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This is one of the most incredibly eccentric, surprising and challenging philosophical fantasy novels ever written The Scottish writer David Lindsay died in 1945 He is usually regarded as a fantasy writer While he wrote a great deal, most of his works have been hard to find, out of print, neglected Voyage to Arcturus is the exception, having become a bit of a cult classic and reprinted again and again in paperback editions.The title suggests science fiction It is not Arcturus is a device, a This is one of the most incredibly eccentric, surprising and challenging philosophical fantasy novels ever written The Scottish writer David Lindsay died in 1945 He is usually regarded as a fantasy writer While he wrote a great deal, most of his works have been hard to find, out of print, neglected Voyage to Arcturus is the exception, having become a bit of a cult classic and reprinted again and again in paperback editions.The title suggests science fiction It is not Arcturus is a device, a metaphysical stage, arrived at through mediumship, not spacecraft The book is a modern Pilgrim s Progress, a moral parable, a snare and, until the last few pages, a deception.Lindsay was, at best, a pedestrian writer, incapable of conrete characterization In Voyage, however, there are no persons in any ordinary sense after the first few pages The characters are principles, points of view The path of the protagonist is transformative and darkly revelatory.One is reminded of another metaphysical fiction, another modern Pilgrim s Progress, viz C.S Lewis Perelandra trilogy But while Lewis is defending the establishment, retelling the biblical tale in modern terms, Lindsay, after exploring it rather convincingly, demolishes it and replaces it with something like a Teutonic hero s gnostic saga.When first finishing this book, I was profoundly upset, shaken to the core of my unthinking adolescent presuppositions I very, very rarely reread a book, especially a mere fiction This, I reread immediately and, then, again, years later.Students of dualistic gnostic systems will find this book interesting as a modern, and apparently quite sincere, take on a belief system quite common in the antique and early Christian worlds I don t think I can write properly and it may be entirely because of reading this dizzlingly piece of art.I ve not read anything like it before and I tend to doubt there is anything like it out there However, like Maskull Nightspore, I will spend my life out there pursuing it whatever it is hopefully I m longer for this world Though in this hope I sometimes falter Arcturus a pitch perfect something It is a great lumbering, spiritually forgetful romp I believe I have heard it r I don t think I can write properly and it may be entirely because of reading this dizzlingly piece of art.I ve not read anything like it before and I tend to doubt there is anything like it out there However, like Maskull Nightspore, I will spend my life out there pursuing it whatever it is hopefully I m longer for this world Though in this hope I sometimes falter Arcturus a pitch perfect something It is a great lumbering, spiritually forgetful romp I believe I have heard it referred to as an amalgam of disparate religious doctrines, rituals, etc.This book surges while disorientating, disorientating while it shows you glorious unknown things The book itself is such a rich fantasy, perhaps even an esoteric allegory, as some have suggested, but the writing is working seamlessly to hide all the cogs about how its trick of credibility was accomplished The one thing that struck me were the characters wonderfully ridiculous names, which you would think would completely undercut the power of the story somehow and force it to seem all at least a little bit silly, however this is not the case While brimming with symbolism, madness there is even a touch of humor in the symbolism and story Haunte s masculine stones the conceit of which made me giddy in its sheer audacity His stones help propel his craft now isn t that cute and so true.It is a fully realized world and I can t help but wonder if it influenced Jack Vance s enjoyable and highly detailed entertainments Arcturus obviously has bigger fish to fry than simply entertaining you It stimulates the senses than just the five, if you possess a sorb Despite the comparisons, mine to Vance, others to Bunyan, it is not only a good novel of its kind it is the only novel of its kind.Tentative conclusionsConclusion This book is athan human flight of fancy Further Conclusion David Lindsay was obviously not a man of this world Further note on Lindsay s Arcturian names Lindsay was perhaps referencing the improbable names of the heroes and villains in the pulp novels of his days while twisting them into transcending such humble origins charging them with somehow mythic significance WOMBFLASH FOREST FLASH GORDON GORGON In other terms, the names, like the story itself, are oddly harmonious hybrids that against all odds work Loses a star solely through my inability to understand what exactly transpired within and, with the passing of the years, my inability to recollect sufficiently to ponder it anew Like everything truly excellent, it begins with a s ance and an assortment of oddball characters ere the reader finds himself with the protagonist, Maskull, newly awoken upon the gravity juiced planet of Tormance and, thus, in orbit about the plasmatic sphere known as Arcturus