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The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars Paperback – June 15, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Steven Brust is a master stylist.” ―Publishers Weekly
“In a genre that's mostly done by the numbers, Steven Brush maintains a hipster charm and an originality of mind.” ―The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Top Customer Reviews
When I say I'm not sure I got it all, I wasn't kidding. While it resonated on all those levels, I don't think I fully understood the relationship of the Hungarian fairy tale to the painter's story; I'm not sure I caught all the symbolism within the painting, either. I'll just have to go reread it . . . darn!
Brust touches on the dynamics of friendships in crisis, lives at a point of decision and the creative process itself in this brilliant story.
This will strike a chord in any writer or artist.
Buy it. Now.
The story is centered around Greg, a young painter who shares a studio with four fellow artists. They're almost broke, and they're reaching a point where their artistic ambitions must come to fruitition or be set aside for mundane pursuits.
The fact that all their efforts might have been for nothing creates tension within the group, and the fact that Greg is a rather arrogant does not help. He's intelligent and he knows it, but he has trouble seeing things from more than one side, and this makes him rather insensitive. He takes art seriously to the point of pretentiousness, but he is not the most talented artist in the group. He is, all in all, human. The other characters are of course less thoroughly described, but I did not find them boring or one-dimensional.
There are several sections where Greg is allowed to think aloud, expressing his thoughts about life, art and hungarian faerie tales. When you flip the last page, you have really gotten to know Greg.
I consider this one of the strong points of the book. Even with his biased opinions and ill-considered remarks, Greg is a likable character. He lives off his girlfriend and feels rather guilty about this, but he can't let go of his artistic ambitions. Like a man who gambles with household money, he must either take the loss and admit failure, or go on, raise the stakes and hope for his luck to improve.Read more ›
It's written by an author best known for his swashbuckling fantasy stories, but this book bears little resemblance to Brust's other fictions. There is a hint of Vlad's cockiness and introspection, a bit of the philosophical debate found in Freedom and Necessity. But it is not speculative fiction of any sort -- science fiction, high fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, etc. If that's what you're looking for, look elsewhere.
It was first published in a series of modern retellings of classic fairy tales, but the fairy tale element is minimal here, so again, if that's what you're looking for, you'll be disappointed.
On the surface this is a story about painters and the visual arts, young artists struggling to make a living post-college, but that, too, is deceptive. Some knowledge of and interest in painting will certainly add to your enjoyment of this book -- particularly some of the clever section headings, which are titles of well-known paintings. On the other hand, the book does not require such knowledge, which may make the very broad level of treatment given to art history and visual theory frustrating for people who come to the novel expecting these to be the focus.
What the book is, as the main character Greg says explicitly, is an attempt to understand something of the process of artistic creation. And while it's ostensibly about painting, the book is written by a writer, so it's no great leap to understand much of the content as about writing. It's a metafiction, a writing about writing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I give this book to all the artists in my life. It's a beautiful examination of/reflection upon what art does to the consumer, where it comes from in the artist, and how... Read morePublished on January 11, 2014 by Bailey R. Hansen
I recently read a speech by Gene Wolfe that referenced this work in a very postive light.
Were I the one who wrote "The Sun, the Moon and the Stars," I would consider a... Read more
The Sun, the Moon and the Stars wasn't at all what I expected. I expected a fairy tale, and there is a Hungarian folk tale woven through the book. Read morePublished on March 15, 2008 by Caroline Lamb
Steven Brust likes telling more than one story at a time, quite literally. In this novel from early in his career, Brust gets ambitious, telling the story of an artist struggling... Read morePublished on April 20, 2007 by Meneldir
This older edition has a different cover and some believe the painting in question in the book.
Returning once again to Steven Brust, I am now choosing to review not one... Read more
Once upon a time there was a girl who read a book so bad that it gave her a headache, and now she is suffering from insomnia and has no recourse but to write a review on amazon... Read morePublished on November 14, 2006 by A. A. Lane
Returning once again to Steven Brust, I am now choosing to review not one of his Vlad Toltos or Dragaera books going on to a much deeper book by this very creative writer. Read morePublished on May 26, 2006 by Steven R. McEvoy
Although it has been a year since I've read this book I felt I needed to add my review to dispell some of the negative remarks from some of the other reviewers. Read morePublished on October 28, 2005 by The Frigidy Gypsy
Yes. Categorically, yes. Steven Brust has one great gift and that is his ability to tell a tale in such a way that it almost feels like he is in fact, right there telling it to... Read morePublished on November 28, 2004 by John R. Ivicek Jr.