Friday, 27 February 2009

"Tales of the Dying Earth," Jack Vance

Okay, so this isn't really a book so much as it's an omnibus. That is, it's four books collected under one titles. In this case, that's "The Dying Earth," "Eyes of the Overworld," "Cugel's Saga," and "Rhialto the Magnificent." While I'm not 100% finished with this book, I have to say I would recommend it. Yes, it pisses me off. Yes, the main character for the middle two books (so far) is an honorless dog of a man. That said, there's something left to be said about this guy. Take the segment "The Seventeen Virgins," for example: for a guy with absolutely nothing going for him but a glib tongue and uncanny cunning, his ability to, um, "charm" people deserves mention. Care to guess at how many of the seventeen are still virgins by the end of the story? That is the kind of slice you take from this omnibus. In a word, it's like an updated version of "The Arabian Nights."

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