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Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny

Damnation Alley (original 1969; edition 2001)

by Roger Zelazny

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8051811,232 (3.31)5
Title:Damnation Alley
Authors:Roger Zelazny
Info:I Books (2001), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

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Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny (1969)

  1. 20
    Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Walter Jon Williams wrote Hardwired as an homage to Roger Zelazny's Damnation Alley

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  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
If you are going to read just one book by Roger Zelazny, don't let it be this one. Not up to his usual standards. Interesting from the standpoint of melding two fascinations of the times (biker gangs and post-apocalyptic survival), but the plot is silly, the execution not much better, and it fails to develop any compelling characters. ( )
  pdp | Apr 6, 2013 |
Not to be confused with the horrifyingly bad Hollywood movie that was (barely) derived from Zelazny's novella, Damnation Alley is a wonderful, action-filled-yet-highly literate read.

This post-apocalyptic thriller begins with an America physically split in two by a dead zone of uncatalogued horrors, and the lead character - a convict with few redeeming qualities - attempts to drive the alley, bringing badly medicine to the east coast.

Zelazny's wonderfully spare style shines, and he whips up some interesting obstacles for our (anti) hero.

Another example of Zelazny's taut prose, and well worth the read. ( )
  TCWriter | Mar 31, 2013 |
Read this also back in highschool. There's a movie based on this book. The book was entertaining. ( )
  bibliosk8er | Aug 14, 2012 |
Damnation Alley contains some darn good writing much to my surprise. I've never read Mr. Zelazny before, he's one of those early science fiction writers who really cranked 'em out back in the day, but he never caught my interest until now. Turns out he can write a good piece of tough guy noir. Take this more-or-less random sample for example. Be warned, this passage contains a brilliant, but graphic sexual metaphor.

He was moving along a clean, hard, wide road, and just then he wanted to travel it forever--to Florida, of the swamps and Spanish moss and citrus groves and fine beaches and the Gulf; and up to the cold, rocky Cape, where everything is gray and brown and the waves break below the lighthouses and the salt burns in your nose and there are graveyards where bones have lain for centuries and you can still read the names they bore, chiseled there into the stones above them; down through the nation where they say the grass is blue; then follow the mighty Missus Hip to the place where she spreads and comes and there's the Gulf again, full of little islands where the old boosters stashed their loot; and through the shag-topped mountains he'd heard about: the Smokies, Ozarks, Poconos, Catskills; drive through the forest of Shenandoah; park, and take a boat out over Chesapeake Bay; see the big lakes and the place where the water falls, Niagara. To drive forever along the big road, to see everything, to eat the world.

I know the feeling. And this is not the writing I expected to find in a story like this one.

Mr. Zelazny's hero is a former biker, a devoted Hell's Angel, called Hell Tanner. He is pardoned from a life-term by the nation of California on the condition that he take the needed serum cross country to from L.A. to Boston in time to save the city from a plague outbreak. The country in between, ravaged by nuclear war, is now a wasteland full of deadly tornado like winds, mutant predatorary animals and small bands of humans just as dangerous and predatory as the animals are.

It's all very dime-store novel, think Road Warrior, but the book rises above its material much like The Wages of Fear, Henri-Georges Clouzot's movie about four down-on-their-luck drifters who take the job of hauling two truckloads of nitroglycerin through the mountains of Venezuela to help put out an oil well fire. It's a great movie that rises above it's premise and I think a very apt comparison to Damnation Alley. ( )
1 vote CBJames | Jul 5, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roger Zelaznyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davies, Gordon CCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guttierrez, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, EddieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Across a United States all but destroyed by war and characterized by violent storms and giant bats and snakes, men embark on a seemingly doomed mission to deliver an antiserum to plague-ridden Boston.

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