The Sword and Laser discussion

Zelazny's Amber

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message 1: by Gordon (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments Just finished reading Nine Princes in Amber as part of The Great Book of Amber. So far I'm enjoying it, but I'm being cautioned on multiple fronts that the last 5 books in the series, featuring a different main character, can be skipped. Actually they're saying they SHOULD be skipped.

Anyone out there feel like confirming/denying? I'm the type of person that just ends up feeling like now I have to see for myself when I'm warned this way, and I'm curious about others' experiences.

message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 488 comments i loved the original Amber sequence, and can definitely confirm the last five books are inferior, but are probably worth reading. i say 'probably' as to be honest i can barely remember them, which really says it all.

message 3: by Don (new)

Don (walsfeo) | 37 comments If you read the last 5 books, just don't read them now. Take a break, and when you can read them without expecting them to be as novel, or interesting, pick them up and give them a read.

message 4: by Ed (new)

Ed (edwardjsabol) | 170 comments Donald's advice is sound. I certainly think they are worth reading (I actually know some people who prefer the latter books), but they might suffer in close comparison to the earlier books. They were written years later, and they have a completely different vibe/outlook/characterization. Zelazny turns Amber on its head really in the latter books. That's intentional on Zelazny's part, but people who identified strongly with the earlier books often don't like the change in tone and characterization, I think. That doesn't mean they are bad though.

message 5: by Gordon (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments Hmmm, really interesting. Much more variety in responses than I expected, so now I'm kinda looking forward to them. I think I probably will take a break between the first 5 and the next 5. I still have 4 of the original 5 to go, so it'll be some time before I get to the latter ones.

message 6: by Bryan (new)

Bryan (blyoung) | 20 comments I agree with Donald - I loved all ten books, but certainly the first five are superior to the last five.

They are slim, and you could quickly read one after the other, but by doing so the last few will seem a chore. Give yourself a break and then do the last five books at a later date.

message 7: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments You have The Great Book of Amber which has all ten Amber books in one volume of about 1200 pages. I have the same book and read it all at once. Each of the books is fairly short and it's really easy reading. I say go ahead and read the whole thing as if it's one book.

message 8: by Don (new)

Don (walsfeo) | 37 comments But if you want to read Zelazny at his best, check out "A Night in the Lonesome October". When I haven't lent it to friends I try to read it in October.

message 9: by Richard (new)

Richard Guion (giantsizegeek) | 158 comments Sandi wrote: "You have The Great Book of Amber which has all ten Amber books in one volume of about 1200 pages. I have the same book and read it all at once. Each of the books is fairly short and i..."

I read the entire set in that volume as well and I really enjoyed it. I think I can read that every few years or so.

message 10: by Gordon (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments Sandi wrote: "I say go ahead and read the whole thing as if it's one book."

You didn't find the transition between 5 and 6 jarring, or at least upsetting? That's good to hear.

message 11: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments The transition took me by surprise and I did wish I had more of Corwin's story rather than being flipped over to Merlin's, but that was over in a few pages.

message 12: by Dan (new)

Dan (daniel-san) | 101 comments Fantastic books. I remember enjoying all ten, but yes, Corwin was my favorite character to follow as well. Still, I wouldn't skip the last 5 if you enjoy the world of Amber. Zelazny is a master, and I always have fun reading his stories.

message 13: by Larry (new)

Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments Loved all the amber books, I picked up the Great Book a little while back. I liked all ten but yes the original series is better in many ways. Read them all I say and decide for yourself.

The latter series really ups the ante in some ways and reveals a lot of interesting backstory bits and fills in a few holes.

message 14: by Kris (new)

Kris (kvolk) If you read the Corwin story and then you read the Merlin story and realize they are sort of being told first person then the transition between the 2 is not as jarring because like in anything the father has a different voice then the son. Real good stories in my opinion I still reread them every few years or so....

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