This is a series that I could listen to, on repeat for the rest of my life. Non-stop. A must read/listen to series that will change the way you view the world.
Roger Zelazny's great Amber series work comes alive again through Audio books. I am able to once again enjoy the stories in the audio form. Very well done!
I read this series over 15 years ago and was enthralled. Now I'm listening and it is still great!!!
There was not a moment's disappointment in the vocal interpretation. For everyone who knows you're Corwin, Prince of Amber, Jupiter will not be disappointed.
I listened to this many years ago as it was read by the author. He lacks the capacity for multiple voices that Juliani brings to it, but I think that's all to the good. Juliani gives each brother a different accent, often exaggeratedly so. Zelazny made them all run together. Everyone sounded the same, in an almost bored, been-there manner. If that meant less artistry, it also meant a truer interpretation of the work. These guys are virtually interchangeable in their cruelty, and I think that was part of what Zelazny was after. Characterizing them like this dampens the noir foundation of the books.
I’m came back to this one after 20 years, and after it had grown in my memory as one of the best fantasy novels I’d ever read. The good news: this absolutely holds up. If you don’t know Amber, then put it on your list. It’s an accomplishment right up there with anything in the genre.
It’s particularly rewarding to revisit the book in the wake of George R.R. Martin’s recent success. I can see a good bit of Martin’s vision growing out of Zelazny’s. As I read them, they are the two most successful fantasy series to take place in, essentially, amoral universes. Neither gives us anyone who really comes across as a “good guy.” Neither privileges the point-of-view character(s) as somehow better than his or her rivals. Corwin may develop some compassion, but he is still generally indifferent to mortal suffering. He may feel bad about sacrificing a quarter of a million “shadow dwellers” in the service of his ambition, but he never lets it ruin his day.
The central difference between Martin and Zelazny, though, is that Martin’s moral neutrality comes from a sense of realpolitik, a post-Cold War sensibility in which all sides are capable of harming others. Zelazny’s comes from an older, hardboiled sentiment: the world is cold and indifferent, and everyone is ultimately a son-of-a-bitch. Once you embrace that foundational truth, you can have a lot of fun.
And this is fun. If it isn’t as sprawling as Martin’s work, it’s much more efficient. (The first five Amber novels combined are probably not much longer than the first Game of Thrones book.) It begins as an almost conventional noir story: an amnesiac wakes to discover he’s being drugged against his will in a private “hospital.” We learn his history at the same time he does. It turns out to be a huge history, one that implicitly stands at the heart of many of the mythologies we know in the West. Corwin and his siblings have been interfering in Earthly affairs for centuries, yet we humans can glimpse them only in shadowy form and cannot hope to comprehend what their one true world of Amber looks like.
You’ll know whether the genre interests you. If it does, give this one a shot. It’s short, adrenaline-fueled, and can stand alone. If you get hooked, though, there’s a lot more where it came from, and you’ll introduce yourself to one of the real masters.
Little plot and less character development. The narrator's cynical tone seals it's fate. The only interesting plot development come immediately before the climax and the end. Almost but not quite enough to bother with the next in the series.
Fantastic book. I have listened to all of the series.
Funny thing is, is that I have many favorites. But this story I always find myself listening to over and over again. I read it at least once a year since my dad showed it to me about five years ago. I thank the writer for the joy of his words, and I thank my dad for introducing them to me
I remember being enthralled with these books back in the early 80's and was excited to see them available on audible. The tale seems to be timeless - I haven't read them in at least a couple of decades, and although I knew the story, the audible presentation seemed fresh to me. There is some dating to it, although it doesn't hurt the story. For instance, in the 70's and 80's, smoking was still in vogue, and Corwin does a lot of it; whereas that practice has since lost it's cultural appeal. This is Vintage Sci-Fi/Fan well worth a read/listen.
Alessandro Juliani did a great job. His matter-of-factly, first-person narration of Corwin of Amber was spot on.
Put on your headphones and let Zelazny and Juliani walk you through the shadows of Amber.
This is one of my absolute favorite series and I was riveted the entire time. I listened to the entire book in one sitting. I cannot recommend this book any more highly.