Written by the late Roger Zelazny, This Immortal was originally published under the title ...and Call Me Conrad. It shared the 1966 Hugo Award for Best Novel with Frank Herbert's Dune.
©1966 Roger Zelazny; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
When Zelazny was good, he was great. I love the way that he combined science fiction, Classical mythology, and more recent Greek folklore. I love the little vignettes about Nomikos' past, like Hassan talking about the boxing match with the Vegan, the story about him breaking the neck of the Spiderbat, etc. Zelazny had a great feel for mythologizing, as well as for the myths. Some of the metaphors are a little jarring, but this was written in the 60's, after all.
On the other hand, I don't think I've ever known a writer to lose it all so suddenly. He reminds me of Tom Watson after he just suddenly lost the ability to putt. I think it started around the time of the publication of "Eye of Cat." After then, Zelazny never really had it again, and pissed away his time writing that "Amber" drivel. Still, he probably made more money as a hack than he did when he was at the peak of his powers, which I'm glad for because he left us some great stuff.
The audiobook is great to listen to at the gym. It's the kind of stuff that really makes you push yourself. The narrator is fine, and does a particularly good Vegan.
50 + years ago, when I read this as a child...I did not understand it one bit. So at the age of 67, I thought I would give it another try. Just as bewildered. This is one of the few books I just gave up on and did not finish.
There is wonderful imagery in this story...unfortunately the imagery is usually completely unrelated to any story line.
I never like to criticize a narrator, so I won't, but I will not compliment him on this performance either.
I have read some of the other reviews, and " a lot" of people like this book...I'm just not one of them.
I've been going through the Hugo and Nebula winners and was gratified to finally find This Immortal at last. The book is excellent. Some of the older winners don't hold up well but this does.
This was the first "mash up" book, bringing together nuclear war with Greek mythology. The post-nuclear holocast setting raises questions of were myths real-- with gods and demigods just mutations, if the Earth was mostly destroyed and you lived on a space colony would you come back to it, and what is it like for an entire race (us) to be an underclass of a well-meaning, benign alien society, and how do you manage a rebellion over a hundred years. Nice flashbacks and letting the reading make the connections. Excellent ending.
He is just this guy, you know?
I am very picky and would not have picked this book to listen too had it not been on sale. That worked out well form me as I enjoyed this book very much.
I enjoyed this book. It gives you a outsiders view of our lives and our history.
I enjoyed his learning to be human
I did not get moved but was interested the entire time
This book was boring and confusing, replete with many tongue twisting Greek names and references to ancient Greek myths. It was by an author that I liked and had won a Hugo award so it was a great disappointment.
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
Couldn't decide between 3 and four stars. Maybe a little more than 3. The novel is enjoyable, but I felt that Zelazny could have done more with the plot. Conrad (or the Kalikantzaros) is in charge of preserving the treasures of the Earth, but finds himself protecting a visiting Vegan (that's a person from the star system Vega, not one who avoids good food) during the Vegan's tour of Earth. The Vegan's have purchased most of the Earth after humans almost destroyed it along with themselves after a three day nuclear war. In the end, (watch out !! spoiler) the Vegans are impressed with Conrad and turn the Earth over to his custody.
Pretty much struggled to finish and even was boring 80% of times. There were small nice bits though, but they don't deserve to stand up for the story.
Even for free, wouldn't get it and would not recommend others. But, if you like Greeks and their mythology and apocalypse world, may be, with a small chance you'll like it. But I think that even the apocalypse world and the story, scenery was developed poorly. And the whole thing is very wield!
This has all the wit and humor and excitement as in all of his books. Although written over 20 years ago it doesn't date itself as almost all of his works don't.
anti hero with aliens.
The use of ancient greek myth, the descriptions of the vegans, and the rough character of hero.
This is the first narration I have heard by Victor and it was quite well done.
The loss of the hero's newly wed wife in the earthquake and his reaction to that loss.
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