The Visitor
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The Visitor

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,172 ratings  ·  49 reviews
The "magic" that once was America died horribly along with most of the Earth's inhabitants when an asteroid crashed into the planet sometime during the twenty-first century. Hundreds of years have passed, and all that remains of the time before are fragmented memories distorted by superstition -- as a tragically reduced populace suffers greatly under the tyranny of a repre...more
ebook, 512 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2002)
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Certainly this book had flaws all along. There are things that don't quite make sense, and a construction Tepper is fond of using at the end of chapters really annoyed me once I noticed it. However, the world-building is rich and the plot interesting, and I was enjoying the book reasonably until the last 100 pages, when she decided to ruin it by throwing every lame and lousy writing tactic available: a sprawling, poorly-written anti-religious diatribe (for those really dense readers who hadn't n...more
I wish I could have given The Visitor more than 2 stars since Sheri Tepper has written one of my favorite books, The Gate to Women's Country. Over the years I have read a few of Ms. Tepper’s novels and have enjoyed them and I wish I could say the same for The Visitor. This story stars out a tad slow but gains momentum and is a good read until three quarters through the novel then I got confused and lost. This is a post-apocalyptic story, usually one of my favorite genres, and the world she descr...more
Althea Ann
Throughout most of this book, I thought it was great.
The milieu is an innovative and effective blend of post-apocalypse, straight-out horror, and science fiction. It's a complicated world, and Tepper does an amazing job of showing-not-telling, revealing elements of the situation she's created gradually...
The protagonist, Disme, is shown to progress from her repressed situation where she is terrorized by her stepmother and her even-worse stepsister, gradually finding the ability to express her id...more
A frustrating read, and had it not been the last book of a stack from the library, I wouldn't have finished it. Plot: it's 1000 years from now, and humanity has survived, barely, a gigantic asteroid impact. Three POV characters predominate: a scientist in our time via her diary, a young girl in the low-tech recovered world, and a Bad Guy. The main problem is, none of them are characters I wished to read about. The scientist is a wimpy woman married to a man who is at first a lazy loser and later...more
No one would ever be able to say that Tepper is apolitical. No, she takes on politics, and she takes on the worst of the politics...and makes them worse!
That's always enjoyable. Hey, it's one of the things that we can do in science fiction!
In The Visitor, Tepper's typical story line of science fiction setting with a mystery that drives the action becomes an inquiry into what happens when a theocracy rules a small section of the world. It's a post apocalyptic world this time, and whew are these...more
The "magic" that once was America died horribly along with most of the Earth's inhabitants when an asteroid crashed into the planet sometime during the twenty-first century. Hundreds of years have passed, and all that remains of the time before are fragmented memories distorted by superstition -- as a tragically reduced populace suffers greatly under the tyranny of a repressive ruling order. But destiny has chosen Dismé Latimer to lead a wasted world out of the darkness...with a book. Written by...more
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Paul 'Pezski' Perry
Tepper really is a wonderful writer - her books are intelligent, inventive, superbly plotted and littered with prose that leaves te reader breathless.Her major strain of work is science fiction with the technology in the background and an emphasis on social and personal relationships, a deep concern for people combined with a sharply satirical social analysis. The Visitor begins seeming to be borderline fantasy/sci-fi, but then combines a storyline of apocalyptic fiction - the primary setting is...more
This was the hardest Tepper book I've read so far, though it wasn't bad. I just found it difficult to follow. The plot, of an asteroid hitting earth and a group of people surviving, and the dual story line of before and after The Happening, the emergence of the planned survivors as they met the accidentally surviving populace, was excellent. But I couldn't figure out a lot of what was happening and spent a lot of time lost and confused. In the end, more of it made sense, but I couldn't keep trac...more
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♆ BookAddict ~ La Crimson Femme
This was a fascinating one for me. Rather liberal agenda overtones which weren't too subtle. The premise of this story was pretty interesting. Does the ends justify the means? Some of the retributions perpetrated upon the hate mongers was amusing and made me laugh.

