Mark's Reviews > Hyperion

Hyperion by Dan Simmons
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's review
Aug 28, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: sciencefiction

I loved this book.

It follows roughly the same format as Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales": several separate stories all related to each other.

On the planet of Hyperion there exists a being called "The Shrike". It is a being made out of shiny metal covered with spikes and has four arms and a deadly reputation for killing people. Fortunately, it's constrained to a small area of the planet Hyperion. The Shrike is so mysterious that a church has been formed around it and, once in a blue moon, the church sponsors pilgrimages to the Shrike. The hook is that the Shrike will fulfill the wish of one of the pilgrims, and kill the rest.

The Good:
I liked how there were different genres to the stories being told: one was a Phillip Marlowe type mystery, another was a military science fiction story, while a third was a romance.

While Dan Simmons doesn't get all of the genres completely dead on right, he does do a good enough job that the reader believes that different characters are narrating their respective stories.

Dan Simmons does an excellent job of creating the universal setting for his book overall while staying on topic in the individual stories. It's a very interesting and well-fleshed-out setting and it's described in a deliberate yet subtle way.

The Bad:

The only part that didn't really make sense to me is why anyone would desire to go on a pilgrimage to see the Shrike if they weren't desperate or insane. One of the characters seemed desperate enough (the father of the ill baby) and one seemed insane enough (the one who wants revenge for his planet) but I didn't really see why the rest would go on such a pilgrimage risking death for so little in return. They all give their reasons, but some were ones to which I just couldn't relate.

This is a great book with many compelling mysteries and characters.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Andrea Pauro ...please could you advise me on whether I should read Leviathan Wakes or Anathem - if you've read either. Thanks. Or any other sic-fi space opera which you think might compare to Hyperion or Foundation (Isaac Asimov)

message 2: by Mark (last edited Apr 11, 2014 06:15AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark I have not read either of those.

Hyperion is in a class by itself, I'm afraid. Did you read the sequels to Hyperion? They're well worth reading.

I'm planning on reading the Culture Series by Iain M. Banks. A lot of people whose opinions I respect recommended to me highly.

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