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The Book of Dreams: Volume 5 (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 28 lug 2016

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Dettagli prodotto

  • Copertina flessibile: 242 pagine
  • Editore: Spatterlight Press; 1 edizione (28 luglio 2016)
  • Collana: The Demon Princes
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ISBN-10: 1619471132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619471139
  • Peso di spedizione: 426 g
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1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle The End of the Quest 27 febbraio 2014
Di Arthur W Jordin - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
The Book of Dreams (1981) is the fifth SF novel in the Demon Princes series, following The Face. The initial volume in this sequence is The Star King.

In the previous volume, Kirth discovered that a spaceship used in the Mount Pleasant slave raid was landing on Aloysius. He had Addels set up an elaborate legal ploy to lure Lens Larque onto the planet. A man roughly matching Larque's description appeared, but proved to be an imposter.

Rackrose researched Lens Larque and found several mentions of the outlaw. He speculated that the name was a pseudonym and ordered a search of similar terms in the Oikumene. He decided that the name probably derived from Lanslarke, a predatory winged creature on Dar Sai.

Kirth assumes that Larque is a Darsh. There is a cluster of these natives of Dar Sai on Aloysius. He and Rackrose visit the area and check out Tintle's Shade, a local bar and restaurant.

Eventually, Lars Larque appeared at Tintle's Shade. In the resulting turmoil, Kirth barely escaped with his and Rackrose's life. Then Tintle blew up the spaceship and the lawsuit became moot.

In this novel, Kirth Gersen is a young human without any living relatives. All except his grandfather were killed during a slave raid on Mount Pleasant. He learned that the Demon Princes were responsible and set himself to kill them all. Now he is very rich and owns Cosmopolis magazine.

Jehan Addels is Kirth's legal and financial advisor. He is definite about not serving Gersen as a staked goat.

Maxol Rackrose is Superintendent of Miscellaneous Operations for Cosmopolis. He had been an assistant of Henry Lucas -- an alias of Gersen -- in the previous volume.

Howard Alan Treesong was a Demon Prince. He is Kirth's last target. All information about him has been purged from the Interworld Police Coordinating Company files.

Alice Wroke is a young woman from Wild Island. She decides to visit Pontefract on Aloysius.

In this story, Kirth discusses Howard Alan Treesong with a high official of the IPCC. Five years before, Treesong had infiltrated the IPCC board. Since that attempt, nothing much has been revealed.

Kirth dines with Jehan. He mentions his interest in Treesong. Jehan states his interest in avoiding anything to do with the Demon Prince.

Kirth decides to investigate on his own. As Lucas, he checks the Cosmopolis morgue. He finds a photo in the trash file with writing on it stating that one of the ten men is Treesong.

Gersen traces the photo to New Concepts. The Cosmopolis staffer there tells him about the woman who sold the photo to him. She had claimed that her husband had been a waiter at the restaurant where the photo was taken. After receiving her money, she had disappeared.

Kirth orders the creation of Extant magazine, oriented toward the younger set. It has been in the works for quite some time, so a free first issue is printed and distributed immediately. It contains the photograph and announces a contest. The first to correctly identify all ten diners will win a hundred thousand SVUs.

Extant sets up a temporary organization to run the contest. Henry Lucas is named to head this organization. Hiring of contest personnel begins immediately. Meanwhile, Keith creates a questionnaire designed to prod the emotions of the applicants and designs booths with sensors to monitor the applicants.

The contest responses flood into the organization. The names begin to converge, except for the sixth diner. Many differing sets of names are sent in for this man. Finally, one response names all ten, but diner number six is called Sparkman; others have given him this name, but it is probably an alias. The contestant also states the location of the dinner and the deaths of all the diners except number six.

Meanwhile, an applicant for the Extant job raises Kirth's suspicions. Her responses to the questionnaire are mostly true, but startlingly false in one area. Kirth bugs her hotel phone and hears some interesting conversations.

Alice calls the man Mr. Sparkman, but he insists on her calling him Strand. He appears to have multiple personalities. Gersen has his hotel call around to discover if Sparkman or Strand have reservations in any nearby hotels.

This tale takes Kirth out on a date with Alice. He tells her about the photograph and leave her room. She calls Sparkman and relates the news. Sparkman is not happy, but has to leave to attend to other matters.

Kirth gets a call from Rackrose. He has identified the other nine diners. They both wonder if the ten diners could have been the Institute Dexad.

This is the last volume in the Demon Princes series. Other works by this author are available in Jack Vance SF Gateway Omnibus and other volumes.

Highly recommended for Vance fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of crime lords, investigative procedures, and a very persistent avenger. Read and enjoy!

