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Author Topic: Awake In The Night Land (Book Review)  (Read 312 times)
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September 18, 2016, 05:23:54 AM

I wanted to share with you my all time favorite book by an author you may have never heard of. As a fan of both Science Fiction and Fantasy I have read many many books everything from the classics of Tolkien and Asimov to modern and mostly inferior works. Having reached an age where the wonders of youthful imagination have slightly faded I did not expect to ever find a book that would displace the favorites of my youth. I was wrong. Other reviews have done this book far more justice then I can ever do so I will quote some of their words below.


Quote from: Nate and Julie
Moments ago I finished Awake in the Night Land by John C. Wright.

As I sit to give you my thoughts on it... the first thing that comes to mind is a question. How does one review... or critique... something like this? I am unfit.

One does not critique the great works of literature. One appreciates them. You define good and bad by them. Good and bad do not apply to them.

And so... it is with quivering hand that I must Awake in the Night Land in the most cherished of bookcases... where it will stand. Not with the merely great. Not with Zelazny or Heinlein. No. It rests with the masters that tower over the merely great. It shall stand with Tolstoy.... with Faulkner... Defoe... Melville.

A few men have great things to say. A few great men say things beautifully.

Cherish the tiny few who say a great thing in a beautiful way.

John C Wright is one such man. Awake in the Night Land is one of the finest books of any type in any genre I have ever read. It is Moby Dick. It is Paradise Lost. It is Crime and Punishment.

This is not hyperbole. Great books challenge you. They speak to the spark in your soul. One may improve himself... by merely reading them.


Go and read. Go and appreciate.

Quote from: Vox Day
I have written a number of books. Never once have I said to you, my readers, "you must read this book". That is because I have never written a book like this one. There are a very small number of books of which I would say "you must read this book": The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Watership Down by Richard Adams.

There were also others that came close, books that I enjoyed very much indeed, but did not quite justify the assertion. Embassytown by China Mieville. Cryptonomicon and Anathem by Neal Stephenson. A Game of Thrones by George Martin. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. Dune by Frank Herbert.

I will tell you now that if you appreciate excellent books, then you must read this one. I cannot imagine you will regret it.

Quote from: Sean Patterson
I read this book a month ago. My intent was to review it immediately but I found that I couldn't. I purchased it based on the reviews of other readers and, for all that it impressed me, I couldn't concur with them. I agreed with the components; darkness, heroism, fatalism, valour, pride, corruption in a landscape of inimical intent toward all that is human. But there was something that bothered me, something that was missing in the descriptions.

The four tales develop the theme through the lives of four people who confront this horror, each in their own way, for their own motivations, and with different ends. The stories cover aeons of time, linked by the refusal of the protagonists to submit to the certainty of failure forseen by their situation and prophets.

Finally, it struck me. I had been fooled. Completely. In the heart of one of the darkest and most nihilistic narratives that I have ever read was a love story. A twisted ribbon of love between man and woman, brother and sister, father and son, generation by generation, through eternity.

Congratulations Mr.Wright, you made this hard old bastard weep.

AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND is an epic collection of four of John C. Wright's brilliant forays into the dark fantasy world of William Hope Hodgson's 1912 novel, The Night Land. Part novel, part anthology, the book consists of four related novellas, "Awake in the Night", "The Cry of the Night-Hound", "Silence of the Night", and "The Last of All Suns", which collectively tell the haunting tale of the Last Redoubt of Man and the end of the human race. Widely considered to be the finest tribute to Hodgson ever written, the first novella, "Awake in the Night", was previously published in 2004 in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-First Annual Collection. AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND marks the first time all four novellas have been gathered into a single volume. John C. Wright has been described by reviewers as one of the most important and audacious authors in science fiction today. In a recent poll of more than 1,000 science fiction readers, he was chosen as the sixth-greatest living science fiction writer.

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