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  1. Alexander, Lloyd — The Black Cauldron
  2. Anthony, Piers — Letters to Jenny
  3. Cooper, Susan — Over Sea, Under Stone
  4. Proulx, Annie — Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  5. Kincaid, Jamaica — Lucy
  6. Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
  7. Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  8. Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
  9. Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
  10. Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus
  11. Anonymous — Go Ask Alice
  12. Cooper, Susan — The Grey King
  13. Martin, Steve — Shopgirl
  14. Cooper, Susan — Silver on the Tree
  15. Gaiman, Neil — Stardust
  16. Gaiman, Neil — Coraline
  17. Le Guin, Ursula — A Wizard of Earthsea
  18. Le Guin, Ursula — The Tombs of Atuan
  19. Le Guin, Ursula — The Farthest Shore
  20. Le Guin, Ursula — Tehanu
  21. Merton, Thomas — The Seven Storey Mountain: An Autobiography of Faith
  22. Alexander, Lloyd — The Castle of Llyr
  23. Zelazny, Roger — Lord of Light

I've read enough books for which Zelazny had written a preface and seen enough references to Zelazny as a "Master of Science Fiction" that I figured I ought to read something by him, and Lord of Light is widely considered to be his best novel, so…

I found the story incredibly difficult to get into, mostly because of a questionable stylistic decision to begin near the end of the story. The author burdened the reader with too many references to characters and events we had not yet encountered, and my reaction was confusion and boredom. I nearly gave it up fewer than 50 pages in.

Once we hit the second chapter (and have figured out that we are now at the beginning of the tale, possibly centuries before), things start to pick up. It is an interesting story, with some inventive concepts. And really, any story that combines technologically-advanced men posing as gods, primitive men worshipping them, sex, demons, demigods, zombies, and science versus Hinduism versus Buddhism versus Christianity — that's got to be entertaining, right?

Still, I did not appreciate the too numerous back-references and having to re-read the first chapter just before the last chapter, once we were caught up in our timeline, so that I could more fully understand all the references in that first chapter. Light reading should not be this much work!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 2nd, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
Light Lord
Picky, picky, picky.

I would have said he started in the middle, as if he had dropped the book and the later chapters got picked up on top.

Zelazny has played with religions before. He once tried to make a story out of snippets of Egyptian mythology ... and fell flat on his face. It worked better in Lord, despite the scrambling of the chapters (the first 40% of the book should have followed the second 40%). Besides, it was a rip-roaring adventure yarn whose hero you could like, a very old geezer still getting new bodies despite being politically incorrect.
Jun. 2nd, 2006 10:03 am (UTC)
Re: Light Lord
40%? No, only the first 40+ pages are chronologically out of place. The correct chronological order of the chapters is 2-6, 1, 7.
Jun. 3rd, 2006 12:30 am (UTC)
Re: Light Lord
I haven't looked at the book for several years and was guessing from ancient memory.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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