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Silverlock (Prologue Books) [Kindle Edition]

John Myers Myers
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
“Every so often you come upon a story that seems like a lost tale of Grimm newly come to light. Uprooted is such a novel.”—Gregory Maguire, best-selling author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon Learn more | See similar books

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 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: 1691 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Prologue Books (January 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BB2GNP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,030 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 56 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
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... 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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84 of 112 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overated December 9, 2011
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 Silverlock, by John Myers Myers
Lots of fun for fans of Pilgrims Progress....a rollicking good adventure story about a rascal who learns a thing or two (in spite of himself). Humor in abundance.
Published 8 days ago by shiner
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
One of the best stories I've read.
Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic among classics. It still amazes me that ...
A classic among classics. It still amazes me that this isn't heralded as one of the prime pieces of modern literature and taught far and wide in schools.
Published 1 month ago by D. Parks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Swashbuckling adventure wrapped around a humorous and irreverent romp through the classics.
Published 2 months ago by Piixel Pusher
3.0 out of 5 stars Bits and bobs
By turns hailed as "a book-lover's book" and "a fantasy Pilgrim's Progress", this book is an odd conglomeration of lots of things. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Claire Bendix
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An old favorite of mine since my teenage days,,a book that I have read multiple times
Published 4 months ago by Dennis
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book when I was a young reader and ...
I loved this book when I was a young reader and still do. Upon first reading, many of the literary allusions that confused me led to further reading. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Clayton Pigwillow
3.0 out of 5 stars Many Genres, Fables, and Tales
Held my I interest for the first few chapters then began skip reading. Great if you enjoy quick reviews of major tales and Mythologies.
Published 6 months ago by Retired Teacher
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, but it had its ...
Not my cup of tea, but it had its moments. Perhaps if I was a history of literature major it would've been different. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Thos
5.0 out of 5 stars a magnificent piece of fiction
This book is like reading a fantasy novel by Mark Twain. Highly recommend this to both fantasy and sci fi readers, and to those readers who love great fiction and great prose.
Published 8 months ago by Sinan
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