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Silverlock

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  969 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Silverlock is one of the great fantasy classics.

In this richly picaresque story of a modern man's fruitful adventurings in legendary realms of gold, John Myers Myers has presented a glowing tapestry of real excitement and meaning. In essence, this is the tale of Silverlock's wanderings in the Commonwealth, the land of immortal heroes real and imagined, in search of his tru
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Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published December 3rd 2008 by Wildside Press (first published 1949)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,951)
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Sonja
I have been reading the comments made by other GoodReads members on Silverlock, by John Myers Myers. I am sympathetic with those who feel that a lack of familiarity with classics of literature an culture leave one on the outside. I do not agree, however, with those who claim that the book is pointless and plotless.

To me, after reading this book several times over the last 30 years, the point of this book is simply in praise of "story"; how it defines us and uplifts us, how basic it is to the hum
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TPK
This book is a classic example of the dangers of overhyping a text. My paperback copy had multiple introductions and at least five pages of rave reviews from numerous sources. No text, no matter how inspired, can be expected to deliver the goods after so much hype.

The book itself never really jelled for me; the characters, although many were familiar from other works, were not written in sympathetic fashion and the conceit of the Commonwealth itself was simply a chance for Myers to run amok with
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Bradley
Fascinating. This book has three forewords from three prominent authors in their own right going on about this book. Drum roll... they are right. This delectible morsel is crisscrossed with many ancient myths and woven together in extraordinary fashion. Even better is the musical interludes.. more than I have seen from many other authors of any genre. The only ones who come close are Stephen Donaldson or Tolkien. You will have to read it yourself to appreciate it but I recommend this story even ...more
Olga Godim
An odd novel. Published first in 1949, it was one of the first fantasy novels of the 20th century. It came out after The Hobbit but before The Lord of the Rings, and J.R.R. Tolkien wasn’t well known in America yet. So Silverlock doesn’t include any of the Tolkien’s influence that so many later American fantasy novelists displayed. In a way, it is a quintessential American fantasy.
The plot revolves around Shandon, a cynical, educated American, who is shipwrecked and thrust into the land of Common
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Chris
I want someone to explain to me in great detail why this book isn't a rip off of The Complete Compleat Enchanter.

And that book was funnier.

It's kinda cool combining all the stories and stuff, but honesty, it's been done better.

And it didn't need three introductions.
Judy
One of my faves of all time. I took away a different understanding re-reading it now than when I was in college - what perspective a couple of decades can give you! Love it then for the grand adventure and intellectual fun of figuring everyone out. Love it now with an understanding of his journey.
Bonnie
I will be the first one to admit it: John Myers Myers is smarter than me. He’s forgotten more about obscure literature than I will ever know.

This book reminds me of nothing more than a small child who has learned an exciting trick. "Look at me! Look at me!" it shouts. And at first you are impressed--hey, that's pretty good! But after a while, when it's just the same trick over and over, the child is still just as excited, but the watcher has started to get tired. "Okay, that's great. Now learn
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M—
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda
This was actually re-read. I read this book years ago and recently decided that I liked it enough to read it again. It's a fun and sometimes funny fantasy adventure through all myths and fantasy adventures that have preceeded it. Well, maybe not all, but there are an awful lot of references to.... just about anything.

Ideal for those who know a little about a lot. Or a lot about a lot.
Chris
I wanted to love Silverlock and kept holding out that something would suddenly change my mind. Sadly, nothing did. When the premise of this novel, and the unique history, were told to me, I figured this is something I could really enjoy. I have a degree in art history, and minor in classical civilizations. I’ve read many of the works referenced in the books. It seems like most people who enjoy it dismiss those who don’t as not enjoying the references or not wanting to ‘play the game’ of referenc ...more
Jeff Miller
Another recommendation from Maureen at "Aliens in this world" and at steal at .99 cents on Amazon.

What a great book. Kind of a cross between the voyages of Odysseus and Dante's Inferno. It borrows from various myths and from works of fiction.

