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The Book of Atrus (Myst #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,238 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
A prequel to the magical world seen on the screen in MYST, here, listeners learn of Atrus's strange mentor relationship with his father, Gehn, and their godlike ability to create the worlds they write of in books.
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published 1995 by Bantam
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Alexandra First of all, you can get a version of the game that will work on today's PCs very inexpensively at www.gog.com. It was $5 there when I bought mine.…moreFirst of all, you can get a version of the game that will work on today's PCs very inexpensively at www.gog.com. It was $5 there when I bought mine. There are also iPhone and iPad versions, and I'm pretty sure there's an Android version too.

To answer your question, the worlds described in the book are not present in the games, with the exception of the Cleft and the D'ni Cavern, and those places are not in Myst, but visited later in Uru.

The author of this book, Rand Miller, is the creator and writer of the Myst game, along with his brother Robyn.

I've read all these books and they are mainly backstory for the Myst franchise games. I enjoyed them, but think they wouldn't really stand up well as stories themselves for those unfamiliar with the games. These books fill in more story regarding Atrus, and the history of the D'ni for fans of the games.

There is www.mystonline.com but that is mainly about the multiplayer online Uru game, which comes after Myst, Riven, and the other Myst sequels.

If you can't tell, I'm a fan :D Feel free to message me if I can help further. I highly recommend the games for the story they tell. Particularly Myst, Riven and Uru.

If you'd like to enjoy the Myst story without having to play the game, you could watch "Let's Play" videos on YouTube and enjoy the game while someone else plays it for you. This is the guy I think does the best job: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhakW...(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lily
Dec 20, 2015 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those curious about the geology of Mount Doom
3.5 stars, but I'm happy to round up for this obscure little book that's been mostly forgotten.



Readers and writers of sci-fi and fantasy will often mention "worldbuilding": the process of developing a world that is different from the one we live in. It's less common to see fictional characters grappling with those issues themselves, but that's exactly what this novel is about.

Atrus was raised by his grandmother, in an isolated dwelling in the desert. He spends his time studying the environment
...more
Kathryn
Jul 29, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book not only for the story behind it but for the splendid moral integrity of two of the characters. The book is essentially about Atrus--about what it means to grow up, to be a man, and to be a responsible and good person. One of my favorite passages (and quotes, really) is this poignant moment where Anna sends her grandson into the unknown with his unstable (and ultimately sociopathic) father:

"You must remember what you have learned here, Atrus. I have tried to teach you the mechan
...more
Taylor Kinnicutt
Once again I find myself drawn to the series of Myst. Its lore, its wonder and the shear, mind bending thought of how someone thought of this in the first place. The book opens in the sandy deserts and the life of a young Atrus, still a boy and far from the happenings of the first Myst game. After a loving, peaceful life in the desert presided over by his grandmother, Anna, a strange figure appears at their quiet desert home. A tall, pale man who claims to be Atrus's father, Gehn. After 14 years ...more
Zack Jackson
Jul 31, 2011 Zack Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I think this is one of the most underrated science fiction books out there. The computer game that inspired the books was hugely successful, but the books never really caught on despite the deep characters and fascinating world. I go back to this book when I want to feel inspired by a world of limitless creativity and possibility.
Josh
Jul 06, 2014 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQKQv...

What sparks an interest in a book? It’s different for everyone. I love it when a story that begins one way morphs into something completely different and unexpected. This is not to say I like a story that’s unbelievable or has leaps in logic. No, I’m talking about characters who do something that make your eyes pop out of your head or the author that takes a hard right turn and destroys all your expectations, but in a good way.

Myst: The Book
...more
Juan Valera
Jul 30, 2015 Juan Valera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are fantasies that contain entire worlds; geography, character backgrounds, and invented language syntax are all accounted for and invented in regards to the story. All are meticulously crafted and engineered by Rand Miller. Myst is one such story; the sheer depth of the story and the characters is astonishing; this is a case of the iceberg principle where the vast majority of the interactions between the characters involve aspects of them that the reader doesn't even know. Miller has fles ...more
Andrew
Jan 17, 2009 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1 book in myst series. awsome, awsome, awsome. i just checked it out from the onterio library because the cover looked good but wow did it ever turn out to be good. the imagination that went into this is simply amazing i recomend it to anybody!
Joey
Mar 28, 2016 Joey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
As exciting to read as it was to play.
Adam
Jan 27, 2011 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It really seems only fitting that a video game about books would have a series of books published in its name. For some reason when such books were first coming out I was sort of skeptical about their quality. I truly am glad I overcame this and decided to pick up the Myst books. I was an early enough adopter to be able to get all the hardcover texts and they are all beautifully designed. It's strange that a lot of books don't adopt this kind of method, because it really is eye catching and I'm ...more
Kathi
May 23, 2009 Kathi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I bought this book because I enjoyed the Myst computer game and thought it might be fun to read more about the world. Unfortunately, several years passed between playing the game and reading the book, so the connections are a bit fuzzy.