-Arthur W. Jordin
2 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle The last of the Demon Princes: Howard Alan Treesong 16 maggio 2003
Di Michele L. Worley - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
"Treesong's obsession with mystery extended far. No photographs, representations, or likenesses were known to exist, on or off the public record. His origins were unknown; his private life was as secret as the far end of the universe; he regularly disappeared from public notice for years on end."
- herein

Gersen saved the most difficult target for last: Treesong, the self-styled Lord of the Overmen - an affectation born of his view of criminals as superior predators, taking what they wish from the rest of humanity, illustrated long ago by the Mount Pleasant raid that destroyed Kirth Gersen's childhood home, killing or enslaving most of the population, leaving Gersen's grandfather with a hunger for revenge so great that he and Kirth together shaped Kirth for his lifelong quest to hunt down and kill the five great crimelords behind the raid.

Considering Vance as a mystery writer, each of the Demon Princes provides a different illustration of a theme common to several Golden Age mystery writers: that of overwhelming vanity as a driving force in crime. (See Sayers' WHOSE BODY?, most of Josephine Tey's novels, and Agatha Christie, of course.) The twist is that in the human-settled universe of THE DEMON PRINCES, there *is* no real inter-world law to appeal to. Gersen himself is a force outside law, who can be as terrifying as his quarry. Unusually for Gersen, for once he becomes involved with others whose reasons for seeking vengeance are on a par with his own (in one instance even *more* fanatical), although they lacked the resources to hunt Treesong down.

This story opens with a quote from the real BOOK OF DREAMS: a rather florid fantasy (isn't it?) of seven paladins, each with distinct characteristics, all but one with a distinct color - the sort of thing an adolescent might write. As we learn later on, that's no accident; the Book was written by the young Treesong, and serves as a handle to his character - it's no fantasy to him. He is, in fact, a multiple personality, but integrated to the point that without THE BOOK OF DREAMS - or more time to study him in person than anyone normally gets - one might never realize it. A book with only one copy, lost in Treesong's youth, worth almost any price - if one were to learn that it even existed.

While with those who have gone before, Vance tended to draw out one or two spectacular ongoing projects for each Demon Prince, we're given a more elaborate treatment of Treesong, with various anecdotes of his past turning up as well as the schemes of the present. In learning from one of his old Interworld Police Coordinating Company (IPCC) contacts just why they have so little material on the notorious Treesong, Gersen receives illumination on Treesong's character: Howard very nearly got control of the IPCC itself a few years back, enough to arrange for legitimate-sounding orders about destroying certain data on the grounds of inaccuracy. "Treesong is a sly devil. I'd still like to carve up his liver."

Chance deals Gersen a break, after many fruitless hours hunting through the records of COSMOPOLIS magazine: a photograph of a banquet sent in by a branch office, with the cryptic annotation, "H.A. Treesong is here." Digging into its provenance, Gersen is convinced of its authenticity, not least because the woman who sold it disappeared under suspicious circumstances. In a beautiful maneuver, Gersen arranges a Cosmopolis contest to name the 10 people in the photograph. At worst, he should learn enough names to get a lead; at best (and a near-certainty, if the image is any good at all) Treesong himself will take an interest, and given his penchant for privacy, he'll come close enough to give Gersen an opportunity to kill him.

The photograph itself is a clue to another of Treesong's grand schemes: it records a banquet attended by the highest-ranking members of the Institute, which itself takes a rather grandiose view of its importance in human affairs (something introduced in earlier volumes and reinforced here). The photograph leads to the first of Treesong's onstage appearances, only 3 of which involve face-to-face encounters with Gersen. Gersen's only human, after all; the greatest weapon in his arsenal is that he never gives up, not that he never suffers setbacks. (We've seen this before, particularly in THE FACE, where Gersen suffered multiple defeats at the hands of different people in the course of the story.)

Like Falushe, Treesong takes revenge for slights dating back to his school days; unlike THE PALACE OF LOVE, we see Treesong's revenge in action rather than exposition, as he attends a reunion of those who know only that he left his homeworld in disgrace, and not what he became. For the last reply to the great Cosmopolis contest - other than Treesong's own - is from Treesong's estranged father, so that just as happened with Falushe, Lens Larque, and Kokor Hekkus, the slender thread connecting Treesong's separate lives comes into Gersen's hands - utterly necessary, because otherwise a first attempt at smoking Treesong out would be the last, in pursuing a man with his peculiar talents.

