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The First Book of Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser #1-4)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,295 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Witty, gripping and urbane, Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar books are among the best loved of all modern fantasies
Paperback, 762 pages
Published 2001 by Gollancz (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,979)
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Lee Battersby
Immensely fun romp through the bedrock of modern fantasy with two engaging and enjoyable characters, until the constant overwriting and simmering misogyny begins to chafe just a little too often and a little too constantly for comfort. Cut the reading experience into quarters along the dotted lines described by the volumes that make up the book, and refresh your palate in between them, and this remains a thoroughly fun experience. It just requires the reader to be understanding of its real world ...more
Raj
May 31, 2011 Raj rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
This Fantasy Masterworks volume compiles the first four books of the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series, each book being itself comprised of various short stories and novellas written at different times (the Wikipedia article has a rundown of all the stories, when they were written and in which book they can be found). The titular characters are Fafhrd, a giant barbarian from the frozen north and the Grey Mouser, a small roguish man with some sorcerous training. The first two stories of the first ...more
R.M.F Brown
Swords and Sorcery at its best

As part of a generation raised on Elves, Dragons, and Vampire knock offs, Leiber's tales brought a refreshing change from the countless Tolkien imitators that dominate the market. Almost immediately, you're struck at how rational these characters are - concerned as they are with self-preservation and motivation for their own ends. They don't run off at the drop of a hat to save the world from a dark lord or rescue a damsel in distress. If anything, if the pay's good
...more
Claudiu
Fritz Leiber is a wonderfully interesting writer, though I found that his stories are best enjoyed in small sips. Though his heroes are verily interesting and his world is grand and interesting, he can get a bit tiring in longer runs. Had I pushed myself to finish the entire anthology in one attempt, I may have had some large qualms with it.
But with breaks between reading sessions, this proved quite pleasant. All in all I've found that "Swords in the mist" has been the best of the bunch, with "S
...more
hawkeye
Read this to keep yourself young. The stories can be a bit formulaic, but what a great formula: the classic odd-couple, bonded through manly adventure. The fantasy is extravagent with a feeling of newness even for seasoned fantasy readers. I found the writing very well-crafted, especially for stories which make absolutely no literary pretense: just solidly crafted plot and prose. Read it to please yourself, or to pass along to a young reader in your life. I _wish_ I'd read this when I was 12....
Rob Thompson
Before reading this book I’d heard a lot about it. The saga of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Fritz Leiber was apparently responsible for the invention of the term, “Sword and Sorcery”. With this in mind I had high expectations, hopes and anticipations. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like this book, which is actually a prequel to a more expansive series, at all.

Firstly, the book isn’t actually a coherent novel, it’s a collection of three novellas with an introduction describing the imaginary worl
...more
Ben Lovegrove
Unforgettable stories, very convincing and superbly well written.
Robert
I suspect this is not one book, but five books in one binding.

In fact, it's not even that. It's a few dozen short pulpy adventure tales, divided into five nominal books, bound together as one volume. All the stories star Fafhrd (a red-haired barbarian from the far North) and the Grey Mouser (a short, grey-wearing guy) as they adventure and quest around their world, and, in one particularly bizarre volume, ours. It's over 600 pages of pulpy fantasy, so kudos for being entertaining enough for me t
...more
Salimbol
[Review of the first book in the omnibus, 'Swords and Deviltry', only.]
3 stars
Read 17th July 2013
Reasonably entertaining early sword & sorcery from the Fantasy Masterworks series. I may be damming it with faint praise here, but at least A) it's not as dated as many from that period, and B) it's not as self-important as many from that period! It knows how to have some fun, and I quite enjoyed the time I spent with the two likeable protagonists. I wasn't particularly happy with the very ending
...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit.

I must confess that I had some preconceived notions about Fritz Leiber’s work. Because he’s credited with coining the phrase “Sword & Sorcery,” and because I never hear women talking about his stories, I imagined that they appealed mainly to men who like to read stuff that has covers like these:


But, four factors made me decide to give Fritz Leiber a try:

I feel the need to be “educated” in the field of fantasy, which means that I should read novels that are out of
...more
Derek Pennycuff
I guess it shouldn't be too surprising that a collection of stories this big is a mixed bag. Sadly, the weakest stories start off the collection. The characters are hardly recognizable in their origin stories. My advice to anyone new to the series is to skip to ll Met in Lankhmar and read forward from there.
Riju Ganguly
This book, probably the only reasonably priced collection of the first four books dealing with the adventures of the Northern barbarian Fafhrd and once-wizard-later-thief Gray Mouser, took a long time to be completed. Although it contains four books (Swords and Deviltry, Swords Against Death, Swords in the Mist, and Swords Against Wizardry), they encompass several stand-alone or inter-connected stories of varying pace & nature. Overall, thesr stories redefine the genre we broadly term as fan ...more
Krzysztof
It was... alright, I guess. Nothing stellar, nothing very much enjoyable, actually I'm somewhat disappointed. After hearing a lot about this being a must-read for fantasy fans, part of the classics and so forth, I was expecting something better.

