The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, with Winds and Accompaniment
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The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, with Winds and Accompaniment

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  285 ratings  ·  59 reviews
The colony world of Stittara is no ordinary planet. For the interstellar Unity of the Ceylesian Arm, Stittara is the primary source of anagathics: drugsthat have more than doubled the human life span. But the ecological balance that makes anagathics possible on Stittara is fragile, andthe Unity government has a vital interest in making sure the flow oflongevity drugs remai...more
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Tor Books
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Scott Radtke
I read this due to a positive Kirkus review, and I am honestly surprised I finished it.

I give every book at least 100 pages to grab me, and this one took them all, and a couple to boot, before I stopped wanting to take a red pen to it. I couldn't tell if Modesitt writes like this in general or it was a quirk of the narrator but I had three major problems here:

1) The narration was overly descriptive and yet, somehow, completely inscrutable.
2) Characters were only differentiated by their names and...more
Pretty good, but a bit too low key & obtuse, even for Modesitt. That seems to be a general trend in his writing. I really appreciate that he's not writing for idiots, though. It was a good mystery & a very different SF setting. His take on the ecology was interesting, too.
In a soundbite, this book is slow but intriguing. The world was rich and the descriptions left me with very vivid imagery. I liked the overall idea, but I wasn't able to really appreciate it until almost the very end of the book, and even then I felt it could have been done better.

Other reviewers have praised Modesitt for his writing in this book, but I confess I had trouble with it. I was kind of flabbergasted by all the super long, run on, complicated sentences. I would lose track of what the...more
Matthew Coiner
Modesitt is one of my favorite fiction authors. I've enjoyed both his sci-fi and fantasy. This book was a real treat for me. In a way, Paulo Verano reminded me of Karl, the lead character in "Wellspring of Chaos" and "Ordermaster."
Unlike many of the characters in his sci-fi novels, this man has no prior military training, isn't trained within the story, and isn't a pilot. He is well-educated, though, and does practice martial arts in his spare time as exercise. He is just a man who suddenly fin...more
Fantasy Literature
I am a big fan of Modesitt’s science fiction work, even when he gets on his political soap box for gender, socially progressive politics, and environmental issues. The One-Eyed Man is a solo novel that encompasses all of these topics, but this time there is almost a feeling of cynicism that I really enjoyed.

Paulo Verano is an idealistic Environmental Analyst who has just been taken to the cleaners. In a scene that is familiar to many, his ex-spouse has left him for another person and has financi...more
George Irwin
People who love all over this book are not terribly critical. Like all of Modesitt's work, it is a very complete and deep world, but also suffers from a distinct lack of drama or actual action to move the plot forward. The book echos his story, "The Eternity Artifact" and others. This isn't to say it's a horrible work, or bad, but it has its pluses and minuses. I really enjoyed his take on an ecological event within a nature situation, and was more comparable to modern situations (though not as...more
This book was ok. I had trouble understanding the political environment the main character was dealing with. There were hints, but nothing that really spelled things out. Also the main character would see clues in his investigation that led to the conclusion, but there was not enough information for me to see what was so important with the observations. Some of the characters were interesting while others were rather flat and forgettable. This made things difficult when the characters were refer...more
Oh my goodness. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this book. THere are so many genres involved in the story that it's hard to know how to categorize it. It's like a sci-fi detective story, almost like an X-Files episode in novel-form. And I mean the first years of the X-Files, aka the good ones. Within the first couple of pages of the story, our hero, Pablo Verano, is divorced, virtually bankrupted, and given a new assignment at the outer limits of the colonized univers...more
Connie Jasperson
The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds and Accompaniment, by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

The Blurb:
In The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue With Winds and Accompaniment, by L. E. Modesitt, Jr., the colony world of Stittara is no ordinary planet. For the interstellar Unity of the Ceylesian Arm, Stittara is the primary source of anagathics: drugs that have more than doubled the human life span. But the ecological balance that makes anagathics possible on Stittara is fragile, and the Unity government has a vital interest...more
Howard Cincotta
Mondesitt, author of shelves of multi-volume fantasy and science fiction, has done something unprecedented here: created one of the most boring alien worlds imaginable, populated it with a collection of dull workers, and added a protagonist who proves to be in indefatigable bureaucrat and little else.

