- Hardcover: 200 pages
- Publisher: Subterranean; Deluxe edition (July 30, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596062452
- ISBN-13: 978-1596062450
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,835,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
This is Me, Jack Vance! Hardcover – July 30, 2009
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
For anyone new to Jack Vance, this is the interesting lifestory of a prolific author of celebrated imagination and originality, containing a good measure on his globetrotting treks and oft ex-pat lifestyle, written with Vance's renown fluidity and style, easily holding the reader's interest steadily throughout. The book features an annex of 65 photos. It is a respectable feat for Vance to write this from the summit of age 93 (being effectively blind as well), commanding a writing career spanning some 66 years, and it is wonderful to relish whatever rare star-born crystal "IOUN stones" he generously chooses to share. (We should all hope to reach such venerable age, much less write a coherent, well-written book.)
But for ardent Vance-fans there perhaps is an unlooked for tact taken by Vance, for he eschews to "talk shop" (p.7) or relate much about specific novels and works, nor supply revelatory depth about his preeminent writing career. However this must NOT be construed as anything UNexpected, for as evidenced by every interview Jack Vance ever did, he has consistently been disinclined to discuss his works at length, but would rather that they stand on their own. (In the preface to The Best of Jack Vance he declares he does not like "to discuss, let along analyze" his stories. Likewise he has been notoriously reticent [in comparison to peers] to embark on self-promoting campaigns.) Such admirable integrity, as it were, he has carried characteristically into his autobiography, albeit to yowls of his steadfast fans (myself included).
Yet there is PLENTY in this 'bibliographically quiescent' lifestory for any fan comfortably familiar with Vance's marvelous corpus.Read more ›
I had hoped for more, but the book is a pleasant enough travelogue, with many, mostly warm -- sometimes humorous -- stories about old friends; this memoir is perhaps intended more for people he knew than for his readers. At one point, he even says he no longer feels like the same person who wrote, as he puts it, all that "junk." At his age, and with his achievements, maybe he has earned the right to feel beyond it all. In the end, all I can say is, Thank you Mr. Vance for a lifetime of good reading, and for helping keep alive my sense of wonder. I really enjoyed that "junk."
In short I found this first a refreshing memoir about a time and place in America, where times were tough but anything could happen. Next, the sum of Vance' experiences and their relationships to his work I found fascinating -- nearly every page evoked for me one of his novels or stories. Lastly, the tone of the work I found full of generosity, inventiveness and toughness -- qualities too rare in authors, but abundant in Vance' heroes and heroines and, as I perceive, in Vance himself.
Vance's literary career is long and distinguished, and his books have never contained any biographical information about Vance himself, leading some people to conclude he was some kind of recluse. According to this volume, far from it--- but even here, the party-giving Vance and globe-trotting Vance and cornet-playing Vance have little or nothing to say about the writing Vance.
There is a tacked-on section near the back that touches lightly on Vance the professional author, and near it is a shocker (to me anyway) about the (for anyone else, crushing) handicap he worked under during his last two decades of writing.
Jack Vance has always been my favorite science fiction author, and reading this book is a bit like sitting beside the approximately 90-year-old Vance and hearing him reminisce. If it gets dull more than once, well, I've sat beside as many old-timers as I could, to hear their stories, and it always, always gets dull. That's the price you pay to gather the gems along the way, and I found many gems in these pages.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're a Vance fan and want to find the origins of his exotic worlds in places he's actually lived or visited, this book will be extremely revealing. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amateur critic
This book is a travelogue told by a stranger. There is nothing to suggest that its narrator is Jack Vance aside from his use of the name. Read morePublished on November 21, 2013 by Tech Advice
I hate saying this, but while there are nuggets of gold here, you have to sift pretty hard to find them. Read morePublished on August 2, 2012 by Manly Reading
Wasn't sure what to expect from this book; the author states early on that he won't be doing much "explication" of his writing process. Read morePublished on March 25, 2012 by Volunteer of America
That autobiography is a mystery to me. I just went out of it thinking my beloved JV has always been a dilettante traveling here and there without staying long enough to learn... Read morePublished on April 3, 2011 by Michel
The better name for this book would be: The list places I have visited, some people I have met, and not much else. Read morePublished on July 26, 2010 by Timo Pietila
Vance says up front that shop-talk about writing is going to be scarce, and that's certainly true -- but that's not what makes this book so disappointing. Read morePublished on February 9, 2010 by Kurt Busiek
Reading about Mr. Vance, how he lived, his attitude on life....was enlightening and touching. He has lived a life with little regret, seen the world and shared his gift.Published on January 5, 2010 by D. Siler
Mr Vance's book - written, like many of his works, while he is blind -gives insight into the triumph of his spirit against adversity, a finely achieved survival which would make... Read morePublished on October 27, 2009 by Senex 72