It is at this point that the infamous Mag Loses a star solely through my inability to understand what exactly transpired within and, with the passing of the years, my inability to recollect sufficiently to ponder it anew Like everything truly excellent, it begins with a s ance and an assortment of oddball characters ere the reader finds himself with the protagonist, Maskull, newly awoken upon the gravity juiced planet of Tormance and, thus, in orbit about the plasmatic sphere known as Arcturus It is at this point that the infamous Magn first makes its tentacular appearance, and the remainder becomes a pleasingly puzzling and puzzlingly pleasing extraterrestrial excursion in which the Shake n Bake with which an individual existence has been coated becomes eaten removed flaked through conscious concentration collision recollection contemplation in order to expose the immaterial heart of true being pumping in metaphysical rhythm within Or something like that My abridged take If God had deigned to laden men with a penis sharing the girth, flexibility, and tubularity of an elephant s trunk, we d all be taking semen showers and there d be a lotgardens in the world So, I picked this book up because it is on my Inklings reading list in other words on the list of books I ve kept that, according to their own accounts, cultivated the imagination of the Inklings CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, Dorothy Sayers, et all This book especially has been noted as a primary inspiration for Lewis Out of the Silent Planet Now that this is out of the way Arcturus was published in 1920 less than a decade after Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of So, I picked this book up because it is on my Inklings reading list in other words on the list of books I ve kept that, according to their own accounts, cultivated the imagination of the Inklings CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, Dorothy Sayers, et all This book especially has been noted as a primary inspiration for Lewis Out of the Silent Planet Now that this is out of the way Arcturus was published in 1920 less than a decade after Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars was first introduced to the world and feels very like a poor man s version of thatcohesive tale It has been falsely labeled as the first science fiction novel I mean that s just rubbish and, by some very delusional individuals, the greatest novel of the 20th century insert blank stare Let s say the good things first Reading this is akin to reading George MacDonald s Lilith not surprising perhaps since MacDonald s influence on Lindsay has been admitted If you know going in that the protagonist and whether or not he is the actually the protag is very debatable by story s end is going on a journey through things which have very little to do with one another, then you will beprepared The initial part perhaps the first 25% leads you to believe something very different The opening scenes are electric, atmospheric, and exciting, in the vein of H.G Wells The first few encounters on the distant planet feel as though they are establishing important characters and a definitive trajectory Don t be fooled They aren t At the 50% mark, you find yourself wondering if the author was dabbling in opiates while writing like I said, it is akin to reading George MacDonald The novel s greatest strength is the imaginative landscapes and creatures Maskull meets, both on earth and in that distant quadrant of the universe While Lindsay seems unable to imagine any creature that isn t somehow and in some way humanoid, there are stunning landscapes and plants and tectonic activity enough to make your head spin At one point, the main character floats for some time on a sea plant tree thing that feels like a combination of Tolkien s Treebeard and Meerkat Island from Life of Pi In that scene, like many in the book, Lindsay hints at things around his character, that these things are going to turn out to be important, and then he abandons them This, in fact, is his M.O throughout the tale and eventually, you tire of feeling like you ve been written yet another bad check Haha Those were the good things Now to the bad things The names for things in this book are some of the weirdest and most ridiculous I ve ever read Lindsay is just terrible at naming things At one point I found myself wondering if he had just randomly opened a dictionary and put his fingers on two different words any words to put them together to form a name I mean I can do that Watch Boobticket Dogbutton Drunknoodle It s a bit like that I really just had to let it go so that it didn t drive me crazy On to other things This novel has been described as a combination of Calvinist theology and Nietzschen philosophy Did you just shake your head Because I did On hearing that, presumably one immediately questions how these two wildly opposite philosophies could possibly coexist The answer is, well, they can t I have rarely read a novel in which an author so strikes me as being both absolutely sure of where he is going, and as confused as a toucan in Antarctica The experience, I admit, is not unlike reading Nietzsche himself and his constant need to be undefinable yet talk like he knows exactly where he is and what he is doing I ve not yet read Zarathustra, but know enough about it to wonder if its influence is felt here in Maskull s encounters with interplanetary gods and subjects In a wild weird way, like