Seeking the immortality promised in an ancient manuscript, The Book of Skulls, four friends, college roommates, go on a spring break trip to Arizona: Eli, the scholar, who found and translated the book; Timothy, scion of an American dynasty, born and bred to lead; Ned, poet and cynic; and Oliver, the brilliant farm boy obsessed with death. Somewhere in the desert lies the House of Skulls, where a mystic brotherhood guards the secret of eternal life.
There, the four aspirants will present themselves - and a horrific price will be demanded. For immortality requires sacrifice. Two victims to balance two survivors. One by suicide, one by murder. Now, beneath the gaze of grinning skulls, the terror begins.
©1972 Robert Silverberg (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
“Where Silverberg goes today, science fiction will follow tomorrow.” (Isaac Asimov)
Robert Silverberg is by far my favourite author, but the Book of Skulls wasn't at all what I expected. I thought it had to do with a search for the secret of immortality, but it actually dealt with a bunch of neurotic teenagers in search of some meaning in their useless lives. Along the way they have a number of graphic homosexual experiences that weren't to my taste at all. This is considered to be a classic, but you really have to be in the mood to stomach it. Try listening to The Tower of Glass, Lord Valentine's Castle or anything else by Robert Silverberg instead. However, Stefan Rudnicki does a magnificent job of reading a number of these works. His resonant voice is perfectly suited to Robert Silverberg's prose.
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