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CompleteMartialArts.com - Hyperion

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Manufacturer: Spectra
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813.54
EAN: 9780553283686
ISBN: 0553283685
Label: Spectra
Manufacturer: Spectra
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 512
Publication Date: 1990-03-01
Publisher: Spectra
Release Date: 1990-02-01
Studio: Spectra

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Editorial Reviews:

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike.  There are those who worship it.  There are those who fear it.  And there are those who have vowed to destroy it.  In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all.  On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives.  Each carries a desperate hope--and a terrible secret.  And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.  

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: A victim of hype?
Comment: Yeah, I'm gonna be that guy. I understand that this book won the Hugo...and that it is "neat" because it uses the Canterbury tales as a "model". But so what? Yeah, I guess it was pretty cool having it split up into a bunch of different narratives, but I felt like the stories were longer than they needed to be. I know I know...I'm supposed to think it was super-cool that all these different stories were "woven together", and I can see that...but I just don't think it was done all that interestingly. Ok so they all had something to do with the Shrike and Hyperion, etc etc. It just didn't impress me. Simmons as a writer seems fine.

I do think, however, that he's one of those authors whose prose often falls victim to "over-describing" things. I dunno if this is just something that's changed about my own tastes or what, but I'm starting to get tired of authors who will spend 4 lines of a paragraph describing a sunset, something like "and the orange glowing soft ball of the sun settled behind the soft green curve of the hills, like a blahl blahblhalbha". I mean yeah...I can appreciate someone's ability to elaborate on a description like this, but why do it just to do it? Do we really have to do it for every sunset? Every scenery? This kind of stuff can really over-stretch the narrative when it doesn't add anything to the story. And what's even funnier to me is that more often than not, people take it hook line and sinker and assume that it's "good" writing...I'm not saying he isn't a "good" writer by the way.

But don't get me wrong...the book is a fine piece of "space-opera" scifi, but unless you're going to fall for the "it's cool because it's like the Canterbury tales" line, you probably won't find it earth-shattering. I'm just overly skeptical about stuff like this. If you want me to really be skeptical when reading a book...tell me it won the Hugo, then show me a bunch of screaming 4 and 5-star Amazon reviews about how great it is because of the fact that it's broken up into short stories. I didn't dislike the book, but I probably won't read it again. In fact the most positive thing I can say is that it did leave me wanting to know "what happens next" which...yes, a good story should do that, but a great story should do a lot more...and this just doesn't, not for me anyway.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: A movie for your mind
Comment: I'm not planning on analyzing the plot or anything of the sort, merely commenting on its descriptive characteristics. Although, in my opinion, it takes a couple tales to really grasp your attention (as most stories do), once this book gets rolling it is nearly impossible to put down. Pages fly by with out you even realizing it. For me, half the time this did not seem like reading a book at all. It seemed more like the pages past by as a movie played in my mind. The whole Hyperion Cantos as well as the Endymoin Omnibus set a bar quite high as far as descriptive quality. I certainly recommend it to anyone and in fact already have. None of them have been disappointed.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great
Comment: I just finished Hyperion and was amazed. I've read one other book by Dan Simmons - The Terror, which I absolutely loved - and I'm going through the rest of his books, starting with this one. The most powerful story has to be The Scholar's Tale - I was reading it during my lunch hour and had to choke back tears.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Excellent
Comment: Admittedly, after reading Father Hoyt's tale, I almost quit reading. That tale alone is perhaps the most disturbing piece of "horror" fiction (from a philosophical perspective) that i've ever read. However, i'm grateful to have stuck it out because Hyperion did not disappoint. I found the book absolutely BRILLIANT in the way it slowly wove together pilgrims' tales. Some were heart-warning, some tragic, some vastly disturbing like that of Hoyt. All were meaningful in some way. However, the brilliance of Hyperion rests on the fact that it does not rely on simply an intriguing story...

While entertaining the reader, Hyperion also tackles age-old philosophical issues such as the meaning of life, the problem of pain & suffering in our world, the place of religion & church, etc. The book does not seem to be shoving any agendas so much as exploring several of them with a fair hand. For a religion major such as myself, I found it nothing short of fascinating. However, as I explained above, the book delivers on a human level as well & you won't find yourself short of horror, intrigue, suspense, and even a warming heart as the pilgrims journey on.

There are only a few noteworthy faults. 1 - Some may be turned off by the widespread use of profanity throughout the book. I'm quite used to language myself but Silenus disgusted me on multiple levels. The profanity does further the character development though & therefore serves a purpose. Also 2 - after 500 some pages, I was amazed to find that there was simply no conclusion. While i'm grateful for a sequel, having not realized its existence until far into the book, I have to admit the suspense nearly killed me. I just hope that Fall provides a sufficient answer to my many questions.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Disappointing
Comment: Like much soft space opera-ish sci fi, Hyperion is filled with creative, brilliant, colorful, and sometimes inane and cheesy ideas. The prose doesn't live up to the majesty of the scenes being described, and sometimes the execution is inadequate, sometimes painfully so because it keeps some very interesting ideas, events, and themes from being properly explored. One thing I will give Simmons is that his use of recursive storytelling and the frame story, as well as his ability to imagine such a complex and compelling universe and story are excepional. I'll enjoy my memory of the stories, images, and ideas in Hyperion significantly more than the experience of actually reading it.

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