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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Fall of 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
EAN: 9780553288209
ISBN: 0553288202
Label: Spectra
Manufacturer: Spectra
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 528
Publication Date: 1991-03-01
Publisher: Spectra
Release Date: 1995-11-01
Studio: Spectra

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Editorial Reviews:

In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention.  On
the world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening.  And the secrets they contain mean that nothing--nothing anywhere in the universe--will ever be the same.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Comment: This book, along with Hyperion, is a masterpiece of writing. This is written by a man who has a deep passion for science fiction and he brings it to a literary level seldom reached. That Nicholas Sparks junk novels end up in the literature section and This book doesn't is a crime. Stephen King said it best and I agree..."I AM IN AWE OF DAN SIMMONS."

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Good, but not Great
Comment: For those readers who reveled in the emotional and intellectual heights of Hyperion, the Fall of Hyperion is quite a let down. In Hyperion, I found the short-story format set within the evolving mystery of the Hyperion war to be among the most engaging styles I have ever read in a novel of this kind. The emotional impact of Sol and Sarai watching their daughter grow young before their eyes, the painful sorrow of Siri's tale and the destruction of Maui-Covenant - just brilliant. In Fall of Hyperion, we see a return to a more conventional style with multiple complex plot lines the reader is forced to alternate between. The use of Severn/Keats as a narrator is puzzling and in my mind detracts from the story. I am still not sure why I should care about Keats, why he was chosen to play such a significant role by the AIs, why we have to read through a detailed descripiton of Keats' return to Rome to die of TB. Then, Keats is used to intervene in critical ways in the lives of the pilgrims - it cheats the storyline of precious credibility. We see the disembodied Keats persona somehow taking physical form by finding symbiosis with the Templar's erg in order to prevent the Shrike from taking Rachel off to some unkown fate? Come on! Pretty ridiculous. I also am not very impressed with the religious philosophizing about the nature of God, but maybe that's just me.

On balance, however, the book works, and I will be moving on the Endymion.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Descent into chaos
Comment: The Fall of Hyperion picks up the Hyperion Cantos where it left off, but with a unique twist: the story switches to a first-person narrative told from the perspective of Joseph Severn, the cybrid reincarnation of the poet John Keats. This point of view allows Simmons a great deal of freedom, as Severn can directly narrate the compelling story of tragic Meina Gladstone, he can keep the reader informed of the Shrike pilgrims through his unusual dreaming capabilities, he provides a link to the cryptic but critically important Ummon in the Core, and finally his own experiences make up a large part of the slow, sad denouement to the tale.

While all of the Hyperion stories are excellent, in retrospect this might have been the one that engaged me the least. After the incredibly engaging, intense, and well-crafted "Hyperion", "The Fall of Hyperion" feels a little bit rough around the edges. There is a lot of action and dialogue that are confusing to follow. The comings and goings around the Time Tombs tended to unfurl in a relatively slow fashion--like martial artists fighting in quicksand. The Shrike resumes its role as the mechanical bogeyman, but its actions shift from indiscriminate killer to more nuanced plot facilitator ... making its motives as friend or foe unclear. Much of the dialogue involving Keats' poetry or especially the Zen koans seemed indulgent in a "look ma, allegory!" kind of way, without adding much to the story itself. Fortunately, Simmons seemed to sense a need to "translate" the intended meaning of the poetry into verse so nothing was really lost, but it made deciphering the text a bit tedious at times (I grew to have a strong dislike for Ummon for this reason!).

Ultimately though, this is a successful tale of the descent into chaos for the decadent but decaying Hegemony of Man. We see the downfall of the Hegemony through the eyes of the elegantly portrayed Meina Gladstone, triggered in large part by a critical insight about the subtly sinister TechnoCore provided by Ummon. We see the fall of Hyperion itself at the hands of the enigmatic Ousters. Finally, we see several deaths, "rebirths", and a pregnancy that will play a critical role in the subsequent stories.

In many ways, "The Fall of Hyperion" was probably the most challenging story of the Cantos for Simmons to write because it needed to fill two roles: as both the "conclusion" of "Hyperion" and the segue to the "Endymion" stories, Simmons needed to wrap up certain story lines, continue others, and start yet several more as the foundation for the Endymion books. He returned to a more conventional (less innovative?) narrative style than Hyperion, and the writing seemed to suffer a bit from this novel's broader scope (this is where a talented editor should've stepped in). For me at least, Severn is the weakest of this series' many narrators, as his status as a somewhat enigmatic copy of a copy of a 19th century poet makes him feel more like a plot device than a flesh-and-blood character that the reader can make a connection with. Still, "The Fall of Hyperion" serves as the necessary and still largely-successful bridge between the outstanding "Hyperion" and the concluding Endymion tales so if you have made it this far, dear Reader, continue on!

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Really part two of one story
Comment: 'The Fall of Hyperion' by Dan Simmons is the sequel to 'Hyperion'. It is in essence part two of one continuous story. The fate of the Shrike pilgrims is revealed, as are the nature and origin of the Shrike and time tombs.

This is a enjoyable sequel that ties up most of the plot lines satisfactorily. Simmons tells a good story, and has created a very interesting future, but the scale is too large, not content with outlining a future several centuries from now, the plot involves not just the ultimate fate of humanity, but the very nature of God himself. It's all a bit much. Definitely a must read if you have read 'Hyperion' but definitely do not read unless you have read 'Hyperion'

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Not as Good as First Hyperion, but Strong Effort
Comment: I thoroughly enjoyed Dan Simmons' first HYPERION novel, and agree with the assessment that its one of the best SF novels of recent years. FALL OF HYPERION concludes the story begun in the first novel, and it's a very effective, if not brilliant read.

As with many SF novels, the main achievment of HYPERION is how Simmons' builds his future world. The Hyperion universe is intricately constructed, and Simmons spends a great deal of time detailing how his world thinks and operates. Simmons is, without question, a highly intelligent author, perhaps even a brilliant one. His universe comes alive in a way that I have rarely seen in a book like this.

The only downside of FALL OF HYPERION is the rather plodding nature of the plot, and Simmons tendency to become long-winded in his descriptions. Still, the rather slow-paced middle leads to a rather remarkable ending that I found worthwhile.

Overall, a strong read and I look forward to reading the next two installments.

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