Read Best Doorways in the Sand – Bilb-weil.de

The most humorous and arguably the finest novel by the master of inventive science fiction Humanity is not alone in the cosmos The aliens have given a precious relic to the people of Earth star stone But the harmony of the galaxy is endangered when they discover that the star stone has disappeared Likeable Fred Cassidy is an eternal undergraduate All he thinks he knows about the star stone is that it came to Earth in an interplanetary trade for the Mona Lisa and the British Crown jewels When Fred is accused of stealing the cosmic artefact, he is pursued from Australia to Greenwich Village and beyond, by telepathic psychologists, extra terrestrial hoodlums and galactic police in disguise Follow him on his adventures as he enters multiple realities, flipping in and out of alien perspectives, through doorways in the sand Well, here comes the unpopular opinion I didn t love this book and I m kinda upset about it, because I love Zelazny, but it just didn t work for me this time I had some seriously high expectations that got kicked in the butt.The fact that the story started making sense somewhere in the middle of its second part didn t please me at all However, there were many things to keep my interest the kangaroo and Co was great, the ideas awesome, especially great was the view spoiler parasite blue ro Well, here comes the unpopular opinion I didn t love this book and I m kinda upset about it, because I love Zelazny, but it just didn t work for me this time I had some seriously high expectations that got kicked in the butt.The fact that the story started making sense somewhere in the middle of its second part didn t please me at all However, there were many things to keep my interest the kangaroo and Co was great, the ideas awesome, especially great was the view spoiler parasite blue rock from space hide spoiler and the whole reversing thing too Probably even a greater concept was how the guy was able to keep himself away from earning a degree for so many years But as much as parkour and crazy chases are enjoyable to watch on screen, big or small, reading about it is simply boring Especially when you don t get a slightest thing what is going on and it starts sort of annoy you I like mysteries but I also like to unravel mysteries together with protagonists and here it was simply impossible You just have to shut up and just watch it coming to a brilliant I won t deny that but completely impossible to foresee conclusion And it all with the protagonist I didn t really care that much for.Also, I guess I made a mistake by choosing a translation which probably did no favors to the original language of the book I feel that it corrupted the word play too many times Oh well.Of course in the very end every piece of puzzle found its place and the picture was amazing and we all could celebrate That s why I rate it 3 stars, instead of 2 Also it s Zelazny I had forgotten this gem until a question on a Zelazny recommendation sent me to my shelves to rediscover this blend of Alice in Wonderland and crime caper Set in an Earth very similar to our own, aliens have made contact and invited us to join the galactic federation As a token of sincerity, we re participating in an artifact exchange, lending them culturally significant objects such as the Crown Jewels and the Mona Lisa, and receiving ambiguous alien artifacts in return Meanwhile, Fred, a p I had forgotten this gem until a question on a Zelazny recommendation sent me to my shelves to rediscover this blend of Alice in Wonderland and crime caper Set in an Earth very similar to our own, aliens have made contact and invited us to join the galactic federation As a token of sincerity, we re participating in an artifact exchange, lending them culturally significant objects such as the Crown Jewels and the Mona Lisa, and receiving ambiguous alien artifacts in return Meanwhile, Fred, a perpetual university student with an affinity for heights, is unwittingly pursued by various groups looking for a missing alien artifact Thankfully, he remains calm, even when he s under duress view spoiler staked out in the desert to contemplate a future as a raisin, he is rescued by a pair of intergalactic policemen They ve chosen to blend into the Australian scenery dressed as a wombat and a kangaroo hide spoiler So I shshed while he worked on the strap It was the most interesting hallucination I had had in a long while Like Ford Prefect, the aliens seem to have mistaken the dominant life form.Although it perhaps sounds a little silly, and occasionally even a little absurd there s a professor who reoccurs despite his departure from the university long ago under the cloud of a scandal involving a girl, a dwarf and a donkey , it never goes so far afield that it can t be reeled in with real life dangers and consequences Zelazny s writing is truly inspired Clever wordplay based on both real life observations the quality of coffee in the student commons , absurdity aforementioned alien disguises , and crazy levels of creativity stereoisotropic brandy, anyone and deadpan delivery combine to alternatively cause giggles and awe Then he challenges any absurdity with poetic imagery I was taken by a glorious sensation doubtless compiled of recovery from my earlier discomforts, a near metaphysical satisfaction of my acrophiliac tendencies and