Nietzsche, he even seems determined to make no sense as if that is the point and it very well may be If that s the case Lovecraft performed chaos so much better And whee, what fun we could have with that topic on another day The alleged Calvinist influence can only be seen by me, at least perhaps in the underlying fatalistic traits that sometimes constrain portions of that theology Lindsay was raised in a Calvinist background according to one biographer Perhaps researching that tidbit a bit further would prove helpful.In the meantime, my impression of David Lindsay is that he was a very confused man, and not far from the place Nietzsche ended up at the end of his own confused life The whole experience reminded me of GK Chesterton s chapter on lunacy in his book, Orthodoxy I m paraphrasing here, but he essentially says, If you want to find a man who really believes in himself, check out an insane asylum This sentiment perfectly sums up my impression of The Voyage to Arcturus, in that it is pretending to be a thing that it isn t perhaps it is really wanting you to think that it knows where it s going but in the end, it really, really doesn t Proof in the pudding for me is the number of readers who admit absolute confusion while reading this book, rating it as low as ratings go, while, on the other hand, you have the eccentric few who give it five stars for being so enlightening that they can t possibly explain why A pretentious trademark if ever there was one For me, a piece of art may certainly be hard to understand, but not impossible especially if the list of confused includes the artist himself If you can find enlightenment in this book, then explain yourself, man, or I don t believe you And before you think I m being difficult, Einstein wouldn t either That said, the punchline of this book has been explained always briefly and it still doesn t work The punchline alone is made clear in the novel, but the why the point the remedy is completely absent It feels a bit like watching a magician perform tricks in a mirror with the audience to his back.The wildly curious thing to me about the book is how much imaginative force CS Lewis drew from it his Malacandra and Perelandra display extremely similar not identical imagery to Arcturus as do his characters of Ransom, Weston the Unman , and Tinidril , while his own books seem to also undo and counteract the structure of Lindsay s weird world He has been quoted as saying some very specific things about Nietzschen philosophy that I now wonder about as being perhaps provoked by Acturus psychedelic conclusions In short, his Space Trilogy really seemed to be an effort to fix this story as well as draw down the excitement from the John Carter series and play amedieval tune While I m not really a fan of this novel, I admit I have it to thank for the pact Lewis and Tolkien made soonafter to both write science fiction Lewis finished his, Tolkien started, but never published Nevertheless, both Lindsay and Lewis did create some of the most fantastic images of foreign planets ever to appear in stories Together, they provoked our imaginations to let go of earth entirely and imagine wholly new worlds in Lindsay s case, one of chaos, and in Lewis one of resounding love and design Of the stranger books I ve come across, this has to be strangest, and while the title and initial chapters suggest that this may be a work of dismissive Science Fiction Fantasy, it is decidedly not.Published in 1920, the book hails from a strong lineage of allegorical journey stories Think of the travails of Candide or better yet, of Gulliver s Travels While the aforementioned books were of a political nature, A Voyage to Arcturus speaks about somethingprimal how does one define meani Of the stranger books I ve come across, this has to be strangest, and while the title and initial chapters suggest that this may be a work of dismissive Science Fiction Fantasy, it is decidedly not.Published in 1920, the book hails from a strong lineage of allegorical journey stories Think of the travails of Candide or better yet, of Gulliver s Travels While the aforementioned books were of a political nature, A Voyage to Arcturus speaks about somethingprimal how does one define meaning in the universe What is the relation of what we feel to what actually is Ostensibly, we have a curious protagonist offered a chance to visit a strange planet orbiting a distant binary star system He eagerly takes up on the voyage and is transported to the other realm what ensues is a fantastic philosophical debate on the nature of good and evil, the role of existence, and the true nature of man.In all honesty, I cannot pretend to understand even a fraction of what transpires My attempts to relate it to known texts, biblical or classical, fall short But that could only be because I lack the memory or intelligence to recall my past associations with those literature.When our hero wakes on the planet, he is alone and has inexplicably gained the function of several new appendages As he progresses through the various continents and countries, he meets characters, seeminglyknowledgeable than the last, each directing him forward, compelling him closer to what he seeks which is the creator of the planet or what he has associated as God on Earth but in truth neither is or isn t His appendages either gain new functions or fall off completely And invariably, many of his hosts perish through his actions I venture my meager understanding of the