Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

March Books 24) The Dead Man's Brother, by Roger Zelazny

I'm a die-hard Zelazny fan, and when I heard that this book - written in the early 1970s, at about the same time as Today We Choose Faces and My Name Is Legion - had finally been published, I was delighted but also a little worried. Even we die-hard Zelazny fans would have to admit that his later novels from the 1990s were not really of the same quality, though his short fiction was still consistent with his earlier output. Also, of course, it's not that long since I read Variable Star, and concluded that Heinlein had probably had the right idea when he locked away its manuscript for the rest of his life.

The Dead Man's Brother is a much better book than Variable Star. It is a more or less non-sfnal thriller (I say "more or less" because it is hinted that the narrator, being of course a Zelazny hero, has special abilities) set in contemporary (ie early 70s) Rome and Brazil. The Zelazny hard-bitten writing style is gloriously there. His narrator is more misogynistic than most Zelazny characters, but matures a bit in the course of the story. The cover is rather gloriously tacky, featuring our hero cradling the heroine while clutching a ridiculously phallic machete. In short, I enjoyed it, and would even recommend it as a gateway book for non-Zelazny fans.
Tags: bookblog 2009, writer: zelazny

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