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The Doors of Death and Life Hardcover – May 5, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (May 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312870647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312870645
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,653,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Because he possesses the pearl of immortality that once belonged to the hero Gilgamesh, astronaut Edwin Barbarossa survives a space shuttle disaster. Treated as a hero until he attempts to tell the truth about his "gift," Edwin soon becomes prey to those who would steal the secret of eternal life for themselves. His only hope for survival lies with his friend Rob Lewis, who has inherited Gilgamesh's superhuman powersDand their attendant problems. Clough's sequel to How Like a God explores the ins and outs of mortals blessedDor cursedDwith godlike abilities in an action-filled modern-world fantasy suitable for large libraries.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Brenda Clough has done it again, written a tight, suspenseful novel that is as exciting as it is thoughtful. Doors of Death and Life will keep you reading, not only for the action and gratifying depth of characterization, but for the questions it asks about the human capacity to heal or harm. This is a work as much about the complexities of friendship and familial love as it is an adventures. Clough tells a satisfying story indeed." --Catherine Asaro

More About the Author

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. She has lived in Laos, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Germany. She returned to Pittsburgh, PA to earn a degree in English/Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University in 1977.

Several years working as a meek mild-mannered reporter for a major metropolitan newsletter enabled her to write a fantasy novel, THE CRYSTAL CROWN (1984). She has also written THE DRAGON OF MISHBIL (1985), THE REALM BENEATH (1986), and THE NAME OF THE SUN (1988) Her children's novel, AN IMPOSSUMBLE SUMMER (1992) is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest.

A number of short stories have appeared in anthologies, the most recent being HOME IS THE SAILOR in the anthology STARLIGHT 3 (Tor 2001), and HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD (Tor 1996, Charles Sheffield, ed.). She also had a novella MAY BE SOME TIME in the 2001 issue of ANALOG, which was on the final ballot for both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards. Her short story titled TIMES FIFTY, in the October 2001 issue of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, won a Higher Goals in Christian Journalism award from the Evangelical Press Association.

Her novels HOW LIKE A GOD and the sequel DOORS OF DEATH AND LIFE were published by Tor Books in 1997. In its review Locus Magazine says, "Clough brings myth and science and plain human existence (complex as all get-out) together for what proves to be a fine blend, and a very good read, offering physical, psychological, and metaphysical insights into the human condition, along with the sometimes delightfully outlandish action that drives the best of pulp fiction."

And the New York Times Book Review says, "Ms. Clough has an appealingly cheeky imagination."

Her newest novel, REVISE, was published on line at Book View Café (www.bookviewcafe.com) in 2009.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Far more "pro"s than "cons"--and the pros are more profound.
The cons can be got over quickly. The male POV falters occasionally ("her eyes flashed with magnificent scorn" is an awful romance novel cliche)and some of the arguments resolve as quick as TV sitcoms (in fact, the pacing was rather too much like TV--choppy) and the villain was rather one dimensional. But those don't throw you out of the story.
Pros: far outweighing the cons is the fact that Clough attempts an interesting blend of real contemporary life and skiffy "what if?"s. Edwin's immortality continues in this sequel to be interesting, and Clough doesn't flinch from considering the moral and ethical implications.
Also, in these days when it seems all mentions of Christians in fantasy mean "Here comes another fundie bigoted child molestor" or, even worse, the inevitable cartoon Evil Priest in red, an interesting character who happens to be Christian, and who tries to lead a Christian life, is really refreshing. Clough handles the religious questions with a light hand, permitting the reader to see what being religious is all about, but without preaching.
The book is worth buying in hardcover, and keeping for rereads.
Looking forward to her next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Seven years have passed since Rob Lewis obtained his power to bend minds to his will while Edwin Barbarosa gained immortality (see HOW LIKE A GOD). Rob now has family problems with his spouse Julianna, who feels he fails to support her needs. However, when three muggers attack Juliana, an outraged Rob mentally forces the three punks to jump into the Potomac.
Meanwhile Edwin is returning to Earth after a year on the moon, but the shuttle catches fire. All on board are dead except the immortal Edwin. He quickly becomes the only suspect in a closed-door mass murder mystery. However, that is the least of his troubles as Rob and Edwin's woes have just begun because a powerful individual knows about Edwin's immortality and plans experiments to obtain the secret.
DOORS OF DEATH AND LIFE is an exciting science fiction sequel that deeply digs into the use and potential abuse of power. Readers will believe that Rob and Edwin possess these non-human abilities by the way they use their power and the ethics questions that linger especially when Rob applies his talent. The villain seems more like Wile Coyote than a real individual, but his cartoonish manner does not hinder the basic premise that God-like powers should result in greater restraint. Though similar tales have been told in classic Star Trek and the Right Hand of God, Brenda Clough's latest novel will elate those science fiction fans that enjoy a complex moral story.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
by Michael Berry -- Sunday July 16 2000
Set in a time slightly different from our own, Brenda W. Clough's DOORS OF DEATH AND LIFE is a direct sequel to her last book, "How Like A God." She returns to the adventures of Rob Lewis, an ordinary carpenter with an extraordinary talent: the ability to alter the minds of anyone around him. Clough uses the legend of Gilgamesh as a springboard for a thriller that combines tropes from science fiction, spy novels and family drama. Lewis' best friend biologist Edwin Barbarossa hodls one of Gilgamesh's talismans of power, the Pearl of Immortality. For the past year he has been a colonist on the moon, and during his shuttle trip back to Earth something goes disastrously wrong. Everyone aboard except Edwin is killed. Alive when he should be dead, Edwin has some explaining to do. Rob must break him out of house arrest and convince his bosses that Edwin isn't a murderer. When a megalomanic billionaire gets wind of their combined powers, Rob and Ed must find a way of stopping him without compromising their beliefs about free will and the sanctity of human life. Clough takes a premise that might seem better suited for an "X-Men comic and gives it enough emotional heft and moral complexity to make a satisfying novel for adults. If the book's plotting is a bit choppy and the villain overly cartoonish, Clough makes up for those shortcomings by delivering a spot-on portrayal of modern marriage and family life. Because Edwin Barbarossa is both immortal and so likable, it's likely Clough will bring him back for further adventures.
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