HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Eyes of the Overworld by Jack Vance
Loading...

The Eyes of the Overworld (1966)

by Jack Vance

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dying Earth (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4751321,755 (3.85)13
Recently added byprivate library, SteamDave, Maddz, tleemans, qizz, oceanparkguy, neilchristie, Ayelin, jazzmitch

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 13 mentions

English (11)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The Eyes of the Overworld is the second part of Tales of the Dying Earth and the main character is one of my favorite Vance characters: the self-titled Cugel the Clever. Cugel is not the kind of guy you want to have dealings with — he’s clever, sneaky, completely selfish and remorseless. He is always trying to figure out how he can take advantage of other people in order to make his own circumstances better.

In The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel decides to burglarize the house of Iuounu the Laughing Magician so he can sell some of Iuounu’s thaumaturgical artifacts. But the magician catches Cugel and punishes him by setting him on a quest to procure a lens which allows the wearer to view the overworld.

Cugel is clever, but as clever as he is, he often finds himself facing a foe who, at least temporarily, manages to outwit him (which invariably surprises Cugel). This time his quest leads him on a series of misadventures in which he: gets captured by rat people… is forced to be the watchman of a village… steals more than one person’s inheritance… deals with demons… trades a woman for information… impersonates a god… and travels a million years into the past. Wherever he goes, Cugel, sometimes purposely and sometimes unwittingly, leaves sorrow and destruction in his wake. He deprives people of their hope, their faith and, often, their lives.

This doesn’t sound like it should be very entertaining, but oh, it is! That’s because the story is written in Jack Vance’s singular style: high language, bizarre occurrences, and Vance’s characteristic humor. I hate to say it again, but the best comparison I can make is to Monty Python. If you’re a fan of that type of strange dark humor, then this should be your thing.

I listened to The Eyes of the Overworld in audio format. I can’t express how excited I was to learn that Brilliance Audio was producing these, and I’m pleased to report that they did an excellent job. Arthur Morey once again brought out all of the nuances of Vance’s humor and he made a perfect Cugel. In fact, The Eyes of the Overworld was even better than The Dying Earth, probably because it follows the same main character rather than being divided up into separate short stories. I loved it.
Read this review in context at ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

I’ve already said, numerous times, how much I love Jack Vance, so I’ll skip all that this time. You can read other reviews on this page if you missed that.

The Eyes of the Overworld is the second part of Tales of the Dying Earth and the main character is one of my favorite Vance characters: the self-titled Cugel the Clever. Cugel is not the kind of guy you want to have dealings with — he’s clever, sneaky, completely selfish and remorseless. He is always trying to figure out how he can take advantage of other people in order to make his own circumstances better.

In The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel decides to burglarize the house of Iucounu the Laughing Magician so he can sell some of Iucounu’s thaumaturgical artifacts. But the magician catches Cugel and punishes him by setting him on a quest to procure a lens which allows the wearer to view the overworld.

Cugel is clever, but as clever as he is, he often finds himself facing a foe who, at least temporarily, manages to outwit him (which invariably surprises Cugel). This time his quest leads him on a series of misadventures in which he: gets captured by rat people… is forced to be the watchman of a village… steals more than one person’s inheritance… deals with demons… trades a woman for information… impersonates a god… and travels a million years into the past. Wherever he goes, Cugel, sometimes purposely and sometimes unwittingly, leaves sorrow and destruction in his wake. He deprives people of their hope, their faith and, often, their lives.

This doesn’t sound like it should be very entertaining, but oh, it is! That’s because the story is written in Jack Vance’s singular style: high language, bizarre occurrences, and Vance’s characteristic humor. I hate to say it again, but the best comparison I can make is to Monty Python. If you’re a fan of that type of strange dark humor, then this should be your thing.

I listened to The Eyes of the Overworld in audio format. I can’t express how excited I was to learn that Brilliance Audio was producing these, and I’m pleased to report that they did an excellent job. Arthur Morey once again brought out all of the nuances of Vance’s humor and he made a perfect Cugel. In fact, The Eyes of the Overworld was even better than The Dying Earth, probably because it follows the same main character rather than being divided up into separate short stories. I loved it. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Vance returns to his Dying Earth setting and introduces us to the dubiously titled Cugel the Clever. It's a wonderful read, even if the stories within are very episodic, since Vance's prose is a delight to read - few authors manage to marry precision, clarity and lightness of touch so well. There is the odd misstep - Cugel being sent back in time to search for Totality was a weak episode - but overall the collection is very strong and Cugel such a fun character, despite his rogue-ish ways, you can't help but enjoy reading of his adventures. It's not life changing, but it's damn good fun. ( )
  DRFP | Dec 12, 2013 |
I loved this book. The character is a borderline sociopath but extremely amusing. Accordingly, Vance's prose style is quite artistic. He is the type of writer whose phrases you can roll over your tongue over and over. With risk of being hyperbolic, I would say Vance's work is lyrical. As far as the plot is concerned, I'll offer a little summary: the novel is about a Rogue named Cugel the Clever (he only thinks he's clever--he's actually somewhat of a fool). Cugel decides to rob a sorcerer's private abode. Alas, he gets caught. The sorcerer then forces him to commit to an adventure on his behalf. He has to go and get a magical artifact. Using his sorcery the sorcerer throws Cugel halfway across a decadent world filled with monsters, demons, strange cities, horrible wastes, etc. etc.. Thus, Cugel has to finish his mission and make his way home. In terms of structure, the novel is kind of a "picaresque novel," a linear narrative that includes a variety of episodic encounters. If you liked Jack Vance's, *The Dying Earth,* you'll love this--but, never fear! It is not a sequel to that book. It only takes place in the same world as that previous novel. To wrap things up: if you like weirdness and beautiful language, rogue-like characters whose silly behavior will have you in tears, science-romances or romantic fantasies, then *drum roll* this book is for you.
1 vote jsnrcrny | Jan 5, 2012 |
One of the adventures of Cugel the Clever. Jack Vance is the only one as far as I know who can combine humor and science fiction in a succesful way. The Cugel books are not to be missed. ( )
  PietWester | Sep 19, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jack Vanceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fabian, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poyser, VictoriaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Sarabande der Zauberer contains German translations of both The Dying Earthand Rhialto the Marvelous.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
12 wanted1 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.85)
0.5
1
1.5 1
2 5
2.5 3
3 20
3.5 9
4 26
4.5 7
5 24

Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,821,564 books! | Top bar: Always visible