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The Book of Ptath

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  550 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
The World's most powerful god returns in mortal form to battle for survival in a universe he was created to rule.

"He whose strength is unlimited, who tires not, and knows no fear..."

"He" was Ptath, the greatest god the mind of man had ever created. He had returned, but against his will. The goddess Inezia, his deadly rival, had thrust him into the dangerous world of 200 mi
Paperback, 3rd Edition, 159 pages
Published 1969 by Paperback Library (first published 1943)
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This is a short novel, even for A.E. van Vogt works.

The description on the book is pulp-fiction standard, and the story is relatively simple with a few characters. It is a good quick read.

The rating might be not so good(3.41 when I write this review), but it is not overrated by zealous fans. When you read this short novel you can expect a light story for killing time.

I didn't commit to praise this is the best book of my life, but when we were together, I had a good time.
Nov 30, 2015 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-horror, scifi
I have been a fan of A.E. van Vogt ever since my teens, when Empire of the Atom was one of my favorite books. Although he has been consistently good across his works, The Book of Ptath is weak. How can one write a book about a duel between two goddesses without leaving the earthly plain? To complicate matters, Van Vogt's hero is both a human from World War Two, and a god in his own right. Sounds confsing? It is.
Jan 08, 2017 Spyros rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Princess on Mars styled novel. Had its interesting parts but overall I did not feel any connection whatsoever.

Old noble god gets ressurected only to be attemped-murdered by evil blond goddess and is saved by good brunette goddess.

The setting is the earth 200 million years in the future where everything has changed but nothing is described in detail. There is just the plot. No character development, no world-building... Nothing... I get it, it was written in a pre-Tolkien era but still...

Also, a
Sep 14, 2016 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

An awful lot of story crammed into something that only just barely exceeds novella length (if it does even that).

After a rather confusing beginning (the god Ptath finds himself on a road with no idea of who or what he is, or what he's doing other than a generalized urge to get to the city of Ptath for reasons that aren't entirely clear), we discover that a) we're now 200,000,000 years in the future and the continents have again merged into a single supercontinent and b) Ptath is actually driven
Ptath just sounds like an ancient god with a name transliterated from Egyptian hieroglyphics or Akkadian cuneiform. Instead, A. E. Van Vogt conjured this image of an immortal god who had “merged with the race” of humans who worshipped him. By merging, he had lost control of his kingdom and allowed an evil goddess to not only take control, but to threaten his very existence. The Book of Ptath is the type of fantasy one would expect from Van Vogt. It doesn’t measure up to what I consider his maste ...more
Apr 11, 2013 Bogdan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prima impresie asupra cartii, dupa ce am primit-o prin posta, a fost ca e cam subtire. Ma asteptam la ceva mai voluminos, dupa exemplul seriei lui Gene Wolfe, la care de altfel Gheara Conciliatorului are cam aceeasi dimensiune ca si Umbra Tortionarului. Tinand-o in mina, nu te poti abtine sa nu admiri coperta si in plus sa realizezi cu adevarat potentialul si farmecul pastrarii copertii originale.

Cartea lui Ptath este impecabila atat ca prezentare, cat si in ceea ce priveste continutul. Iata ca
Mar 31, 2017 Ganesh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a re-read for me. The Book of Ptath was one of the first fantasy books I ever read and no wonder I fell in love with the genre. The beauty of the book is not in the story, which is bare to the bones at best, but in the way the author sets a scene by building an exotic world around you all within a few masterful strokes of sentences. Suffice to say that the far-future land of Gonwolane has always been alive in a corner of my mind after more than 15 years.
Dec 23, 2009 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Van Vogt's work has a raw power that has never been equalled in science fiction." - Damon Knight
Like many of Van Vogt's novels this first appeared in shorter form in the early forties. Set some two hundred million years in the future, it is a variation on the superhuman hero theme that Van Vogt employed in many of his novels (see Gilbert Gosseyn in The World of Null-A for one of the best examples). Here we have man reincarnated by a god and sent to the future. With multiple personalities, super
Nov 11, 2012 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An American soldier fighting in Germany in 1944 finds himself thrust into the world of the future, 200,000,000 years in the future, to be exact. He also finds he is sharing his mind with the great god Ptath as well as getting caught up in a great global war against a goddess who seeks total control of humanity in that future. Another imaginative work by one of SF's greats, AE Van Vogt (written in 1943, which means that Van Vogt predicted that US troops would reach Germany in 1944).
I want to add
Feb 22, 2010 Raj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
I enjoyed this pulp story of a god brought into human form in the far future, who has to fight to regain his power from the evil goddess who seeks to overthrow him.

