I agree with many that Keith Roberts’ writing was excellent and that he has a very good literary style. Unfortunately, the story or plot itself is very, very boring and I don’t feel it was worth a credit or worth reading.
There are several stories in the novel that Roberts’ attempts to interrelate. The first story was interesting and the second wasn’t bad. After that, I kept reading hoping that the plot would then develop with the next story and that it would get even better. No such luck. It was downhill all the way after story two. I would not recommend the novel, Pavane.
The narrator, Steven Crossley, was excellent.
This is a story that unfolds slowly, with no dramatic event(s) at the end of every chapter as is so common in modern pulp fiction. I enjoyed it very much; but then, I enjoy John LeCarre novels - work that some find ploding. It is not Baldacci. (Whose writings I enjoy but would not need or want to reread). The meaning of the word 'pavane' well sums the development of the story.
Pavane is much better characterized as alternative history than science fiction. There are no gizmos that don't exist in today's world. But ... there is a bit of fantasy.
PS I use the term "pulp fiction" in the best sense. Hawthorne and Dafoe were pulp fiction writers of their time.
Listen to this.
In Pavane, Keith Roberts painted in beautiful, bittersweet detail complicated characters in a complex world that could, but mercifully does not, exist.
Eleanor. Kudos to Steven Crossley.
Come now to a place that never was.
Until such time as human struggles are not defined by religious beliefs, this will remain an important, groundbreaking work of fiction.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
This is a series of connected stories set in an alternate universe where the Protestant Reformation never happened. It is a biting critique of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), but has the ring of truth. The excesses and abuse of power , let alone ecclesiastical authority, are well known and this is an extrapolation of actual history. The surprise here is that the characters come alive in your ear. Their actions, motivated by unrequited love or honor, are authentic. This would benefit from multiple listenings. .This novel will help make the case that Science Fiction can deal with grand themes as well as any book I can think of.
Steven Crossley give a fine performance. His portrayal of the many female characters is well played and his tone for the males is always clear; every character getting his own voice, instantly recognizable. His skill is very much evident here.
The mysterious nature of the interwoven stories. The characters.
That it didn't solve everything. I so enjoyed it, I bought it for my father on his Kindle. We can discuss it together.
The semaphore communication system is intriguing. We communicate around the world from our smart phone on twitter.... the semaphores reminded me of what life used to be like. slower, methodical, somewhat limited, somewhat less frenetic.
yes. I ended up saving it at times... telling myself, "you can listen to the book again, after you've done this dreaded thing that you're avoiding." Then I'd hurriedly do the dreaded thing so I could return to the story.
Yet, I wanted to rest between chapters/stories as well. To let their philosophy sink in. To mourn some of the characters, or what I'd learned about the time perios.
So very glad that it's been reissued. I would not have discovered it unless I saw Neil Gaiman Presents' list of his favorite books to re-issue.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
A very interesting classes Sci-Fi/Fantasy short story collection all set in an alternate history. I'm not going to go into the plot as others have already done this.
The stories are all loosely connected in one way or another. And I found some to be a lot better than the others, I personally thought the last story was the best of the lot. They are all well written, it's just that one tends to enjoy some stories over others.
A recommended read for all fans of Sci-Fi.
Not likely. There are just too many books to read.
I felt Roberts created a reasonable, though not necessarily likely alternate future where the Roman Catholic Church was not challenged by the Tudors or Germany. Technology and society grew in different directions which played out through the book.
A series of stories down through the years assuming there was no Reformation in England.
The first 3 chapters were excellent.... I quickly got into the stories. But the last couple of chapters with the older woman who was rebelling was less convincing.
His voice was good and his performance was exceptional.
England with the Reformation....
This is one I have listened to one story at a time. Each takes me into the the alternative world through a different lens, complete in its own framing and development. A thoughtful book which is a counterpoint to action-oriented fantasy/science fiction.
Audio performances are about the only way I can find the time to take in a book, but around the third story I realized the prose was so lush, so magnificent, it demanded I read it myself. It's a dry, dark world Roberts creates, but when he cranks his descriptive engine to full, I sit back in awe. Were I to passively listen I could only take in a fraction of its beauty. Don't get me wrong, the performance is excellent. Just understand, this is the most beloved book from a writer's writer. I started it while driving and eventually turned it off when I realized I couldn't give it the attention it deserved and stay on the highway. Buy this performance, but don't be surprised if you find yourself buying it in print as well. I bought two copies so I could give one as a gift.
I've listened to hundreds of audio books, but this is the first I've heard him read. Gaiman describes this as a book that touched him deeply, and Crossley's performance had to have pleased him. The characters were rendered with care and surprising depth. The man is damned good at his job!
Never read anything like it. Thanks Neil for turning us on to it.