Hyperion – gotta go


Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)Hyperion by Dan Simmons
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I usually give a book a max of 100 pages to get me hooked. This one I gave ~150 pages to and it just wasn’t doing it. I had just finished Simmons’s Song of Kali, and that was great. His prose is very strong and I respect him very highly as an author. This just wasn’t something I was overly fond of. I’m not disregarding him as an author and I’m sure I will go to some of his other books, but this particular one has to go down now.

Reasons:
1. Plot wasn’t strong enough up front. The story was alluring. It did have appeal, but it just didn’t grab me. I know this book has a huge following and lots of people love it. I can only speak to myself.

2. Terrific prose, but no real direction: It was sort of like the way I felt about Snow Crash. The writing was a brick to the face – that good. But I just didn’t know where it was going.

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8 thoughts on “Hyperion – gotta go

    • Julia, thanks for the comment. Yeah, everyone’s different in their interests. I had just heard a lot about it, and can only say that it didn’t work for me. You may want to check out what others in your circles think. Best.

  1. Plot wasn’t strong enough up front — really, that’s your complaint? Argh… Sometimes plot can be less important than the general feel, the characters, the strange premise, the wonder of the world…

    • Joachim,
      Great comment. Much appreciated. I am a character freak and agree with you in this. Characters make all the difference in the world. I thought his characters in the book were done fairly well. It was just that there wasn’t a whole lot going on around them. It would be as if someone’s favorite character were Superman. All they do is think about how cool Superman is. But if Superman had nothing going on around him (no one to stop, no evil villain to destroy, no lives to save, etc.) then he’s just a dude in a suit. That’s sort of how I felt about this.

      • But, there IS a trajectory! They are on a pilgrimage (mysterious of course) to see the Shriek. It should be noted that the book was published in two parts — The Fall of Hyperion was meant to be in the same volume. But the publishers thought it was too big. So, in short, you only got part of the book.

      • And each of their stories had plot… plot that helps you understand their characters and how they might indirectly know each other.

        (as you might know the book was modeled on the medieval masterpiece Canterbury Tales — a series of short stories about individuals on a pilgrimage)

        • Joachim – wow! I did not know that at all, but it makes sense. Yes, I concur with you. Each of their stories did have a plot. I kind of felt that once you’re 1/4 of the way into a book, you should be wanting to read the rest of it. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there because although the writing was good (again, no argument there), and the characters were fleshed, formed, and real (wonderfully done), I thought that the plot, although manifest, did not have that strong of a pull. That’s all. Wasn’t for me. I know that he’s written all of the Hyperion books in the series, but yeah, they just weren’t grabbing me. Thank you for the comments.

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