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Silverlock Paperback – April 5, 2005
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- Publisher : Ace Trade (April 5, 2005)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0441012477
- ISBN-13 : 978-0441012473
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.98 x 1.01 x 8.88 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,581,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Why this book is not a classic I know not. If I didn't know this was published in the 1940s, I would have sworn it must have been written within the last two decades. It holds up surprisingly well for a book approaching the century mark.
The mind behind it is incredibly well-read, analytical and insightful. John Myers Myers tackles such complex subjects such as religion and politics in an amazingly cohesive and coherent way. That he does so in an almost flippant manner only emphasizes the depth of his treatise on the subjects.
He makes use of people in history and fiction as characters to deliver his narrative, weaving them into modern-day scenarios, conflicts and dilemmas. Myers employs archaic and modern language to their full effect to highlight history while showing how it is relevant way past its timeline.
The most important proposition I came away with from this book involves man's tendency towards self-importance, largely without basis in fact or nature. It demonstrates how man latches on for dear life to every notion of primacy and anointment to some divine purpose or existence and his eagerness to ignore or deny every indication to the contrary--"man's chief ailment, next to being alive, is delusions of moral grandeur". It seems to posit that we miss the actual potential in life when we cling to unrealistic notions. Yet, ultimately, it suggests that the fight to persist is worth waging on its own merits, regardless of whether or not it serves a grander purpose to life. "The transition from joy to despair is often swift; but joy in its turn does not rush to fill the vacancy left by prolonged misery."
There is no denying the intelligence of the man behind this story and the command he has of the English language as well as history, religion, philosophy, government. The ability to assuredly address complex issues clearly and with mirth demonstrates an exceptional mind. SILVERLOCK makes you think and rethink your own knowledge, beliefs, assumptions. He presents new ways of seeing things and presents them so clearly. Further, he manages to present more than one side of a given issue and make each proposition utterly convincing until you hear the others which he presents as equally compelling.
Let me say that again. The first time, just read it. Ignore the temptation to stop and look up the references. If you recognize one, hooray! Enjoy seeing the story or character again from this new angle. But don't stop, keep going to the end. Then put it down for a couple months. After that, go ahead and read it with a reference at hand.
Silverlock, the protagonist, is a cynical, heartless scamp. Through a mishap, he finds himself in the "Commonwealth" which is a place in which things happen differently than in our world. Robin Hood is alive and well, and fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham. Circe is capturing men with her magical wiles. And so on. Throughout this gorgeous romp, we see our friend Silverlock emerge from his coccoon to become a real man and a decent human being.
This review cannot do justice to what is a gorgeous voyage through the Commonwealth. No one should miss this wonderful novel. Hopefully it will soon be available on the Amazon Kindle so that I may add it to my electronic library, and have it handy at all times.