I enjoyed the book enough to want to play the game again, and to want to read the other books in the Myst series.

However, as a fantasy book on its own, there are too many unanswered questions and too many gaps in the story for it to really succeed.

I found Anna and
...more
Scott Pate
I enjoyed reading The Book of Atrus and am moving right along to the Book of Ti'ana. The Book of Atrus was a little slow moving, but I think that's what the entire world of Myst is: explore, experiment, discover. The book really on ever involved two characters at one time which I think contributed to the slowness: Atrus and Anna; Atrus and Ghen; Atrus and Catherine.

I love the world of Myst and so was determined to get through the book. I don't' think that people who are not familiar with Myst an
...more
David Elkins
Sep 09, 2015 David Elkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Love love love this story!
Devon H
Date Completed: 12/23/2015

Rating: 6.5/10

I've had this book sitting on my book shelf and was in no rush to get around to it, but when I came home for break I was drawn to it. Maybe I thought it would be an easy read, maybe I wanted to laugh at how poorly written it was, but I was pleasantly surprised because this book was not poorly written at all. A sci-fi novel written as a prequel to the popular 90's Myst computer game, which I'm sure some of you have played (I played it with my parents), this
...more
Matt Matash
Oct 04, 2014 Matt Matash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I jumped on the Myst bandwagon a bit late. I played Myst, Riven, & Exile in 2012. I really enjoyed the style of the games and the characters, so I decided recently to give this book a read.
First off, before even getting into my thoughts on the book, the hardcover version of this book is beautiful! The cover looks like an old tome, the pages have a weathered look, and every so many pages we're shown a drawing Atrus made of his surroundings and inventions. It makes the plot so much more engr
...more
Ben
Nov 04, 2014 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently I gave up my ambition of playing through the Myst/Riven series on my own. Partially because I haven't played any video games in awhile, partly because I don't have the time to spend on a game like Myst. So I watched a YouTube Channel (Red Button) that play it through in full without spoilers and found it quite entertaining. And happy I didn't play it. Some of those puzzles are difficult just due to the interface, not really as part of the puzzle.

So I decided to get these books (which I
...more
Noah
May 30, 2011 Noah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I read this book as a kid and went back to see how it held up.

The first half was intriguing enough, especially if you're a fan of the games, but the last half felt very rushed. Nonetheless, it was fun reading the origin of Atrus as well as his relationship with Gehn.

If you're a Myst fan, I'd say it's worth it (and a very easy read). If not, you're not really missing out.
Bethany
Mar 26, 2016 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bethany by: Scott
Shelves: 2016
It was a really engaging book to read, and I was really enjoying it! I'd have liked it to be longer, and I'd have loved more description of how the worlds are created - maybe English approximations of the D'ni phrases that were used, or an example of how a description page might look and how to words work together, just to follow along with Atrus's learning process and understand what he was working towards. I could tell about halfway through that I'd be frustrated with the ending, just based on ...more
Laura
Jan 01, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gamers
Recommended to Laura by: Elle Fowler
This 1995 read is a perfect way to experience the Myst computer game virtual reality while actors and actresses make movies and shows for us. I found it at BigHeartedBooks where they also sell Full House Michelle books for a penny each! The only trilogy that old that can come back!
Kevin Turner
I haven't yet played Myst, the "CD-ROM phenomenon" to which this book is a prequel. But I have been playing a bit with Mystcraft, so I was curious, and picked this book up.

It's a story about world-building, and that's where its focus is. There's a lot of rich description of remarkable environments and the artifacts left behind by a recently departed civilization.

Our protagonist is a huge geek, passing their childhood by doing science experiments and writing in their journal. In them we see the v
...more
Victoria
Dec 29, 2015 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went in excited to read about the back history of my favorite computer puzzle game, Myst. I was not disappointed. The rich tapestry of the scenery and characters that you come to expect is evident from the prologue. Having played the series the book unfolds like a walk through a Myst Age with clues to ponder. I only found one error that struck me as odd. The author should have used the word "foment", but instead used ferment. The character of Atrus has intrigued me ever since I played the firs ...more
Devin
Jul 12, 2015 Devin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who played the Myst games; other than that, you may be a little lost
I actually feel torn about giving a star rating to Myst: The Book of Artus, not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I feel like it doesn't do justice to the book or to people looking to read it.

