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The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber, #1-10)
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The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1-10 )

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  15,398 ratings  ·  624 reviews
Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber have earned their place as all-time classics of imaginative literature. Now here are all ten novels, together in one magnificent omnibus volume. Witness the titanic battle for supremacy waged on Earth, in the Courts of Chaos, and on a magical world of mystery, adventure, and romance.
Paperback, 1258 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Harper Voyager (first published December 1st 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lasairfiona Smith
May 04, 2011 Lasairfiona Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in an epic story that doesn't feel dry
I adore this series. I have read and re-read this book since high school. What can I say? It captured my imagination and has kept ahold of it for years. This was the work that Zelazny worked on through his career. I think it is what he wrote for fun. It isn't complicated but it is epic.

Imagine that there is only one true world and it casts "shadows" that make up the rest of the worlds. All are variations of that true world, Amber. Or are they? Another order vs chaos though this story focuses mor...more
Whitaker
Update (Please read this first before complaining about my rating)

People keep complaining that my 1 star is unfair because some books were better than others. Here's how I see this work. I don't see it as different books the way one would read say an Agatha Christie novel. Each Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple mystery is a stand alone even if characters recur from book to book. They are meant to be read as stand alone novels and should be treated as such.

This book, on the other hand, is clearly a...more
Jim
This is all 10 books of the Amber series, but is not complete. It is nice to have them all in one place, but the book is a paperback & a bit delicate due to the size. Unless you're extremely careful, you'll only get a few reads out of this & it's a doorstop to put most others to shame. I prefer the smaller paperbacks for normal reading.

The biggest lack in this book is it doesn't have the prologue to Trumps of Doom, but only the HB issued by the book club had that, I think. It's also in...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Roger Zelazny's Amber series is one of the best sci-fi/fantasy epics ever written. Not only was it highly imaginative and original when it was published (in the 70s and 80s), but it remains so -- there's nothing else like it.

Corwin and his brothers and sisters are clever, sophisticated, sarcastic, and extremely ambitious. They constantly scheme and plot to outmaneuver each other as they vie for political power. If you knew these people in real life, you'd...more
Milo
The Great Book of Amber is trippy people! Roger Zelazny is unlike any other author I have ever read before. He is disinterested in details and gives cursory descriptions of areas and people. Instead he focuses more closely on plot and the thoughts of the main character. The plot always centers around the search for answers. The setting is quite unique and interesting to learn about. Zelazny never makes his reader go through info-dumps and I found it interesting to puzzle out the workings of his...more
Danyell
Feb 23, 2008 Danyell rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with a pulse
Recommended to Danyell by: Barry the magnificent
I read this book during huricane Ivan, when three of my four homes (My dorm, My Parent's house, and my boyfriend's house) were pretty much falling down around me. A very awesome guy named Barry lent me his battered copy...and by battered I mean well loved. This book filled a lot of space that could have been spent in what Floridians know as a huricane coma. No lights, no Phone, no tv, just snuggling,reading and occasional looting!
I't will definately take you at least a week to read this bad ma...more
Emily
agh, ten books 1200 pages i am obsessive and can't quit reading a book i have started even when i know it will be pointless to finish and i have already read 500 pages!
i do not know what these other people are talking about! the first i would say three books were pretty good, then it kind of lost its train of thought, hmmm really wish i had never started this epic tale i wouldnt have wasted three weeks (i mean three weeks!!!!) of my life. i could have read like six to twelve other books in the...more
Foomy
The name Zelazny is used in conjunction with words like "Classic" and "Quintessential" high fantasy. So I went into this dictionary-sized tome with high expectations of fantastic locations, rules, and characters. I got the first two.

The idea of Amber, being the only "real" world, with countless other "shadow" worlds branching off (think alternate universes, but not quite), is a great concept. Unfortunately, I'm a big fan of strong characters and their growth, and I just didn't find that here.

Non...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
Nine Princes of Amber: It was an ok story. Not great, but not bad. I sort of got annoyed with the faux-medieval language towards the end, and I didn't care that much about the characters, but the cliff-hanger ending did leave me curious and wanting to read the next in the series.

I was a bit annoyed that none of the sisters are relevant characters.


The Guns of Avalon: I just finished this yesterday, and had to think a minute to recall what happened. It was anti-climactic in itself, and generally s
...more
Roger
4 stars is a misleading rating for this collection of 10 books. The first 5 (Corwin Books) deserve a full 5 stars. The Corwin books (1-5) are among my favorite fantasy books of all time. Thanks to fellow GoodReads member "I. Curmudgeon" for recommending them.

