Definitely a product of the time it was written in. I was constantly reminded that it was written in the 60s with the antiquated dialo...moreSemi-spoilers...
Definitely a product of the time it was written in. I was constantly reminded that it was written in the 60s with the antiquated dialogue, but really I have no complaints. I love the psycho-drug subgenre as well as the government conspiracy subgenre (PKD, anyone?) -- most definitely when one can actually see the good behind those intentions despite how inhuman they may be. Once I read through the end, I was *almost* sympathetic to the government's cause. I like playing devil's advocate in real life and in the literary world Im no different.
This novel also kinda reminds me of novels Ive read where entire societies are "jacked in" to VR spelling out the ultimate demise of the human race slowly but surely. (less)
One of my favorites that will have a place on my shelf for years to come. The main character, the leopard, the avatar, and the scientist were all very...moreOne of my favorites that will have a place on my shelf for years to come. The main character, the leopard, the avatar, and the scientist were all very vibrant and fleshed-out. Of course I absolutely fell in love with Sunday! Even well after having read the book, I still think of him and smile. Though Ive yet to read anything else by this author, I tend to think that he wasnt to adept at capturing females because the two main females in the novel were my least favorite facets of it.
The pacing was perfect, there was enough science, but not too much to bog the book down, and overall just a very human and warm story that Im sure Ill be re-reading again sometime. (less)
Not Aldiss' strongest for sure. The pacing was definitely not what I come to expect from him; at some points frenetic, and other times sluggish. I als...moreNot Aldiss' strongest for sure. The pacing was definitely not what I come to expect from him; at some points frenetic, and other times sluggish. I also expect more of a vibrancy in his choice of words. Aldiss usually has a way of making his words dance across the page for me. But everything was pretty plain here. I have a penchant for the "plants taking over the world" subgenre so all the lifeforms talked about in the novel were fascinating to me. It definitely kept me interested from page to page, but average overall.
My biggest complaint is that what I was lead to believe was a key point early on in the novel was only briefly revisited in the last few pages -- a couple of paragraphs!
In the beginning, when the "elders" go to the other realm "the moon" and get acquainted with the flymen and their purpose, I was intrigued to know more and see how the mission would transpire. I very much looked forward to them reuniting and what would happen. Every chapter I kept hoping to flip back to their journey which would eventually tie-in to Gren an Yatmur, but only at the very end did that happen, and for such a brief time it was comical.
I also hoped to have more to do with the morel. At first he was a good tool for exposition in terms of explaining how the earth used to be through the "eternal memory" of a human being, and while I didnt want to see a future earth controlled by them, I did feel that his story was cut too short.
Also, I felt bad when it became evident that the "tummy-bellies" had met their doom, but they were SO friggin annoying! I ultimately still felt bad that, though they were essentially mindless automatons when connected to their trees, that *was* their way of life, and Gren (under the control of the morel of course) cut them off from that. (less)
This is basically like one long drawn-out scene with vanilla characters. One character was interesting -- a *very* elderly but spry Ukrainian scientis...moreThis is basically like one long drawn-out scene with vanilla characters. One character was interesting -- a *very* elderly but spry Ukrainian scientist (some insight as to this world's longevity technology among other things would have been nice), but other than her, everyone was very forgettable. I couldnt believe I was only a few pages away from the end before I had realized not only does it seem like nothing is going to get resolved....but, more puzzling: what is there to resolve? Sure, Im slightly relieved to learn that this is a trilogy and that more *should* be explained later, but more books on the way should never be a crutch for an incomplete story. 90% of the book took place in one room while everyone whiled away their time hoping for hot food or sex or a bath the entire time. This is one of the most disappointing books Ive read in a while. I give it a 2 because, at the time, it was a page-turner so it gets credit for that, but thats all. (less)