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Gray Lensman Paperback – April 15, 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Ripping Publishing (April 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1899884157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899884155
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I (and many others) believe the best place to start with Doc Smith's "Lensman" series is Galactic Patrol; and as I've said why, at length, in my review of that opus, I won't repeat it here.

"Gray Lensman" begins where "Patrol" left off, and never flags, from the start to the finish.

Smith at this point is a massively improved writer from the author of the earlier Skylark series, and much more confident in his characters: Richard Seaton, for instance, never has the moments of self-doubt that trouble Kinnison, and would certainly never burst into tears (as the latter does when his nurse won't feed him beefsteak in hospital!).

Even more unexpected is the development of an impish sense of humour, manifested in several places, but most notably in the exploits of Wild Bill Williams of Aldebaran II, in the present volume — surely one of the most entertaining episodes in the whole of Golden Age SF.

I've never understood critics — including the normally-perspicacious Brian Aldiss* — who say that Smith couldn't write. True, he probably never gave T.S. Eliot (his exact contemporary) any sleepless nights, and better authors have certainly stood on his shoulders; but the Lensman series is F-U-N, and without it the SF world would be a much duller place.

*in Billion Year Spree, later revised as Trillion Year Spree.
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Format: Hardcover
In what can only be described as a act of wanton child abuse, my English teacher once handed me Galactic Patrol to quiet me down in class. It took me a while to find all the Lensman books but from that day on I've read more and more widely year by year and can only credit The Doc for turning me into the bibliophile I am today. Is he a master craftsman of literature? No, but what he is and what he understands is sheer, rip-roaring fun from the first page to the last. The only man I ever read who can begin a story by blowing up a planet and smoothly escalate the story from that point onwards, rising into ever higher peaks of sheer imagination.

Gray Lensman quite literally starts with the climax of the previous novel and the cleaning up, then rolls on with a literally galaxy-spanning war against drug runners and sedition, punctuated by the clash of battlefleets and super-weapons on a scale few other authors would even contemplate, its villains to a man (and woman) starkly brilliant and capable, countered only be heroes even more so - from the winged, many-limbed and stalk-eyed Worsel of Velantia to the cowardly, self-effacing and terrifying Nadrek of Palain VII whose physical form could only be described in negatives and who partly existed in a hyper-dimension so as to be able to survive at temperatures where liquid water is a hellish brew of pure destruction.
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Format: Paperback
I've got most all of his books, Lensman, Skylark ... I find his stories brilliantly thought out. The only 'critic' I have is I find his prose 'overwritten', too many flowery phrases and adjectives. The only thing that saves his work is his introspective.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written story. Would recommend this to everyone. I've enjoyed this author for many years. You will have a great adventure with this story.
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