a general overlay of fatigue that spread slowly, lightly across me, like a delicious fall of big flaked snow Narrative style is somewhat unusual, but Zelazny is kind enough to provide variety of well written transitions And in these modern times of multiple viewpoints and post deconstructed novels, a simple scrambled timeline should be readable.Our lead, Fred, happens to be one of my favorite types of narrators, the knowledgeable eccentric Of course, it s a lot easier to be knowledgeable when you ve spent thirteen years in university classes while avoiding a degree, much to various advisers chagrin Clocking his expression, I noted disbelief, rage and puzzlement within the first five seconds I was hoping for despair, but you can t have everything all at once Fred s lengthy and varied university education gives Zelazny a chance to play with a wide range of intellectual references and ideas I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, except perhaps the mathematical poem References are woven in seamlessly, almost throwaway at times There s the time Fred says at the end of a drinking binge Let there be an end to thought Thus do I refute Descartes I sprawled, not a cogito or a sum to my name Then there s Zelazny s brilliant creation of the Rhennius machine inversion program first run through inverts the object left to right a key chemistry concept made amazing and the inspired scenes that follow view spoiler Fred s inversion are madcap genius hide spoiler There are anthropological references to toilet cave paintings and bead exchanges, analysis of government bureaucracy, naming of the stars of the Big Dipper, stereoisomers from organic chemistry and musings on philosophy While I know I enjoyed reading this book in high school,years of education and experience have given me even greater appreciation for the casual and wide ranging references surely that is a book that stands the test of time.In the tradition of the caper, Fred s methods are occasionally questionable although his ethics are solid Time means a lot to me, paperwork wastes it, and I have always been a firm believer in my right to do anything I cannot be stopped from doing Which sometimes entails not getting caught at it Altogether and enjoyable fun read As I waver between a 4 and 5 star rating, I realize it s rather irrelevant I happen to enjoy it s timeless references, sophistication and breezy tone Definitely hardbound library worthy Crud Now I m going to have to search out a better copy than my worn, cheap 1977 paperback Note Hugo, Locus AND Nebula nominee Re read April 2016 with the flash group at everyone for reading along Jason, Andreas, Melora, Naomi, Karl, Athena, Amy Other Amy , Andrew, Mitticus, Evgeny and Brad for yet another pun skirmish No additional thoughts necessary, although I ll say, wow, does that man stuff a lot of knowledge into one story, and he remains one of my favorite authors because of what he can do with words.Cross posted at 4.5 stars In the 180 pages of this zany, funny and intelligent SF novel, Roger Zelazny tells the story of Fred Cassidy, an eternal college student doing his level best to never graduate, who gets caught up in a strange mystery of a missing alien artifact, the star stone, which has no known purpose Nevertheless, several players both human and alien are convinced that Fred knowsabout the location of the star stone than he does, and are willing to use deadly force to get an answer out o 4.5 stars In the 180 pages of this zany, funny and intelligent SF novel, Roger Zelazny tells the story of Fred Cassidy, an eternal college student doing his level best to never graduate, who gets caught up in a strange mystery of a missing alien artifact, the star stone, which has no known purpose Nevertheless, several players both human and alien are convinced that Fred knowsabout the location of the star stone than he does, and are willing to use deadly force to get an answer out of him.Somehow Zelazny mixes off the wall elements like alien investigators masquerading as kangaroos and wombats and an inversion machine which makes fast food and mediocre bourbon taste AMAZING with literary writing, tongue in cheek humor, and allusions to Alice s Adventures in Wonderland and other literary and scientific sources It s a brilliant achievement, one of those books I ll have to read two or three times to try to catch everything that Zelazny is doing, and even then I ll probably miss half of it.An incredibly fun and strange mental workout Full review to come You know, a part of me really wishes I could have pulled off the same trick the book s protagonist did for 13 years remain a perpetual student supported by a cryogenically frozen uncle, free to expand my horizons, create Lobachevsky worthy mathematical odes to beauty, and not ever having to graduate to the real adult worldLet there be an end to thought Thus do I refute Descartes I sprawled, not a cogito or a sum to my nameHowever, when the real adult world comes equipped with aliens u You know, a part of me really wishes I could have pulled off the same trick the book s protagonist did for 13 years remain a perpetual student supported by a cryogenically frozen uncle, free to expand my horizons, create Lobachevsky worthy mathematical odes to beauty, and not ever having to graduate to the real adult worldLet there be an end to thought Thus do I refute