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Life During Wartime Paperback – Import, June 8, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: S.F.Masterworks S. (Book 66)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: GOLLANCZ (ORIO); paperback / softback edition (June 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575077344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575077348
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,484,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nathan on May 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Lucius Shepard is a strong and beautiful writer. His stories have frequently been compared to those of Joseph Conrad, and indeed Shepard is a master of the short story and the novella. R&R, the novella that makes up the opening of this novel, is a beautiful and terrible read, and the quality of the writing remains consistently captivating throughout. So why have I given this novel only three stars? Because, as a novel, it doesn't really work. Shepard writes fantastic short fiction, but when he wrote LIFE DURING WARTIME, he just wasn't ready to tackle a novel. It reads like a series of episodes, each an good read on its own, but each also providing its own closure. But they are linked closely enough that were I to read something else in between them, I'd likely lose track of the details of the plot. So, while the writing is beautiful, the plot interesting, and each episode a joy to read on its own, the novel isn't able to sustain its momentum throughout. I'm glad I read it, but as a novel, it just doesn't quite work.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter F. Delaney on February 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I always love Lucius Shepard's work and this is his best novel. It is like "Apocalypse Now" in the future, and has the same kind of impact on the reader as that film did on the viewer.
A quote from the opening paragraph: "One of the new Sikorsky gunships... gave Mingolla and Gilbey and Baylor a lift from the Ant Farm to San Francisco de Juticlan, a small town located inside the green zone.... To the east of this green zone lay an undesignated band of yellow that corssed the country from the Mexican border to the Caribbean. The Ant Farm was a firebase on the eastern edge of the yellow band, and it was from there that Mingolla -- an artillery specialist not yet twenty-one years old -- lobbed shells into an area that the maps depicted in black-and-white terrain markings. And thus it was that he often thought of himself as engaged in a struggle to keep the world safe for primary colors."
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
R&R was the story that put Shepard among the great names of SF and forms the chapter of this book. There are several familiar elements for fans of the author, exotic locales, drugs psychic powers that border on magic and secret forces battling it out under cover of 21st century warfare in the jungles of Central America. The book suffers just a tiny bit from being written in the late 80's when heavy involvement by US secret ops gave the impression that a Vietnam type meltdown was about to happen almost on the doorstep of US. Brilliant language and (naturally) hallucinatory imagery are the qualities of the book. Storyline tends to sag in the second half of the book but if you are one of the author's followers you will enjoy this work.
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