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The Masters of Solitude

(Masters of Solitude #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  195 ratings  ·  20 reviews
"I am a singer. And I am alone. His parents came from two very different worlds. And Singer was an outcast. a misfit who belonged to neither world... a master of solitude.".
The City stood alone beyond the forest. Through the Self-Gate, annihilator of the unwary, none could gain entry alive, and none came out.
Hardcover, 398 pages
Published July 1st 1978 by Doubleday & Company Inc. (Garden City, NY)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Aug 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
I rarely talk to anyone who has read this book. I think it must be one of those undiscovered jewels I come across too rarely. A post apocalyptic novel that is different from the rest. There is a sequel, "Wintermind" which I haven't read yet. This book stands on its own.

The rural communities are low tech & have some psi powers, organized into covens. High tech is left in the world, but is all but inaccessible to most. A young man, in good standing, is sent on a quest to gain the city's support fo
Shireen McQuade
Apr 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A very absorbing science fiction/fantasy involving a world changed by an unidentified catastrophic event, leaving people to create their own societies. On such society has developed extra sensory perception so that they not only communicate telepathically but can also feel another's feelings, joy, pain, etc. The implication of such perceptions on human behavior is beautifully explored. I could not put this book down till the last page. ...more
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adult fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi
This is one of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy books of all time. I love it and its sequel and wish the authors had written more. The story follows Singer. His mother was from the City, and his father was from the Coven.

This is a post-apocalyptic tale. Years ago, the people in the City cut themselves off from the world by use of a device the outsiders call the self-gate. They became long-lived, analytic and quit interacting with each other to the point that love and family became unimportant.

On the
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this in the 70s, in my teens, and I loved it. I've re-read it since and would still recommend it, though years have inevitably tarnished some of its lustre.

On one side are the Coven, tribal, telepathic, in tune with their world and themselves. Masters are the powerful among them, those who have learned self-discipline and honed their command of telepathy. Their religion is a combination of nature spirits and Celtic fire festivals, but mainly a celebration of life itself. On thing th
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
It's never a good sign when it takes you a month to finish a book that is only 400 pages. (And furthermore started reading another book at the same time just to stay sane).

I will keep it short and sweet (at least for me). I consider myself at least a semi-intelligent fellow, able to follow most plot-lines from start to finish but I had a lot of trouble even understanding the full magnitude of what was going on until the very end. Most of the book was frustratingly boring (the middle of the book
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the better science fiction books that nobody's ever heard of. I'd strongly suggest reading it if you can find a copy of it.

The only thing keeping me from giving it a full score is the rather...sudden way the big reveal happens at the end. It doesn't end in a way that's entirely satisfying, but there's supposedly a sequel.
Jeff Bergman
Read as a teen in Galileo magazine. Very good.
Sue Dounim
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of sci-fi/fantasy with strong neo-pagan theme
I just finished re-reading this (after about 30 years) so it's fresh in my mind. I'll finish this review once I can figure out a way to describe the book concisely. It's long and dense.

I think it's excellently written, and pays off the time it takes to absorb it. For me, the parts that involved a lot of action and tension were tempting to try to read quickly, but the authors were very deliberate in the way they plotted and structured the book and it's important to not rush through it.

The first t
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! A hidden gem in sci-fi!
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best sci-fi/fantasy novels of all time. A rare gem that is brilliantly written.
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was another relic (1978) unearthed on my bookshelves, remnant of a long-ago library sale shopping spree. The Masters of Solitude is a post-apocolyptic story about the divide between the two groups who have emerged since the disaster, and the attempt of one family to bridge that divide. In the book, some unspecified disaster occurred in the distant past. In its wake, humanity divided into two groups: those in The City who still possess advanced technology and have walled themselves off (lite ...more
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erik Graff
Oct 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the authors
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
For some reason, though the plot details beyond the quest atmosphere are forgotten, I've positive associations with this book, my copy of which I just gave away with virtually all of my other science fiction books--except Philip K. Dick.

Portions of this novel were originally published in Galileo Magazine.
Jun 23, 2012 added it
I first read this book at the age of 22 loved it then. reread 4 times over the last 30 years... a great story well written will grasp you by your vicariousness and will not let you go.. the sequel is wintermind a much shorter book but it is also good and adds some closure to the story.. I love great story tellers and Marvin Kaye is one of the best
Oct 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2012
geef dit boek 3 sterren, omdat het me toch wel een beetje vermaakt heeft. niet dat het nou echt een superboek was, maar echt slecht was het ook niet.
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: k0
I have read this book several times and enjoyed each time I've read it. ...more
Sep 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I don't really remember much about this one, but it was one of my absolute favorites back in college. ...more
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MARVIN KAYE is the author of sixteen novels, including his Dickensian pastiche, The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge, now optioned to be made into a feature film, and his just-completed sequel to Frankenstein, as well as the terrifying Fantastique and Ghosts of Night and Morning; the SF cult classics, The Incredible Umbrella and (coauthored with Parke Godwin) The Masters of Solitude, and the cri ...more

Other books in the series

Masters of Solitude (2 books)
  • Wintermind (Masters of Solitude, #2)

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