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The Secret Books of Paradys: The Book of the…
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The Secret Books of Paradys: The Book of the Damned, The Book of the… (vuoden 2007 painos)

– tekijä: Tanith Lee (Tekijä)

Sarjat: The Secret Books of Paradys (Omnibus 1-4)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1733122,497 (4.13)5
The strange and the tormented dwell in Paradys--prowling its dark streets and twisted alleyways, passing the endless hours in the city's elegant mansions and smoke-tarnished inns, wandering in moldering graveyards and the stark surrounding countryside. For the land here is bound by a timeless, soul-chilling magic, and that power has cast its spell over all who have ever lived in this foreboding and dangerous place. All who came to Paradys were forever touched by its dread magic. The City was not one place but three, bound together by a labyrinth of ice yet separated, perhaps by time, perhaps by some long-forgotten enchantment, into Paradise, Paradis and Paradys--each cursed in an entirely different way... Witness the city of Paradys' life and history through the eyes of its provocative and perverse citizens--a darkly fascinating odyssey as only World Fantasy Award winner Tanith Lee could imagine it.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Floyd3345
Teoksen nimi:The Secret Books of Paradys: The Book of the Damned, The Book of the Beast, The Book of the Dead, The Book of the Mad
Kirjailijat:Tanith Lee (Tekijä)
Info:Overlook Hardcover (2007), 720 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:to-read

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The Secret Books of Paradys (tekijä: Tanith Lee)

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näyttää 3/3
High, high above, just before the top of the tower had broken, hung the wound of a mighty sword, a window petalled by glass ... magenta and maroon, crimson and carmine, blood, scarlet, madder and pomegranate – it bled, this glass, every petal, and as it fell down towards the east, the sunrise, it paled through every flushed nuance of roses.

A while ago, I asked for recommendations of books set in alternate versions of cities other than London, and someone recommended the Secret Books of Paradys. A couple of years later, I finally got round to borrowed an enormous omnibus edition of The Secret Books of Paradys from the library, intending to take it back to the library after reading the first two books and borrow it again later to read the other two books, as I tend to get bored with series if I read the books too close together. But by the time I finished the second book there was no sign of boredom or my interest flagging, so I decided to carry on and I’m glad I did, as this is a fantastic and fantastical series, and I enjoyed each book better than the last.

Paradys is an alternate version of Paris, and the stories are set at various times in its history from the last days of the Roman Empire to the 20th century.

The Book of the Damned contains three novellas set in Paradys, an alternate version of Paris, the first in the eighteenth and/or early nineteenth century, the second in the Middle Ages, and the last at the turn of the twentieth century with flashbacks to the time when the city was ruled by the Romans. The stories are linked by windows with coloured glass, jewellery in matching colours (a ruby ring, a topaz cross and an earring decorated with a sapphire spider), and characters who present as both male and female.

The Book of the Beast is the story of a family cursed by demonic possession linked to an ancient amulet, from the time the amulet is given to a Roman centurion stationed at Paradys until the curse passes to a student who is lodging in the family’s mansion after the death of the centurion’s last descendants.

The Book of the Dead contains individual short stories short stories about death, linked by someone walking through graveyards and past solitary graves and telling stories about the occupants of various marble tombs and graves.

The Book of the Mad contains three novellas set Paradys and the equivalent cities in two other worlds. The stories of a girl sent mad by love who is sent to a nineteenth century asylum, an artist imprisoned in a much more salubrious mental hospital by greedy relatives who want to steal her inheritance, and a homicidal brother and sister in a decaying city, are linked by the siblings uncle, who found a way to move between the worlds and made them his heirs in two worlds. ( )
1 ääni isabelx | Oct 13, 2015 |
Tanith Lee is one of those authors whose prose I love more than the contents of her stories. Her sentences skilfully alternate between direct statements and suggestive similes pregnant with metaphors and above all colours. Her characters tend to be sketchy, excuses for stories and world-building rather than realistically depicted made-up (non-)humans. As such, the characters bleed into the background, and the plots, such as they are, become less a matter of character development and more a matter of imagery development. Lee's stories feel like a confrontation between abstract categories, themes and colours associated with the characters and with the situations, religions and emotions they find themselves saddled with. She aims to paint an overwhelmingly colourful canvas that is very much non-figurative, but oh so suggestive and evocative and atmospheric. And suddenly all the unusual plot twists or plot threads that don't quite make sense make perfect emotional sense.

