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The Dying Earth
- By: Jack Vance
- Narrated by: Arthur Morey
- Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
The stories in The Dying Earth introduce dozens of seekers of wisom and beauty, lovely lost women, wizards of every shade of eccentricity with their runic amulets and spells. We meet the melancholy deodands, who feed on human flesh and the twk-men, who ride dragonflies and trade information for salt. There are monsters and demons. Each being is morally ambiguous: The evil are charming, the good are dangerous. All are at home.
A Decadent and Hopeful Dying Earth
- By Jefferson on 06-27-10
What did you love best about The Dying Earth?
The level of imagination in the book was a big surprise to me. It's kind of like a cross between Adventure Time and Sin City. With the setting being Adventure Time and the tone, gritty detail and story structure coming from Sin City. I've never read a science fiction or fantasy novel with quite as much creativity and it takes such an "advanced" look at technology that I thought it was written very recently. And, when I say advanced, I mean more along the lines of some of Greg Bear's novels in which genetics and human enhancement reaches a point in which our technology and limitations become almost magical (or in Bear's case of the Eon trilogy - godlike). And, if you look at the era - some 9+ billion years out - then you'd have to assume there were at least *some* highly advanced technology and genetic advancements made, even if the Earth has become a forgotten and dilapidated place.Additionally, the characters and the story arcs almost always go in directions I wouldn't have expected and that made it even more fun. I also really enjoyed the language and the names of this book as well. Some reviewers hated the pseudo ancient "tyme" English but it does a good job of creating the feeling of some distant era in which medieval people live in a post technological world and confuse technology with magic and ritual and give long winded names that aren't really meant to entirely make sense and sort of demonstrates the ignorance of even the people who "know."
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Dying Earth?
When it first mentioned prismatic spray and the number of spell limitations the wizard could commit to memory, I couldn't help but guess the level the wizard would be in d&d. Which, with some cursory wiki work it looks like the creators of d&d borrowed the idea from this book and not vice versa. If you like d&d, that's just a fun twist in the story.
What does Arthur Morey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
His tone is soft and endearing - like an old wizard reading a book of stories. I think that contrast with the dark subject matter helped give a unique feeling to the overall story and he does a good job voicing the different characters distinctly. My only negative is that the recording or his voice or both was very quiet and I had to crank it up a lot.
Any additional comments?
This is now one of my all time favorites and I'm going to look for more of his work and this setting. And I agree that it does require your full attention and I had to re-listen to parts throughout the book whenever I found myself lost but definitely worth checking out - especially since it's so short.
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