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Doorways in the Sand
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Group Reads 2017 > June 2017 - Doorways in the Sand

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message 1: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1089 comments This is to discuss Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny.


message 2: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 3964 comments Mod
This is one of my favorite books. The quirky story & characters are well emphasized by the strange format. Each chapter begins in the middle of the action & ends on a cliff-hanger. Great characters, too.


message 3: by Ed (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ed Erwin | 1823 comments Mod
I finished it very quickly. Quite a change of pace from last month's Solaris. This one is focused on characters and action and not so much on big ideas. I'm not very big on action/adventure stories, but the characters in this are interesting. I like the humor in the dialog.

The structure, which starts each chapter in the middle of the action, was a little jarring and occasionally confusing, but not too much so. Apparently the whole book was written in a single draft, with no re-writes. So, I guess it is impressive that he pulled it off as well as he did.

Several times the main character mentions the phrase "doorways in the sand" as if it were a known expression. I've never heard it elsewhere, though.

This is only the second Zelazny book I've read. I didn't at all like the first one I tried, "Nine princes in Amber. I enjoyed this one well enough and may try one or two others.


message 4: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 3964 comments Mod
To me, the title isn't a known expression, but an expression changed a bit. There's a "line in the sand" that we sometimes draw. It's a point of no return - irrevocable. A doorway is just the opposite. Fred is constantly crossing the lines & it opens some amazing doors.

The humor is a bit subtle & some of it flies right by on a first read. For instance the one line about "Dennis Wexroth (view spoiler) at the end. Easy to miss, but such trivial things tickle me.

I'm surprised you didn't like Nine Princes in Amber, Ed. That's usually everyone's favorite by him, possibly it's one of his most accessible. Some don't like this because of the odd style. Roadmarks is even odder. It has 2 timelines with one in chronological order & the other stuck in randomly. Today We Choose Faces starts out in the present, jumps to a future point, & then works its way back methodically. Lord of Light starts out in a present, jumps way back, & works its way forward until the last section is all new. I like the odd layouts, but it is not to everyone's taste.


message 5: by Ed (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ed Erwin | 1823 comments Mod
I am attracted to experiments in form. So that is no problem for me. I'll give him another chance.

My review for Nine Princes was "Started well. But when too many things happen too fast, it can be just as boring as when nothing happens." It is the sort of story that feels to me like "just one damn thing after another."


message 6: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 3964 comments Mod
Perhaps you should skip "Roadmarks" & 'Faces' then. Both of them hit the ground running & don't slow down much. The former may seem especially packed with action since the chapters are short & the varying timelines make them seem more chaotic. "Lord of Light" is slower paced & more thought provoking.

This Immortal might be my favorite. It's short, quirky, & simple on the surface, but there are offhand references, names & partial quotes that make this story a bit of a treasure hunt. They also enhance the meaning of so many simple phrases & often lend it a poetic feel. It reads best you are well read in the classics & mythology.


Michael | 44 comments I was unable to find a copy of this book in time for the read, and it's not available as an ebook. I do remember reading it when it was first published as a series in Analog magazine. I always enjoyed Zelazny's odd storylines, unique characters and quirky sense of humor, which are all present in thus book.


message 8: by Leo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Leo | 547 comments Started yesterday with my first Zelazny ever.


message 9: by Leo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Leo | 547 comments Ok, now I see what you mean with 'odd style'. I'm not sure I like it. It's less comfortable for me as a reader, as I have to think regurarly what the situation it is we are in, or what could have happened. And then you figure it out while reading on. It's something different anyway.


message 10: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 3964 comments Mod
It's weird, but does allow Zelazny to drop the reader into some very interesting & funny situations.


message 11: by Suki (last edited Jun 20, 2017 05:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 27 comments I looked online for a copy of this and found it to be out of print and quite pricey, so I thought that I'd miss this readalong. Two days ago, I stopped in at the tiny used bookstore down the road, and, much to my surprise, they had a copy!

I quite enjoyed the book-- the pattern of starting each chapter in the middle of the action and then going back to explain was kind of jarring at first; it seemed every time the story started to flow, the chapter would end and things would get chopped up again. The style didn't really work for me in book format, because with every chapter ending I would get thrown out if the story and it was impossible to really immerse myself in the book. However, this style would work very well for a story that was serialized in a magazine; as soon as I realized that and started to read it accordingly (read a whole chapter straight through, then set the book down and go and do, watch, or read something else and return to the book several hours later), it went great and I really enjoyed it. There was also a lot of humor in this book-- at times it was pretty subtle, but it was there. This was my first Zelazny, apart from short stories in anthologies. I've owned the Amber series for years, but never seemed to get around to reading them.


message 12: by Leo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Leo | 547 comments After finishing the book I can say that I got used to the way chapters started in the middle of the action. I liked the laid-back way of storytelling that Zelazny uses. It also works good in combination with the personality of the protagonist. A little bit disappointing I thought was the story itself. There was lots of action, and a more deeper storyline behind it. But it failed to make me very curious for how it all would end. Sometimes it made me think of Alice in Wonderland - all those talking animals. An entertaining read, but not brilliant for me. Also have the Amber-series on my list so I definately will make more Zelazny-hours in the near future.


message 13: by Phil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phil Jensen | 99 comments I thought this book was tons of fun. I've read a number of Zelazny's books, and I enjoyed this one more than most. I loved the narration, the humor, and the wacky situations. I thought the whole star-stone inversion thing was pretty clever. The chapter style was fun, too. At the end of every chapter, I tried to predict where he would be at the beginning of the next one. Then I read on to find out how he got there.

My favorite Zelazny is still Nine Princes in Amber, though. It has a more high fantasy flavor. That's something interesting about Zelazny- he brings the same strengths to all his books, but with a different spin.


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