If you grew up in the 90s, there's a chance that you dappled around the CD-ROM game of Myst at least once. It was a groundbreaking game for PC gaming at the time, beautifully rendered, and, perhaps the biggest allure of all, no one knew what it was freakin' about. At the time I played I had no patienc
...more
Jenelle
Aug 03, 2010 Jenelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my dad & I read this together and still quote it to each other. I suspect it's really as good as I remember.
Marty
Feb 14, 2016 Marty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember playing the Myst games and feeling the thrill at how immersive the world was. It was so rich with history and detail. It isn't an exaggeration to say that the entire experience of the Myst world is lush. It was wonderfully fun. When I got the books, I had my hopes high it would be a similar enjoyment.

So after sitting them on the back of my to-read list for such a long time, I decided to make them a priority. I went in with the most positive outlook for all three books. I think they a
...more
Rachel
Nov 21, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The book of Atrus is the first book based on the bestselling computer game Myst. It centers around Atrus a boy who will eventually create the world in the first Myst game.

The first 1/3 of the book focuses on Atrus' childhood. Honestly, I'm not sure why it took up so much of the book. It was long, drawn out and boring. The middle third focuses on Atrus learning from his father Gehn. Much of the time i learning about the worlds and learning to write the D'ni language. The last third is where the
...more
Malcolm Little
Dec 16, 2015 Malcolm Little rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sf-gems
I’ll admit, I was a big Myst fan in my teens and early twenties. The original was one of the first games I played on a Pentium PC, and I somehow managed to solve it on my own without the aid of the pitiful internet of the mid-90s. That said, I certainly understand that nostalgia might bias my view of Myst: The Book of Atrus. Quite frankly, whether that bias subconsciously improved my review of the novel or not, I don’t care. This was a tight, excellent read, and I wish I had read it before delvi ...more
El Templo
Puede que nuestros lectores más veteranos hayan conocido la saga de Myst en sus inicios en 1993 bajo su formato original: un juego de ordenador en primera persona desarrollado por los hermanos Miller, Rand y Robyn. Su éxito fue tan fulgurante que, junto con sus secuelas, se proclamó como uno de los juegos más vendidos de los tiempos hasta 2002, desbancado por Los Sims.
Cuando los hermanos Miller empezaron el desarrollo del juego, escribieron pequeñas partes de historia para poder situarse en ella
...more
Diego Garcia
May 07, 2012 Diego Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasia
Para aquellos que llegaron a jugar Myst por aquellos dias del Windows 3.11 este libro tendrá mucho mas significado.

(view spoiler)
...more
S.
Apr 30, 2011 S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
sarah
Feb 22, 2012 sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Linking books, the Art of writing, creating Ages with only pen and paper. These comprise the labyrinthine world of Myst—a book undoubtedly compelling as its CD-ROM predecessor. Rand and Robyn Miller, whose genius and imagination brought the vivid world of Myst to life, have successfully written a complex yet beautiful prequel to their hit game series in the form of this relatively short book.

Myst describes the humble beginnings of the games’ protagonist Atrus and his journey to discovering all
...more
Lauren
Dec 23, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This was a fun re-read. I was obsessed with MYST and Riven as a kid, and I ate up the expanded universe novels like candy. I'm glad to discover this one still holds up, although the pacing isn't as great as I remembered (hence the one star off). I'm pretty sure these books will only appeal to enthusiasts of the games...I can't imagine someone reading this without that context and getting very much out of it. They'd probably wonder why there's so much focus on ornamental descriptions of passagewa ...more
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Rand Miller (born January 17, 1959 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.) co-founded Cyan (now Cyan Worlds) with brother Robyn Miller and became famous from the unexpected success of their computer game Myst, which remained the number one-selling game for the remainder of the 1990s. Rand also worked on the game's sequel, Riven, and later Myst III: Exile, Myst IV: Revelation, Myst V: End of Ages, rea ...more
More about Rand Miller...

Other Books in the Series

Myst (3 books)
  • The Book of Ti'ana (Myst, #2)
  • The Book of D'ni (Myst, #3)

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“If you act for self-gain then no good can come of it. If you act selflessly, then you act well for all and you must not be afraid.” 7 likes
“Catherine smiled then; opening the Linking Book, she placed her hand against it. "We could fall into the night and be cradled by stars and still return to the place where we began…"

The last word was an echo as she vanished.”
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