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The Infinity Concerto (Songs of Earth and Power #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  638 ratings  ·  28 reviews
There is a song you dare not sing - a melody that you dare not play, a concerto that you dare not hear: It is called a Song of Power. It is a gateway to another world - a gate that will lock behind you as you pass, barring you from the Earth forever. Resist at all cost. For it is a world of great danger and great beauty - and it is not good to be human in the Realm of the ...more
Hardcover, 1st UK edition, 342 pages
Published January 1988 by Century (first published 1984)
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Darwin's Radio by Greg BearBlood Music by Greg BearDarwin's Children by Greg BearEon by Greg BearHardfought / Cascade Point by Greg Bear
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15th out of 24 books — 4 voters
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94th out of 187 books — 180 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,065)
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I quit at 29%. If this wasn't a book club read, I would have stopped a lot sooner. It's too dark for me. The main character is too isolated, the world too hostile. It's all grayscale in my mind. Faerie shouldn't be ugly and colorless and full of death and despair, even when dangerous to humans. There should at least be an alien beauty to it. But this was all ugliness and hardship.

I was forcing myself to continue reading (because - book club), but I was getting depressed even when I wasn't readin
"The Infinity Concerto" - Book One in the Songs of Earth and Power omnibus - is multi-layered and textured. I believe it will likely take me several readings to find all the meanings that are embedded in this story. The basic storyline revolves around Michael Perrin, a thoughtful young man who wants to be a poet. He befriends a composer named Arno Waltiri, who it is said wrote a concerto called The Infinity Concerto that was so unusual that it not only drove its listeners mad but also that many ...more
An entertaining re-read of a childhood favourite. So I'm probably a little biased.
I'm conflicted.

It was definitely worth reading — by the last third.

There are a lot of seemingly unrelated threads to hang onto through the story, with no real indications that they will come together to make a complete tapestry until that last third, and even then there are some threads that really didn't get woven in, just tied off, for fringe.

But somehow I truly liked it. It's not the typical fantasy tale with good and evil clearly defined, it's a realistic, fatalistic fantasy and the words f
Oct 08, 2008 holy_fire rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who can't get enough of fantasy novels
Shelves: 1984, fantasy, bear-greg
a tale about fairies and magic and the power of the arts...

short plot description: Michael Perrin, an aspiring young poet, is given a key and instructions by an elderly music composer. Following the instructions he finds himself in a quite different world. The Sidhe are ruling this world by magic and humans (who all somehow are connected to music) are a persecuted minority, only tolerated after a terrible battle which ended in devastation and an uncomfortable truce.
Michael gets assigned to the C
The title, summary, and about the first third of this book intrigued me very much, which made me all the more disappointed when it all went flat. Bear incorporates some excellent fantasy elements -- Lamia, the Crane Women, humans confined to a sort of ghetto in the realm of the Sidhe, the mystical power of music -- but he never seems to effectively meld the components into a coherent whole.

The most obvious example is music: the title has the word "concerto" in it, Michael's translation into the
Kathleen Porter
I found the narrative voice of Michael Perrin easy to relate to, which makes me wonder about his credibility as a sixteen-year-old protagonist -- yet he is a bookish teenager of the early 80's, a novice poet, with ambitious tastes in poetry and adventure, so perhaps that says more about my own inner personas than about his.

Bear uses some creative devices from Jungian psychology to fuel some of the magical discipline, and although a few of the sections dragged for my taste, he introduced novel po
Johan Duinkerken
This was a re-read for me, even if the previous read must have been something like 30 years ago... Reading it in 2014, I still remembered parts of the story from 30 years ago. It was quite an influential read for me :-)

Aug 10, 2015 Lynn marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Well, I tried to finish this book, I suppose that counts right? I had a hard time getting into this book, even though fantasy is my favorite genre. It moved too slow for me and I had a hard time actually caring about Michael and what he went through.
Joe Crow
Reread for the Nth time. Needed a palate cleanser after that last one.
Steve Rippington
Deserves a solid 3 stars for being competently written, fairly entertaining and original (for its time). The whole story felt a bit pre-determined though; like it could only ever end one way.

The first half is excellent and creepy in it's own way. The final act is a let down. Not sure if I'll be returning for the sequel anytime soon.
Ido Bar-av
I didn't really like this book.
Each scene was well written and engaging, but I felt like the overall story was too mangled and uncohesive.
It felt like the author took several good songs, and only written one verse from each one in the book - with no real line going through all those verses to make them tell a complete story.

So amazing I read it twice..SO far.
This was the first book i ever read because I wanted to, not because I had to. I was 15 years old. English is my second language, and back then I wasn't very good at it, so iguess i must've missed a lot of things while reading it. But i liked it, i guess it's time to read it again.
Really enjoyed it. Last part was not as entrancing as first, but was still good.
Gloria Masitsa
I don't know why I took so long to read this book, but it was fantastic. I love the fact that I didn't know what would happen next. I was unexpected, I think that sums it up for me. Now I have to look for the next one :( Keeping my fingers crossed.
Read this a long time ago, and remember thinking it was one of the best books I'd read. A fascinating world with interesting characters. I've not read the newer version (Songs of Earth and Power), so I can't make the comparison.
Could not for the life of me care about the story or protagnist in this prosaic, formulaic "boy gets transported to alternate dimension; becomes hero" story. Don't see why everybody loves it so much.
Well, i can say that this was one of best book i've read.
In some moments you feel trite and tired, but the story, especially the ending makes this book very worth reading.
Great fantasy tale. Learned about Fairies. Especially enjoyed the challenge of making a prefab house out of wood alotted to him and having one piece left over....
Bob Peake
Listening to a particular concerto as a way of entering the door of another world....
Read this a few times now and still love it. Highly recommended.
Highly original fantasy and one of Bear's best works.
A very good read if you like fairy tales.
I enjoyed the Crane Women
Book 1 of Series
Great fantasy read.
Colton King
Colton King marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2015
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine editions 2 19 Apr 26, 2013 12:21AM  
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Greg Bear is one of the world's leading hard SF authors. He sold his first short story, at the age of fifteen, to Robert Lowndes's Famous Science Fiction.

A full-time writer, he lives in Washington State with his family. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. He is the son-in-law of Poul Anderson. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra.
More about Greg Bear...

Other Books in the Series

Songs of Earth and Power (2 books)
  • The Serpent Mage
Foundation and Chaos (Second Foundation Trilogy, #2) Eon (The Way, #1) The Forge of God (Forge of God, #1) Darwin's Radio (Darwin's Radio #1) Blood Music

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