Descartes I sprawled, not a cogito or a sum to my nameHowever, when the real adult world comes equipped with aliens undercover as a wombat and a kangaroo, even the prospect of potential never ending student life pales in comparison.This Hugo and Nebula Awards nominee is a treasure hiding behind the funky 1970s paperback cover It s wickedly smart and wickedly hilarious, and even its gimmicky structureeach chapter ends on a cliffhanger, and the following chapter picks up the story a while later and eventually works its way back to the previous cliffhanger to explain what happeneddid not lessen my enjoyment The enjoyment that is solely due to the charm of the never ending smartly funny banter inside the protagonist s head that Zelazny treats us to for much too short pages of this book The hot sands had had shouted them through me all afternoon, then night s frigid breezes had whispered the motto at the overdone lamb chop, my ear You are a living example of the absurdity of things Fred Cassidy, as I mentioned above, is a perpetual student by day and an acrophiliac in his spare timeas in love of heights, or climbing tall buildings in Fred s caseDue to an apparent loophole in his not quite dead uncle s will he is entitled to a very comfortable life as long as he is getting a college degree full time For thirteen years, Fred takes full advantage of that, becoming probably the most broadly educated man on the planetand also acquiring very practical skills in basket weaving, coming THIS close to completing a major in it an a few dozen of other specialties as wellAnd if somebody has put together a course on the subject, this one has probably taken it, said Charv Yes Unfortunate Finally graduating Fred becomes almost a mission of the university officials view spoiler they eventually do succeed, bestowing upon Fred a well earned DhP eergeD ni ygoloporhtnA hide spoiler But eventually the real world of this near futuresoft sci fi , think aliens and occasional flying cars but otherwise perfectly recognizable 20 th century worldgives Fred a rude awakening from this perpetual studentry bliss when an alien civilization artifact goes missing, undercover wombat and kangaroo interfere, and some things are in dire need of literal reversing And we are treated to a hilarious and humorous ride peppered with smart referencesFred did NOT waste all those undergrad years, indeedand clever allusions And I loved every page of it What can I say I m a sucker for smart and funny gimmicky literature goodness While I seldom indulge in graffiti, verbal or pre , I have always felt something of empathy for those who scale walls and make their marks on them The farther back you go, theinteresting the act becomes Now it may be true, as some have claimed, that the impulse was first felt in the troglodytic equivalent of the john and that cave drawings got started this way, as a kind of pictorial sublimation of an evenprimitive evolutionary means of marking one s territory Nevertheless, when somebody started climbing around on walls and mountainsides to do it, it seems pretty obvious that it had grown from a pastime into an art form I have often thought of that first guy with a mastodon in his head, staring at a cliff face or cave wall, and I have wondered what it was that set him suddenly to climbing and scraping away what it felt like Also, what the public s reaction was Perhaps they made sufficient holes in him to insure the egress of the spirits behind it all Or perhaps the bold initiative involved was present in greater abundance then, awaiting only the proper stimulus, and a bizarre response was considered as common as the wriggling of one s ears Impossible to say Difficult not to care Zelazny is clearly having quite a bit of fun with the language of this book, alternating between dazzlingly poetic and smartass y to intelligently witty to occasionally slapstick y to pseudo sophisticated to joyful wordplay He does it with such ease and fun that it turned out to be impossible for me to not completely adore it Thus, thus, so and thus awakening as a thing of textures and shadings advancing and retreating along a scale of soft dark, smooth shadow, slick bright all else displaced and translated to this The colors, sounds and balances a function of these two.Advance to hard and very bright Fall back to soft and black Do you hear me, Fred the twilight velvet Yes my glowing scales Better, better, better Zelazny dabbles in absurdity, leading me to inevitable comparisons with parts of Adams Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy , but never topples into the clearly absurdist territory He plays with turning his prose to almost but not quite poetry with all the alliteration and metaphorical language and internal rhythm of the sentences, but does not fully go down that path, either Sunflash, some splash Darkle Stardance Phaeton s solid gold Cadillac crashed where there was no ear to hear, lay burning, flickered, went out Like me Drifting drowsy across the countryside, I paraded my troubles through the streets of my mind, poking occasional thoughts between the bars of their cages, hearing the clowns beat drums in my temples Lovely and clever enjoyable little book, the one that will surely reread quite a few times in the future 5 star stones stars Lovely review by Carol that made me aware of this little gem of a book is this way