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Dhalgren (Vintage)

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Dhalgren (Vintage) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375706684
ISBN10: 0375706682
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Dhalgren, perhaps one of the most profound and bestselling science fiction novels of all time, Samuel R. Delany has produced a novel "to stand with the best American fiction of the 1970s" (Jonathan Lethem).

Bellona is a city at the dead center of the United States. Something has happened there. The population has fled. Madmen and criminals wander the streets. Strange portents appear in the cloud-covered sky. And into this disaster zone comes a young man — poet, lover, and adventurer — known only as the Kid. Tackling questions of race, gender, and sexuality, Dhalgren is a literary marvel and groundbreaking work of American magical realism.

Review:

"A Joycean tour de force of a novel, Dhalgren...stake[s] a better claim than anything published in the country in the last quarter-century (excepting only Gass's Omensetter's Luck and Nabokov's Pale Fire) to a permanent place as one of the enduring monuments of our national literature." The Libertarian Review

Review:

"Ultimately, a study in identity and illusion, Delany's huge and difficult novel will interest admirers of Ballard, Pynchon, and the like, though one suspects there's many an unread copy of the original mass market edition floating around." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Dhalgren features themes of racial identity, religious faith, and self-awareness revealed in a multilayered plot that will be right at home with today's audiences." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Journeying to the central United States city of Bellona, where all have fled save madmen and criminals, a poet and adventurer known only as the Kid wonders at the strange portents that appear in the city's cloud-covered sky.

About the Author

After his seventh novel Empire Star (1966), Samuel Delany began publishing short fiction professionally with "The Star Pit." It appeared in Worlds of Tomorrow and was turned into a popular two-hour radio play, broadcast annually over WBAI-FM for more than a decade. Two tales, "Aye, and Gomorrah" and "Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-precious Stones," won Nebula Awards as best SF short stories of, respectively, 1967 and 1969. Aye, and Gomorrah contains all the significant short science fiction and fantasy Delany published between 1965 and 1988, excepting only those tales in his "Return to Nevèrÿon" series. A native New Yorker, Delany teaches English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia. In July of 2002 he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Edward Martin III, December 7, 2006 (view all comments by Edward Martin III)
The first time I read this book, I was about sixteen years old and even at that early an age (for this sort of book, that is a fairly early age), the imagery haunted me. A city on the edge of nothing, eternally wreathed in smoke and fog and fires that never went out. Things would burn down, there would be fire and chaos, and the next day, those same buildings would be intact -- subtly different, but intact. The huge bloody sun leaping up into the sky, curling in a short arc, and then dropping back out in a matter of hours. A man who can't remember his name writing poetry in a half-filled book claimed by no one else. A newspaper that has the same date on it whenever it's published. Flashing flowers of razor brass blades strapped to hands with leather thongs. Flashing brilliant gangs of holographic creatures marching down dark, silent streets. Two moons blazing in the sky, people staring in awe.

This I remember from the first time I read it, more than twenty years ago.

Now, I read it again and all of these images are there, all as brilliant and vivid as before and there's even more than that -- a woman shifting, melding, turning into a weeping tree beneath her lover's protesting hands, people sheathed in chains of crystal prisms, each chain found in circumstances as cryptic as they are individual. The snapping of power projectors, filling a dark street with the dancing lights of mythical creatures, scorpions, hippogriffs, dragons, and one amorphous blob. A boy at the bottom of an elevator shaft, his body broken and shattered, being carried to his mother, who is already testing her own limits against the environment of an insane city. Outrageous and marvelous sex in lofts and rooms. Houses packed with people, dangerous, lazy, and unforgettable. A girl, barely a woman, orbiting around her only lover, loathing him and loving him and terrified of him. Red eyes glowing in the dark night and blind people with pits for eyes being led through fires and raining debris. Artichokes. The voice from behind the bricks. The mouse on the moon that no one ever knew about.

Good science fiction should leave you breathless. It should take what you know and push you to a place that you never expected to be. Good science fiction should leave you uncomfortable, feeling awkward, feeling raw, even, as if to say "There, but for the grace of God go I.". Sometimes I like to read to escape and sometimes I like to read to be glad I already have.

Dhalgren is the story of a stable system, a city of perpetual and unbelievable violence and savagery. It's the story of a man entering the city -- a man with no name and no memory, a poet, a visionary,a lover, a madman. But in this city, in Bellona, where night and craziness and unreality rules, twin moons lurk in the sky and the occasional giant sun casts it sickly light below, this madman makes his own place and calls it home. Here he finds a new family, a family that treats him as a new person, who aren't bothered by his past or his name or his purpose, who all have their own pasts and names and purposes to forget.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375706684
Author:
Delany, Samuel R.
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Author:
Samuel R. Delany Foreword by William Gibson
Location:
New York
Subject:
City and town life
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Subject:
science fiction;fiction;sf;novel;post-apocalyptic;fantasy;dystopia;speculative fiction;queer;sff;postmodern;gay;experimental;american;gender;sexuality;slipstream;magical realism;delany;20th century;postmodernism;apocalypse;cities;1970s;metafiction;classic
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
no. PR03
Publication Date:
20010531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
816
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 1.37 in 1.25 lb

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Dhalgren (Vintage) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$20.00 In Stock
Product details 816 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375706684 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A Joycean tour de force of a novel, Dhalgren...stake[s] a better claim than anything published in the country in the last quarter-century (excepting only Gass's Omensetter's Luck and Nabokov's Pale Fire) to a permanent place as one of the enduring monuments of our national literature."
"Review" by , "Ultimately, a study in identity and illusion, Delany's huge and difficult novel will interest admirers of Ballard, Pynchon, and the like, though one suspects there's many an unread copy of the original mass market edition floating around."
"Review" by , "Dhalgren features themes of racial identity, religious faith, and self-awareness revealed in a multilayered plot that will be right at home with today's audiences."
"Synopsis" by , Journeying to the central United States city of Bellona, where all have fled save madmen and criminals, a poet and adventurer known only as the Kid wonders at the strange portents that appear in the city's cloud-covered sky.
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