- Paperback: 76 pages
- Publisher: Wildside Press (April 17, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0809562618
- ISBN-13: 978-0809562619
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,635,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Eye of Argon Paperback – April 17, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
With spelling that changes with every sentence (much like Elizabethan texts, but at least spelling had not yet been standardized then) and punctuation that seems mostly random, this can a challenge to read. But read it you must...if you can see through laughter-induced tears.
In fairness to the author, he was very young and tried very hard when he wrote this (his use of a thesaurus could be considered legendary), and it shows. No one could deliberately write this as bad fiction and be so successful. For those who have encountered The "Eye of Argon" at conventions or on the web, this is a book to be treasured, and to be shared. Why not gift a copy to your favorite sci-fi or fantasy enthusiast?
For Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans, a wonderful "MSTing" of this by Adam Cadre was posted on the rec.arts.sf.written newsgroup in 1996. Once you have read the book, search for one of the many copies of that version on the web and laugh yourself silly all over again.
Yet for decades after it was written, mimeographed and photocopied versions of the manuscript circulated at science-fiction conventions, where it often featured in contests to see who could read the largest sections without breaking into helpless laughter.
For The Eye of Argon is incredibly funny. The 16-year-old that Theis was when he wrote it probably did not intend it to be funny, but it is, and should be appreciated as such. I just hope that the publisher of the current, nicely-bound edition wasn't foolish enough to try to have its editors eliminate the spelling and punctuation errors, for those add to the tale's charm.
If you doubt this; try this experiment. Google for "Eye of Argon". There are copies of the manuscript on line. Try to read it. Out loud. Preferably at a party, after a few beers. That's the best way to appreciate this strange little work.
Nevertheless, it is worth reading (though not, perhaps, worth paying $8 for... especially as it is available on the internet). The manner of reading is important, however, for reading this monstrosity alone is pointless. Instead, gather a good-sized group of friends together, and sit in a circle. Have one person start reading, making sure to pronounce everything as written. When the reader laughs (or makes a mistake), he or she passes the story to the next person, and so on. I have seen some people so overcome that they were unable to get through a single sentence, or even a single word.
... but it isn't. This is the Holy Grail of wretched fantasy, the Excalibur of excrescent writing, the purest form of terrible writing that makes Edward Bulwer-Lytton look like Shakespeare. Jim Theis' legendary novella butchers the English language and wallows in the blood -- and I defy anyone to read this story in one sitting without experiencing fatal brain meltage.
It is the story of Grignr (how do you say that anyway?), a barbarian who hacks'n'slashes his way to the city of Gorzam, "hoping to discover wine, women, and adventure to boil the wild blood coarsing through his savage veins." Yeah, whatever. So he starts a fight over some random "wench" in Gorzam, and ends up sitting in prison while a bunch of priests try to rape and sacrifice a girl. Of course, he starts causing trouble like all hot-blooded barbarians do.
Well, that's sort of the story -- if you can call it a story, which is difficult to do because frankly Theis seems to have made it up as he went along. Admittedly he was only sixteen when he wrote "Eye of Argon," but let's face it -- there isn't a single solitary SENTENCE in this book that doesn't make me want to stab myself in the brain with a fork.
Not that that's always a BAD thing. In fact, "Eye of Argon" is gutsplittingly funny and is used as a sort of genre joke.
Most of this comes from the way that Jim Theis... well, he did to the English language what Carthena does to the evil priest. Just look at the very first scene of the book. We've got a "misting brain," "grinding lungs" and "writhing mouths," not to mention "Grignr's emerald green orbs glared lustfully at the wallowing soldier.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I downloaded this book and read it because I heard it's one of the worst books ever published. If you are looking for something so bad it's funny it's a 5, if your looking for... Read morePublished 7 months ago by R. Sayre
This isn’t the worst story ever written; I can think of a thousand novels (many of them published by big New York houses) that are far worse. That’s not to say it’s a *good* story. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joseph Rubas
"The Eye of Argon" is a legend in science fiction and fantasy circles. A novelette so bad that is good. A sort of literary, "Plan Nine From Outer Space. Read morePublished 9 months ago by James Elfers
Brain melting horribleness. Author's Writing: Poor doesn't begin to describe it. But that's why you by this monster.Published 14 months ago by J. P. Meyer
The Eye of Argon is a book that is dreadful in writing to the point of comedic. The Eye of Argon was wrote in 1970 by a 16 year old Jim Theis as a homage to Conan the Barbarian. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Utuk
Only giving it one star since we are not allowed the option of negative stars. This is a must read book. This is the literary version of "Manos the Hands of Fate". Read morePublished 20 months ago by Keith T Benbrook
If you've searched for this book or ever heard of it (or heard it read out-loud at a scifi con), you know what you are getting with The Eye of Argon, a Conan wannabe story by a... Read morePublished on March 4, 2014 by Donald J. Bingle
Not for the story, which is hilarious, but for the idea of PURCHASING it. Google the thing. It's free online. Read morePublished on November 17, 2013 by jadedflames
I heard all these bad reviews from the other reviewers and I wasn't sure I should buy this, but my friend convinced me I should. I'm not sure why everyone hates this book. Read morePublished on November 19, 2011 by E. L. Johnson