Matt's Reviews > A Choice of Gods

A Choice of Gods by Clifford D. Simak
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Jul 22, 08

bookshelves: science-fiction
Recommended to Matt by: Fans of Simak, particularly those with stout hearts or strong st

I really love Simak's writing. He's probably one of the more underrated prose smiths of Science Fiction, if not American literature in general. He can really craft a sentence with the best of them, and he is I think terribly neglected by most modern readers. The real devotee of science fiction should know his works no less than they know those of Heinlein or Asimov. He's really that important and of that high of stature.

His stories aren't always the easiest to read though.

'A Choice of Gods' is Simak at his darkest, and by that I don't mean merely unhealthily obsessed with cruelty, the occult, or forensics. This is a story of intellectual violence. Simak writes a story that is either sinisterly Luddite, or else a powerful manifesto against modernity - take your pick. For my part, it literally makes me shudder to read it. Reading the story, I imagine Ted Kaczynski sitting in some rural cabin cribbing lines from the story for his humanity hating manifesto. Moved along by Simak's powerful prose and gifted mind, the story doesn't get easier for me to read or like because it well written - but harder.

There are a lot of things to love about this novel, but I have a hard time liking it.
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