Nicholas Armstrong's Reviews > Hyperion

Hyperion by Dan Simmons
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's review
Aug 04, 2009

really liked it
Read in November, 2008

Oh, Simmons, you awesome bastard. This is a sci-fi take on the Canterbury Tales. Except really interesting. With amazing characters. And great settings.

Seriously, the characters here are all unique and wholly interesting. I found myself reading about the story of one character and wanting to tear the book page by page when I was jumped to the next tale. The only thing stopping me was how good the NEXT story was.

Not all of the tales are gold but the ones that aren't are still great. I want to know what happens. I HAVE to know what happens. Their conflicts are mine.

From what I could tell, each character was important, or felt as important and invested, in the overall story as the last. The only drawback to this book is that it is obviously the first of many. That is to say, you read a lot, you care a lot, and then you come to a cliff and Simmons waves goodbye.

If you like good characters, if you like sci-fi, read it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Nicholas Armstrong The settings are fairly non-existent, as they are with most early literature, merely a 'they were in this town' type thing.

As far as characterization, Chaucer was more interested in achieving metatextuality with his characters than he was deep development. Most of the characters are representatives of their social class, the Miller is described as a drunk and a thief, a perceived perception of Millers of the time. Chaucer is trying to make commentary of a social hierarchy and time period, not write a tale with characters with real personalities you feel for. Even the Wife of Bath is a thinly veiled criticism of gender roles and the church, not an actual character. I'm not saying what he did isn't impressive for what it is, but see it for what it is.

Nicholas Armstrong I found there is merit in both, speaking to the reader and just crafting a tale; I just often prefer the latter.

It is a good read though, hope you can get it and enjoy it.

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