OPINION: BY JEFFREY A. FRIEDBERG

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DAN SIMMONS, locusmag.com/1997/Version1/interviews/simmons.htm

 

Frankly, this novel, to me, was boring, irritating, and outdated.

For instance, to me, the whole “Sol Weintraub” character and his “week old” baby were inexpressibly irritating. I have no words for just how irritating Sol and Baby were.

They intruded with a nightmare quality. Is this whole thing just a bad dream? What is this “baby” deal?

STOP

THE PRESSES!

Wait, wait, wait—is he gonna breast-feed the baby, or what?

Then, I got to “The Poet’s Tale,” and I just quit reading. I was unable to get through what I saw, as, The Poet’s, simpering, boring, phony-sounding, overly-histrionic, “Tale.”

It was like a bad, too-broad, CAPTAIN VIDEO character (1951). It did me in. For me, Hyperion became unreadable.

Prior “Tales” by previous characters had not been much better. I found the sex-scenes distasteful and boring. Some of the writing seemed to soar high, while some just crashed low-down.

Portraying a “Palestinian” as one of the apparent “heroes” of this novel made me ill.

There are suggestions that some sort of “nuclear jihad” took place in the “palestinian” homeland or whatever.

But as far as I read, Simmons never said exactly how it turned out for what some would call the rascally, pesky Jews.

In any event, I wonder if Simmons would still—today— go with the “Palestinian” schtick, or maybe opt for some other sort of “hero?”

I don’t see what all the hub-bub over this book was about. I’m actually older than Dan Simmons and lived through the same times he apparently lived through on Earth. But even I don’t “get it.”

This novel leaves me cold, and bored.

One thing: at the very outset—thunder and lightning in the jungle—Simmons writes a startling and sweeping scene alive with motion, docility, threat, placidity, promise, and settlement. A scene with a future.

Simmons must have worked hard on that opening scene, because it blossoms and intrudes on so many levels.

As the book progressed, however, through the mystical Tree Ship, space, Hyperion, and onward, I thought I felt the quality of the writing fade.

As if the writer had grown bored with his own work, and just wanted to get though it. As one or more of the characters seem to state about their own attitudes, toward their own “Tales.”

Some of Simmons exposition seems to me like wet-wash—slung by some medieval washer-woman—old, rushed, soggy, and—to me—it still smells, unless you boil it.

But, what do I know? The series is rated as some sort of epic opus on a level with even DUNE.

In my opinion—it’s no DUNE.