Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Book Review

Hyperion by Dan Simmons


I gave Hyperion three stars, which means I would not read it again in its entirety, but I would read other books by the author. In particular I found the story (or in this case, stories) dragged on a little too much for my taste. Too many things were being explained to me. But at the same time, many parts of the stories were engaging enough to make me want to read the next book in the series to see what happens.


Why didn’t I give Hyperion four stars, which would mean I would read it again? Well, because I felt that once was enough. A second reading would certainly give me a better appreciation of the complex plot and the very imaginative universe created by Dan Simmons. But that would be a lot of work which I do not want to do. And I don’t think I could squeeze much more satisfaction from the stories. I got what I got.


You have to dig through a lot when you read Hyperion from beginning to end. With some books that hard work is rewarded. But I just didn’t feel it was worth the effort with Hyperion. Perhaps it was the lame ending? No, I could live with that. Perhaps it was because I just could not get behind a couple of the characters? Yeah, that was probably the reason. Some of the characters seemed “book tough”. You know they swear a lot, have gratuitous sex, and then kill somebody. But they were not believable to me. I could not fathom why they were doing the things they were doing.


So if it was that disappointing, why didn’t I give Hyperion two stars? Well, because it wasn’t that disappointing. (Notice I said “some”.) I think it was brilliant the way the author let his character’s tell their own stories, which allowed him to write in several different styles. You can’t do that in most books. It won’t work. But Dan Simmons made it work in Hyperion. Brilliant!


I think for me the verdict is out on Hyperion. Some book series start out strong and weaken as the story moves forward. And others start out a little weak, but build to a fantastic performance. Perhaps Hyperion is one of the latter. I will not glorify or condemn Hyperion. I will reserve my opinion until after I read the second book (as soon as it becomes available at the local library).


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