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Dark Beyond the Stars: A Novel
Dark Beyond the Stars: A Novel
von Frank M. Robinson
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 23,99

4.0 von 5 Sternen Time Waits For No-one, 28. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Dark Beyond the Stars: A Novel (Taschenbuch)
This immensely thought-provoking sci-fi extravaganza must surely be the most vibrant depiction ever of the generation-ship concept.
The Astron, once the shining zenith of humankind's technological achievement, has been in deep space searching unsuccessfully for alien life for two millennia, and is now rapidly falling into decrepitude. Robinson paints vivid pictures of the grime-smeared bulkheads, the fetid stench of recycled air, bland reconstituted food and gradually failing life support systems. In this daunting environment however, the ever hopeful spark of human spirit shines forth like a diamond. The few hundred crew represent a true microcosm of humanity. Good, bad, noble and treacherous; everyone has hidden depths and all the time in the world to reveal them.
The skillfully depicted dynamic human interaction would be enough in itself to recommend this book. But there's more, much more. Our hero - Sparrow's quest for his missing memories reveals intrigue and mind-blowing secrets of Machiavellian proportions, which lead to a breathtaking conclusion. Throughout, Robinson's prose is flawless - I'm sure I shivered whilst reading the description of the frozen methane hell of Aquinas II. My only criticism would be that the novel does take rather a long time to gather momentum. It is a substantial work (over 400 pages) and its measured pace may not appeal to lovers of more conventional action-packed sci-fi.
The poignancy in the book's denouement, generated by relentless turning of the wheel of time, has a profound philosophical edge to it and will certainly make you consider your own humanity. I am very glad to have read this book.


Wizard's First Rule - Sword of Truth
Wizard's First Rule - Sword of Truth
von Terry Goodkind
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 7,40

3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Derivative but Powerful S & S Fable, 18. Juli 2000
I guess it is inevitable that every Swords and Sorcery novel should give a respectful nod or two to Tolkien's masterpiece. Wizard's First Rule bears perhaps more similarities than most and the reader must be forgiven for playing spot the parallels here. We have the slightly eccentric wizard Zedd (Gandalf), a stout yeoman man-at-arms character Chase (Aragorn), a creepy but tragic transformed creature Samuel (Gollum), rampaging hearthounds (Wargs), and of course the brave if reluctant hero Richard (Frodo). We have a journey from the cosy West to the spooky East, a talking dragon, a royal revelation etc. Goodkind has clearly employed a large dose of the sincerest form of flattery here! As the tale unfolds however more of Goodkind's own inventiveness becomes apparent. On the emotional level, some scenes are decidedly strong stuff. The smouldering sexual chemistry between Richard and Kahlan becomes surprisingly steamy at times. Scenes of prolongued torture leave few details hidden. Some decidedly distasteful subjects are included, such as rape, infanticide and paedophilia, to depict graphically the evil that Richard must conquer. Areas that Tolkien would leave to the reader's imagination, Goodkind lays bare in often excruciating detail. The tale gathers much momentum in the latter stages and I contentedly stayed up until the early hours to read the rivetting denouement. So, all in all, this is a worthwhile read and the sum of its parts amounts to rather more than just another Lord of the Rings tribute. Oh and I must say that Goodkind's dragon is rather nice!


The Alchemist, Engl. ed.
The Alchemist, Engl. ed.
von Paulo Coelho
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 9,50

12 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Both original and inspiring ..., 24. Juni 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Alchemist, Engl. ed. (Taschenbuch)
... unfortunately the original bits aren't inspiring and the inspiring bits aren't original. (Ok, OK, if Coelho can rip ideas off why can't I?).
This I-Spy book of philosophy is nothing more than 10th rate, watered down Voltaire. For Santiago, read Candide and you'll get some idea of where Coelho's influences came from. If you have not already read Candide or Micromégas, then you may find a spark or two of inspiration within The Alchemist, as Coelho does pull the right string occasionally, making the reader ponder where life is taking them and the essential power each of us possesses to change things. Admirable stuff indeed! When, however one recognises how dirivative and inferior Coelho's writings are, the message becomes tainted, insubstantial and ultimately worthless.
By all means click to register your disapproval of my little review, but please, try Voltaire's Candide, either in the original version (if your french is up to it) or in one of the excellent english translations available, and experience the wisdom and humour of a true master who genuinely understood life's great comedy. Coelho falls far short of those he seeks so desperately to emulate.
Kommentar Kommentare (2) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Feb 27, 2010 7:37 PM CET


WEAVEWORLD (The Fantacy Classic)
WEAVEWORLD (The Fantacy Classic)
von Clive Barker
  Taschenbuch

