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Cryptozoic! Paperback – March, 1977
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, I tried to read Cryptozoic! ("An Age") 40 years ago and could not get through it, and I'm glad to know why. It's a fairly interesting book in its way, but it appears to be the product of a powerful brain packed with too much intellectual understanding of psychology and politics and not enough experience of the real world.
Aldiss had some interesting ideas in mind when he wrote this novel, and he was already a skillful and talented writer. Unfortunately, the characters are rather stiff and not very believable, his view of Britain's politics was pessimistic in a way that seems rather dated now, and he seems to have drunk more deeply of tincture of Stapledon in a large glass of Wells.
Still, glad I read it and finally understood that I hadn't gotten bogged down just because I was dim, but also because the most outlandish, science-fictional aspects were less alien to me than the extrapolation of 1960s Britain.
But in '67 I was 16 years old and I had not yet "turned on". My happiness turned to joy when I caught on to what was being presented here, thanks to all those LSD trips I took back in college. :)
Substitute LSD for CSD and the book makes sense.
Pages 76-77 (within the chapter "The Clock Analogy") give us the author's thinking, or thesis. "He saw now that one of the occasional reactions against a high-powered industrial society had set in some years earlier...[I]n the twenty-seventies, the new thing was mind-travel...A generation grew up which dedicated itself, its energies and abilities, to escaping from their own time."
That was exactly the attitude, the fear, of the establishment regarding young people in the 60s in America. "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" What if all these dropouts actually DO go back to the land and decline to participate in our high-power industrial society? Where will we be then? Everything was at stake, the way they saw it in the White House (and on page 71). All means were justified in co-opting and defusing The Movement. Radical groups were infiltrated, watched, subverted, even assassinated. The War On Drugs began, i.e., drug-users.
So Aldiss asks the classical SF questions, "What if...?Read more ›
Every one wants pro's and con's, but I honestly have no 'cons' in regard to this book. If you like time travel based sci-fi in any form, then I can almost guarantee you'll love this book.
As to the other reviewer who said they read this book in a day, I would simply assume they read everybook in a day. It's not a short book at all, unless you compare it to 'Dune' maybe, but otherwise it's a meaty book that will keep you thinking as you read it. Then again, I like to savor good books on the journey reading them, and this was one of them.
Well worth the time for any time travel fan.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Aldiss is one of the more underrated sci-fi authors out there. His stuff is consistently smart and entertaining. Read morePublished 20 months ago by MP Johnson
Too much talking about nothing tthat has to do with the story,, it is hard too fow_ follow. did not read all of the sstoryPublished on October 11, 2012 by Poor
My eighth Aldiss book to-date and I haven't been disappointed in any of his novels yet (while the collection in The Saliva Tree was great, the other two of Last Orders and The Book... Read morePublished on July 12, 2011 by 2theD
...that you remember forever, in a vague dreamlike way. I was in my teens when I first read it, then again in my twenties, and finally in my thrirties the original UK version. Read morePublished on February 12, 2006 by Fulgour Prentice