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5.0 out of 5 starsExhausted in a good way
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2021
To me it's like reading a Cronenberg movie. When the action hits so to speak in between moments of.... heavily Laden? Probably not grammatically correct. With scientific mathematics searching for the meaning of your soul spiritually philosophically intermixing with parallel universes and a schizophrenic telepathic love story LOL punctuation? Even though I've read thousands of books, I can't put my thoughts into words. It's way beyond my ability to understand yet fascinating. One of my favorite authors
4.0 out of 5 starsInteresting but scattered story about a man who comes to understand what consciousness really is
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2014
I will try to not to give away any spoilers that Amazon has not already mentioned in their summary, but the book deals with a mathematician who happens to have the unusual gift of telepathy. When his wife (who is also telepathic) becomes ill, the paradigms that have held his life together are challenged and the protagonist must adapt to a new reality.
I myself found the novel oddly scattered and also a bit sad. In reality humanity is a Guassian curve with both good and bad alike in equal proportions but the main character inevitably runs into extremely sad or dangerous situations time and again. What is most interesting about the novel is that is proposes a fairly interesting explanation for how the human mind works (from the ancient Mind versus Body problem from philosophy and neuroscience). By combining a dash of modern neuroscience with ideas from complexity theory and dynamical systems and based on a foundation of quantum mechanics, it proposes ideas that are very much under consideration today. I did not enjoy this work as much as some previous Simmons efforts or the deus ex machina ending but it was interesting and novel. A noble if slightly flawed effort.
This book has its moments. Unfortunately, those moments are often few and far between. The book starts off promisingly enough. A man, gifted or cursed, depending on one's point of view, with the ability to read minds, loses his soul mate to cancer. She, too, was blessed or cursed with the same gift.
Now, set adrift and left his own devices, the agony his ability brings him, coupled with his soul mate's death, causes this man to promptly go to hell in a hand basket. Hoping to find solace of some kind, he travels and finds himself in some pretty unusual situations.
Some of what he encounters strains credulity but some of it is quite interesting, especially for fans of true horror. Then, the book goes of the deep end, into some new age, mathematical mumbo jumbo, causing the story to lose steam and fall flat. Fans of the author will derive a modicum of enjoyment from the book, but this is definitely not one of the author's best efforts.
3.0 out of 5 starsI have no clue how to review this one
Reviewed in the United States on January 22, 2016
It is amazing and brilliant and stupid and pretentious and lyrical and irritating and nonsense. I went back and forth like this throughout the book but kept reading, hoping for more beauty and getting it and also getting baffled along the way. I am not able to summarize this puzzling aggravating fascinating novel about a mathematician telepath and his beloved wife and a brain damaged young man, but I will say it is worth reading. It is an enigma inside a mystery with chaos mathematics.
5.0 out of 5 starsSo many pieces all developed in Simmons' extraordinary way, ...
Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2016
So many pieces all developed in Simmons' extraordinary way, all to be assembled in the mind-numbing ending that leaves readers questioning whether they read correctly and how it's possible for an author to develop such a complex and genius-inspired coda.
5.0 out of 5 starsReview more about the author than the book
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2016
I have bought this book probably ten times as it is one of the few that I give away over and over. Love, pain, perseverance, triumph and redemption. All the of symptoms of the human condition illuminated brilliantly. I recommend reading Dan Simmons as he has made a genre all to himself. I consider him up there with Stephen King and Clive Barker in terms of fluidity and insight,
After reading the book I had mixed feelings. I read it fast - there was suspense. But then, Jeremy travels through the USA, his behavior inexplicable and without motivation. His grief does not explain it. And he behaves in a completely unnatural way that is not psychologically explained at all. Jeremey's chaos math seems to have entered Simmons' brain while he was writing the novel. I liked "Song of Kali" a lot better.