Books 6-10 (Merlin Books) deserve 4 stars each...not as good as their predecessors but still good books in their own right. Merlin, son of Corwin, is a much more sympathetic protagonist than his old man...and less interesting by consequence....more
Kriss
This is in the top three of my favorite books (well the whole thing is how I read it) of all time! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these books, LOVE the world of Amber, LOVE everything about it. We are on copy number three in the house because we read it all the time, it is right next to my classics! The BEST epic fantasy novel(s) OUT THERE!Zelazny is one of my heros!~
Lori
As a collected series on the whole, this is a wonderful group of novels; however, several are standouts, including the first three. Remember to try to pace yourself :)
Chris
Well, it took about two months, but I finished the "Great Book of Amber." I feel a little better knowing that it was technically TEN books in one, but only moderately better. It was partially due to things going on in the "real world", but for some reason this book was a fairly slow read for me.

My initial reactions after the first "book" were that:
1) I enjoyed the world/characters
2) I thought the author was very imaginative and had some cool ideas
3) I didn't like the narrative voice
4) The copy-e...more
Ross Kitson
I’ll readily confess that I’ve dipped in and out of Roger Zelazny’s Great Book of Amber for many months, partly because other books intruded, partly because of the natural break half way through the tome, and partly because no work since George RR Martin’s ongoing Song of Fire and Ice has generated such conflicting emotion within me.
Zelazny’s most famous work is a ten book series, which is divided into two five book story arcs. The first was released in the Seventies, and follows a Prince of Amb...more
Deborah Cannon
An amazing book. Or should I say books. This collection was originally published as ten volumes but really is two separate stories--the story of Corwin, prince of Amber and his son Merlin, half-breed prince of Chaos. The world created by Roger Zelazny is one of he most original, intriguing and fantastic visions of the universe that I have ever experienced. In his creation, the universe has parallel worlds called Shadows, which includes our Earth, and these exist in different dimensions of time a...more
Josh Bisker
Apr 08, 2011 Josh Bisker is currently reading it
The start of this series is great, but jeezum crow, what was HarperCollins thinking with the format of this edition? They went through all the trouble of getting the rights and printing the thing, but the fifteen-pound tome is physically difficult to read, laughably inconvenient to transport, and inexcusably devoid of any kind of supportive structural writing--like an introduction, a foreword, an about the author, an about the series, or even a table of contents!

Wikipedia tells us that the Great...more
Arthur
A masterpiece
Clearly one of the best series I have read.

I read the first 5 books about 10 years ago (1995), however, I didn't like them.
A few month ago, I gave it another try and I just could not put the book down. I guess I was not ready for the The Great Book of Amber 10 years ago. Some of my friends kept on telling me that only the first 5 are interesting and then only the first 2 books, the rest are boring, especially the 5 last books. I must totally disagree with them. I enjoyed equally thr...more
Sid Fallon
Hooked from page one. Definitely in the top 5.

Roger Zelazny has the incredible gift of ignoring genre. Classify it if you must, but the lines between sci-fi and fantasy or more than blurred. He took that line, flossed his teeth with it, and threw it away.

Reality is skewed and anchored to the city of Amber, the origin of all worlds, everything a parallel or "shadow" of Amber and it's counter-part, the realm of Chaos.

Traveling all realities, the ruling families of Amber and Chaos play, plot and sc...more
Soo
When I bought this book, I had no idea who Roger Zelazny was or a clue about Amber. I only picked it up because I couldn't find any new releases by Tad Williams, Michelle West, or Janny Wurts. The book was huge and the synopsis piqued my interest. I devoured the book in a handful of days and fell in love with Zelazny. I've read this series so often that I'm on my third copy of the book.

The story is about a powerful family who have the skills to travel between alternate realities. Of all worlds,...more
Evgeny
This book has a special place on my bookshelf. It was the second fantasy series I read after LotR. These two are the reasons I love fantasy genre. Since that time no other books forced me to use my imagination to the same extent as Amber. Each book (there are 10) completely changed how I thought Amber world works. Some people feel the last five books are weaker than the first five, but they are still very entertaining (my feeling - Corwin is better storyteller than Merlin).

For those curious how...more
Sarah
The Amber series is one that I try to read at least every couple if years, meaning this is probably my tenth time through. It's very telling that I wish very much that Zelazny was around to finish what apparently was meant to be a trilogy. I love the premise of walking and manipulating the shadows, I love the characters and I really enjoyed the development of Ghostwheel. Even after ten readings, I still find this fantasy world to be unique and compelling.
Trista DiGiuseppi
Oh man. This book (books?) is jam-packed with everything. Zelazny does not hold back from one of the best example of epic storytelling. I loved the concept of various dimensions, and the drama of family turmoil (ROYAL family turmoil no less). And it's still for adults. There's gritty stuff in it like sex and other such references. It's not squeaky clean - I respect that. Great collection! Definitely read it if you love, love, love fantasy!
Vicky
FINALLY finished this Goliath. Huge tome and was a little slow in parts. Overall it kept my interest and was a pretty good read. Didn't really care for the ending because after 1158 pages it was not solid and could have continued on lol. Won't be reading it again that is for sure!
Matt
We’re all shadows in Zelazny’s world. Reflections of the one true world, Amber. Infinite in number and possibility. And the children of Oberon are the gods. Some duty-bound, some languid, but all mostly petty.

