Read With a Tangled Skein by Piers Anthony Free Online
Book Title: With a Tangled Skein|
Date of issue: October 1986
ISBN 13: 9780345318855
The author of the book: Piers Anthony
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 654 KB
Edition: Random House Ballantine Del Rey
Read full description of the books With a Tangled Skein:Reading Piers Anthony can be a bit of a bumpy ride.
His books usually feature some minor detours into ploddyville and at least one horrible sightseeing escapade through skeevytown that leaves you feeling soiled and very uncomfortable.
So I grant you that there is definitely potential for some boring and the genuine risk of UGH in a Piers Anthony tale.
However, for all the literary potholes and ICKness he pours into his stories, this pervy old man is also a creative GENIUS who can occasionally spin threads of pure awesome that make the overall journey worth taking.
Speaking of pure, creative genius, can you say rocket-powered barcalounger...
Anthony is first and foremost an idea guy and The sf/fantasy concepts swimming around this story (and the series as a whole) rate extremely high on the mind-blowing scale. However, just like shopping for those great flat screen TV “deals” on Black Friday, the path to get to the good stuff can be cluttered, uncomfortable and quite a chore.
Stick with it and I think you will be pleased with the result.
The stark contrast between this book’s good and bad elements has left me rather schizoid. I feel like Sybil off her meds trying to keep all the different voices/viewpoints straight in my head. I figure the best thing to do is to let each voice speak their piece and we can work out the math at the end... I will however tone down, for the most part, the really irate voice who just wants to bitchslap Piers Anthony for his predilection to delve into skeevy, sexual topics rather than keeping focus on his impressive ideas.
Voice #1 thinks the story was fairly well written and had some engaging, plucky characters that were, on average, fun to hang out with for a few hours. He thinks the book is just fine and worth a read, but not much more.
Voice #2 thinks the world-building and sf/fantasy elements are sensational. The concept of the universe being run/ordered by seven “Incarnations” of Reality (i.e. Death, Time, Fate, War, Nature, Evil and Good) is cleverly done and Anthony's descriptions are excellent. Anthony is well deserving of propers for his prodigious imagination.
Even more interesting than the fact of the Incarnations, is the idea that, except for the permanent representatives of Evil (Satan) and Good (God), the other five posts are filled by mortals who must assume and grow into the traits and powers of the office they hold. Again, well thought out creativity is Anthony's strong suit and he is on his game here.
MAJOR GENIUS MOMENT:
Voice #3 (kind of a gusher) was blown away by one particular idea in the story and thinks a 5 star rating is deserved based on it alone. This exceptionally compelling piece of concept creation occurred during a conversation between Satan and the main character, Niobe, who assumed the role of the Incarnation of Fate at the beginning of the story. Satan, for his own purposes, describes to Niobe “how the universe works” and why her job of taking the "substance of chaos" and weaving it into the “tapestry of Fate” is so critical to the order of things.
During this conversation, Satan explains that the "purpose" of life is to take chaos material (which contains good, evil and neutral aspects) and run it through the "filter" of "animated free will" (i.e., life). This allows the chaos to be sorted into either "good" or "evil." Once all of the chaos has been sorted, life as a universal label maker will no longer be necessary and existence will end. God and Satan will then tally up their respective points and the final victor in the big game will be decided.
This whole discussion is jaw-droppingly brilliant and a fantastic piece of writing. The description of life as a 3D game board is captivating and this worldview is going to stick to my brain for some time. When Anthony is in his groove, he can really make the story sing.
Unfortunately, not every voice in my noggin is singing Anthony’s praises. Voice #4, a deep, loud and nasty baritone voice, thinks large portions of the book blows chunks of bland tasting meh-cakes dipped in boring sauce and served with an uncomfortable garnish of skeevy. At best, some of the male/female interactions are eye-rollingly stereotypical and will make you cringe. At worst, they're lecherous to downright misogynistic and will make you feel soiled.
Having read a number of Anthony’s books, I’ve come expect that I will need to slog through some cringe-worthy crap to find the pearls of awesome. Each time I just hope that the gems are worth it. Fortunately, in his case, the positive outweighed the negative (3 voices to 1 if you are keeping score at home).
Overall, I would call it a decent to good book with excellent world-building and flashes of genius that make reading the book worthwhile.
3.0 stars. Recommended
Read information about the authorThough he spent the first four years of his life in England, Piers never returned to live in his country of birth after moving to Spain and immigrated to America at age six. After graduating with a B.A. from Goddard College, he married one of his fellow students and and spent fifteen years in an assortment of professions before he began writing fiction full-time.
Piers is a self-proclaimed environmentalist and lives on a tree farm in Florida with his wife. They have two grown daughters.
Add a comment to With a Tangled Skein
Read EBOOK With a Tangled Skein by Piers Anthony Online free