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Vellum: The Book of All Hours Paperback – Deckle Edge, April 25, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall Vellum follows the story of six or seven characters through different incarnations and histories which are intertwined through myth and history and legend through to the end of this world and the next. The overriding thread that ties these characters through all of their different incarnations is the Vellum, the Book of Names, the Book of all hours, in which all that exists or will exist in this existence, or the next (or the existence next-door) is written. The characters are members of the Unkin whom have the word of god, or their mystical names placed on their very being. These characters are the incarnations, re-incarnations, and re-iterations of the various gods, spirits, angels and demon archetypes. They play and re-play their parts throughout histories both real and imagined from the beginning of the world to the end, through this world and the next and are inferred in an infinity of other worlds throughout the book. Hal Duncan has drawn parallels of the different spiritual archetypes and strung them together into a narrative that encompasses the genres of classic and contemporary horror, post-modernism, cyber-punk and pulp sci-fi-fantasy.Read more ›
The problem I had with it is more a matter of my own personal taste than a true criticism of the book. With such a convoluted story and so much jumping from one reality to another, one version of the same character to another, I never felt like I really knew the characters and I was unable to get attached to them. To me, the most important thing in any story is the characters, so this hindered my enjoyment and made it hard for me to force myself to continue.
This had been recommended to me by someone on a House of Leaves forum, and I was very excited, as that was one of my favorite books. But House of Leaves was extremely focused on its characters, giving one a very deep look inside their heads. Where with this one, I couldn't always guess what a character's true feelings are.
If one likes a challenge and a lot of mythology, and doesn't mind not getting to know characters very well, then this is very much worth reading. Actually, it is worth reading no matter what, I'd say.
The basic concept here is one group of superhuman beings versus another. Angels versus demons, all mixed up with ancient gods and supernatural beings. Ah, cool. Let's tie the mythology of all cultures together, uniting all the those stories of gods and goddesses together with the christian mythology of angels and demons and tie it all to an underlying premise that makes everything make sense. Then let's tell a really good story around it. Oops, forgot the really good story. Also forgot interesting protagonists, compelling plot, and page-turning suspense. Decided instead to substitute tortured, wandering prose, uninteresting and venal characters with some massive chip on the shoulder because they're homosexual, and a collection of chapters that follow three different story lines, never particularly well, and without ever really tying anything together.
There are books that do make you work hard for an enjoyable payoff. When they are well done though they dribble out rewards for you along the way, escalating to ever better satsifaction with the novel. This is not one of those books. This book provides no rewards along the way but instead sets up a tautology that dictates you must suffer the authors world-views, angst, self-doubt, prejudices, and fears in order to appreciate this work. Bollux. Give me a writer who can tell a story and who doesn't subject me to his personal hang-ups.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved the movie - book is lame in comparison - its been the other way around for me, but not this timePublished 8 months ago by John Howard Scriver
I have only abandoned three books in my entire 50+ year old life. This is one of them. Repetitive doesn't begin to describe it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Paul J. Camp
silly me i said everything i should've needed to say in my review of INK; basically: read both books now.Published 17 months ago by skinnyblackcladdink
Never have I been so simultaneously confused and entertained at the same time. Vellum is a ricocheting pinball of images and ideas and I loved every minute of it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by N. Holtschulte
I felt the character and plot development was a bit chunky at the beginning, yet once the author yanked us into another dimension, the awkward and disturbing and edgy was what I... Read morePublished on April 20, 2014 by RubyG
The problem with Vellum and Ink: when you finally get the story -- and you will get the story -- it will be exactly like the Christmas where you opened the box that you were sure... Read morePublished on November 30, 2013 by Michael Wardlow
Of all the books I've read this year, it took me the longest (nearly a month) to get through 'Vellum. Read morePublished on September 22, 2013 by Rich Stoehr
As other readers have stated this book starts great, it really grabed me in the beginning. But it slowly, verrry slowly turned into a collection of anti-christian diatribes. Read morePublished on May 18, 2013 by Angela