Run-on Sentence Summary
Hyperion is a smart, sprawling space opera entwining the stories of seven pilgrims in a series of novellas that construct a huge and compelling universe.
In Hyperion, seven mysterious travelers must make a pilgrimage to visit a mysterious monster, the Shrike, on a backwater planet. To pass time they tell their life stories, which turn in to a series of novellas that make the bulk of the book and slowly reveal the central mystery.
Structurally, it reminded me quite a bit of Cloud Atlas, in which each tale stands on its own, but together becomes greater than the sum of the parts. Simmons’ writing is sharp and brimming with ideas, and this long book paints a huge and compelling universe. Like Cloud Atlas, the stories have a wide range of themes and styles. I didn’t like all of them equally, but together they were something special.
Not until going back and reading other reviews did I realize that both of these books are actually structured after The Caterbury Tales. Minus ten literature points!
“In the beginning was the Word. Then came the fucking word processor. Then came the thought processor. Then came the death of literature. And so it goes. Francis Bacon once said, “There arises from a bad and unapt formation of words a wonderful obstruction to the mind.” We have all contributed our wonderful obstructions to the mind, have we not? I more than most. One of the twentieth century’s better, forgotten writers—that is better-comma-forgotten, once bon moted: “I love being a writer. It’s the paperwork I can’t stand.” Get it? Well, amigos and amigette, I love being a poet. It’s the goddamned words I can’t stand.”