Friday, June 02, 2006

Ilium - Dan Simmons

It's about the Trojan War. On Mars. In the future. Not a metaphorical, allegorical or alternative-historical retelling of the Trojan War, it's the ACTUAL Trojan War. On Mars. In the future. Gods and Greeks and all.

Now, imagine the hoops any author would have to jump through to make a convincing story out of this, then throw in some added nonsense about The Tempest and a badly-thought-out nanotech-riddled future Earth, and you will go some way to understanding how this book fails so very badly...

The annoying thing is, I used to love Dan Simmons. The Hyperion cantos were great and intelligently written epic SF/horror/fantasy stories, and I even sacrificed an entire weekend of the precious snowboarding season so I could stay home and read them, but having read this load of toss I am unlikely ever to read his books again. The main plot is contrived and ludicrous, and the sub-plots seem to be clumsily shoehorned in just so the author can show off his vast literary knowledge (is there really any need to have a couple of robots discussing Proust and Shakespeare?).

You know how Raiders of the Lost Ark was a great film, then they took the same formula with added jingly bits and made the travesty that was Temple of Doom? Mr Simmons is clearly trying to repeat the Hyperion thing, but has ended up with a book that is actually even worse than Temple of Doom. In fact, it's even worse than the film Troy. Avoid like plague.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:15 am  
Blogger Jamie said...


Can totally see where you're coming from re Ilium, but you'd be missing out on 'The Terror', which is an amazing book in my opinion...


5:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did think the literary robots were a bit much, but overall liked it very much.

8:31 am  

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