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Bridge of Ashes Mass Market Paperback – Unabridged, July 1, 1976

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (July 1, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451155610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451155610
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,114,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a future world where telepathy is a rare but known phenomenon, Dennis Guise is a young boy whose unprecedented mental power is not a blessing, but a curse. Unable to control the myriad external thoughts and personalities that flow into his consciousness, the constant influx of telepathic information leaves him in an autistic state, from which he only very rarely awakens. His therapist, Lydia, herself a telepath, seems to have some limited success in helping Dennis filter out the powerful minds whose thoughts span across time and distance. After acquiring, (and eventually dispelling) the personalities of a number of strong-minded individuals (including some famous ones), Dennis finally grows up to realize his purpose on Earth - to serve the mysterious stranger called The Dark Man in his fight against alien invaders. Peculiarly, Zelazny doesn't tell us much about the invaders, except that they are secretly manipulating mankind into turning the world into the kind of post-industrial wasteland that is their natural habitat, and they don't even appear in the novel until the very end. A smattering of interludes where we get to see the invaders at work might have made this novel more entertaining, although admittedly it might also have been a little too confusing in this already convoluted story.
The most interesting sections are in the middle, where Dennis' young mind is repeatedly being taken over by the thoughts of others, although while reading it, it's very difficult to see exactly where this unusual story is headed, and that can make the reader feel that the plot is progressing rather slowly, or, one might even suspect, not really progressing at all, but merely delaying the ending.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book breaks out into two distinct halves. The first part is a convoluted mix-mash of ideas and short blurbs as the main character, Dennis, goes through years of discovering himself. It's largely told by others, mainly his psychiatrists, because until he's a teenager he has no personality. None at all. The kid is so advanced in telepathy that he can't shut off the bombardment of thoughts of other humans. They can tell his mind is working but nothing of his body does. He's washed and fed and taken care of but doesn't respond to any stimuli because he's randomly flipping through the channels of humanity. Eventually it's realized his problem knows almost no limits as he's first isolated in the desert of New Mexico, then the Moon. But then they figure out neither distance nor time can stop him as he starts channeling Da Vinci and other great minds. Sometimes you have no idea who he is channeling though as the writing just picks up in mid thought, goes for a bit, and then the chapter ends. Annoying.

The second half of the book is where it almost gets interesting as the kid becomes aware of himself in relation to all of the others that have occupied his mind. But then... well, I'm not sure what happens. He returns to Earth to find someone he's been dreaming about/ inhabiting that may or may not be his future self in order to stop aliens from continuing to pollute the planet with technology in order to make it more habitable for their lifeforms. (And this is a huge cop-out on Zelazny's part as the aliens only appear as orbs rising up from the Indian Ocean.) Apparently they've been trying to steer humanity for eons to this end instead of just coming up with a super pollution bomb. I also don't get why only Dennis can or does stop them. There is no battle.
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Format: Paperback
The world has changed and the fighting has gotten more intense and personal. This story, to develop right, is complicated.
A married couple, who are telepaths, have a baby boy. The baby does not grow up normally, but has trouble interacting with others. As the parents are telepaths, they have some understanding of the fact of the child's problem, but they can not help, so they call in another telepath. As the child grows up, he becomes more strange and becomes connected to others outside his realm of experience altogether and, it seems, has some telepathic connection over great distances with these people. They try to decipher what he can do and how he does it, but it is very slow and does not give any results until they take him to the Moon. There he becomes an 'Everyman' of immense mental abilities. Just a weird story.
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