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Radix (Radix #1)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  894 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
This is the story of a young man's odyssey of self-discovery, from dangerous adolescent to warrior, from outcast to near-godhood, in a far-future Earth dramatically changed from the one we know.
Paperback, 466 pages
Published December 1st 1994 by New English Library Ltd (first published 1981)
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Rating details
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4.5 to 5.0 stars. Beautifully written book with a lot going on. You need to be patient when you approach this book as you will miss much if you "skim" through it. The reward for a careful reading is well worth it and this book deserves a wider audience.

Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1982)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1982)
Oct 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: wtf?!?
Okay - this guy lives in Hawaii. He is sort of an underground sci-fi writer with a cult following. All I want to know is - what the hell is this guy on? Whatever it is I want some. This guy's imagination is out in the stratosphere. Ape messiahs, intelligent computerized tornadoes, a serial killer turned heroic - I have read a lot of books, and this is by far the strangest thing I have ever read. I give it the highest praise. It is not an easy read however - this might be some of the reason its f ...more
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jodorowsky’s Dune is a recent documentary revealing the hitherto little-known story of the infamously iconoclastic French-Chilean film director Alejandro Jodorowsky, the undisputed progenitor of the “midnight movie” with his deeply freaky El Topo (1970) and The Holy Mountain (1973), who was initially slated for a screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s SF epic Dune, which, as many know, was turned into an incomprehensible mess of a movie in the 1980s that the otherwise-great David Lynch has since r ...more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It started off pretty well - the Sugarat takes out a gang, using his wits and some preparation. And then... telepathy! ridiculous science! pseudophilosophy! oneness-with-everything! long words that could have just as easily been replaced with much shorter words! lots of made-up words, just because!

I can't tell if the weird things are thinly veiled religious references, or racism, or what. I might just not have gotten it, or wasn't taken it by it. Either way, it wasn't a very enjoyable read, and
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es bonito, lírico, interesante... y un coñazo monumental. Es dificilísimo de leer, especialmente hacia la parte media, más difícil aún de entender, pero en ocasiones te quedas mirando la página diciendo "nunca había leído una página mejor escrita y más bonita"... Así que he estado al menos 10 minutos dudando de si darle una estrella o cuatro :-D.
Dean Mermell
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this old sci fi book a dozen times. Simply the most compelling hero's journey I know. It feels like my personal Dune. I have no idea why I haven't read any of Aatanasio's other books, possibly because I don't want to be let down, but I'm told he's uniformly great. I think it's out of print, but if you can find a copy, grab it.
Akela Talamasca
I tend to favor science fiction that presents life as being infinitely more strange than can be comprehended, and A.A. Attanasio's 'Radix' accomplishes this task with weirdness to spare. I had the same feeling from this book that 'Dune' gave me, of a future so completely altered by some kind of superscience that its characters and events were nearly unrelatable. It feels more like living in a dream, with the throughline plot exhibiting all the qualities of sleeping through a fever, and with the ...more
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an old paperback given to me, used, almost 25 years ago. Now that I've read it I feel that I've found a new writer; and I plan to read other books of his. His imagination is astounding. But for me, this book was an effort to continue reading, maybe because of my current head state.

About a third of the way into this, the reader discovers that this is a "hero's journey"; and through the middle, the context and background are slowly revealed. This is where Attanasio's talent really shines.
Jim Hoff
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not for all tastes, nonetheless, this, to my mind, has to be one of the most underrated SF novels I have read. It blends stylized, often excessive prose, metaphysics, and an epic storyline to create an intense, impossible to put down read.

Centered on Sumner Kagan, it follows his growth from an obese, vindictive killer to an almost god-like personage. Along the way, we meet a variety of colorful creations like distorts, voors, oorts, the Delph, and others. The scale is immense are the colors are
Caleb Blake
This was a great novel. The journey of Sumner Kagan, a true anti-hero, was well-written with moments of "can't put down" excitement.

I think the destination of the novel was far more cerebral than its more earthy start and I did have a few issues with the more philosophical discussions and explanations toward the end. While the story remained exciting, the conversations became more and more incomprehensible.

Given the storyline, a certain amount of confusion is expected; it's probably too much to
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first half of this book is strange and enjoyable to read. I very much enjoyed reading about the growth of Sumner Kagan. But after the attack on Mirimol and the setting changes to Jac, the Delph and Rubeus in Graal the author doubles down on the strange and hard to understand, what I will call mumbo jumbo babble talk. The mumbo jumbo babble talk seems to be a mixture of religious spiritualism, philosophy, a wee bit of technology and ideas from the authors imagination. I found it very confusin ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pn-sci-fi-aliens
Glimmers of genius but an inability to express it. First half of book was really good. I'm glad other reviewers encouraged me to be patient and keep reading. Kagans development was great read. last third of book turned into filler mumbo jumbo.
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book for the umpteenth time. It has been years since I last read it and yet it still remains a brilliant work.

It is the tale of Sumner Kagan, a fat, miserable teenager with an unblemished genetic inheritance. The tale is set on Earth in the future when radiation from an open dark hole spills the earth, causing mutations and giant raga storms. Kagan moves through the story growing into a warrior and finally battles a godmind.

It is a simple beginning and soon becomes weird and com
Apr 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This is great stuff! a charmingly charmless antihero, great aliens and possibly overlords, powers beyond human ken, and a story that rips right along.

There is abit of a lull in the second quarter of the book, as the protagonist slowly comes into his ability -- think South Park's "Montage" song. but then it picks right back up, the true villain of the piece emerges and uberviolence ensues.