The characters are alright, but the plots tend to be somewhat muddled and rather uninspired perhaps. Can't exactly put my finger on it, but there weren't many times when I said "that is cool" or "Ok, this is interesting". I had to force myself through the
...more
Teemu
Lähes täydellistä pre-Tolkien-fantasiaa. Pulpin riemuvoitto. Leiberin Lankhmar, varkaiden kaupunki, on ehkä M. John Harrisonin Viriconiumiakin merkittävämpi fantasialokaatio. Fafhrd-barbaari ja velho/varas/swashbuckler Grey Mouser ovat myös pulp-fantasian eräs ikimuistoisimmista antisankaripareista. Näitä kahtahan Michael Chabon lainaa Gentlemen of the Roadissa. On mielenkiintoista, että kerronta alkaa junnata ja hahmot muuttuvat tylsiksi heti kun Lankhmarista lähdetään muualle, ikään kuin Leibe ...more
David Melik
Possibly this book of four books rates as two or three, even though Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser become worse than the thieves they are. By book two or three it became disturbing, and such fantasy is not real anyway. In book three they purposely burn down their house when their girlfriends are inside, who die, because they had wanted to be rid of them, though maybe not by killing them, which they perhaps regret, but it seems the characters have weak moral character, so I stopped reading where that ...more
Francisco
This is really an anthology of Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories in internal chronological order (not in the order that the stories were written but in the chronology as it relates to the characters) as such it is a bit hit and miss. The hits, however, are more than worth it, with Ill Met in Lankhmar, the Nebula and Hugo winner story at the end of the first book being the definite stand-out.
Dan
probably read this series as a kid and enjoyed it better then. a bit too simple for my tastes now, but he was very inventive with place names
Mark Miller
The book is a series of individual stories about our heroes. Not sure that I like this type of format.
Clovis Muir
Leiber is one my favorite authors in the genre - excellent prose, engaging characters, and a refreshingly roguish and irreverent sense of humor. The Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser adventures are a blast - absolute classics and the most enjoyable "sword and sorcery" stories I have ever read by far.
Ross Lockhart
Collecting Fritz Leiber's first four Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser books, THE FIRST BOOK OF LANKHMAR contains some of the best swords-and-sorcery tales out there. High points include 1959's "Lean Times in Lankhmar," 1963's "Bazaar of the Bizarre," and 1964's "The Lords of Quarmall." Great stuff!
Sue
this started out really slowly and i was considering dropping it...i continued and the art seemed to get better and the stories got better so i did finish it. not my favorite graphic novel and one i would reserve for those 9th grade and above.
Ryan
Jun 05, 2012 Ryan added it
One of the best Fantasy books i have ever read. If you can get your hands on the series by Fritz Leiber i highly recommend it
Paul
9/10

Rollicking, well-written old-school fantasy, adventure stories. Need I say more. A fantastic escape.
Hussein
Hussein marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2015
Sébastien Simard
Sébastien Simard marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
Zora
Zora marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
John Keller
John Keller marked it as to-read
May 23, 2015
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Fritz Leiber was one of the more interesting of the young writers who came into HP Lovecraft's orbit, and some of his best early short fiction is horror rather than sf or fantasy. He found his mature voice early in the first of the sword-and-sorcery adventures featuring the large sensitive barbarian Fafhrd and the small street-smart-ish Gray Mouser; he returned to this series at various points in ...more
More about Fritz Leiber...

Other Books in the Series

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (10 books)
  • Swords and Deviltry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1)
  • Swords Against the Shadowlands
  • Swords Against Death (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #2)
  • Swords in the Mist (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #3)
  • Swords Against Wizardry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #4)
  • The Swords of Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #5)
  • Swords and Ice Magic (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #6)
  • The Knight and Knave of Swords (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #7)
  • Lean Times in Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #3-4)
  • Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Swords and Deviltry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1) Swords Against Death (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #2) Swords Against Wizardry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #4) Swords in the Mist (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #3) Ill Met in Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1-2)

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