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Fires of Eden by Dan Simmons

Fires of Eden

by Dan Simmons

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338749,460 (3.2)9



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Dan Simmons is a good writer. However, that is only hinted at in Fires of Eden. The story started well, but I found it growing growing increasingly tiresome as the pages wore on. The villain was cartoonishly greedy and vulgar. Another primary protagonist was barely more believable. And Simmons attempts mixing horror and farce with the result being neither scary nor funny.

I like Dan Simmons because many of his books betray deep historical and literary research on his part (e. g. the Franklin Expedition in The Terror, Greek mythology in Olympos, Charles Dickens in Drood). The research behind this novel involved Hawaiian mythology, but the writing accompanying it sometimes seems so pulpish that I was tempted to think in spots that Simmons had only done the book as a toss-off to justify his research trips to Hawaii as a tax write-off. (Glaring example of sloppy writing: in one instance a security man asks whether he should consult with the local police and "Five-O." Doesn't Simmons know there is no such thing as "Five-O" except in a television show? The security guy might as well ask whether he should send for Magnum P. I.)

Having spent some time on the Big Island of Hawaii myself, I enjoyed Fires of Eden inasmuch as it made me nostalgic for my sojourn there. Simmons describes the setting well. But unless one wants to engage in similar nostalgia, I can't really recommend the book to anyone else.
( )
  kvrfan | Apr 25, 2015 |
This book just didn't live up to other books I've read by Dan Simmons. ( )
  lalsoong | Jun 9, 2013 |
Ever since I read this fun little book, I've always had a special place in my heart for it. I suppose I'd have to chalk this up to my love for Hawaii. The sense of setting in this book is marvelous, and really makes the book -- that, and the entertaining historical Twain tie-in. To be sure, much of the action is on the loopy side, but that didn't detract from the entertainment value. One reviewer's description comparing it to a campy B-horror movie seems about right -- but a *good* campy B-horror movie.

If you like Hawaii and fun horror novels, I'd put this very high on your reading list. Otherwise, you'd probably be better off starting with some of Simmons' other work (Summer of Night, Terror). Also, for most people, this book probably deserves 3 stars, but like I said, it pushed all my buttons. ( )
  caimanjosh | May 25, 2011 |
Multi-millionaire Byron Trumbo is hot to sell his Hawaiian resort, Mauna Pele, to a group of Japanese businessmen whom he has invited to the island. However, the ancient goddess who rules the island has other ideas--including vengeance--and the strange and mysterious events that transpire on the island, in and around the resort--including murder--parallel events that happened years before when Mark Twain visited the island, barely managing to escape with his life. As the business deal nears completion, the prehistoric Hawaiian deities set off a volcano and attack the guests in force.
  johnylitnin | Mar 15, 2010 |
This is a no-brainer thriller from a master of the genre. Set in Hawaii on the big island, the plot revolves around two interrelated stories at the same point on the island and both dealing with Hawaiian gods and volcanoes, including Pele and all three active volcanoes on the island. In the first story, Eleanor Perry, a single college professor, has come to the new fancy resort on holiday; Cordei Stumpf is the very self-sufficient woman who is the big prize winner from Indiana of a fully paid holiday; Byron Trumbo is the owner of the resort trying desperately to sell it off to his Japanese investors while keeping his ex-wife and two girlfriends far apart from each other. The resort is having a spate of bad events including missing guests (or missing pieces of guests), and the weather is just getting worse. The second story is told in journal entries kept by Eleanor’s distant Aunt Kidder about her experiences on the island with a young Samuel Clemens, and how they dealt with similar horrors. There’s a lot of action involving a shark, a pig, and a dog, and the story races through to its conclusion. I enjoyed the read, but I like most of Simmons’ work. It’s not world-class literature, but it’s a fun thriller. ( )
  Prop2gether | Jun 30, 2009 |
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A Robert Block, que nos ha enseñado que el horror es solo un curioso elemento dentro de la más amplia fiesta de la vida, el amor y la risa.
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Al principio sólo se percibe el gemir del viento.
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In Hawaii, people are murdered as demons seek to rid the island of tourist resorts. Caught in the middle is Eleanor Perry, studying similar events in the previous century, those against Christian missionaries. A horror novel with a parallel by the author of Children of the Night.… (more)

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