Fritz Leiber: ILL-MET IN LANKHMAR

Published: 1970
Winner or Rec? Rec
Started reading: September 13, 2014
Finished reading: September 20, 2014

Epic Reading Project book #25

Leiber! Leiber has been kind of hit-or-miss with me up until this point (*cough* mostly miss *cough*), but LANKHMAR! Leiber is really, really, really good at a few things! And he totally falls on his face for other things! But that’s okay, no one’s perfect.

The things that he is really good at: Setting. Ambiance. Description. The city of Lankhmar is LUSH with detail and description. It’s gorgeous. It’s wonderful. I am starry-eyed. If you are a writer and you suck at settings and environments, read this book and learn from a first-class master of it.

But when Leiber tries to write a female character… *sigh* It’s totally understandable why Leiber’s brain works in this particular way — his wife died when they were both very young, so all Leiber’s female characters are idolized and flawless and perfect (and boring) and then THEY die. And the men who love them grieve forever. And I give Leiber a long, cool stare, and then begrudgingly offer him a box of tissues.

I still really liked this book, and I’m still going to recommend that you read it, because it’s beautiful in the same way visiting Venice or Paris or Amsterdam is beautiful. But uh… yeah, you might find yourself having trouble with certain parts of it.

 

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