Detalles del producto
Do not read this book if you're looking for a light, fun read. In fact, forget it. This book defies all expectations, serves up horrors that were hitherto unimaginable if you are even remotely sane. Dan Simmons is in this book exploring a world that has lost its soul and is decaying by inches. To underscore that decay, the tales focus on the underpinnings of humanity--death, love, parenthood, art--and twist them into the most horrific contortions possible. The tale of the cruciform, for example, investigates with terrifying clarity the possibility of there being a fate far, far worse than death.
As a result, the quest of each pilgrim has a greater significance than being merely a quest; in the empty world which Simmons creates, they are pioneers searching for a depth beyond the tested parameters of their rotting civilization. The atmosphere of the book is overshadowed by the horror of the Shrike, yet does not completely dim the hope of what might be.
Steeped in the tangled sorrows that drive them, the characters do not always engender sympathy. I found Kassad shallow and difficult to relate to, and the explicit sex a turn-off. However, Martin Silenus, Sol Weintaub and the Consul--to name a few--are fully realized, complex characters, and even at their worst moments, still by their very existence encourage the reader to keep reading simply to learn their fates.
All six stories (novellas in their own right) are brilliantly conceived, and every reader here has his or her own personal favorite. While the priest's tale is one of the most harrowing I've ever read, I was personally moved by the tale of Sol and Rachael. As a parent, I found this tale especially haunting. As another reviewer mentioned, I will not think of the words "...later alligator...'while crocodile..." in the same light ever again.
This is science fiction told in a grand scale. It is sweeping in scope and Simmons' narrative is extremely imaginative, often fanciful, yet sometimes yawn inspiring. It is not an easy read. For those that know little or nothing about the poet, Keats (me included), much of the narrative may become ambiguous or boring. But despite that (or because of that), Simmons spins a masterful tale of the travelers and of the great war against the Hegmony and the Technocore.
Unfortunately, "Hyperion" is only the first part of a two-part story, and ends unfinished. One has to purchase (unknowingly) "The Fall of Hyperion" to complete the story. My suggestion would be to purchase them both at the same time and enjoy--it's well worth the money.
Although this novel won't be to everyones' taste (what novel is?), I thought it to be one of the best novels I've read in many a year. Between 1 and 10, I give "Hyperion" a solid 8. Had the novels been double bound and sold as one (as they should have been), I would have given "Hyperion" an enthusiastic 9.
Hyperion is one planet in a large federation of planets which are at their political peak. This book is the story of 7 people picked to go on a pilgramage to the time tombs on Hyperion to see if they can figure out what is happening. The time tombs are guarded by a creature called the Shrike. The Srike can move forward and backward through time at will and seems to be invulnerable to any type of weapon. The 7 people are strangers to each other, but they have on common link, they have all encountered the Shrike before and been allowed to live. There is a legend and even a cult religion that has grown up around the Shrike for hundreds of years. It is said that the Shrike can grant any wish. Pilgrims that go searching for the Shrike must travel in groups of prime numbers or everyone will die. They must approach the time tombs on foot or everyone will die. According to legend, the Shrike somehow interviews everyone in the party if they have followed these rules and one person will have their wish granted and all the other party members will be killed. Also, the time tombs are moving backwards in time, and the fear is that once the time tombs stop that a whole army of tens of thousands of Shrikes will be unleashed. But this is just one thread in the vast tapestry of the story which grows in complexity with each book. What is happening on Hyperion is at the center of the collapse of this federation of thousands of planets that is on the brink of collapse. It is a facinating tale.