©1996 Dan Simmons; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
An ambitious and complex story is completed with detailed focus and grace. Many works that operate on this scale make many of promises and develop a plethora of characters only to hastily tie up loose ends or even simply leave the interpretation to the reader. Mr Simmons delivers a well orchestrated, thorough conclusion to a Millennium spanning space epic in a way that satisfies all unknowns and leaves you feeling fully sated from the journey. This is a masterful contribution to a series that may not see an equal in craft for quite some time.
Everything about this series Is perfect. wonderful ending, expansive futurism, sci-fi at its best. The narrator nails the performance with some of the widest range of expression I've heard. This may be my most favorite series I've read and I cannot recommend it enough.
Simmons' writing makes you feel like you are there, a silent observer witnessing true events. I feel that the best books convince me absolutely that what I'm reading is true instead of fiction and I had that feeling deeply throughout the series.
There is so much depth and intrigue within the philosophies explored that I feel I must re read the series soon. I cannot believe I considered myself a well read Sci-fi enthusiast before I got ahold of these books.
Just finished all 4 books in audible format. The narration is among the best I have encountered and t scales up excellently at 3x speed. Overall the 4 books span a great galactic empire replete with political, military and social upheaval. There is ample use of temporal paradox and a memorable cast of characters. The author interweaves a healthy mix of social commentary with far future demographic crisis which both serves as a reminder of mortal humanity while also suggesting risks and opportunities for the evolution of our species. There is a good reason Simmons' masterpiece is often listed next to Dune as among the best sci fi epics of all time. It did not disappoint! Thank you Mr Simmons!
Okay, I loved the entire series. It's over, but now that it's over, I want to find something else that is as good. The story is every bit of what I like about Sci-fi. It's smart, it's funny and it's human. The tribulations are 'out there' but Simmons makes a compelling story that was unique and different and the 'out there' while balancing on, "Can that really happen?" I feel like all that is good sci-fi. It's a book you can read twice and still find dimensions you had missed in the first reading. Well worth the time. Enjoy. I did.
You are going to get this book because you read/listened to the first three (even though book 3 really ended fine). At 29 hours this thing is all over the place. Half is descriptions that really just distract from the story. The other half is speaking in riddles. I just don't understand.
I guess I just don't get how half the galaxy wants to capture this young girl and she's practicing architecture for four years? Really. Raul is like a puppy dog following her around and she speaks in riddles for all her answers. I started to dislike Anea's character because there was nothing to like. She gives you nothing.
I'm on the fence about starting another series by Dan Simmons. First three books were really good. The fourth was a clunker.
The idea of traveling through Farcasters really allows Simmons to create whatever type of world he wants. Raul has to go back through a handful and hearing about other areas and these strange worlds is always interesting.
Forget the symbolism... I would cut the whole Buddha (hours and hours) scenario and even the Old Earth stuff with the pupils of Wright. It gets old and it gets old fast. The story doesn't progress in these areas. And, I'm find with the religion in the first three books but Simmons does lay it on pretty heavy here.
You are going to listen/read this book. I get it. But, the vast majority of the reviews are correct in that it just feels different (maybe it was the long period between books for Simmons).
I have never turned an Audible title off as much as this one. Forcing myself to finish it for the sake of finishing.
I've just finished listening to the Contos for the second time. It's such a great story! Dan Simmons deserves all the praise in the world for creating such a wonderfully entertaining journey.
Sometimes hokum, but more often than not this book is absolutely transcendent and beautiful. If you rolled your eyes during "Interstellar's" more sentimental scenes then you'll find some groan-inducing lines in this book. However, the great characters and the incredible detail with which the events are described make up for any shortcomings.
This book is a joy to experience and Victor Bevine's excellent performance is one of the reasons why it's so enjoyable.
The story is presented to us as a monograph written by one of the main characters, Raul Endymion. One of the major plot points is why Raul is able to present the thoughts and actions of people far removed from him in his narrative. From a practical perspective this allows Simmons to use the voice of one of his characters as the narrator while avoiding the constraints of writing in the first person. At its core the plot is a love story about Raul and the other principle protagonist, Arena. While this relationship is central to the plot this book is not a romance novel. Interestingly, even though the tropes of the SciFi genre are well represented, this book does not read like most SciFi novels. But these tropes are really just garnish for a story that's concerned with something deaper.
If you haven't read the other books in the Hyperion Cantos then you should not start with this one. This story is a direct continuation of "Endymion" but depends heavily on the events of the first two novels in the series.
"Absolutely superb conclusion"
This four-book series kept its momentum until the very end and was a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. This is my all-time favourite series of sci-fi books and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Excellent, interesting Sci-fi, beautifully written and read.
"The final book"
I think each book in the series was better than the last. This is definitely the best.
"The best science fiction series now in print"
This was an eye-opener! The whole series was exquisitely crafted and sensitively narrated and so good I hope it wins many many awards. The ONLY writer to rival Ian M Banks.
"A good conclusion to a great series."
To my taste the story focused too much on the romantic relationship berween certain characters.
"superb An epic conclusion to an epic story."
An epic conclusion to an epic story.
each of the cantos get bet and better.
provocative with a heartfelt performance.
"i just couldn't get in it"
i tried, and i tried yes i tried and i tried but i can't get no satisfaction from this book. i am sick of the series
The Endymion and Hyperion books form a very long but well crafted saga, spanning philosophy, religion, cultural history and some very inventive SciFi. You have to have read the whole series for it all to make sense. Excellent!
"Fabulous conclusion to a brilliant series"
I cannot praise the Hyperion Cantos enough. brilliant plotline - very thought provoking and. complex with a very strong set of characters. fabulous descriptions of faraway worlds and an ending that is well worth the wait. Superb !
"Wow, A 5 star masterpiece."
After listening to all 4 books I am not sure what could top this or what to do, it took just under 3 months to listen to all of them, epic, awesome and fantastic, I recommend this series to any sci-fi fan, it has it all.
I thought this book ended the saga really well, with some great twists and quite a few really good revelations. It went into detail a bit too much for me on little stuff, but it didn't really take much away from it. The necessity for the tree of thorns wasn't really dealt with, unless I missed it. I liked how old characters came back throughout. Not quite Iain M Banks in style, but the content and story is top notch.
I didn't really think much of the narrator - it sounded like English wasn't his first language maybe. He pronounced every single word - like 'to' and 'a' - fully, which - when you actually hear it done - is quite strange. He occasionally made little errors in pronunciation - saying the 'chasm' with a soft 'ch' sound - which is a bit weird - or maybe he just did the whole thing in one take without bothering to fix the error. He also pronounced 'Aargh' exactly as it is written, with a clear 'r' and then a hard 'g' sound on the end. No-one really says that when they scream - that's just obvious - again - weird. The thing I disliked the most though was his inability to portray anything other than a small range of emotions. Whenever he took on a woman's voice - there was one set tone - and any emotion - such as anger - was not portrayed at all - it was always just 'the soft woman tone'. The range of accents for the different characters was good - just a bit more attention to tone and emotion was needed.
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