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Isle of the Dead / Eye of Cat Paperback – November 27, 2001

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Paperback, November 27, 2001
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: I Books; 1st THUS edition (November 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743434684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743434683
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,966,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Isle of the Dead/Eye of Cat, the posthumously released volume of two earlier novels by Roger Zelazny, the Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of the Chronicles of Amber series, pairs the witty 1969 Isle with the elegant 1982 Cat. The first is a tale of a supernatural battle of good vs. evil centuries into the future, while in the second, a former alien hunter, in exchange for the help of an alien he long ago captured, must agree to a new hunt with the roles reversed.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is the fourth title in iBooks' reprint series of Zelazny's works. Isle of the Dead (1969) features Francis Shadow, a centuries-old man kept young through science. His advanced age has allowed him to accumulate enough wealth to own a planet, where he is considered a god by the world's natives, who believe he has absorbed the powers of their ancient ancestors. His abilities does he really have any? are tested when another planet-owning ruler challenges his dominance. Eye of the Cat (1982) takes a twist on the hunter turned hunted. William Blackhorse Singer is hired to protect an alien diplomat, then enlists the assistance of a shape-shifter he captured years earlier. The creature will only help on the condition that it gets a chance to try to trap Singer once the mission is completed.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

His book was ...Call Me Conrad (AKA The Immortal).
D. Kane
So: one good + one great novel by Roger Zelazny makes this a good value and a must-buy, but remember, it's the second, shorter one that's the best part.
Amazon Customer
If you like fiction with very real, very human characters, then this is for you.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of Roger Zelazny's finest novels, this tale of a man who embodies an alien god encompasses science-fiction, mythology, psychology, and the poignancy of being human - and does so in well under 200 pages. There's no overload of unconvincing background minutiae here - with no more than a few colorful strokes, Zelazny creates a rich and meaningful universe for his flawed protagonist Francis Sandow. What begins as a confrontation between two powerful men swiftly becomes a private apocalypse between two gods ... without ever losing its human scale. Dazzling, exciting, moving, satiric, this book deserves to be reprinted soon!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Roger Zelazny has a tendency to create main characters who are either eternal or have lived a very long time. This isn't a fault, because he relies on this only to establish the depth of the character, not as a major plot device. In fact, perhaps the biggest lesson his heroes learn is that, if you live forever, you can make a lot of enemies. Some of them aren't even your enemies.

Francis Sandow is on such mein character. After a shaky star in this century, modern science and sheer luck have contrived to make him the worlds oldest rich man. The luck was falling into the hands of the Peians, who taught him how to create worlds and some experience in the fine are of revenge. Worldscaping is the basis for his money, but it didn't save him from offending people.

One such antagonist has taken up stealing the dying personality tapes of some of Sandow's best friends and enemies in an effort to lure him to the Isle of the Dead. His offense was to be a human and qualify for the honor of bonding with a Peian god and becoming a planetscaper. A Peian who didn't pass the grade took offense and has spent several hundred years working on getting even. Now he has reconstructed the people and Sandow bites the lure.

Of course, the revenge you see is not necessarily the revenge you get. Things go awry in spectacular style. Sandow is forced to incarnate Shimbo, the Shrugger of Thunders, and suddenly the scope of the conflict goes out of control. Anotherr truth about Zelazny is that even his villains have redeeming traits, and in this wry but tragic tale, the reader will find it hard to dislike anyone.

For some reason, Isle of the Dead has remained one of my favorite Zelazny stories.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Abram J. Taylor on July 2, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Francis Sandow is a man -- an unfathomably wealthy 1000 year-old man who channels an alien god called Shimbo of Darktree, and who uses said god's gifts to craft entire worlds.

When Sandow begins receiving letters claiming, and tri-dee photographs seemingly corroborating, that a number of his most dear, dead friends and most dangerous, dead enemies have been resurrected and imprisoned on one of his own worlds, he is both shocked and a bit incredulous. But as evidence piles up and Sandow comes to believe more and more that Nick, Kathy, Shandon and the others really live again, he resolves to set out for Illyria and its sinister Isle of the Dead, face "Green Green," the mysterious letter-writer, rescue old friends and loves, and thwart whatever vengeance may be brewing in the minds of risen foes.

It's an awesome novel written in a brisk but intensely colorful style, punctuated by earthy (and more importantly, highly entertaining) philosophical musings, and blessed with an electrifying climax. This is the good stuff.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm writing this because nobody else bothered, and a writer of his caliber deserves reviews on everything he ever produced.
Well, this is the trouble with double editions: it's impossible to issue a single rating, especially when the two works have markedly different levels of quality, as in this one. So, I'll just do the two separately.
Isle of the Dead: Really ... cool. THIS is why we read Zelazny 30-odd years after he set this stuff to paper. Of the SF novels of his I've read, this belongs on that top tier, shared with Lord of Light and at most one or two others. Where sometimes his dazzling style wanders a bit into navel-gazing(which is why he was so bloody good at short stories: they minimize such tendencies), here the descriptions are sharp, the narrator is one of his classics, and the ideas are captivating. The controlling metaphor is pretty cool, the action is exciting, and the psychology of the narrator kept me riveted. In short, this novel is EXACTLY what one thinks when s/he thinks of "good Zelazny". 5 stars.
Eye of Cat, on the other hand, seems more like what happens when the old master just sits down and decides, "hey, I'll write a story about X". It's still good; I mean, the man's talents wouldn't have let him write complete tripe if he tried. There are some very interesting moments, too; Cat is a striking presence, and some of the throw-away lines are great. His exploration of "primitivism", however, is patchy, and some parts aren't very convincing; in certain spots he even sounds almost a bit bigoted (people from old tribal cultures can't order their thoughts?), even though it is clear he has respect for Native American cultures. Also, parts of the plot meander and drag.
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