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Silverlock [Kindle Edition]

John Myers Myers
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A. Clarence Shandon was just an MBA from Wisconsin before a shipwreck transported him to the shores of the fantastic Commonwealth of Letters. He journeys through history and myth, meeting unforgettable names from Circe to Robin Hood along the way. But the journey changes him from the studious, conceited academic to a legend in his own right: Silverlock.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Silverlock needs no introduction, though this reprint bears three; skip them. A. Clarence Shandon, not a very pleasant person, falls into a postmodern whirlwind tour of folklore and literature, with a bard as his Virgil. Shandon gradually absorbs better qualities from the people he encounters. The plot is great fun; the true entertainment for many readers comes from playing spot-the-reference, for Myers packed every page with scraps and tags of blended allusions to other works. Don't worry -- the story is wonderful even if you're not well-versed, but you may find yourself suddenly interested in the Odyssey, ballads, Izaak Walton, Don Quixote or Apuleius.

Product Details

  • File Size: 778 KB
  • Print Length: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Prologue Books (January 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BB2GNP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,907 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literature as Adventure and Life as a Story January 3, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is half Pilgrim's Progress, half Divine Comedy, half outright allegory and complete fun. A. Clarence Shandon, the Silverlock of the title, is not a very nice person as the story opens. Shipwrecked, he is saved by Widsith Amerigin Demodocus Taliesin Golias, who is more than a bard, he is a Maker. And from the moment he meets Golias, Silverlock falls into stories, one after another. He lands on the great island of the Commonwealth, which at one level is the Commonwealth of letters, literature, stories. And on another is simply a grand romp through the great stories of our culture.
For Silverlock, who is as ignorant of literature as a fish, it's initially simply something that happens to him. He is, in Golias's kind phrase, "Not well informed." Nor are we. Whether it's hanging out with Robin Hood, wandering into the scenes of Shakespeare's "Midsummer's Night Dream, or quaffing mead with Beowulf, or even his own quests; it's initially all the same. But gradually the stories he lives and the stories he hears, and Golias's own example, transform him into a better person.
I could tell you that "Silverlock" is an allegory, that Myers is telling you that literature has the power to transform, and make a person better, and that life without literature is not worth living. But that's like saying "Hamlet" is a story about a depressed prince. Saying this book is an allegory is implying its cod liver oil. It's not. This book is masterful as pure, sweet entertainment; the encounter with Izaak Walton and a dozen others is amusing even if you have never heard of any of them.
Sure, what makes the book even more fun is trying to recognize the characters and situations Silverlock encounters.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Masterpiece deserving a Galaxy of Stars June 3, 2005
Format:Paperback
Upon reading 'Silverlock' for the first time, expect to experience the sense of awe and wonder that explorers feel when first discovering strange and wonderful new lands. 'Silverlock is a hidden classic, on par with Tolkien in quality, yet utterly unique. For readers who enjoy fantasy but have become weary of the genre's cliches and vast quantity of derivitive material, 'Silverlock' is Eldorado.
'Silverlock' is a masterpiece that works on several levels. It is a first rate adventure yarn, following the misadventures of the title character from his ship wreck in unknown waters through many close scrapes, battles, drinking bouts, and wenchings in the enchanted realm of the Commonwealth of Letters. It is also a clever allegory, following the development of Silverlock as he changes from a cold cynic with no knowledge or respect for the world of literature, to an enthusiastic aspirant maker of tales. And finally, it is an incredible literary game. Every person, place, and thing in Silverlock, outside of the protagonist is lifted from the vast range of literature and myth, from Gilgamesh to Mark Twain, and the challenge to identify these tantalizing references proves irresistable to most readers.
These literary references and the way Silverlock interacts with them create the book's unique magic. A typical series of scenes finds Silverlock emerging from the forest where the night before he has been the guest of Robin Hood and his merry band; stopping at a tavern and lunching with the Mad Hatter and his party, and pushing on for an evening feast at Heorot Hall, where the revelers are celebrating the death of Grendel by recounting the tale of the Alamo in Norse verse. All this and more in but one chapter.

