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The Last Song of Orpheus

3.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  57 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
(from Subterranean Press Website) In the course of his extraordinary-and prolific-career, Robert Silverberg has made an enormous contribution to imaginative literature. In The Last Song of Orpheus, his longest story in more than a decade, Silverberg has given us one of his most remarkable accomplishments, a resonant recreation of one of the central myths of western civiliz ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published October 31st 2010 by Subterranean Press (first published September 30th 2010)
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Dream-like, disorientating and delicious describes perfectly my thoughts about this lyrical novella by one of the true masters of speculative fiction. In The Last Song of Orpheus, Silverberg faithfully, yet engagingly, retells the life story or Orpheus through the demi-god’s own first-person narrative.

While some might argue that there is nothing really new here, I would counter (with much huffing and puffing) that I believe Silverberg adds two new pieces to the body of the well known “Orpheus
The Last Song of Orpheus is an interesting novella, drawing together the various legends and scraps of lore about Orpheus, and weaving them into a coherent whole, ironing out the contradictions and unifying everything with a few little additions of Silverberg's own. Parts of it are very beautiful, prose-wise, and the overall idea enchanted me.

There's something about the narration that's just a bit too distant, somehow. In one way it suits the story very well, matching the mythic register; in ano
Kat  Hooper
Dec 17, 2010 Kat Hooper rated it liked it
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Finally. After all of the conflicting information we get from the numerous myths, legends, writings, and operas about Orpheus, we have the true story told by Orpheus himself as he writes his life story for Musaeus (with some help from Robert Silverberg).

In The Last Song of Orpheus, all the bits and pieces of Orpheus's life are tied together into a single chronological narrative and Orpheus tells his own version of how he obtained his famous lyre and used i
Paul Peterson
Feb 04, 2015 Paul Peterson rated it really liked it
Loved this book. It is an easy read, told in the voice of Orpheus himself, and touching on several of the great Greek myths. Recommended as an introduction for anyone looking to cleanse themselves of ignorance in Greek classics.

Favorite quotes:

"I felt a kind of ecstasy spread through me as I seized upon the understanding that music was not just a series of pleasant sounds, but the epitome in sound of the balance and order of the universe. That music and that order are the work of the One God who
The Last Song of Orpheus was kind of a Cliff's Notes version of a whole lot of mythology surrounding the demigod musician Orpheus. Not that it was dry (like Cliff's Notes,) just that it was... succinct - kind of a "here's what really happened."

I particularly liked the interpretation of the Golden Fleece saga. My current addiction is mythology, legend and fairy tale, and Last Song scratched the itch.
Steve Statham
Oct 31, 2011 Steve Statham rated it really liked it
Just beautifully written by one of the masters. Silverberg has penned many a far-flung space opera, but his true passions seem to be mythology and ancient history. In The Last Song of Orpheus, his fondness for the old world is on full display. The demi-god Orpheus must navigate his way through the lost civilizations of mankind, torn between the human condition and the desires of the gods.

Silverberg has cut back on his writing in recent years, so this newest novella will be a welcome read for hi
Matti Tornio
Feb 26, 2014 Matti Tornio rated it really liked it
Great retelling of the Orpheus myth, even if the second half of the book isn't nearly as strong as the early parts
Jan 08, 2013 Gene rated it really liked it
A relatively engrossing overview of the myths of Orpheus, as told by Orpheus himself. I certainly prefer the wonderful inventiveness of Silverberg's fantastic science fiction worlds, but he's a lovely writer of prose even when detailing an existing and familiar mythology.
Joyce Donahue
Mar 02, 2012 Joyce Donahue rated it liked it
Interesting because it re-tells many of the famous myths through the eyes of Orpheus - a different point of view on Jason and the Golden Fleece, for example. Brings the character of Orpheus to life.
Aug 10, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Loved hearing the familiar stories that I teach every year from an "insider's" perspective. It really goes a new life to the ancient tales.

My only wish is a list of sources.
Frank Taranto
Dec 29, 2011 Frank Taranto rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
An excellent retelling of the Orpheus myth. Silverberg always delivers a well written tale.
Joey Sigmon
Aug 16, 2015 Joey Sigmon rated it really liked it
Shelves: folklore, fiction
this is a cool retelling of one of the most interesting characters in mythology.
Apr 26, 2011 Holly marked it as to-read
Got this book in my Subterranean Press Grab Bag (Box?). Excited to see how it pans out!
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Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such contemporary classics as Dying Inside, Downward to the Earth and Lord Valentine’s Castle, as well as At Winter’s End, also available in a Bison Books edition. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Sc ...more
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