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Customer Review

on 29 February 2004
The fours stars are given bearing in mind a comparison to Silverberg's other work. A superb and versatile SF writer, Robert Silverberg's 'Downward to Earth' isn't in the same league as classics such as 'Down the Line', 'Tower of Glass',and the SF Masterworks series' own 'The Book of Skulls'. It's still a pretty good read, though, and if you liked any of the above it serves as a pleasant enough time-waster.
There are plenty of swipes at the history of colonialism as Gunderson returns to what he knew when it was under earth rule as 'Holman's World'. It's now know as Belzagor and the dominant life-form appears to be the Nildoror, who, apart from a few subtle differences, resemble elephants. The book becomes reminiscent of 'Heart of Darkness' as Gunderson embarks on a journey in search of various humans who decided to stay after control of the planet was given back to the natives, among them an enigmatic individual named 'Kurtz'.
The author keeps things going with his usual skill and the denouement is worth the wait. From a lesser or unknown author this would probably merit five starts but it's Grade 'B' Silverberg
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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