conclusion that the author may have wished to impart that the thoughts of humankind is resplendent in emotions, but only pain truly defines them The first land that the protagonist comes to, he feels great affection for his hosts, but that feeling is amorphous In the final land, he falls in love with a singular being and by then he is already so close to the truth, this emotion is sharp and distinct, made real by his proximity to pain It is important to mention that love is perhaps only one aspect of the novel, maybe of primary importance I do not believe it is love as in romantic love but love as in the good within If you are curious about this book, there are many resellers onoffering it for cheap The best thing this book does is rid oneself of preconceived notions It will make you think.Upon finishing this book, I came to see myself as a void of malleable putty Each significant event has attempted to mold me, but I return to the same darkness, to the same formlessness I believe that is akin to the journey of the protagonist Though he is shaped and changed much, he returns inevitably to the same mold because the truth was within the whole time.In any case, it is a mind fuck How I first came to learn about David Lindsay s A Voyage to Arcturus was in a strange cookbook I saw in the early 1970s written by a hippie who decided to use as the heading of each page a recommended book title One of the books was this one, but it took me over forty years to get around to reading it I remember liking many of the cookbook author s recommendations, and my library is full of them and yet I cannot remember the name of the cookbook or its author Does anyone reading this review How I first came to learn about David Lindsay s A Voyage to Arcturus was in a strange cookbook I saw in the early 1970s written by a hippie who decided to use as the heading of each page a recommended book title One of the books was this one, but it took me over forty years to get around to reading it I remember liking many of the cookbook author s recommendations, and my library is full of them and yet I cannot remember the name of the cookbook or its author Does anyone reading this review know of this odd cookbook It is particularly apt that A Voyage to Arcturus is as strange as the way I first came to learn of the book What I thought at first was a science fiction novel based solely on its title turned out to be a spiritual quest that is just happens to be set on a distant planet named Tormance that circles Arcturus, which in the book is a double star consisting of Branchspell and Alppain With two companions, Krag and Nightspore, the hero Maskull takes a voyage to the distant star, where he is deposited in the middle of a red desert with no one else in sight.For the remainder of the book, Maskull travels from south to north on Tormance, going through several lands, and having strange encounters with a wide variety of natives, who all seem to live in isolated pockets spread across the different lands On his quest, which takes five days, Maskull finds love, murder, adventure, religion, and death He was a naked stranger in a huge, foreign, mystical world, and whichever way he turned, unknown and threatening forces were glaring at him The gigantic, white, withering Branchspell, the awful, body changing Alppain, the beautiful, deadly, treacherous sea, the dark and eerie Swaylone s Island, the spirit crushing forest out of which he had just escaped to all these mighty powers, surrounding him on every side, what resources had he, a feeble, ignorant traveller from a tiny planet on the other side of space, to oppose, to avoid being totally destroyed Then he smiled to himself, I ve already been here two days, and still I survive I have luck and with that one can balance the universe.In the end, the experience of reading Arcturus is as different from the sci fi genre as Hermann Hesse s Siddhartha or The Glass Bead Game.I wonder whether my appraisal of this book will change over time, as it has for Paulo Coelho s The Alchemist, which I now feel like downgrading A book like this one leaves a powerful aura behind it which sometimes lasts, and sometimes doesn t I rather suspect that the aura of Lindsay s book will last, if for no other reason that it is such an original It is a book that reflects its Scottish author s feelings about the recently concluded horrors of the First World War The book starts in Victorian London and quickly moves to outer space, but the adventures of Maskull could take place anywhere in a world that has come loose from its moorings Update after 3 2 14 re read I just finished this for the second time and God DAMN My mind has been blown The last 5 6 pages are one jaw dropping revelation after another, each onemagnified than the previous until the very last page when, despite maybe the best closing dialogue ever, my jaw couldn t drop any lower because it was already on the goddamned floor.I was recently called to this, and that s really the best way to describe the feeling the book gives you it calls you back even Update after 3 2 14 re read I just finished this for the second time and God DAMN My mind has been blown The last 5 6 pages are one jaw dropping revelation after another, each onemagnified than the previous until the very last page when, despite maybe the best closing dialogue ever, my jaw couldn t drop any lower because it was already on the goddamned floor.I was recently called to this, and that s really the best way