Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rerun: Lord of Light

"His followers called him Mahatmasaman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the mahatma and the aman and just be called Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then again, he never claimed not to be a god. Circumstances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit. Silence, though, could.

"Therefore, there was mystery about him."

- Opening papargraphs from Lord of Light

Its always tough to review a master and not sound like you're just one of the multitude that love his work. Guilty! That's me - I love Zelazny. I've never read a bad book or short story that he wrote. But even he had works that stood out from the bulk of his writing. Lord of Light is one of those works. It won the Hugo in 1968 (when even I was just a pup) and has stood the test of time as a classic. Its every bit as cogent and timely now as it was back then - heck, maybe more so.

Immortality has been granted to the elite, by - well - the elite. They also have unimaginable technologies at their command. And so they rule their new world as gods. With all their human frailties, egos and insecurities still intact. Not a good thing for those not of the inner circle...at least as far as Sam is concerned. But what's one guy supposed to do? Raise demons and attack heaven? Well, if that's what it takes...

This book is an incredible mixture of mythology, science, politics and foibles. As always, Zelazny captures the best and the worst of the human condition in characters that are, at the same time, both larger than life and easy to identify with. This one makes my top 25, and is only just barely out of my top 10. But them again, This Immortal is in my top 10. Nobody writes like Zelazny. Thank God! I couldn't afford the darned books if there was another one!


2 comments:

said...

教育的目的,不在應該思考什麼,而是教吾人怎樣思考.........................

單存 said...

思想與理論,貴呼先於行動,但行動較思想或理論更高貴..................................................