I picked up this novel on the recommendation of Asimov's book reviewer: bad decision.

Paulo Verano, having been taken to the cleaners by a ruthless ex-wife, heads off to the remote planet of Stittara...more
So, the final verdict? The One-Eyed Man is thought provoking, very realistic, and incredibly subtle in so many ways. This is one of those rare books that speaks to anyone at any period of time because the story is so important to all of us. The futuristic world(s) and advanced technology are all very nice touches, but Verano is one hell of a protagonist, and his story is one that will resonate.

Read my full review here:
Reading Reader

Modesitt repeatedly has his protagonist describe himself as 'methodical', a word which can well be applied to the book as a whole. He methodically sets the stage, introduces the characters, develops the conflict(s), brings them to a climax, and ties up the loose ends. The pieces are all there, some in painful detail.

The only thing missing is... the spark. There's little life here, and certainly no magic. The sum is unfortunately not greater than its parts.
Bob Lopez
Wow. A lot of eating. Some lager. Lots of research. Not very exciting though the librarian in me really appreciated all the hard work.
Didn't finish; it's hard to get enthused about a protagonist that thinks that talking about capital gains tax is great dinner date conversation. NEXT!
I picked up this book because it was recommended by the author as a good book to start with (I thought that I had not yet read anything by L.E.). I had forgotten that I had read another book of his before - Flash - which I had liked. I also have the Magic of Recluse books on my list of "to buy" books for the future some time. I'm interested to see where L.E. takes me with his fantasy as compared to what I've sampled of his SciFi.

This book reminded me a lot of the Elijah Bailey (Robot) books by A...more
Keilani Ludlow
Hmmmm... what to say. Read someone else's review for a synopsis. This is a fairly typical Modesitt sci-fi in many ways, a little less technology than in some, but still definitely a "Modesitt". If I had picked it up and started reading without knowing who the author was, it wouldn't have taken me long to guess.

Our hero goes to another planet, effectively cutting him off from any and everyone else he has ever known, to complete a survey for the government. He does so knowing it's good for him to...more
'chris d
There are plenty of summaries of this book so I will not bother to post one here.

In my opinion, this book was on the dry side. The plot dragged, the climax was good, not great and it was confusing to me.

L. E. Modesitt Jr. is one of my favorite authors. He is a master world builder and he did not disappoint in this book. It was such a pleasure to read how he handled time and dinner menus and the ecology of a planet. That is why I gave it a "high" rating.

I wanted to like this book and I read it...more
Katherina Haas
A little slow it was hard to keep my attention
c2013: FWFTB: colony, ecological, skytubes, hurricane, secret. A really interesting read for me. Branching out into Mr Modesitt's sci-fi after having enjoyed the Imager series, the discussions and details of non-essential plot points did not particularly faze me(' People don't like restrictions. Ambitious politicians exploit these dislikes. The comparatively honest ones pick semi-legitimate grievances. The less honest ones don't bother with legitimacy; they just pick the things that make most pe...more
The best thing about this novel is the cover art (which we learn in the afterword served as the author's inspiration.) The worst thing about it is the glut of character names: Dannel Craik, Aloris Raasn, Clyann, Zerlyna Eblion, Dr. Rikard Spek, Paolo Verano, Sinjon Reksba, Rob Gybl, Sandrina Zaos, Constantia Dewers, Aimee Vanslo, Ilsabet Vonacht, Jeromi Grantham, Pavlo Vanek, Geneil Paak, Belk Edo, Cloras Dulac, Torgan Brad, Ripley Weavar (let that last one sink in ALIENS fans.) Do I need to go...more
William Bentrim
The One-Eyed Man by L.E. Modesitt, jr

Modesitt is a philosopher. His books are entertainment, for sure, but are also philosophic guides for behavior. This book is not in the Imager Portfolio, it is a stand alone that does a fine job on standing alone.

