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The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley…

The Years of Rice and Salt (2002)

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,774743,179 (3.65)146

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English (67)  French (3)  Hungarian (2)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
If Kim Stanley Robinson had an editor that would whittle his books down to the essentials, he'd be perfect. As it is, he tends to ramble too much. Still, I love the idea behind this book. He writes an alternate history where the Black Plague killed off Europe, so Asia becomes the dominant world power. He explores cultures and history in great depth. Then he throws in reincarnation and spirituality, and shows the journey of a group of souls across time. A really unique book. ( )
1 vote xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
This is one of my favorites -- I love the 'alternate/possible history' aspect, and think the story is well researched. I also liked the character development and the ending. ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
I liked the concept, and it was intriguing to watch the alternate history play out. Having the characters (K-, B-, I-, and the rest) reappear through the novel linked the stories together. Yet, even as the world moved forward, there was no real sense that the characters were developing, no plot that went anywhere, and no feeling that there was any point to the book other than an exercise in alternate history. This was one of those situations in which "show, don't tell" was not necessarily a good thing. ( )
  Silvernfire | Oct 24, 2018 |
This book started well with some interesting characters but ended up as a treatise on the philosophy of history. It felt like something I hadn't signed up to in the beginning. ( )
  shushokan | Jul 3, 2018 |
People being reincarnated between different "realms" in an alternate history novel. Perhaps I could have worked more on this book, but I am not such a fan of these things, so I put it down quite quickly. ( )
  ohernaes | Feb 8, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
If there is a weakness in Robinson's work, it is perhaps this; his characters are so intelligent that they never shut up and often have fascinating conversations for page after page about the engineering of fortifications or the reconciliation of Sufism and Confucianism or, most extendedly, the ways that history works. It is always good talk, in which everyone speaks in character. For Robinson, science fiction is not only a literature of ideas, but a literature whose characters have lots of them.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe Independent, Roz Kaveney

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kim Stanley Robinsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ayers, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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TRIPITAKA: Monkey, how far is it to the Western Heaven, the abode of Buddha?

WU-KONG: You can walk from the time of your youth till the time you grow old, and after that, till you become young again; and even after going through such a cycle a thousand times, you may still find it difficult to reach the place where you want to go. But when you perceive, by the resoluteness of your will, the Buddha-nature in all things, and when every one of your thoughts goes back to that fountain in your memory, that will be the time you arrive at Spirit Mountain. -- The Journey to the West
First words
Monkey never dies.
The word of God came down to man as rain to soil, and the result was mud, not clear water.
Reincarnation is a story we tell; then in the end it's the story itself that is the reincarnation.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553580078, Mass Market Paperback)

Award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson delivers a thoughtful and powerful examination of cultures and the people who shape them. How might human history be different if 14th-century Europe was utterly wiped out by plague, and Islamic and Buddhist societies emerged as the world's dominant religious and political forces? The Years of Rice and Salt considers this question through the stories of individuals who experience and influence various crucial periods in the seven centuries that follow. The credible alternate history that Robinson constructs becomes the framework for a tapestry of ideas about philosophy, science, theology, and politics.

At the heart of the story are fundamental questions: what is the purpose of life and death? Are we eternal? Do our choices matter? The particular achievement of this book is that it weaves these threads into a story that is both intellectually and emotionally engaging. This is a highly recommended, challenging, and ambitious work. --Roz Genessee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:52 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Alternate history based on a world where the Black Death killed most of the population of Christian Europe, China, India, and the Middle East are dominant regions, and Islam and Buddhism the dominant religions.

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