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The Adventures of Langdon St. Ives (Narbondo)

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
"A good deal of controversy arose late in the last century over what has been referred to by the more livid newspapers as 'The Horror in St. James Park' or 'The Ape-box Affair'"

So begins the first chronicle in the long and often obscure life of Langdon St. Ives, Victorian scientist and adventurer, respected member of the Explorers Club and of societies far more obscure, co
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Hardcover, 476 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Subterranean Press
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Karl Ruben
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: collections, reviewed
A difficult book to get a handle on, from the start. It has a little something to do with the fact that I’ve never mastered the hidden art of reading collections - if indeed such a craft exists. I always feel like I’m doing something wrong just plowing through it, sliding from one story to the next. Shouldn’t the individual stories be allowed the space to breathe? When I do that, though, the volume has a nasty habit of just sitting there beside my bed, halfway finished. Blaylock also has the ind ...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
Sometimes while reading the Adventures of Langdon St. Ives, I was merely bored, but most of the time I was bored, confused, and really annoyed with the author. This "book" is actually a series of short stories of Victorian steampunk with a common protagonist, sort of. The stories are told in a disjointed narrative that is often both painfully slow and incomprehensibly obtuse. Worse, the most interesting things in these stories are often referred to rather than actually occurring within the more ...more
Cathy
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Steampunketty fun. The first story in the omnibus is an incredibly labored farce and I thought I had made a mistake by buying this, but it improves considerably after that. The best stories (and novel sections) are those narrated by Jack Owlesby, who is a sort of Bertie Woosterish type and has quite an amusing voice.

In the third person, Blaylock sometimes bogs down because all his characters are such grotesques and we are not given any indication of who they are or how they got that way -- this
...more
Bradley
Sep 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Very possibly the most convoluted and disjointed story I've ever tried to read. Stuck it out for a couple hundred pages, but had to admit it just wasn't my cup of tea, and reshelved it at the very back.
Louise
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm in the mood for steampunk, but Blaylock took his decent short stories and expanded a few into long, rather over-wieldy novellas. Lots hinted at, little resolved, some pointless gore. The basic characters deserve so much more, because they're afascinating cast. Disappointed.
Jeff Miller
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
A nice collection of short stories and two full novels involving the same characters including what was the first steam punk story. I was recommended this author because of my love of Tim Powers and in turns out Blaylock is a great friend of Powers since college.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
A collection of short stories and novellas featuring: Langdon St.Ives.
You can tell that Blaylock is one of the authentic originators of the Steampunk genre.
Blaylock's writing is elegant and pays homage to the Victorian style of storytelling without being fussy or antiquated.
Eastendleo
Sep 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
I did not find the style of writing (needlessly convoluted) or the stories interesting. They were quite dull, I thought.
Sue Russell
Jun 21, 2016 rated it liked it
It turned out to be a compilation of stories that I'd already read.
Ron
Sep 24, 2012 marked it as to-read
Seemed good and interesting, will go back to it
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183 followers
James Paul Blaylock is an American fantasy author. He is noted for his distinctive style. He writes in a humorous way: His characters never walk, they clump along, or when someone complains (in a flying machine) that flight is impossible, the other characters agree and show him why he's right.

He was born in Long Beach, California; studied English at California State University, Fullerton, receivin
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More about James P. Blaylock

Other books in the series

Narbondo (10 books)
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  • Homunculus (Narbondo, #2)
  • Lord Kelvin's Machine (Narbondo, #3)
  • The Ebb Tide (Narbondo, #4)
  • The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs (Narbondo, #5)
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  • The Aylesford Skull (Narbondo, #7)
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