The ship-wrecked Silverlock is a bit of a jerk who is just willing to give up, but not yet. While the normal plot development would be that such a self-centered person would be tested and would grow to become a hero, this only hints at that. Instead we have
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Kirk Hellweg
One of the few books I have finished only to have the right to write a review of it. The premise was interesting--a fantasy world populated by the great characters of fiction and legend. But the execution was terrible. I cared not a wit about the protagonist or most of his compatriots. And the famous fictional characters appear and disappear so quickly and randomly that one can't really get interested in most of their involvement either. I say involvement because that's the most that it is. Few ...more
Ensiform
This is my third reading of Silverlock. Clarence Shandon, a very cynical business exec, survives a shipwreck, to be washed up on the shores of the Commonwealth of Letters. With the help of a bard named Golias (who is also Orpheus and Taliesin), he gets his bearings, is rescued from Circe, fights battles, and so forth. He meets all manner of characters, all from epic, song, myth and story, from ancient to modern.

A rollicking fun novel, though of little literary consequence by itself; as others ha
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Tomislav
A shipwrecked A. Clarence Shandon (aka Silverlock) is washed ashore in the mythical land of Commonwealth. He is befriended and guided through this land by a fellow named Golias, who seems to specialize in drinking beers and composing and singing ballads. The main fun of the novel is for the reader to identify the various literary and mythological characters who populate Commonwealth, as Silverlock encounters them. Unfortunately, there is not much of a story arc, other than a sequence of encounte ...more
Craig Becker
This is supposed to be one of the greatest literary romps in history. It was OK. This was written in 1949 so some of the hijinks maybe a bit on the dated side. I think the draw of this book was tracking down all the references to other literary books and characters. Only the main character isn't lifted from another book. I liked it, but it wasn't the greatest thing I have ever read.
Imran
For me this book is like the literary version of the song "American Pie" by Don Maclean.

It is a fantastic book, I read this the first time in high school and it has stuck with me ever since. I just bought the re-release of the book and look forward to re-reading it. My recollection was that it was a modern version of something Mark Twain would have writte.
Greg
Puts a library inside a book. I can't help but wonder if the creators of Shrek were inspired by this book. Some of the allusions are easy to see but many float above head level. I think this book should be inside many literature classrooms. Classic!
George
It's been a long time ago but I remember this book as a wonderful joy ride of so many characters you'll recognize from history, mythology and books. Rollicking is a word that comes to mind. Definitely want to re-read to see if it (or my joy) holds up.
Diego Monzon
I had no intentions on choosing this book to read. I was in the thrift store and I saw this book. I was intrigued by the cover of it and it was only 25 cents so I said "hey why not," and purchased this book. I tried reading a summary to get an idea of what this book would be about, but I couldn't find one. I dived into this book with absolutely no idea if I would like it. Well, I don't like it. I really like it. One thing I like about this book is the sheer number of familiar characters that are ...more
Chris Hawks
If I were a bit more (okay, a lot more) well-read in the classics, I suppose I might have enjoyed playing "spot the literary allusion" in this otherwise-pointless, plotless book.
Patrick
This has sort of an Alice in Wonderland vibe, though strangely I think that's one of the classic books not referenced in it. The story is about a man's journey through a strange land that's populated by literary characters. The ones like Circe, Robin Hood, Don Quixote, Job, and Hester Prynne are easy to spot while others you probably need to be more well versed in classic literature. I kept thinking this guy must be a real dunce not to recognize some of these characters. I mean even if you haven ...more
Kerry
Silverlock is proof positive that fantasy work does not have to be shallow, meaningless factory-created tripe that patronizes the reader with its triteness and predictability. Though it could be argued that most fantasy, in its defense, is written to entertain only, it could also be argued that books cannot be entertaining without challenging the reader, having faith in his or her intelligence, and using the tenets of good writing and a unique voice to keep that reader interested and enthralled. ...more
Lee Broderick
This picaresque is an interesting pointer to what might have been for U.S.American fantasy writing if those writers hadn't been in thrall to J.R.R. Tolkien and Dungeons and Dragons throughout the second half of the twentieth century. It is in fact a very USA book with a very USA hero and the plot and prose draws largely on Mark Twain for inspiration.