Then it all comes tumbling down when the helpful aliens's history is reinterpreted or "discovered". They question their real purpose and their foundation. I guess for me, it was a pointless exercise because I felt what they are doing n...more
I hate to give one stars. I figure that this must be reserved for the ones I put down because they are too boring, or the author stoops to levels where I am not ready to follow. I read this one, though, and at its best moments it was three stars and then it got preachy, and then it never really explained the story, leaving me with too many questions. Its one of those books that begs to be rewritten, using the same premise, but a clearer story line. I have never read Ms. Tepper before, and since...more
Another homerun by Ms. Tepper. This is a multi layered story that gets better with each read.
Delicious Strawberry
I have been a fan of Ms. Tepper for the last few years, so I have enjoyed many of her books. However, this one was harder to enjoy due to the deus ex machina brought into here (and the magic) I understood the story - and there were some GREAT lines in here as well as some awesome scenes - but like in a few of her other books, there's a deus ex machina that explains everything. I actually had more fun with the beginning and middle - and Chairs and Bottles are a unique idea. Overall a enjoyable bo...more
Like most of Sheri S. Tepper's work, this novel builds a post-apocalyptic world and society that are totally believable. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters and the storyline, as usual. But this book didn't pack the punch that I expect from the end of a Tepper fantasy. Certainly it was a good ending, but typically Tepper leaves me breathless with the implications of her final reveal. I found that this ending required too much pure explanation and was overly complex for the story, with no...more
Sheri S. Tepper was one of my favorite authors as a teenager. I felt like it would be nice to go back and read her again. Particularly as it was a nice post-apocalyptic storyline. I found the first 100 pages terribly confusing. I've just gotten out of the habit of reading sci-fi and found the world building a little confusing and frustrating. Eventually when more was reveled I really got into the story and enjoyed it quite a bit. I felt like the ending was a little strange and a little weak. But...more
Arianna Pier
I am a fan of both sci-fi and fantasy novels, but before I read this book I thought I would never be able too have both in a book at the same time. So that's one of the reasons I love this book. It successfully integrates sci-fi and fantasy into a plot and world that is both creative and completely original. A definite must read :)
This is not only my favorite Tepper book but hands down one of my favorite books of all time. I think because the plot actually moves along and I care about the characters and it's just SO INTERESTING. I think it's a great treatise on what could happen after an asteroid hits the earth and destroys life as we know it - the civilizations that arise out of the ashes, and in typical Tepper weirdness, bizarre religions, various magic and space aliens. Win forever. I read this once a year at least.
About post-apocalyptic Earth. The first two-thirds of this book is fascinating. It offers an interesting concept with a lot of potential. It takes a while to connect the disparate plots in the beginning, but the fine writing and character development keeps you engaged, and as the bigger picture emerges, you're thankful you waded through the ambiguity. Then in the last 20+ pages, the story just tanks. Disappointing. But I really did enjoy the first two-thirds of the book.
In general, I love Sheri S. Tepper's work. Her voice speaks right to me, and the settings and characters she writes of always inspire me.

Visitor started out with the promise of another Tepper book I'd like. And it held that promise up until the very end, where it puttered out with one of the lamest endings I've ever read - very close to a 'Deus ex Machina' type cop-out.

I highly recommend Ms. Tepper. Just not this one.
I have...complicated feelings about this book. It's mostly good (until the wheels fall off the political narrative bus at the end), it's interesting with interesting characters in Dismé and Nell, but it's full of some stuff that's just too weird and off-kilter even for Tepper.

And then there's the end religious stuff, which...idek. It's ridiculously didactic even within Tepper's usual didactic prose.
This book is very complex and intricate in the way the society is portrayed and the way the characters relate to each other. It is a bizarre mixture of science fiction and horror, but not in a way you might expect. The story moves along at a fast pace, and even though at the beginning you think you are reading a Cinderella-type story, it moves quickly into something far more interesting.
So, it was awesome until the "small god" did her rant agaisnt religion/for science. It's like, dude, I agree with you, I get it, but you don't have to be so preachy/hateful about it, sheesh. But, at least Disme then put some thought into going against it, with thinking that not all good people are rational, and not all rational people are good?
Sheri Tepper is such a master writer. This was an interesting book. Lots of fantasy in this post-apocalypse book. She feeds her story very carefully to the reader, leaves you wondering and wanting more, but trusting she'll deliver. The ending was a little disappointing, but still sufficiently satisfying. Fun combo of SF and fantasy.
I just really like Sheri Tepper's writing. The end is a little preachy (easy to see that she used to attend the Unitarian church), but also gratifying. Great characters, very inventive. Plus, I'm only 2 degrees of separation away from her - a friend of mine used to teach with her.
One of my favorite Sheri S. Tepper novels. Representative of her recurring themes -- a nice intro to What Tepper Is All About. It bears mentioning that there are a few particularly brutal scenes, so if you're sensitive to that sort of thing, you may want to skip this one.
An enjoyable Tepper tale, but not as engaging or innovative as some of her other offerings like Gate to Women's Country, Raising the Stones, or The Family Tree. Still a fun read with interesting concepts and descriptions. A must read for any Tepper fan.
This book was harder for me to get into and stay with, but it was an good read. Post-apocalyptic type book, after a sentient asteroid destroys most of earth,and what happens afterwards, a thousand years down the road.
I very much enjoyed and recommend Tepper's 1998 book The Gate to Women's Country but this one falls way short, too complex, insufficient narrative to clearly explain what is happening and what we are to imagine. Rushed.
This book was just an excellent piece of science fiction. Very artfully done with interesting characters. I believe this is one of Tepper's best works. There were a few holes in the plot, but still an enjoyable read.
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Sheri Stewart Tepper is a prolific American author of science fiction, horror and mystery novels; she is particularly known as a feminist science fiction writer, often with an ecofeminist slant.

Born near Littleton, Colorado, for most of her career (1962-1986) she worked for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, where she eventually became Executive Director. She has two children and is married to Gen...more
More about Sheri S. Tepper...
The Gate to Women's Country Grass (Arbai, #1) Beauty The Family Tree Raising the Stones

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“Nothing limits intelligence more than ignorance; nothing fosters ignorance more than one's own opinions; nothing strengthens opinions more than refusing to look at reality.” 17 likes
“Not many years before the Happening, one of your country's largest religious bodies officially declared that their book was holier than their God, thus simultaneously and corporately breaking several commandments of their own religion, particularly the first one. Of course they liked the book better! It was full of magic and contradictions that they could quote to reinforce their bigoted and hateful opinions, as I well know, for I chose many parts of it from among the scrolls and epistles that were lying around in caves here and there. They're correct that a god picked out the material; they just have the wrong god doing it.
(The small god in Ch. 44)”
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