Van Vogt can tell a story well and this is an excellent example of it. From the early frustration of the protagonist being manipulated, while seeing why it seems to be the logical thing for him at the time to his gaining knowledge and then the final battle. Rip-roaring stuff.
Richard Wood
I read short stories by A. E. Van Vogt when I was in my teens and, remembering how entertaining and clever they were, sought and purchased a novel by him (The Book of Ptath). I enjoyed it, certainly - but it didn't quite grab me the way that his short stories did. (This might have more to do with my advancing age rather than the skills of the author!)
Mar 24, 2017 Devero rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Una lettura solo parzialmente interessante, a tratti rovinata da alcuni nonsense e iperboli numeriche.
Nel complesso si lascia leggere, ma non avvince per nulla.
Matteo Pellegrini

Tra duecento milioni di anni, duecento milioni di anni di guerre e di cataclismi, di prodigiose scoperte scientifiche e di paurosi fenomeni geologici, la Terra assumerà un nuovo volto... il favoloso volto che già possedeva nel remotissimo passato, con la ricomparsa dei mitici continenti di Gondwana, Lemuria e Mu, immense masse continentali popolate da miliardi e miliardi di uomini. Ma non solo il volto della Terra sarà cambiato... anche i suoi costumi e i suoi abitanti verranno modificati da una

Zantaeus Glom
'The Book of Ptath' proved to be an enervating affair from an author that I usually find most entertaining. Frankly, the absurdly contrived battle of body-swapping wills between the recently reincarnated god Ptath and his terribly arch, arch nemesis princess Ineznia amounted to very little in the way of a fun read. As an aside, my brain actively disliked having to read the idiotic word 'Ptath' so frequently. Not a good book. much like rabidly consuming sodium-rich Ramen noodles; very soon afterw ...more
May 24, 2015 Sheppard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The only reason I read this book was due to the characters introduced in John C. Wright's sequel to Van Vogt's Null-A series. Wright's book the NULL-A Continuum introduces Ptath and Inenzia as two manifestations of key characters in his book. Note that the Book of Ptath was written by Van Vogt before NULL-A. The book of Ptath was disjointed, and left much to be desired. It was a short novel and so deeper backgrounds for the few characters was not emphasized. The realities of the world, Earth in ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I thought this was an enjoyable book (though not as good as the only other A. E. van Vogt novel I've read, The World of Null-A. To be honest, I thought that its really fast pace made it a bit hard to keep track of the characters' motivations (there's a plot twist every five pages, so before you're done processing one development you have to deal with another) and I did want to know more about the setting but I'd much rather read a book with a complicated plot that moves a bit too quickly than on ...more
The description did not excite me so much, but I put this book on my to-read list because of the author. I had read a couple of A.E. van Vogt books and, at minimum, liked them. Fortunately, I found the book more interesting and enjoyable than I expected from the description. There is not much else, beyond the description to say, without actually just writing out the story. Will likely not be a favorite for anyone, but worth reading.
Bruno Di Giandomenico
What a book, as Van Vogt used to write.
A god, Ptath, has gone merging with mankind for two hundred million years and is now returning.
L'oone and Iznezia, his wives are waiting for him, the latter to kill him and become the sole governor of Earth. And what an Earth, with three nations, of tens of billion people!
Van Vogt almost at its best, good for three hours of reading, you will not regret it. Only he could have dreamt of such a story of grandeur and pulled it off.
Feb 23, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh, paperback
Overall, I regret to say I'm a bit disappointed. I wanted so much more, and did not get much. The cover art is the best part of the story. It has a nice sentence or two at the ending that ties up the book, but so much of it is so confusing.
Steve C
Sep 24, 2014 Steve C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Unusual novel by van Vogt in that it blurs the boundary between Science Fiction and Fantasy. As usual though it's densely plotted, dazzlingly inventive, wildly improbable and the characterisation is very weak.
Sérgio Azevedo
Jun 01, 2014 Sérgio Azevedo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argonauta
It's a fantasy book, with no intent on sci-fi.
Interesting read and introduces slightly a concept that I would like to read in other books.
The idea that man could ascend to gods with enough power, time and technology.
Pretty cool!
Different perspective
Jun 01, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
1981 grade C+

Listed in my files as just Ptath

aka 200,000,000 AD
Sep 23, 2016 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book but the ending seemed anti-climatic.
Science Fiction
Lots of ideas (and big numbers) don't quite make up for a slapdash story line.
Dillon Lee
May 08, 2013 Dillon Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange, yes. But still quite good.
Curtis Humble
Feb 10, 2013 Curtis Humble rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow...could only read five pages at a time before dozing off.
Jan 29, 2015 Mars rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reads like a generic Conan knockoff - a good premise that was turned into a fairly uninteresting and nonsensical story with a disappointing ending.
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Alfred Elton van Vogt was a Canadian-born science fiction author regarded by some as one of the most popular and complex science fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century—the "Golden Age" of the genre.

van Vogt was born to Russian Mennonite family. Until he was four years old, van Vogt and his family spoke only a dialect of Low German in the home.

He began his writing career with 'true story' ro
More about A.E. van Vogt...

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