The stories, novellas and novels that make up the four Secret Books of Paradys can be read independently of each other and in any order; their links are thematic and atmospheric in nature, and they share as background the city of Paradys, an alternative version of Paris. (the name derives from a Roman outpost at a Barbaric settlement, named after the mythological Underworld Par Dis, for the subterranean silver mines that ran dry a few decades after.) The tales are more or less presented as curious episodes taken from many different time periods of the city, all lushly evoked. Some are set in a 4th-century-style era where the Legions have been recalled to protect a weakened Rome far away; others in a fourteenth century wracked by theocracy and the Plague; still others are constructed around Renaissance-style squalor, eighteenth-century duels, nineteenth-century theatre actors, early twentieth-century journalists, contemporary drunken artistes and a future era of heavy pollution and systematic madness.

These Books of Paradys are populated by Tanith Lee's trademark characters: byronesque poets, monstrously evil villains, punch-clock heroes, and emotionally empty young women utterly and intentionally detached from reality. They feature family tree curses, vampires, graves and cruel insane asylums. Their genre is clearly some form of dark, gothic fantasy, full of tragic ladies, welcoming nights and abandoned places, and Lee's weird imagination fills these genre trappings till they burst.

If you read some of these Books of Paradys for their gothic plots, their dark fantasy or the unusual imagination that runs through them, they'll probably do as well as other representatives of the genre, if not better. What sets them apart is Tanith Lee as a stylist: she goes for your emotional throat, and her pitch-perfect prose paints such vivid images to go with the grotesque plots that reading her becomes a sensuous experience. ( )
  Petroglyph | Jul 9, 2013 |
This omnibus consists of four books set (more or less) in Paradys, Lee's dark fantasy version(s) of Paris. Even when I didn't like a particular story here, I loved never knowing where Lee was going to take me next. It was quite a ride!

THE BOOK OF THE DAMNED
Three dark novellas set in different eras of Paradys. There's some great writing here, yet I found these three stories incomprehensible, horrifying (in a not fun way) and forgettable, respectively.

THE BOOK OF THE BEAST
An unusually structured book about a curse that has afflicted Paradys since ancient times. I loved Lee's depiction of a Roman outpost in the dying days of the Empire.

THE BOOK OF THE DEAD
Eight tales that can be grouped together very loosely as horror stories—though most of them are far less horrifying than the other "Books of Paradys." (It's a stretch to call some of them "Paradys" stories.) I did love "Lost in the World," a Lovecraftian take on Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.

THE BOOK OF THE MAD
My favorite book of Paradys, this novel alternates between Paradys, Paradis and Paradise, parallel cities in parallel worlds.
1 ääni noveltea | Mar 8, 2012 |
näyttää 3/3
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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The strange and the tormented dwell in Paradys--prowling its dark streets and twisted alleyways, passing the endless hours in the city's elegant mansions and smoke-tarnished inns, wandering in moldering graveyards and the stark surrounding countryside. For the land here is bound by a timeless, soul-chilling magic, and that power has cast its spell over all who have ever lived in this foreboding and dangerous place. All who came to Paradys were forever touched by its dread magic. The City was not one place but three, bound together by a labyrinth of ice yet separated, perhaps by time, perhaps by some long-forgotten enchantment, into Paradise, Paradis and Paradys--each cursed in an entirely different way... Witness the city of Paradys' life and history through the eyes of its provocative and perverse citizens--a darkly fascinating odyssey as only World Fantasy Award winner Tanith Lee could imagine it.

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