3.0 von 5 Sternen A Powerful But Tainted Vision, 9. Februar 2000
Weaveworld is a bludgeoning fusion of occult schlock-horror and heroic fantasy and is populated by a motley of vividly depicted characters. Cal and Suzanna's mundane entry on the scene contrasts effectively with the other-worldly horrors than ensue. The intriguing child/man Nimrod provides some humerous tableaux. Immacolata provides us with a deliciously evil villainess, her character made all the more complex by elements of poignancy and reconciliation surrounding her demise, and the chief miscreant - Shadwell is an effective personification of the "all power corrupts..." maxim.
The sheer vileness though of some of the apparitions that Barker conjures forth demands the reader possess a strong stomach and reminds us that, first and foremost, this is a horror novel. What else should we expect from the author who gave us the visceral terrors of Hellraiser? The tale is also frequently punctuated by explicit (and some may say unnecessarily gratuitous) sexual imagery, which some may find tasteless.
One major problem I had with Weaveworld is that I felt it reached its peak about two thirds of the way through. The most satisfying chapters are undoubtedly Cal and Suzanna's adventures in the Fugue and their heart-stopping flight to keep out of Shadwell and Hobart's clutches. Once the Fugue is unwoven though and the Seerkind scattered, the tale seems to lose direction somewhat. In particular the appearance of the entity calling itself Uriel really doesn't seem to fit comfortably with what has gone before and reads more like a novella in its own right. I'm afraid for me, the conclusion of the Uriel episode reminded me of some of Star Trek's more hackneyed finales, and I must confess to feeling slightly cheated by the rather tame conclusion.
Overall though, Weaveworld is undoubtedly a pretty compelling read and reminds one of some of the more macabre paintings of Bosch or Breughal brought to life. Be warned though; it often plumbs the depths of depravity and the aftertaste it leaves may be something less wholesome than the sweet nectar of Jude pears!


Inversions
Inversions
von Iain M. Banks
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen The more you put in, the more you'll get out., 21. Januar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Inversions (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Being an Iain M Banks' work, the reader naturally expects this to be a further episode of the Culture sci-fi series. At first sight however, Inversions appears to be a straightforward tale of love, war and Machiavellian intrigue set in a brutal medieval environment. The story unfolds in separate but strangely complimentary alternate instalments, describing the adventures of the beautiful, vastly knowledgeable but mysteriously other-worldly Dr. Vosill and the powerful and lethal but profoundly sensitive bodyguard DeWar. The plot is further complicated by the questionable veracity of the narrator. Thus we have stories within stories, and when DeWar starts speaking in allegories things become decidedly complex! After each chunk of story I found myself speculating on whether to take the narrative at face value or dredge for hidden depths. Sometimes I felt obliged to revisit earlier chapters in case I'd missed a clue, sometimes a flash of realisation would hit me hours later. There are tantalising but elusive echoes of scenes from earlier IMB novels and believe me, you will get far more from Inversions if you have also read Consider Phlebus, Player of Games, State of the Art and Use of Weapons. So what drove DeWar's obsession with the fables about the fantasy land? Who were Sechroom and Hiliti? Was Vosill a Culture dilettante, covert ambassador, or simply a love-struck foreigner? Was sorcery, sheer chance or a miniature Culture self-defence drone the architect of the astonishing scenes that led to Oelph's and Vosill's salvation in the torture chamber? Which of the alternative endings is most plausible or satisfying? IMB forces the reader to think long and hard about these conundrums and much more. Inversions is never an easy read, demanding much from the reader, lest the subtle undercurrents essential to a comprehensible conclusion be overlooked. If, however you possess an adventurous and inquisitive spirit, I am sure you, like I, will find Inversions immensely satisfying.


Moonwar
Moonwar
von Ben Bova
  Taschenbuch

2.0 von 5 Sternen Space soap opera at its worst, 13. Dezember 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Moonwar (Taschenbuch)
I am astonished that anyone could give this 5 stars! Come on guys; are you really classing this politically-correct, stereotypical pot-boiler up there with Dune, 2001, Consider Phlebas etc? Moonwar has a very strong "made-for-TV" feel to it and amounts to little more than Dallas or Dynasty in space. The undemanding little yarn may keep you mildly interested for a few hours, but where's the depth or the meaning? I'm afraid I cannot recommend Moonwar, because I truely believe Sci-fi should be more visionary than this.


Titan
Titan
von Stephen Baxter
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Great stuff - but it'll put you off space travel for life, 23. November 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Titan (Taschenbuch)
In a similar vein to the excellent Moonseed, Titan starts off rather slowly. I personally didn't find the political background particularly enthralling and fear that the early lack of pace could dissuade some readers from completing the book. Once the mission starts however, Baxter's research really pays off and I was totally hooked. The physical dangers, smells, claustrophobia and sheer cruddy squalor of space travel has never before been so vividly portrayed. I now have some understanding of the heroic feat of those guys on Mir! Someone criticised the book because they disliked the characters. I would argue that this is because the characters seem so real, with their hang-ups and warts and all - just like the rest of us! This is far more satisfying than the one-dimentional caricatures you tend to find in a Bova novel for example. OK, so Mr NASA expert could pick a few holes in the technology, but to the average punter, this is the next best thing to being there (not that I'd particularly want to!). Great stuff and a suitably visionary ending.


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