OK, so it’s the ??Great Book of Amber?? rather than ??The Big Book of Amber??, but it certainly big, and there’s some reference to my childhood that I can’t quite apprehend but nevertheless makes it stick (Note: the options you get “on Barnes & Noble”:http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=big+book+of are wierd and fascinating).
I’ve never read any Zelazny before, and it’s distinctly wierd for me; as I’m sure Unix old-timers would cringe to hear me admit that I know Perl infinitely better than sh and awk (I barely know awk at all), I’m sure many SF fans will look askance when I admit that I recognize the writing well–it reminds me of Steven Brust.
Now I’m not saying this is an original observation in any way–I think I probably picked it up from Steven himself on GEnie many years ago.
What strikes me, though, is the extent to which I think the student may have surpassed the teacher. Steven’s prose seems much more consistent and polished–Zelazny seems to have no problem with going from a formal feeling “fantasy prose” to something much more “20th century conversational” in the space of about three sentences, and I have to say, it drives me a little bit nuts.
Not so nuts that I’m not going to continue or anything–when was the last time I dropped a book entirely? Oh, wait, last week, just before I started this one…