The focus of THE BOOK OF DREAMS - both this book and that in the story - is on the character of Treesong: any who seek him must study him as a person, given his thoroughness about eliminating any evidence that might endanger him. The viewpoint, as always, is 3rd person following Gersen, who ironically must adopt some of the tactics of his quarry so that hunter doesn't turn hunted.
2 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle "The affair is over. I am done." 14 febbraio 2003
Di Marc Ruby™ - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
In 1981, two years after the publication of 'The Face,' Jack Vance finally completed the Demon Prince series with 'The Book of Dreams,' the story of Kirth Gersen's confrontation with Howard Alan Treesong, the last of the criminals responsible for the rape and destruction of his home world. Once again, Gersen roams the Gaian Reach looking for clues to the identity of the most mysterious of men, dragging us along helter-skelter as an intricate trap is built and sprung.
In these last two books in the series Vance makes Gersen a much more ingenious and proactive individual, whereas in the earlier books the protagonist depends more on serendipity and occasional dumb luck. Thus, in 'The Book of Dreams,' Gersen takes the thin clue of a photograph of ten diners, and builds it into an intergalactic contest to expose the identity of Treesong. In the process, he exposes the Demon Prince's plans to rule the universe, meets the beautiful Alice Wroke, and discovers that taxidermy is a weapon. All of this is much to the reader's delight.
It is sad to have this series come to a final end. Gersen's entire life has been working to the bring about the end of five poisonous men. Now, Alice Wroke in hand, the adventurer must satart a new life. Will he succeed? Is there ever peace at the end of this kind of mission? Vance gives us not a hint. Men of this heroic mold populate much of Vance's science fiction. In the end each takes his secrets with him to wherever characters go when novels end.
Vance never loses an opportunity to make gentle, but sardonic fun of the strange cultures that make up the civilization he has created. A world of 1,562 different sects, the rapacity of landing field owners, another world full of conservationists as nobility. These are the things that make the author's stories far more than simple narratives, for it is the little glimpses of the quirks of human behavior that makes these stories as alive and brilliant as they are. Colored and illuminated by a stream of quotes from galactic gazetteers and the pronouncements of the pompous Unspiek, Baron Bodissey. Of course, his creations are mirrors of his times, but it is surprising how timely Vance's wit remains years later.
2 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle I'm going to miss Kirth Gersen 18 dicembre 2010
Di Kat Hooper - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
The Book of Dreams is the final book of Jack Vance's The Demon Princes saga. Kirth Gersen must find and eliminate his last elusive enemy: Howard Alan Treesong. As usual, he has the help of his reluctant banker and there's a new Innocent Pretty Young Female to attend to, also.

The Book of Dreams is reminiscent of The Palace of Love (the third Demon Princes novel), which also featured a sensitive boy turned bad after being bullied and teased by his peers. Kirth finally tracks down Treesong at his high school reunion where he shows up to get revenge on his classmates. That scene was hilarious. There were plenty of other humorous Vanceian elements, too, including an intergalactic magazine contest and a species of sub-humans who had devolved because they don't eat meat ("the dark side of vegetarianism").

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the Demon Princes novels, but I was hoping for something extra in this final episode -- perhaps the most outrageous enemy, a near-death experience, the cleverest plot, the perfect girl -- something special to wrap up the series. Vance could have done more with Howard Alan Treesong who had multiple personalities and was planning to take over the universe. He could have been a scarier villain.

The end of The Book of Dreams was abrupt. All through the series, I've been wondering what Kirth would do when his life's work was over. Would he feel relieved? Depressed? Purposeless? This was answered in two lines at the end of The Book of Dreams. I was hoping for more, but Vance chose not to enlighten us. So, I didn't get the "go-out-with-a-bang" ending or the epilogue I was hoping for, but I'm still satisfied. Kirth Gersen is one of Jack Vance's best heroes. I'm going to miss him.
7 di 9 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Excellent! 19 luglio 2002
Di Un cliente - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
"Many fine things your father had planned for you: learning and useful work; a life of satisfaction and peace. All this is gone now, do you understand? But the learning you shall have - the use of your hands and mind. And useful work: the elimination of evil men. What work is more useful than this? Finally, I cannot give you peace, but I promise you ample satisfaction, for I shall teach you to crave the blood of these men more than the flesh of a woman."
These are the words uttered by Kirth Gersen's (sometimes called Keith Gersen) grandfather after a raid on their homeworld by 5 super-criminals (known as the 5 Demon Princes) leaves everyone but these two either dead or enslaved. True to his word, the old man forges his grandson into an unstoppable instrument of vengeance. In fact, Gersen often seems more a force a nature than a human being, more machine than man in his single-minded quest for revenge. His fighting prowess and physical abilities are without peer; likewise, his mind is sharp and focused.
I actually like some of the other books in this series better, but I found the villian in this one to be the most complex and intriguing; this particular villian has schemes within schemes and plots to take over the Gaean Reach (the area of space inhabited by man) in such a sublime and surprising manner that you won't believe it.
As with the others before him, this Demon Prince hides his true identity and Gersen must ferret him out. After his epic swindling of Interchange to the tune of 10 billion SVU, Gersen has ample financial resources, but must invariably use his hands and mind to track down the elusive demon prince known as Alan Howard Treesong.
Once again, Vance's unstoppable hero Gersen takes us on an adventure that is part sci-fi, part mystery, part thriller and all fun. This book marks the end of the series. The only part I found vaguely unsatisying is that there was not a strong enough indication of Gersen would do after his long quest for vengeance was over. The character is so memorable that it is hard to imagine that he is not the central figure in at least a dozen books/stories, like Tarzan or Sherlock Holmes. That's the worst part of this series: that we are not likely to see Kirth Gersen again after it's all over.

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