1000 Books Before You Die discussion

Science Fiction and Fantasy > A Voyage to Arcturus

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message 1: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 1047 comments Mod
I have been wanting to read this book for a long time. I found a very inexpensive ebook version for my ipad and will start reading this weekend.

message 2: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 45 comments My nomination won! Now what do I do?

Oh, yeah, read the book and discuss it.

Here is an appreciation of the book by Michael Moorcock:


In his novel, Lindsay is clearly questioning the nature of evil, the persuasions that make "good" men like Maskull kill. Maskull's hunt for Krag and Nightspore takes him across ethereal, ghastly dreamscapes where cruel men, loving women and intellectual monsters ponder the duality of God, the meaning of self-sacrifice, and the purpose of existence. His body creates and discards new sensory organs. An atmosphere of alienness is pervasive. A Buddhist paradise is followed by a world of degraded predators. Maskull, meeting what is perhaps God or perhaps the devil, senses a moral purpose to his journey, but that purpose remains mysterious. His inner debates are enhanced by the rapid pace, visual power and logic of the narrative.

(It seem Alan Moore is also an admirer)

"A Voyage to Arcturus demands that David Lindsay be considered not as a mere fascinating one-off, as a brilliant maverick, but as one worthy and deserving of that shamanistic mantle; of the British visionary and apocalyptic legacy."
Alan Moore

message 3: by Wend (new)

Wend (wends) | 99 comments I'm in on the read, seems to have very mixed reviews.

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) I will probably read this, but not until the middle of the month. I'm pretty sure I read this a long time ago, but I remember very little about it. I also know I tried to read it several times before that, and I never could quite get into it. Maybe now is the time when we're matched up right.

message 5: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 1047 comments Mod
I am about a third of the way into the book and the alien planet is certainly different. The main character has had some interesting experiences so far.

message 6: by Wend (new)

Wend (wends) | 99 comments Finished, not sure what I made of this one. Need to read again.

message 7: by Rosemarie (last edited Jun 17, 2018 08:38PM) (new)

Rosemarie | 1047 comments Mod
I have just finished this book and it is not what I expected. On the whole, I think it is a weird book, with a strange ending. The descriptions of the various landscapes and creatures were the best part.
I am glad I read it, though, because it is an early example of science fiction.

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) I did finally start this. I'm about half way through. The early part is familiar--I might have started this a long time ago but never finished. I know I'm enjoying it much more than I did back then (if I did read it all), but not as much as Michael Moorcock or Alan Moore did.

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) I'm not quite finished (about a third left), but I'm beginning to think that this is the sort of book that can have a huge effect on some readers--but I think it's either something that happens or it doesn't. I feel as though I'm getting the gist here--Maskull travelling through this landscape is experiencing different states, as portrayed by characters in the story, that can be controlling and at odds with the goals he's established for himself. I think he's looking for Surtur in the same way many people look for ultimate answers or solutions to the problem of existence, but these contrary states that actually arise from our own self can be self-defeating or self-limiting. I think, in a sense, it's a story of a man who is trying to rise above his own self-ness to discover what lies beyond.

If that's not it exactly, I don't think I'm too far off. But even though I feel like I'm understanding the book better than I did in the past, it still isn't resonating as much as it must with some folks (of course, that may be an excellent way of showing that I'm not understanding the book as well as I think!) Still, I think this is a book that grabs you or it doesn't.

message 10: by Dawn (last edited Jun 20, 2018 02:12AM) (new)

Dawn (eternalalien71) | 43 comments [At 43%]
As Bryan stated: "I think this is a book that grabs you or it doesn't. "

In my case it definitely doesn't. I feel I'm having to slog my way through it with difficulty.

The first chapter gave me high hopes, but they were soon dashed.
The actual vayage to Arcturus was extremely rushed through to get to the planet, wich was disappointing. Then once Maskull was there I've felt it's self indulgent meanderings of an odious character so far.

As Rosemarie says it has a strange ending, I'm not holding out much hope that I'll enjoy the rest of the book any more than I have to date, but I'm determined to finish my slow trudge to the end.

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