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Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1990
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"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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“Dan Simmons has brilliantly conceptualized a future 700 years distant. In sheer scope and complexity it matches, and perhaps even surpasses, those of Isaac Asimov and James Blish.”—The Washington Post Book World
“An unfailingly inventive narrative . . . generously conceived and stylistically sure-handed.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Simmons’s own genius transforms space opera into a new kind of poetry.”—The Denver Post
“An essential part of any science fiction collection.”—Booklist
- Item Weight : 8.9 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 481 pages
- Product dimensions : 4.21 x 1.03 x 6.89 inches
- ISBN-13 : 978-0553283686
- Publisher : Spectra (March 1, 1990)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I bought Hyperion impulsively because of its "brilliant, transcendent" etc reviews, which I happened upon looking for more Neal Stephenson. I came so close to missing it! How many more wonderful books am I missing? How will I know? Why do I live in the middle of nowhere? ahem.
Buy this book if you love beautifully written sci-fi mystery.
The problem I have with this novel is that the writer tries to do too much with (what is obvious by middle of the book) the first in a series. It becomes more evident with each turn of the page that, with seven protagonists, there are just too many stories to flesh out and still follow the story arc as set out in the beginning of the book. While there is one of the seven who is supposed to be the prime focus of the tale he never really achieves a central place in the telling.
Artistically I found myself nonplussed at the fact that all of the main characters, in turn, tell their own back stories, ostensibly, in their own voice. Unfortunately Mr. Simmons does a poor job of varying from his own style, or removing his own voice from theirs. This results in a certain homogeneity of the stories, even though each one is significantly different and unique.
When I cast my thoughts back near the end of the novel I found it hard to differentiate where one characters story left off and anothers began, the prose used was just too similar, and should have been as varied as the people telling them.
So we have, basically, a collection of short stories from completely different characters and perspectives, yet all told in the same voice, and woven into the same story arc. It's an interesting concept that could've been done better by taking more risks.
By letting our heros speak in their own voices instead of speaking through them in the authors voice these characters could've been much deeper and more engrossing.
Worse yet the author ends the novel abruptly in a ridiculous scene that's lifted right from a famous kid-lit fantasy story's middle! This weird left turn of an ending has the feel of an editors interference, possibly chopping up a too long novel into two, leaving the first with an inexplicable, maddening, mess of an ending!
There is no denouement, no satisfactory wrap-up at all. In fact I believe the publisher just arrogantly assumes that you'll be compelled to buy the next book in the series.
Frankly, I'm not sure that I will.
C. M. Thanks for reading. :^)
I usually try to avoid this kind of review but seriously. Save your time and money.
Wow. I mean, good grief, how could you not want to read a book with that sort of praise? Especially if you are a science fiction fan like myself.
And in fact, the first third of the book was very promising. I was enjoying the book enough to purchase the companion audible recording so I could listen to it in my car. Another third and I was checking Amazon to see if I could return it. Unfortunately, it was past a week, and therefore my return window was closed. However, since I hate wasting money just barely more than I hate reading a bad book, I decided to finish it. And it nearly redeemed itself before falling short again.
It is true that at times Simmons is a wonderful author. I felt like I knew each of the characters, their personalities, and what made them tick. And at times, the story was brilliant; for some story arcs I could not put the book down. Others, not so much.
You see, the premise of the book, without giving too much away, as that there are several pilgrims on a mission. During the course of their mission, each pilgrim tells a story on why they have decided to join this expedition. So, the books is mainly six mini-books within a book, each one telling a personal story unconnected from all the other stories, other than the fact that each story is linked somehow to the planet Hyperion. In other words, there really isn't much world-building going on, or even an overarching plot, if you will.
Simmons is one of those authors who feels it is necessary to inundate us with f-bombs. Plus tons of gratuitous sex scenes, some of them dark and twisted. But even worse, he feels the need to comment on the breasts of every single female he introduces in the story. Every. Single. One. No matter the age, whether they be 70, or even 15. It's sort of creepy, to be honest. Makes you wonder what's in the guy's head.
So, 4 stars for the story, minus one star for misogynistic bent, minus one star for lack of world building, and minus one star for ending the book on a cliffhanger.
Yup, you heard it, not a single plot line is resolved at the end of the book. Just leaves you hanging. It wouldn't be so bad if you knew that going in. But nothing I read about the book gave me this essential piece of information. While I knew it was the first book in the series, and therefore expected some plot lines or story arcs to carry over, I also expected some resolution at the end of the book. Nope, notta one. Since then I read that Simmons says the first and second book in the series need to be read as a single story. Ah, now you tell me.
Which leaves me in a dilemma. I really had no plans/desire to read the rest of the series, let alone the second book. But I have to admit, I have a vested interest now, and am actually curious how the plot is resolved, and what happens to the characters. So I'm torn between diving into the second book, which I assume will have all the faults of the first, or just cheat and read a plot summary of the second book. Decisions, decisions.
I noticed Amazon and Goodreads have a slightly different meanings to their 5-point scale. I thought it was odd to have a different rating for the same book on two different sites, so I came up with my own scale below. For the record, it is fairly close to Amazon's scale, but allows me to be consistent between the two sites.
5 - Fantastic. Life-altering. Maybe only 30 in a lifetime.
4 - Very good.
3 - Worth your time.
2 - Not very good.
1 - Atrocious.
Top reviews from other countries
It just doesn't matter though. Having rolled my eyes at all the sci-fi nonsense in the first chapter, I found myself drawn in and read half the book in one sitting. It follows a Generation X style format where characters take turns to tell their own stories and each story is fascinating. The characters feel very different, their stories really do seem to come from different narrators. Some are pulpy and exciting, others are really touching.
The end is a bit disappointing, it is basically put off to be dealt with in the second book. However, this first entry in the series is so well written that reading the next one was necessity for me anyway.
I’m giving this a five star rating, but it’s only a borderline one. The reason is something any every sci-fi author should beware: time travel does not work. It never does. It creates plot holes and inconsistencies. Fortunately this doesn’t get too much in this book. It gets a lot worse in the next three.
Simmonds weave a mystery around an enigma that slowly unfolds like a rubik cube. Epic scale and gargantuan stakes are at play with the fate of the mega billions of humans, A.I.'s potentially resting in the hands of seven unlikely pilgrims.
I cannot wait to read its sequel. And neither shall you.
Truely, Hyperion is science fiction epic and an automatic classic of the genre.