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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Publisher: Wildside Press
Date of Publication: 2000
Binding: paperback
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Condition: Good
Description: This Book is in Good Condition. Normal wear to covers and edges, text is clean with no marks, binding tight. Not Ex-Library. 100% Guaranteed.
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The Well at the World's End: Volume I Paperback – March 20, 2000


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The Well at the World's End: Volume I + The Well at the World's End: Volume II (Wildside Fantasy) + The Wood Beyond the World
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Product Details

  • Series: Well at the World's End (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Borgo Press (March 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587150883
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587150883
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
82%
4 star
12%
3 star
6%
2 star
0%
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See all 17 customer reviews
Very difficult to categorize.
Richard Rathe
I rank this book up there with the Gormenghast series and the Lord of the Rings.
OkiCraig@aol.com
The Well at the World's End is marvelous.
Oddsfish

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By James D. DeWitt VINE VOICE on July 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
William Morris may have been the last Renaissance Man. Artist, philosopher, politician, utopian and, as this marvelous book demonstrates, epic romanticist. The Well at the World's End was very nearly the first of its kind, an epic romance filled with magic, intrigue, guile, love, sex and long journeys to strange places. Plainly, these are the elements of three-quarters of modern fantasy. But Morris did it first, and he did it very, very well (sorry).
Ralph of Upmeads is the youngest son of a king. The king of a very small, but very real kingdom. He runs away, but as he runs away his godmother gives him a simple necklace with a bead on it. And, all unknowingly, his path is then destined to the Well at the World's End. Along the way he has adventures that have since been copied or simply stolen by Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Mercedes Lackey and most everyone else. But Morris did it first.
Joseph Campbell, who wrote about and understood heroic fantasy very well, to my knowledge never mentioned Morris, but he would recognize Ralph of Upmeads at once. Ralph overcomes tragedy ("He must needs bend the bow") and the loss of his first true love, to triumph in the spirit, in love, and in military heroics.
Morris affects a kind of Old English language style, very archaic even when he wrote it, but after a few pages it becomes part of the tone of the story and lends greatly to the atmosphere that Morris was trying to create. There are truly harrowing scenes in this book, but Morris's writing carries them off very well and, perhaps, even more effectively because of the language he uses.
The inventiveness is wonderful - superior to the majority of what you can find today - and the plotting is intricate without being confusing.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Cipriano on October 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Don't let the dismal fact that this book is twenty-zillionth on the bestseller list discourageth you.... it is well worth orderething.
I first came to this book through the published endorsement (hence, not personal) of the great C.S. Lewis, who made his first reading of the Well in November of 1914. He read it many times thereafter.
In my ONE reading of the two volumes, I can attest to the fact that this is a beautiful story, a rich fantasy, a vibrant fairy-tale with no fairies. Among other things... a love story. Strictly speaking, as regards genre, it is a "romance". The chivalric, bardic story of Ralph of Upmeads, the least likely of the King's four sons, who devotes his life to the quest of the Well at The World's End... a fabled well which promises to reward its discoverer with perpetual youth.
If you are in love with Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings (and who isn't) you should definitely consider having an affair with The Well At The World's End. Let me defuse the daunting issue of Morris's use of archaic language. Be ye warned, in every sentence you will constantly encounter words such as forsooth, hitherward, quoth, whither, rideth, erstwhile, deem, draweth, betwixt, and I wot not else. At first I thought this would be really intolerable. But I quickly adapted to it, and even found it kind of "not vile".
Remember... Volume 2 is essential. It's NOT a sequel, it's a conclusion. Get both volumes, and escape the world of car horns and remote control for a bit.
I applaud this new re-issue of what is definitely a fantasy classic. Previously, one had to search a hundred used-book stores to find it. Now it's a click away.
And as regards it's place on the bestseller list? I am reminded of the wise words of the great Henrik Ibsen, who once suggested that "the solid majority is always wrong."
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
I first ran into this book by accident in 1975 - it still remains one of my absolute favorites and I encourage anyone interested even remotely in fantasy or heroic romanticism to read it.
However, some caveats should be observed. The ORIGINAL story was published by Kelmscott Press which used "gothic" fonts and unconventional design. Ballentine used this as the source for the 1970 edition and a lot of textual errors crept in - not all of which have been corrected in this new version. (For example "A garth of pound" should read "A garth OR pound.")
But this does not excuse the omission of several paragraphs which are dropped from the bottom of page 308. It looks almost as though a whole page is missing.
I still highly recommend this book regardless. But if a better edition makes its way into the market I would buy that one instead.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
You've got to wonder why people fall all over themselves in slavish imitation of Lovecraft and his "mythos" and yet nobody seems to have planned any literary adventures in William Morris' world of Upmeads. I've been interested in fantasy literature and its history for a while, and a week ago I finally sat down and read this book. I was expecting it to be better than Lord of the Rings, and it was. I've always preferred Lewis' Narnia to Tolkien's Middle-Earth, and Morris gives me another alternative (albeit the alternative that actually spawned both Narnia AND Middle Earth). Ralph and Ursula make one of the most affectionate, lovable couples to be found in fantasy literature, the physical descriptions of landscapes and clothing and people are all the more gorgeous for their archaic nature, and you even get as an occasional bonus William Morris inserting his pre-Fabian socialist ideas into people's mouths. If people are going to write imitative fantasy novels, they should start with THIS, and not Tolkien or Lovecraft.
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The Well at the World's End: Volume I
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