Zelazny creates an epic mix of paganistic pantheons and Milton’s Paradise Lost. The Amberites bicker and plot in Ovid-worthy tales. Their familial infighting is something out of Greek, Roman and Norse myth. Then throw in the allusions to Chaos as a Hell, Amber as Heaven, Earth as a favored...more
Nicholas Armstrong
How did I forget to put this book on my list! Egads!

I can't really count the number of times I've read the first set of Amber books (the ones about Corwin), and I know I have read the following books a number of times as well (the ones about Merlin), and they really are my favorite fantasy books of all time. I, unfortunately and to my great dishonor, have only read these books by Roger Zelazny. I've heard about numerous other sci-fi books he has written but I'm an ASS so I've ignored when people...more
Gemma Thomson
Dec 11, 2011 Gemma Thomson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers and those who enjoy parallel-world sci-fi.
Recommended to Gemma by: John Carter McKnight
Shelves: gifts, fantasy
First read: It's hard to summarise such a long book, since the "Great Book" is a compilation of smaller tales; but it's one done so well that it's hard to notice the joins. Zelazny's created a world rich in politics and fantasy, and has framed it in a way that is easy to follow. Its protagonists will take a few moments to bring us back up to speed - particularly useful when there have been a number of murder plots and metaphysical conflicts within a short period of time!

It's a shame, then, that...more
Lynn
I love completed series. I love omnibus editions. I love fantasy. How come I did not love this?

In fact, I only got though the first 5 books and did not want to read the last 5. I can not ever remember stopping in the middle of a series. Ultimately, there was not a single character that I cared for. All the characters were stereotypical and flat. Besides recovering from amnesia there was no character development. The female characters were especially weak.

Plot? I can't even remember. Just a dysfu...more
J. McClain
I'd read the first series many years ago, that is to say the first five novels comprising the exploits of Corwin of Amber, and adored it. Much later I found out that he'd written a second set of five novels about Amber and Chaos, so I went ahead and bought The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10. The first time around, in re-reading the first five and reading the second five for the first time, I felt somewhat disappointed in the latter half. I'm guessing part of it is becau...more
Kim
Aug 14, 2009 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
Cleaning off my bookshelves, I put this series into the Goodwill box, and then a few days later I pulled it out again and started reading. If you were to ask me my favorite authors, Zelazny's name probably wouldn't come to mind, but he's definitely on the list even if I forget about him for long periods of time.

"Many readers have complained that the series goes on too long and the ending is disappointing." Definitely agree with that. The last 20 pages of the last book I was nervously eyeballing...more
Kathleen
A group of us followed these books as teens/young adults and it was absolute torture waiting for some of 'em, whereupon I would reread all the precursors as I awaited my turn in the borrowing chain. A few years ago my sister bought multiple copies of of this 1-10 in one and I was delighted to have them all together. I've been trying to not own so many books over the past 15 years but I'm glad to have this one, the series has really retained its value for me. This edition will fan out to three ti...more
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Sui Generis 2 13 Aug 15, 2014 11:08AM  
Sci-fi and Heroic...: The Great Book of Amber 19 86 Jul 21, 2013 01:38AM  
  • Roger Zelazny's Chaos and Amber (Dawn of Amber Trilogy, #2)
  • Tales of the Dying Earth: The Dying Earth/The Eyes of the Overworld/Cugel's Saga/Rhialto the Marvellous
  • The Elric Saga Part I (Elric Saga, #1-3)
  • The Book of Jhereg (Vlad Taltos, #1-3)
  • Riddle-Master: The Complete Trilogy (Riddle-Master, #1-3)
  • Dick: Five Novels of the 1960s and 70s
  • Chronicles of the Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1-3)
  • Black Sun Rising (The Coldfire Trilogy, #1)
  • The Fionavar Tapestry (The Fionavar Tapestry #1-3)
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
  • Shadow & Claw (The Book of the New Sun #1-2)
  • Press Enter
  • Ill Met in Lankhmar (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1-2)
  • The Riftwar Saga (The Riftwar Saga, #1-4)
  • The Deed of Paksenarrion (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #1-3)
3619
Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is 'A Rose for Ecclesiastes' in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. Zelazny continued to write excellent short stories throughout his career. Most of his novels d...more
More about Roger Zelazny...
Nine Princes in Amber (Amber Chronicles, #1) Lord of Light The Courts of Chaos (Amber Chronicles, #5) The Guns of Avalon (Amber Chronicles, #2) The Hand of Oberon (Amber Chronicles, #4)

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