In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope - and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.
©1989 Dan Simmons; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1990
Locus Award, Best Novel, 1990
"Dan Simmons has the Midas touch: Every genre he writes - whether SF, horror, mystery, historical, or thriller - he turns to gold. Hyperion and The Fall Of Hyperion set a new standard for grand-scale science fiction." (Kevin J. Anderson, author of The Saga of Seven Suns)
"Dan Simmons was a star from the outset. It was the Hyperion books that made him a superstar. The man, quite simply, is what we in the trade call a writer's writer." (Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author)
Each of [the pilgrim's] stories would make a superb novella on its own. (The New York Times Book Review, Gerald Jonas)
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
Please get your Shrike on.
This SF novel absolutely surpassed my expectations. I loved the framing (see: The Canterbury Tales); loved the multiple styles and voices; loved the complexity; and loved the characters. There were times when I could hear echos of Isaac Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy and Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. Anyway, it was brilliantly executed BIG S, Big F, Science Fiction.
I really tried to like this book. Based on the reviews, I bought all 4 books of the series. At the end of the first book, I disliked all the characters and could not care less what happened. The other 3 books will remain unread.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
I IGNORE RELIGIONS, I DO NOT SUCCUMB TO THEM
Twice, maybe thrice, I have endeavored to devour this Odyssey of Dan Simmons (modern day Keats). Hark, soon my AMBIGUITY of this PARODY, BEFUDDLES me, leading to REMORSE and the chore becomes PERFUNCTURY. Simmons has a huge following, of which I have a good friend who still reads the hardback copies. He seems to be more preferred by the scholarly types. Tastes differ and I usually find Simmons to be too long winded. Followers of the Octopus or the lounging man will eat this up. My tastes lead more to the simpler and faster, as anyone who follows me knows. I am the king of sophomoric reviews about sophomoric books. You know which camp you fall in. Having said that, I really did try.
I'm a voracious reader who unfortunately spends a lot of time on the road. Audiobooks make my life a lot better.
I wanted to like this book so much. I love long books, I love a series of long books. Overall, however, I'm very disappointed. Simmons is a very good writer, uses language well, etc. I don't mind the sex scenes, although they seem at times gratuitous and don';t add much to the characters, and may just be a bit much. The pilgrim's individual stories, for the most part, were good and, as another reviewer said, one (in my case the story of Rachel growing younger and losing her memories) was very emotionally moving for me. And I agree that one of the stories (the last one, I think) was a bit confusing and not very interesting. I frequently felt like I was not paying as close attention as I wanted to, and finally realized that what kept running through my head was "When does the REAL story start?" It does seem like this is a giant "back story" telling how these characters got to where they are presently. I would have preferred at least starting the action with what (I presume) is in the second book, and then flashback to these backstories, but that is a personal preference.
The ending is not what I'd want, but I guess the author and all the readers knew a sequel (or many) were coming. It didn't disappoint me nearly as much as Stephen King's ending to the Dark Tower series, but then again I enjoyed every single thing in the Dark Tower series EXCEPT the ending, so it's a little different matter.
I'm putting any further downloads of this series on hold for the moment. I might actually re-listen to part or all of Hyperion (fast-forwarding occasionally) and then decide if I want more.
This series tries to combine an examination of weighty issues - such as individual vs collective good, the relationship between human and artificial intelligence, the question of what humans might evolve into, religion vs state - while at the same time providing an entertaining plot. It's successful enough for me to have thoroughly enjoyed both the print and audio versions. I like listening to long books with a bit of heft so this 4 volume series has been great.
Unlike many others commentators I didn't find the main narrator smooth sailing, though this might be a stylistic preference for the most part. He's not terrible, just that sometimes he sounds as though he's voicing a commercial. One major irritation was his failure to produce an English accent for the voice of John Keats - the attempt interferred with pleasurable listening of those parts (this is more of an issue in the next book than this one).
intellectual sci-fi of Clarkeian depth. truly a title that will be pertinent for generations.
as for the performances, they range from very good to annoyingly awful with Allyson Johnson's effort supporting the lower end.
Simply not on the level of other sci-fi greats. Lots of cool ideas, but... It's so drawn out only to end before the ending! Honestly, no disrespect to mr simmons, this book does not belong on anyone's top sci-fi lists, which is unbelievably where I heard about it.