I really like Attanasio's style, and his vocabulary sent me off to the dictionary several times. He uses "Bas
Michael Hirsch
This book appears to gave been written in the late 70's, then updated in 2010. It shows its 70's heritage. It has a bizarre universe with no rationality to it, filled with a variety of powerful beings that make no scientific sense,, but because it is labeled SF and not fantasy I'm supposed to accept it.

The main character is unpleasant, and so is everyone he meets. Gah. I stopped reading after 100 pages.
Great googly-moogly, this train wreck took me three torturous months to slog through. Whoever compared it to "Dune" needs to be slapped.

"You understand, too, that eternity's between us. Each of us moves alone through his own meaning, creating value as he goes along."
—Mauschel the Ranger, pg. 177
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most interesting and inventive science fiction book I've ever read. It eventually made me look for Carlos Castaneda's books and opened me to a whole new universe.
Radix is one of my favorite and most influencial reads.
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book when I read it about 20+ years ago. Great world building and stuzzy ideas - ahead of it's time.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you want to simply sit down to comfortably read a clearly understandable science fiction novel, this book is probably not for you. Personally, I found Attanasio's book disjointed and chaotic. I am not sure what urged me to finish it other than I usually try to finish most of the books I start. In any case, Attanasio's dystopian type earth is populated with Aliens (voors), mutants (distorts), AI's, evolved humans, and who knows what else. In reading the book, I believe I spent most of the time ...more
Isaac Joseph
An extremely imaginative world, but without much philosophical or social substance to it. Couldn't make it all the way through the audiobook, as I became sort of lost given the constant change of setting and characters that this book entails. Thus, it was neither entertaining nor instructive, ultimately, although it had a few key moments of interest.
Carmelo Medina
Tiene partes magistrales, tiene partes que no sabes por dónde cogerlo. La definiría como novela de ciencia ficción espiritual y que el autor haya enfocado la novela en ese sentido es algo difícil de llevar a buen termino. Le doy un 2,9.
Jorge Barbosa
Interesting enough to read but loses the chance to be exciting by the hard slog of reading it "carefully".
Aug 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Un histoire très prometteuse, accrocheuse sur une bonne moitié du bouquin, puis qui dégénère en une soupe mystique mêlée de pseudoscience à 2 francs 50 et s'achève en un final nullissime.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Best. Book. Ever.
Casey Lange
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Radix was recommended to me by a friend three years ago, and it took about four attempts to actually get past the first ten pages, but once I was past that hump, I was good to go. After much thinking, I have to say that Radix is definitely the most difficult book in my collection to recommend, as I cannot for the life of me think of what category it falls in. It’s not normal Sci-Fi, nor is it a traditional adventure. It has elements of space in it, and spiritual journeys. But there are just no w ...more
Chris Rigby
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Radix is a vast, strange and yet oddly beautiful book. Not quite like anything you've read before, its characters and creations make Tolkien's Middle Earth look ordinary and everyday. Composed of three distinct stages, it moves in style from cyberpunk, through fantasy, to science fiction.

I won't even attempt to summarise the plot - it's too vast and needs to be read without preconceptions. However, just briefly to give the background to the unfolding saga...

Imagine an Earth that as early as the
Ruby Madden
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're a lazy reader, then stop right here. AA Attanasio isn't going to be your cup of tea.

However, if you like having your mind blown, your world expanded, your characters lusciously developed over time, having many sub-plots coalescing and finally cascading into each other like an impromptu orgy and love looking up words you've never read before or an author who can invent them - then please, by all means. Continue reading...

In no way, would I dare write spoilers in this review. Why? Well,
Summer Kagan est un habitant d’une terre futuriste qui, au début du bouquin, n’a vraiment rien pour plaire à qui que ce soit : obèse, limite asocial, il ne se complaît que dans la destruction. Mais de nombreuses épreuves vont lui permettre de se révéler à lui-même, et de devenir plus qu’il n’a jamais rêvé être. Bien sûr, il affrontera l’adversité et sauvera le monde, mais il sortira de ces épreuves transformé d’une manière difficilement envisageable…
Mon avis
J’avais entendu parler
Alex Bergonzini
Creo que no lo he entendido. La historia básica es sencilla, una batalla entre razas que evolucionan a dioses y se colapsan a sí mismas para seguir luchando. Pero todo el aderezo místico y espiritual hace la aventura bastante compleja. Hay viajes al interior del ser, a la evolución del propio individuo que son relatos detallados de un viaje de LSD. Cuesta seguir la complejidad de energías, áureas, mentes y supermentes que van apareciendo, pero subyacente a toda esta parafernalia los personajes c ...more
Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty amazing piece of work for a first book. Actually, it is not a book, it is an epic. Really long, really well-written, poetic in places. Perhaps too poetic and wordy in some places. Somehow I never was able to get under the skin of the main character, even though the author devoted a vast amount of time to character development. Probably for the same reason, the book never became a "could not put it down" kind of read.

Given the above I would normally give this only three stars. So
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I’m a novelist and student of the imagination living in Honolulu. Fantasies, visions, hallucinations or whatever we call those irrational powers that illuminate our inner life fascinate me. I’m particularly intrigued by the creative intelligence that scripts our dreams. And I love carrying this soulful energy outside my mind, into the one form that most precisely defines who we are: story.
More about A.A. Attanasio...

Other Books in the Series

Radix (4 books)
  • In Other Worlds (Radix, #2)
  • Arc of the Dream (Radix, #3)
  • The Last Legends of Earth (Radix, #4)
“Nada se pierde jamás… sólo está de camino.” 0 likes
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