Paulo Verano, the main protagonist, is facing a dismal future dealing with an emotional mistake. His salvation comes through a exceedingly long distance contract that will put his current situation behind him in both time and space.

Modesitt provide...more
Having read some of L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s other works, The One-Eyed Man was a completely different style. Don't read this book if you are expecting space battles, magic, or a hero who is a highly trained combat specialist. The hero of The One-Eyed Man is an ecologist on a freelance contract studying the impact of the human settlements on the ecology of the planet Stittara. The pacing of the story is slower than your typical science fiction as it follows Paulo as he travels the planet testing diff...more
Becky Kelly
I wanted to like this book as it was the first I had read by this author. I found it hard to engage with any of the many characters. (I thought there were so many it was hard to keep them straight). It just kept plodding along and never did make me feel like I couldn't put it down. In fact it took me much longer to read than it was worth. I am left wondering if I should give any of the authors other books a chance.
This became kind of a chore to finish by the end. I should have liked everything about the book, but had a really hard time caring about Verano or anyone else. Descriptions of people were boring and bland, character development was kind of mechanical, even the talk of food and beer was pretty dull. It was difficult to believe in Verano as a thinking, feeling person - even when he supposedly expresses grief it was fairly removed.

The rhyming got on my nerves, too. Poetry is difficult to read when...more
Henry Lazarus
L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s latest takes place in a future in which travel between can seem like weeks but actually take decades in the real world. Ecologist Paul Verano is willing to accept the loss of real time because his marriage fell apart and his teenage daughter won’t talk to him. He is sent to do a survey of Sittara, a planet settled for a thousand years and a source of anti-aging drugs. The planet with ists beautiful skytubes, and massive hurricanes that force human settlements to live underg...more
Alice Sabo
What an odd story. The main character sleeps, eats and goes to meetings. In the meantime he's making internal comments on the politics, which I couldn't fathom, and hints that something BIG was happening. None of the characters grabbed me. I finished it just so I could see where it was going.
I found it a little difficult to get into and I had some trouble keeping track of who was who, but I ended up really enjoying the book. Modesitt took a seemingly mundane event--an ecological evaluation--and turned it into a sci-fi mystery filled with tension and touched with romance.
Fredrick Danysh
Ecologist Paulo Verano is offered a contract to study the ecology on a distant world following his messy divorce. Politics and economics come into play as different sides try to influence his study, even attempts on his life.Mysterious organisms called skytubes dictate much of what occurs to the planet's climate.
I don't read a lot of sci-fi, so I felt smarter just reading this. It took me a while to get used to all the terminology. "Duhlars" and "Oneday" were easy to figure out, but I was never entirely sure what a "stan" and a "kay" were. Also, it was difficult to keep track of all the characters. Modesitt tries to characterize them all, but I don't know if it was the names or the wide cast of characters that made it difficult for me to remember who everyone was. I wish Modesitt would have spent less t...more
Andy Davies
An odd book. Very slow to start, seemingly building to nothing with a multitude of peripheral forgettable and almost interchangeable characters all with odd names that have no real point. I can't remember a single one of them ten minutes after finishing the book. I do however feel satisfied and entertained. It was worth persisting through the slow building intrigue.

Another odd element of this book were the multitude of long descriptions of meals and lager.

It was a nice departure from spaceship...more
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L. E. (Leland Exton) Modesitt, Jr. is an author of science fiction and fantasy novels. He is best known for the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce. He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, lived in Washington, D.C. for 20 years, then moved to New Hampshire in 1989 where he met his wife. They relocated to Cedar City, Utah in 1993.

He has worked as a Navy pilot, lifeguard, delivery boy, u...more
More about L.E. Modesitt Jr....
The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce #1) The Magic Engineer (The Saga of Recluce #3) The Death of Chaos (The Saga of Recluce #5) The Towers of the Sunset (The Saga of Recluce #2) The Order War (The Saga of Recluce #4)

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“Intelligence is overrated by any species that has it, and that's provable by the fact that all intelligent species are outlived by a factor of a hundred to one, if not a thousand to one, by nonintelligent species, who don't have the brains or perversity to destroy themselves or their environments.” 1 likes
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