to describe the feeling the book gives you it calls you back eventually After reading it the first time I didn t think about it again for years, but someone recently mentioned it offhand and I began thinking about it And it worked on me, and worked, until eventually I decided to read it again It s a good example of the hidden power this book contains It s small but extremely dense, like that lens that Krag gives Maskull at the beginning, an object the size of an egg that weighs over twenty pounds and contains the key to deciphering the universe.My original review below still stands, but I wanted to add some thoughts It is definitelyreligious treatise than sci fi fantasy with that glorious, sublime, gut punching payoff It is definitely flawed, with episodes that tend to run together after awhile, an over emphasis on setting which bogs down the narrative, and non existent characterizations Krag and maybe Nightspore actually end up being the only somewhat solid characters with real motivations But it is exceptionally powerful as a parable, and Lindsay s creativity qualifies as genius, especially so when considering he wrote it in the 1920s.More than a parable, the entire novel feels like a transcribed dream Even on Earth, Maskull s motivations are fundamentally absent he has no reason to behave how he does Yet he does, and you allow it because it feels inexorable, much like a dream Everything follows a dream logic, which is to say no recognizable logic at all, but one that nevertheless begins to feel internally consistent For instance, it doesn t make sense how Maskull can discard both people and convictions the way he does But the moment demands it, just as in a dream you often forget what you needed to do one minute ago because there is a new obstacle before you Nothing follows from the immediate past, everything is disjointed and interrupted New things continually present themselves from nowhere, or better yet from places that we can t fathom because they re buried too deep within us At one point I even began to wonder if all of the typos, a ridiculous amount really, were added intentionally in service to this disturbing, surreal, off feel that the book exudes from the very beginning There are misplaced commas galore, even a mistaken paragraph indentation at one point, and graveyard is misspelled grayeyard, a curious typo since the two keys are not that close to one another and the y coincidentally resembles the v And this dreamy, inexorable feel makes sense thematically because it s Lindsay s whole point not only are we stuck in this false dream world of pleasure, but we are struggling eternally and inevitably toward the Muspel And I love Krag s role as the pseudo Trickster who actually reveals reality through his brash opposition to the superficial nature Perhaps the spiritual theory is not the most original both Buddhism and Hinduism have similar ideas but I guarantee that you ve never seen it depicted as Lindsay does here His vision of this well worn spiritual path is unique.In conclusion, whereas I was intrigued on my first reading, I love it after my second It s not perfect so I can t reasonably give it 5 stars, but it s definitely one of my all time favorites I recommend it to any sci fi fantasy aficionados, plus any deep thinkers who can sympathize with spiritual questing I also recommend that you read it in as close to one sitting as possible, in order to fully appreciate the dreamy shroud that Lindsay weaves around you.I also heartily recommend the book that recommended me this one the brilliant Colin Wilson s The Books in My Life, a warm, educational and fascinating description of many famous and obscure great works Original Review This book is far from perfect The writing is clumsy, the character development implausible and often non existent leading to confusion over their motives and occasional disinterest , and the names distractingly ridiculous That said, the story is so utterly inventive and unique and the ending so powerful that it will remain with me for a long time Lindsay crafted what on first glance appears to be a straightforward Fantasy SciFi novel but is really a metaphysical mystical treatise on the nature of reality and the path to salvation It recalls Dick s VALIS in that it is an important mystical statement masquerading as cheap fiction.Not Bad Reviews blakerosser1 &DOWNLOAD PDF ⇔ A Voyage to Arcturus ✓ A Voyage to Arcturus is a novel by Scottish writer David Lindsay, st published inIt combines fantasy, philosophy sf in an exploration of the nature of good evil their relationship with existence It s been described by critic philosopher Colin Wilson as the greatest novel of the th century , was a central influence on CS Lewis Space Trilogy JRR Tolkien said he read the book with avidity , praised it as a work of philosophy, religion morality Clive Barker has stated A Voyage to Arcturus is a masterpiece called it an extraordinary workquite magnificent It was made widely available in paperback form when published as one of the precursor volumes to the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in , featuring a cover by illustrator Bob Pepper Lindsay s choice of title therefore the setting of Arcturus may have been influenced by the nonfictional A Voyage to the Arctic in the Whaler Aurora published inby his namesake, David Moore LindsayCover Artist Bob Pepper I can well imagine David Lindsay s fantastic trip through the world of Tormance being rather polarizing to