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Lest Darkness Fall & Related Stories Paperback – May 4, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix Pick (May 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161242015X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612420158
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Gary Romeo on May 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even if you already have "Lest Darkness Fall" in any of its previous printings you should buy this book. "Lest Darkness Fall" is a classic time-travel/alternate reality tale. Similar to Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" but based on actual history instead of legend. De Camp was a thorough researcher and the story reeks of authenticity. A great re-read, if you've read it before; and a first time complete joy. This version includes a lot of new items of interest. The Panshin's review of de Camp's role in SF is easily worth half the price plus you get some great short stories by David Drake, S. M. Sterling, and Frederick Pohl. Sprague de Camp, among other SF greats, has been ignored for too long. It is good to see him back in print. Fans of de Camp can discuss his works at a Yahoo Discussion Group called d_for_de_Camp. Buy this book!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Addison Phillips on June 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lest Darkness Fall is a true classic... one I've waited a long time to own on Kindle. Having recently re-read it, I have to say that de Camp's genius is expressed in so many ways--large and small--across this novel that it should not be surprising that he almost single-handedly invents the "alternate history" novel with this book.

What's nice is how he handles the differences that the cultures play. Yes, he outfits "Martinus" with some nice-to-have prequalifications, but the sense of peril and difficulty is palpable. Martin fails, for example, to invent the clock and gunpowder, gets imprisoned, and runs close to perilously close to various female characters. With enhanced realism, we find ourselves in a very real era with very real concerns.

At least until "Soldier of the Mist", I don't think anyone does as well with such historical eras. If you've not read it, you're in for a treat. The side material is nice, but not necessary.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By St. Leigh in Summer on October 14, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I knew this book first as a crumbling paperback, then as a hardback i scored at a church sale and still have. Now I am buying the Kindle version. Why? Because it's that good. What hasn't been mentioned is that it's deliciously funny. Do you have a small collection of"flu" books that you reread when you need something to smile at? This book belongs in it.
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This is a funny and upbeat story about a 20th Century archaeologist who finds himself transported back in time to Italy, circa 533 A.D. The Goths have occupied Rome and Italy and the Emperor Justinian is threatening to invade.

There have been various novels and short stories written on this theme and some are quite pessimistic about how a 20th Century man would do in an era predating gunpowder, large sailing ships, and powered engines. Poul Anderson's "The Man Who Came Early" is perhaps the most notable of these. This novel, by contrast, is optimistic, and does a good job making its case that a fit and smart man of our time might do quite well. Without giving too much away, our protagonist introduces innovations such as Arabic numerals and the zero (which made arithmetic computations infinitely easier and more accurate), double-entry bookkeeping, and distillation of alcoholic beverages. More would be telling, but this is all great fun.

This is an enjoyable and readable novel that almost anyone will enjoy. RJB.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By big D on April 4, 2015
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I have read this book 5 times during the past45 years. It is a fast read , well researched , enjoyed it each time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Secundus Tacitus on August 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How do you review a classic? The best review, actually, would be a quasi-sequel. Guess what? There are two! The Kindle version is ridiculously cheap. When the book originally came out, my brother, who was old enough, paid 75¢ for his paperback. It long since fell apart from reading over and over and over again.

If you like stories about going back in time and changing things for the better or worse, then, de Camp's classic is perfect reading for you. He doesn't need my aid. Just read the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Only 4 stars because I didn't like the ending.
Liked the character, the history covered and the writing.
Well reasoned and very interesting.
Highly recommended to any time travel fan or history buff -
it should be considered a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A classic De Camp novella with additional stories form contemporary authors. Excellent value. The kindle formatting has issues with words being cut off on the iPhone
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