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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos Series) MP3 CD – April 22, 2014
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I bought Hyperion impulsively because of its "brilliant, transcendent" etc reviews, which I happened upon looking for more Neal Stephenson. I came so close to missing it! How many more wonderful books am I missing? How will I know? Why do I live in the middle of nowhere? ahem.
Buy this book if you love beautifully written sci-fi mystery.
The problem I have with this novel is that the writer tries to do too much with (what is obvious by middle of the book) the first in a series. It becomes more evident with each turn of the page that, with seven protagonists, there are just too many stories to flesh out and still follow the story arc as set out in the beginning of the book. While there is one of the seven who is supposed to be the prime focus of the tale he never really achieves a central place in the telling.
Artistically I found myself nonplussed at the fact that all of the main characters, in turn, tell their own back stories, ostensibly, in their own voice. Unfortunately Mr. Simmons does a poor job of varying from his own style, or removing his own voice from theirs. This results in a certain homogeneity of the stories, even though each one is significantly different and unique.
When I cast my thoughts back near the end of the novel I found it hard to differentiate where one characters story left off and anothers began, the prose used was just too similar, and should have been as varied as the people telling them.
So we have, basically, a collection of short stories from completely different characters and perspectives, yet all told in the same voice, and woven into the same story arc. It's an interesting concept that could've been done better by taking more risks.
By letting our heros speak in their own voices instead of speaking through them in the authors voice these characters could've been much deeper and more engrossing.
Worse yet the author ends the novel abruptly in a ridiculous scene that's lifted right from a famous kid-lit fantasy story's middle! This weird left turn of an ending has the feel of an editors interference, possibly chopping up a too long novel into two, leaving the first with an inexplicable, maddening, mess of an ending!
There is no denouement, no satisfactory wrap-up at all. In fact I believe the publisher just arrogantly assumes that you'll be compelled to buy the next book in the series.
Frankly, I'm not sure that I will.
C. M. Thanks for reading. :^)
Read this, and then the others. You won't regret it.
That said, Simmons' Canterbury Tales-esque structure works well, and the stories that each character tells on their pilgrimage are intriguing and often shocking. And you're certainly left wanting to read book two.
The Fall of Hyperion, on the other hand, is moving, compelling, and thoughtful. It's as if Simmons took the entirety of the first book to set up the payoffs in the second. He's gotten all the cleverness one out of his system and settles down to do what he needs to do: let the characters' stories unfold. And they do so beautifully.
I won't give away any spoilers. However, I'll say that the end is a little mind-blowing and very, very poignant.
After all these years, the books have apparently been optioned for a miniseries. I'll be curious to see how they translate to the small screen.
I usually try to avoid this kind of review but seriously. Save your time and money.
Top international reviews
It just doesn't matter though. Having rolled my eyes at all the sci-fi nonsense in the first chapter, I found myself drawn in and read half the book in one sitting. It follows a Generation X style format where characters take turns to tell their own stories and each story is fascinating. The characters feel very different, their stories really do seem to come from different narrators. Some are pulpy and exciting, others are really touching.
The end is a bit disappointing, it is basically put off to be dealt with in the second book. However, this first entry in the series is so well written that reading the next one was necessity for me anyway.
I was searching for something to rival Banks and this came up every time. I see this was written just after Consider Phlebas and Player of Games, but it's in the same class in it's far reaching thinking.
I think it's a class above Banks in it's literary quality, both in it's language, construction and they way the seven pilgrim's stories are woven together in a Chaucer Cantebury tales way and the references to Keats' Hyperion and other literary giants._
I’m giving this a five star rating, but it’s only a borderline one. The reason is something any every sci-fi author should beware: time travel does not work. It never does. It creates plot holes and inconsistencies. Fortunately this doesn’t get too much in this book. It gets a lot worse in the next three.
Simmonds weave a mystery around an enigma that slowly unfolds like a rubik cube. Epic scale and gargantuan stakes are at play with the fate of the mega billions of humans, A.I.'s potentially resting in the hands of seven unlikely pilgrims.
I cannot wait to read its sequel. And neither shall you.
Truely, Hyperion is science fiction epic and an automatic classic of the genre.
The seven protagonists are meant to be well rounded but aren’t that believable mostly because of the way that they speak and their language used - the author seems more intent on showcasing his extensive vocabulary rather than lifting a light on any of their lives or experiences.
I’d like to see this rewritten as the themes and ideas are excellent but it is plodding and laborious. Disappointed in the end despite a great start.
An epic and imaginative sf take on The Canterbury Tales, Hyperion shifts from world to world and character to character, sweeping the reader along on an imaginative and original journey through the galaxy. The history of the Hegemony and humanity as a whole is teased out through the novel, making the book's setting rich and believable. There's plenty of fun to be had, but also plenty of philosophy, poetry and brain food.
Some great action scenes, some horrific gore, some great techno-gobbledygook, and a great central character of The Consul, enigmatic and strange from the first page to the end.
Sure, some of the characterization is a bit thin, and the vision of the AI world is more or less exactly what William Gibson described in Neuromancer, but these are minor quibbles against a book which gets so much right.
It ends with a cliffhanger, and I'm having no qualms about moving onto the next book to see what happens.
Some claim these books to be an alternative to Banks's Culture series. Based on Hyperion, they're nowhere near.
It appears that the author decided to use every “Big Word “ he could find in the dictionary to describe simple items or actions.
I have a fair grasp of the English Language, this was a chore to try and read.
The main bulk of this book tells the story of different people and often in very different writing styles. It's refreshing and edge of the seat stuff as so many different perspectives are told in the same book. It is impossible to put down and even as you're reading it you get the feeling that you are reading a book which is truly special but the end just doesn't live up the the build up.
A great book which falls just short of greatness, but still definitely worth the read.