The world Vance creates is as compelling as the characters in it, and it's great that he is content to lead us through its ruins without the need to spell it out for us in stultifying detail(*). His prose is sharp enough to cut the ambiance of the place from the stuff of ...more
However, the fact that I can even attempt a review from memory speaks to how ... memorable ... the book is.
I think I read this the year it came out and never again. I really must dig the series out because it has stuck with me as rather fine. Cugel especially with his brand of cowardice and amoral innovation has remained a favorite.
The world Vance creates is as compelling as the characters in it, and it's great tha ...more
After a 17 years pause (so quit complaining fans of Game of Thrones about when the next book is coming out) Jack Vance returns to his Dying Earth universe with another book focused on Cugel the 'not-so-clever-as-he-thinks-he-is' . Vance knew he was on to a good thing whith this completely amoral and accident prone scoundrel and decided to throw him back in the soup as Iucounu the Laughing Magician sends Cugel once more to the farthest corner of the map, ...more
Iucounu (known across Almery as 'the Laughing Magician') had worked one of his most mordant jokes upon Cugel. For the second time Cugel had been snatched up, carried north across the Ocean of Sighs, dropped upon that melancholy beach known as Shanglestone Strand....more
Rising to his feet, Cugel brushed sand from his cloak and adjusted his hat. He stood not twenty ya
Cugel “the clever” is one of the scummiest, nastiest, lowliest rogues in all of fantasy literature. He’s got no morals and no respect for women, he’s often a coward, he’s not good looking, nor is he particularly good with a sword. In the words of one of Cugel’s acquaintances, “who could imagine such protean depravity?” The answer, apparently, is Jack Vance. And that's why Cugel is one of my favorite “heroes” — because he belongs to Jack Vance.
Cugel’s Saga, ...more
Because it's nonstop trickery, confidence games, theft, and conscience-less knavery. :)
We follow Cugel the Clever who falls into every situation on both feet, lying the most grandiose lies and cheating his way through every fantasy location only to get found out and run out of ...more
At first glance, there seems to be little to like about the book's protagonist, Cugel. He is selfish, opportunistic, nearly devoid of empathy, and motivated by little other than his personal interests. That is until you take into ...more
"I am a cautious man," said Iolo. "I must consider the matter from several perspectives." He set about making camp for the night.
Cugel called out a plaintive appeal: "Do you remember how I rescued you from the pelgrane?"
"Indeed I do! An important philosophical question has thereby been raised. You disturbed a stasis and now a tentacle grips your leg, which is, in a sense, the new stasis. I wi ...more
The story of Cugel is so absurd,witty it can be read for how wonderful it is story-wise and if you like quality prose styles, high level language. He is more than a legend in SF,Fantasy, he is a great artist of literature period. Which makes it near impossible for me to write reviews about his best works. The scoundrel Cugel is a great character and one of my ...more
When last we left our hero(?), Cugel the Clever, he had once again been taken from his native Almery and dropped unceremoniously upon Shanglestone Strand due to his dealings with Iucounu, the Laughing Magician. Now we get to follow along once again as he makes his way southward; this time, by an entirely different path along which he will have numerous encounters, all entirely different, but equally menacing and/or ridiculous as those on his previous journey.
And o ...more
Far more Swiftian and satirical than the previous novel this displays Vance’s preoccupation with the absurdities of social rules and customs, such as the island where the men are forced to cover their faces as well as their bodies, lest they arouse the passions of their rapacious womenfolk.
It’s basically a series of m ...more
Dying Earth, #3
This is Vance at his classic best. The dastardly Cugel once again must fight his way back across the Dying Earth, over hostile regions, past weird and unnatural creatures, and, worst of all, through the endless shades of human culture and habit. Vance is at his literary best, with beautiful, original language sketching characters and actions from base to idealistic, with the would-be urbane Cugel taking it al...more
This book is a direct sequel to The Eyes of the Overworld following on immediately from where that book left off. Those who read the previous book when it came out only had 17 years to wait for the sequel to find out what would happen to the almost loveable rogue Cugel.
Possibly one of the greatest characters in the fantasy genre, ...more
Cugel experiences many adventures, gains wealth, has to bust his ass off for it, but only works enough to get the money (terces) and then continue his journey. He also encounters people that provide him with food, shelter and so on, but a ...more
The novel picks up immediately after where the last book left off, with Cugel deposited on a sandy beach far, far north of hi ...more
Set in a fantastical world lit by the garnet glow of a dying sun, this book is an amusing romp that amounts to something like a comedy of errors. Poor, poor Cugel just can't do anything right, it seems, despite his obvious knack for schemes and plots.
Jack Vance has written a very dive ...more
Unlike Vance's first novel in the setting, these two books focus on a main character: Cugel, a charming but completely amoral man who ends up on a long and complicated quest when he is caught trying to burglarize a wizard's home, and his complicated adventures in attempting to extract revenge on said wizard. Together, both books make up the complete story.
Vance excels at atmosphere; while more coh ...more
The author was born in 1916 and educated at the University of California, first as a mining engineer, then majoring in physics and finally in journalism. During the 1940s and 1950s, he contributed widely to science fiction and fantasy magazines. His first novel, The Dying Earth , was published in 1950 to g ...more
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"Good news indeed," muttered Cugel”