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Tales of the Dying Earth
This topic is about Tales of the Dying Earth
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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > Tales of the Dying Earth -- Finished Reading **SPOILERS LIKELY!**

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message 1: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) | 1207 comments If you've finished reading Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance, this is the place to share your thoughts with the group.

Caution: There will likely be **SPOILERS** in this thread.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 237 comments So much forcible rape! Then the women are cheated, robbed and murdered. I am hating these novels despite the beauty of the writing as well as the inventive fantasy. Halfway through the second book, but I do not believe I will finish.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 237 comments Rape rape rape is what the women bear, along with cheated, robbed and murdered. The men are not being raped. I cannot sweep the rape under the rug. The men are NOT being raped. ONLY the women are being RAPED in every story.


message 4: by RJ - Slayer of Trolls (last edited May 14, 2018 10:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) The first book, especially the first half, is full of horny wizards trying to rape women. The last half of the first book improves but it was still Vance's first book written in the early 1940s (and later published in 1951) while he was serving in the military during WWII. Remember that the book takes place millions of years in the future as the sun is dying out. Vance is trying to show the decay of civilization and how he thought people would behave when they had nothing left to live for.

The second and third books have much improved writing and storylines for those interested in reading on past the first book. I found the first book mostly forgettable except for Chun the Unavoidable who made me laugh out loud. I'm almost done with the 3rd book and should be moving on to the 4th book later this week.

By the way, this series is notable for "Vancian Magic" which was the basis for the magic system used in Dungeons and Dragons. It explains why magicians can only remember a certain number of spells.


message 5: by Chris, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Chris (heroncfr) | 614 comments Mod
Short stories aren’t really my thing, so that was already one strike against the first book. I enjoyed the wordplay (Chun the Unavoidable was indeed memorable). But the characters are unlikable and, as it has been pointed out, inhumane.

Since this is the Dying Earth series, I wondered how the story is affected by the fact that the earth is coming to an end. I think that the inhumanity of the characters toward each other is their reaction to the possibility of imminent death. If the world may end at any moment, perhaps all that matters is living for the moment. It’s not a view I can sympathize with but, then, I’m not a magician.

I did continue on with the other books of the series which I liked quite a bit more. The second and third books are about Cugel the Clever, who I can best describe as an anti-Ged. Through all his adventurous ups and downs he never becomes more self-aware. But he is an enjoyable rascal.

The fourth book is more like two separate novellas with the same wizardly characters. I enjoyed it, but By this point I was tired of only male characters. I imagine that this was groundbreaking material for its time but it didn’t age as well as some other contemporary stories.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Chris wrote: "I imagine that this was groundbreaking material for its time but it didn’t age as well as some other contemporary stories. "

I enjoyed it for Vance's writing style more than the actual plot (and certainly there are not many sympathetic characters). Vance's vocabulary is extensive to say the least and he has a hilarious way with words sometimes. I laughed out loud more than a few times which is not something I usually do when reading. I'm interested in trying more of his books once I finish this series.


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