Perhaps 'plot' is stretching things a little. I've already said this is a picaresque and, more specifically, it's an episodic fantasy that takes in
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Jay Johnston
Sep 02, 2014 Jay Johnston rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joseph Phillips
It took me a long time to finish but I'm glad I stuck with it. This book feels very fresh considering it was written in the late 1940s. I found the author's approach unique, with the MANY allusions to literary classics adding to the experience. I was never distracted and these tips of the hat never felt like novelties. As the story built, I sensed a hero's journey" developing in a manner that would have made Joseph Campbell smile (maybe it did!). I would describe the first 2/3 as classic storyte ...more
Jayme Allen
This book has three introductions. Skip them. Silverlock, is best approached as it advocates the world be approached, head on, with an open mind and a taste for adventure. Also, a few reference books, for the story starts with an illiterate everyman shipwrecked on the “Commonwealth of Letters,” a place where all the great figures of Western literature come to life. For me, reading it was a lesson on how little I truly know of the subject, and I’m all the better for what I gleaned through the pro ...more
Joaquin Garza
En el ciclo ‘Fantasías olvidadas de ayer y hoy’ me encontré con la oferta de 1 dólar de Silverlock, novela de 1949 que ya está fuera de circulación (salvo por una edición anotada de la New England Science Fiction Association Press). Famosa por una profunda intertextualidad: la historia de un hombre hastiado de la vida que naufraga en un lugar llamado ‘la Mancomunidad’ y allí, de la mano de grandes personajes de las letras y de la historia aprende a hallarse a sí mismo.

Dado el nivel de intertextu
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Josephine
Read this book if you've always wanted to meet the people that you've only known on the flat dry page of print. If you want the protagonist himself to be one of those people? You're out of luck.

Silverlock begins as the protagonist, A. Clarence Shandon, begins a cruise on the Naglfar. He's not a sympathetic character at all, dull and pointless to the extent that he bores even himself--the book begins with Shandon saying "If I had cared to live, I would have died." The main action begins when the
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Benjamin Kahn
This book came highly recommended. The edition I read had not one but three forewards by prominent science fiction writers (Larry Niven, Poul Anderson and Jerry Pournelle) singing its praises. It also contained an afterword that talks about the brilliance of the songs in Silverlock. I think I first heard about the book in a list of greatest fantasy novels. It would have been hard for any book to live up to all that hype. This one fell far short, however.

It was a decent enough book for the first
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Kristin
Silverlock is definitely a character driven story. Shandon, a man from Chicago, is floating in the ocean on a board when he meets another man (Golias) who becomes his friend and guide through the Commonwealth, a land where all literary heros and myths reside. Shandon, nicknamed Silverlock for the white streak in his hair, then goes and has random adventures. There's no overarching plot, he just becomes less of a self-involved person along the way.

Shandon is a pretty big dick in the beginning bu
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Droewyn
A. Clarence Shandon, first name so horrible that we never actually learn it, is the world's biggest douche-canoe. Seriously, in the first few pages he's shipwrecked and when he wakes up on the beach he doesn't move an unconscious fellow-survivor's arm three inches out of the sun because, and I quote, "His sunburn wouldn't pain me."

Fortunately, "Silverlock" is all about beating the asshole out of Shandon. Originally from Chicago, Shandon has washed ashore in the Commonwealth of Letters, a wonderf
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Myers was born and grew up on Long Island, New York. He attended the University of New Mexico briefly, but was expelled for being one of the writers in a rebel newspaper, The Pariah. After extensive travel through Europe and the United States, Myers worked for the New York World and San Antonio Evening News. He was also an advertising copywriter. Myers served a short term in the U.S. Army during W ...more
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