeps collecting lint from your socks


The Complete Lyonesse: Suldrun's Garden, The Green Pearl, Madouc (Gollancz Black Books)
The Complete Lyonesse: Suldrun's Garden, The Green Pearl, Madouc (Gollancz Black Books)
by Jack Vance
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic, touching and colorful page-turner, 10 Nov. 2011
Call me a heretic, but I liked this better than the Lord of the Rings, with its similar level of epic storyline. The funny thing is that Tolkien was a scholar of language, yet Vance outshines Tolkien specifically in his brilliant use of language.

Don't get me wrong, Tolkien wrote well and his story was engaging, but it was a bit black and white and he doesn't quite seem to match the sparkle of Jack Vance's writing.

Maybe its for the worse that I said this, as people might construe the stories to be more similar than they are, or make any number of other correlations they shouldn't make, likely leading to false expectations...

So, please, if you buy this book, and you should if you like fantastic stories with parables and well hidden meanings, forget all that I said about both Tolkien and Vance, and just start reading like it was the first book you ever read, with no bias or expectations.

There's a slim possibility his language might overtax you, if your normal reading-diet only consists of Rupert Murdoch newspapers with their thinly veiled propaganda purposely limited to a cache of no more than 300 words.

Otherwise - enjoy!


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