After reading it way back when it was first published in print, I recently listened to the audiobook version and had pretty much the same reaction to it. I feel almost obligated to admire the author for his skillful weaving of a complex, multi-layered web of tales, all written in totally different styles, each of them contributing in an ingenious way to our understanding of the world that forms the backdrop to this story. Really, really well done, and I fully understand why this book is a sci-fi classic.
Alas, in the end it all sort of falls flat for me, a classic example of arts for art's sake. Some of the tales are gripping (Detective, Poet, Soldier, ) but the others just meander on without much purpose (in particular the Consul's tale). At times it feels like a sophomore in English studies trying to squeeze as many "big" words, as many memes as possible into a paragraph to impress the professor. If someone had seriously edited the book and cut 25% out, it would have been a masterpiece. Well, there's still the issue that it really ends just when it's about to become really interesting. I'm not huge fan of blatant cliffhangers books that leave essentially everything open and bring nothing to a (at least partial) conclusion.
The narration cast is outstanding. Having different characters narrated by different actors works extremely well here.The person reading the poet is brilliant!
I usually do not have a problem paying attention to audiobooks, but I found myself zoning in and out as these characters blathered on and on telling each of their stories. I don't know if it was the story or the performance, but I couldn't pay attention to this really, really long book. And, I love scifi.
There needed to be more feeling and action in the tone. It was very dull, boring and monotonous.
Not to me.
No. This pilgrims progress style collection of linked short stories is painful. Multiple styles are applied, under a common context, but the characters were unsympathetic and the stories generally uninteresting. It is possible that it may just be dated but I think I am being generous. As if it wasn't a struggle to get through the dreary storylines the book had no proper conclusion and ended abruptly expecting the reader to move on to the next in the series. That's not going to happen.
No. It is awful.
The one saving grace was the multiple narrators but it was mildly confusing and not enough to raise the product above lamentable.
I don't really understand why everyone has raved about this book. It is dry, stilted and just plain dull. I have asked myself if I am just not a Sci-fi fan but this type of thing is just so much better from Issac Asimov or Iain M Banks
"My new favourite book."
I have been listening to Audiobooks for many years now. In all that time this is undoubtedly the best book I have "discovered" - absolute must for Science Fiction fans. If you just stumble across this review and like the genre then take a chance on this book (and the three following), I am sure you will not be disappointed.
"Brilliant and gripping story"
I've little to add to what previous reviewers have said except that this is a truly superb audiobook. I was gripped from the word go, and was engrossed right the way through despite the book's length. Probably in the top two or three audibooks I've listened to this year. Narration is excellent. Strongly recommended.
"found it really hard to follow"
took allot just to finish the story, found myself forcing myself to listen just to find out what this "epic" sorry was about
"Intelligent, well crafted Sci-Fi. I loved it."
This is Canterbury Tales in space, and it is clever. Dan Simmons has achieved some brilliant characterisation in this story. There were times while listening to this book when you don't just hear it, you feel it. Which makes it such an enjoyable experience.
It loses one star because I had hoped for a slightly stronger ending, but I have already got the next book on my wishlist. So clearly that was no deterent.
"In top 50 Sci-Fi must reads for a reason!"
A beautifully crafted, rich story, told in turn from the point of view of 7 pilgrims-a government man, a priest,, a military colonel, a poet, a scholar, a private detective, and a Templar of a religious order.
Each for reasons of their own, all are on a pilgrimage to visit the Shrike, a terrible creature which kills almost all visitors, or worse, impales them on its tree of thorns to suffer eternity in pain.
Each of their stories is rich and varied, exploring the world and culture, as well as their reasons for volunteering for pilgrimage.
This is not a fast paced, action packed story but one of exploration into the personalities of the pilgrims and the world(s) in which they live. This is however the beginning of an epic story.
It must be said that this story ends abruptly just before they enter the valley where the Shrike resides. Therefore the sequel 'The fall of Hyperion' is an essential companion which completes the story and answers, err, most of the questions raised.
There's a lot to take in initially, but if you stick with it you will find an absolute gem in this book!
A different interesting story, I do have to read the next book to find out where it's going
"enjoyable sci fi"
the story was suitably gripping and so was easy to not lose interest.
good production and narration.
brilliant story, and the voice actors did a great job helping you get pulled into the story.
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