|Submitted by Mike Montgomery |
(Jun 04, 2006)
Having just finished the book, I can say that I don't feel especially satisfied. As it was a short read and written by Jack Vance - the author whom I'd heard such prais - I decided to read it through in a couple of sittings after picking it up from a second-hand store. What I found was a fairly disjointed story with some interesting ideas that failed to be expanded on. The scenes and journeys seemed to be superficial and over in too short a time. Character development was poor in the sense that just as you were getting acquanted with them they were either killed of or left behind. Each chapter involved a new character on a new journey with little or no reference at all to previous characters or even locations.
Vance's enjoyable and fluid style make for fairly enjoyable read, but beyond that I fail to see why there is such hype around this author. True that this is the first, and probably only, book I have read by Vance, but what I've experienced hasn't got me to crave more. Therefore, with this in mind, I'm not really criticising the author as such, but rather The Dying Earth story as a standalone. Naturally he planned for it to be read as an introduction to the rest of the series, but I don't feel inclined to continue, and as a standalone it really didn't work for me.
By the end it felt like I'd read 6 individual tales crammed into 150 pages.