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The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg
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The Book of Skulls (1972)

by Robert Silverberg

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8262016,649 (3.6)19
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» See also 19 mentions

English (19)  Italian (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
#58
  bookstopshere | Apr 17, 2019 |
Well, I must say this isn't quite what I was expecting, and I'm one of the readers who doesn't think of this as a true SF book. Even the author himself debates it's genre in the afterword.
The first half, especially, is more of a character study of the 4 main characters. It's masterfully written however, and keeps you interested even without all that much actually happening. The second half is also mostly character based, but with more stuff happening. Some of what happens, or is discussed, could make some readers uncomfortable, and I think the theme of sexuality was used a bit too much. This actually turned me off from the book to a degree, not because I have a problem with that sort of thing, but because I wanted more, or something different, from the book.
Overall, I think this is a book male readers would appreciate more than female readers. ( )
  AngelaJMaher | Jun 19, 2018 |
Another killer New Wave SF masterpiece from Silverberg. The changing perspectives captivated me when I read it as a teenager, and I loved the ending. ( )
  picklefactory | Jan 16, 2018 |
There is an order of monks who will grant you eternal life. So a group of friends go looking for them. We discuss death andd life a lot. Not the best Silverberg, but striking cover art. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jul 20, 2017 |
Four college students stumble on an old manuscript offering eternal life - for a price. So, of course, they go check it out to see if they can achieve immortality.

The book itself is told from the points of view of the four friends - shifting narrators with each chapter. According to the foreword, this change of voice was extremely challenging for Silverberg to pull off. I can certainly see how it would be difficult to write - in places it was just as difficult to read. For me, overall, the book had a very Twilight Zone-ish feel - paranormal situation coupled with human frailty.

There was a lot of page real estate spent on sex and sexual orientation - hetero and homo - a long with various sexual misdeeds including rape, seduction, incest, adultery, orgies, etc. More than I needed. ( )
  helver | Jul 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Silverbergprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alexander, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, CarlCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Saul Diskin
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Coming into New York City from the north, off the New England Thruway, Oliver driving as usual.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Four students discover a manuscript, The Book of Skulls, which reveals the existence of a sect, now living in the Arizona desert, whose members can offer immortality to those who can complete its initiation rite. To their surprise, they discover that the sect exists, and is willing to accept them as acolytes. But for each group of four who enter the rite, two must die in order for the others to succeed.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345471385, Paperback)

Seeking the immortality promised in an ancient manuscript, The Book of Skulls, four friends, college roommates, go on a spring break trip to Arizona: Eli, the scholar, who found and translated the book; Timothy, scion of an American dynasty, born and bred to lead; Ned, poet and cynic; and Oliver, the brilliant farm boy obsessed with death.

Somewhere in the desert lies the House of Skulls, where a mystic brotherhood guards the secret of eternal life. There, the four aspirants will present themselves–and a horrific price will be demanded.

For immortality requires sacrifice. Two victims to balance two survivors. One by suicide, one by murder.

Now, beneath the gaze of grinning skulls, the terror begins. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:35 -0400)

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Seeking the immorality promised in an ancient manuscript, four friends go on a spring trip to Arizona.

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