a lot of readers It is not a plot driven book, in that if one reads looking for cause and effect, action and reaction, it will probably be a disappointment Lindsay s style is odd too characters with names like Maskull and Nightspore, and elliptical conversations that never seem to impart any kind of information, even when directly solicited For most of the book, I ended up feeling as th I can well imagine David Lindsay s fantastic trip through the world of Tormance being rather polarizing to a lot of readers It is not a plot driven book, in that if one reads looking for cause and effect, action and reaction, it will probably be a disappointment Lindsay s style is odd too characters with names like Maskull and Nightspore, and elliptical conversations that never seem to impart any kind of information, even when directly solicited For most of the book, I ended up feeling as though it was just beyond my reach, as if Lindsay has something to say, but I can t quite catch his meaning On the other hand, if the reader has had a life long suspicion that things are not really what they seem, and that most solutions offered to answer your questions are actually empty shells, and has also had a heart felt desire to get behind the curtain to get a glimpse of the real workings of the universe, then A Voyage to Arcturus may grab you immediately and feel like one of the most important novels you ve ever read So how am I in the middle Because I don t think I feel the urgency of the quest as I might have when I was a younger fellow Unfortunately, I couldn t have absorbed this book when I was a younger fellow either And that s assuming I absorbed it now, which I mthan a little hesitant about claiming I ve been too young to read it and too old, but I don t know if I was ever just right.The book follows Maskull, who, with a character named Nightspore, is given the opportunity to travel to Tormance, a planet which revolves around Arcturus Maskull is a man who wishes to know things, to know what is behind the curtain As this trip to Tormance seems to promise just that, he agrees to it, and with the mysterious assistance of a man named Krag, he makes the trip conveyed in a torpedo like ship, but loses consciousness during the ride He awakes to find himself alone on Tormance, with new appendages and sensory organs From this point, he meets with several different denizens of Tormance, briefly falling under the sway of each before breaking free of them on his quest towards a being which he believes can satisfy all his longing to know reality, a being variously called Crystalman, and sometimes Surtur Each of these characters that accompany Maskull for a part of his journey evoke in him a particular philosophy, a certainty about life that, in the end, Maskull throws off like a yoke Gradually he moves from a state of innocence to one of knowing, though the ending implies the journey has really only just begun At least, that s what I took away from the book, and I don t think I m too far off But I think the gauge of how affecting a book like this will be to the reader is contained in two separate measurements how strongly one has felt that the world around you as you understand it is incomplete, and how lonely you ve felt as the only one who you know that feels this way A book like Arcturus may be one that satisfies both conditions, but the real affinity lies in the second, with the realization you have not been as alone as you may have thought This is going to be one of those books that is really hard to talk about Not because I m worried about giving away spoilers, but rather because I m not sure how much I understand it.It starts well A group with a common interest in witnessing the supernatural come together to observe a summoning , that goes well until interrupted by a rude stranger One of these observers Maskull is then invited by the stranger to visit Arcturus, a planet in a distant binary star system Unbelieving at first This is going to be one of those books that is really hard to talk about Not because I m worried about giving away spoilers, but rather because I m not sure how much I understand it.It starts well A group with a common interest in witnessing the supernatural come together to observe a summoning , that goes well until interrupted by a rude stranger One of these observers Maskull is then invited by the stranger to visit Arcturus, a planet in a distant binary star system Unbelieving at first, he is eventually convinced to see go along with him The voyage begins from a remote observatory in Scotland and Muskall is put to sleep for the journey He awakes on Arcturus abandoned by his companions and finds himself now in possession of an alien body with strange appendages and new sense organs.Things then get stranger by the page as he Maskull journeys across this new planet, drawn northwards and encountering an array of alien beings who briefly accompany him on his travels The importance of his physical journey gradually begins to dwindle in the wake of his spiritual, philosophical and moral journey Towards the end, the essential nature of existence is unveiled turning any preconceptions we might have had until that point on their head That is, preconceptions I might have had had I not read the spoiler ridden introduction first All in all it was fairly hard work but should appeal to those that like reading a narrative that consists mainly of philosophical musings and descriptions of deeply imaginative environments