'Silverlock' is a book you will come back to many times.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hard-to-find classic... July 14, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Okay, this book has 30-odd reviews, all of the with five stars, and some with titles like "the best book ever written". What's up with that? Well... if you are one of the people unlucky enough not to know A. Clarence Shandon, aka Silverlock, then scroll back up and add this book to your cart now. I can tell you all about this book (as anyone's review will do), but it'll just come off as hyperbole. I mean: reference hunting? What's fun about that? Pilgrim's Progress? Wasn't that one of those tedious books you read in high school (and hated)?
Okay, it sounds boring or tedious or somehow suspect, but this book will make your cheek muscles hurt from the silly grin you'll wear while reading it. The plot exists in part to hang all of these delightful songs (yes, songs), characters, rimshots, and, well, yes, references off of. But it never slows down or gets tedious at all. You'll find yourself merrily zipping along right through it.
It is hard to find because it comes and goes from print--this book's the size of a Michener novel--and most people get this white-knuckled grip on their second or third copy (the first ones always having been loaned out and NEVER returned). This book is LOVED, and if you don't know about it you should (again) scroll up and purchase it now... because...
...like the Hippocrene spring at the end of the book, I can tell you all about it, but you'll never *really* understand until you've sipped from its waters.
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81 of 107 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overated December 9, 2011
Format:Paperback
The fantasy-adventure novel "Silverlock", first published in 1949, by John Myers Myers (1906-1988) had a minor cult following among some elements of the professional science-fiction community.

Based upon the glowing recommendations published in the Ace paperback I read this book much to my disappointment. At 516 pages I was anticipating an all-stops-pulled-out fantasy epic. Instead I was served up a convoluted and not very interesting tale full of literary references many of which were unfamiliar to me. Sometimes I felt like the author was making up "classics literature trivia quizzes" in lieu of a stronger narrative. If the author had included footnotes, a glossary or an appendix I might have found the book of more interest. I have subsequently noticed that the NESFA has published an annontated edition - I regret I did not a have that edition when I read the book, althought it is OOP and not inexpensive.

If you like to decode literary puzzles by all means read this book. If you are a Literature major or enjoy deciphering arcane references to myths, legends and classics this is the book you have been pineing for. Otherwise I would recommend you pass this one up. The last paperback edition of this title was published in 1996 by Ace.

Just an observation: since I posted this review - and rated it one star - I have received no "helpful" responses. I notice that the 4 and five star rated reviews show mostly "helpful" responses. I have well over 300 reviews on Amazon and notice the same trend - my 4 and 5 star reviews, in general, garner substantially more postive responses than my 2 and 1 star reviews. Just an observation.

revised 1/3/2012 & 7/14/2012
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read.
One of the best fantasy novels I have ever read. Myers is an American treasure. His non-fiction western histories and his novels are usually rip-roaring adventures that I could not... Read more
Published 6 days ago by David H. Eisenberg
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best. I re-read this every few years and I ...
One of the best.
I re-read this every few years and I enjoy it every time I read it.
Published 22 days ago by Warren
4.0 out of 5 stars but I enjoyed it.
...an odd book, but I enjoyed it.
Published 25 days ago by K. Owens
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent play on public domain characters
I enjoyed this book, especially how it combined different public domain characters. The writing is done well but I had a little trouble staying engaged sometimes. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alex
1.0 out of 5 stars Read Neil Gaimon's AMERICAN GODS instead
So I spent the entire novel looking at the Kindle display telling me how much more I had to plow through to be done with it; reading it was drudgery, and I know drudgery--I've done... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carin Bigrigg
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect summer time book to re-read
Silverlock gives me great satisfaction as a book to pull off the shelf and re-read every two or three years. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jeffrey L. Quyle
5.0 out of 5 stars one for your two-foot shelf
I first discovered Silverlock in 1979 and read it in a night and immediately started it again. All the 5 star reviews are inadequate! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tom D Vincent
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory reading
I really enjoyed this book. I went into it not knowing anything about it, but very soon caught on to what the author was doing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Loreina
3.0 out of 5 stars Second time around
First read in early 1980s; this time through it seemed somewhat less compelling but nonetheless a fun story peopled by many characters I recognized from elsewhere - and others I... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Galen Barbour
3.0 out of 5 stars OK adventure story
It is a story about an adventure that I am not very excited about. There are interesting elements here and there in the book, but overall not for me.
Published 6 months ago by B. Lin
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