City at the End of Time by Greg Bear

  (8 ratings)

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Book Information  
AuthorGreg Bear
TitleCity at the End of Time
GenreScience Fiction
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by K Dorsett 
(Sep 27, 2010)

Overall: Wow. This book makes me feel like I just finished the death march of Bataan.
I am suffering with the characters on the last 100 pages as they march to Nataraja, the false city. It is not a pretty sight or a read.
Max Glaucous of London as a character is excellently drawn. He reminded of a few of Dickens’s characters.
The Moth, the White Queen are shadowy but real enough.
Ginny, Jack and Daniel are barely adequate as main characters.
The crèche born, Jebrassy and Tiadba were real, as was their world.
The rest – the witches, Whitlock etc, -- who were those people anyway? I could not keep them straight and they made no difference to the story at all.
Plot: Some excellent ideas but this author needed a good editor who could have cut out 2/3s of the book and ended up with a tight interesting read of 150 pages rather than a monotonous 474 page story that is very boring at times.

Submitted by Anonymous 
(Sep 04, 2009)

Never having read Greg Bear's work before I found this book based on the previous list of accomplishments and awards. From the outset I had hopes this story would not only entertain but pique my curiosity and perhaps even throw in an interesting hook on time or time travel or... As I read I found I wasn't interested in the characters I found a general lack of character development. Still I pushed on and found that although there were conflicts, it wasn't possible for me to tell the scope of the conflict and made it hard to 'connect' to the story. Midway I had developed only a marginal interest in the breed characters and would have liked more cultural background and much more interpersonal development. Even at that point I found myself pushing to read on, I didn't seem too drawn or compelled to read through. The ending is for me the most unfortunate portion of this book, it wraps up a story-line that has only just unfolded, ex the introduction of Brahma, and the full meaning of the reincarnation cycle of the universe. Worse, I found our non-machine characters (eidolons and the librarian were machines yes?) thrown into a garden of Eden. and everyone lived happily ever after. Something hard enough to take from characters I've become connected to, silly with characters I can't care about.

Submitted by Thomas Witting 
(Sep 04, 2009)

I bought the book full of anticipation after having read the back cover. Immediately you could sense that this is not one of the easy ones, but I thought, having read SF for 42 years I will comprehend this, and it will turn out to be a gem if I just persist.

After a 100 pages I let the book rest awhile, thinking I just must have been reading it too late in the evening. After 200 pages I was frustrated, finally after 400 I was ready to burn it, travel to the US, become a citizen, and file a 150M$ lawsuit for wasting my time (pun intended).

The idea as such is wonderful I will give you that, and the ending is (for those with faith) almost clear and quite ingenious, but instead of a tight 40 page short story you get 400+ pages of delirium which make no sense and after 200 pages you stop trying to make any sense of obscure happenings and things that literally go bump in the night because, which is painfully evident in the end - there is none! There never was any meaning with all those boring pages except to make money out of people like me, which is also part of the hurt.

Again, why did I not stop then? Well, there were glimpses and instances of great writing, and fascinating ideas, but in the end that is what it just was, glimpses. My advice to those interested in this book is to borrow it, look at the illustration in the book and go to the website, then read the last 100 pages and focus on the 50 last so you won't waste reading time.

Greg Bear is a great writer I'll say that, but this was not great for anything but making me sleep and dreamlessly at that. Like watching protons decay ...

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