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Donnerjack [Mass Market Paperback]

Roger Zelazny , Jane M. Lindskold
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 1 1998
In our world, called the Verite, he is a Scottish laird, an engineer, and a master of virtual reality design. In the computer-generated universe of Virtu, created by the crash of the World Net, he is a living legend. Scientist and poet with a warrior's soul, Donnerjack strides like a giant across the virtual landscape he helped to shape. And now he has bargained with Death himself for the return of love.

The Lord of Entropy claimed Ayradyss, Donnerjack's beloved dark-haired lady of Virtu, with no warning, leaving a hole in the Engineer's heart. But Death offered to return her to him for a price: a palace of bones...and their first-born child. Since offspring have never before resulted from any union of the two worlds, Donnerjack accepts Death's conditions--and leads his reborn lover far from the detritus and perpetual twilight of Deep Fields to his ancestral Scottish lands, hoping to build a sanctuary and a self for Ayradyss in the first world.

But there is no escaping, because cataclysmic change is taking place in Virtu. A bizarre new religion is sweeping through this ever-shifting universe where the homely can be virtually beautiful, the lame can walk and the blind can see. Now it's threatening to spill over into Verite. And its credo is a call for a different kind of order. For all the ancient myths still occupy Virtu. And the Great Gods on Mt. Meru are amassing great armies in anticipation of the time when a vast computer system attempts to take over the reality that constructed it.

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Product Description

From Amazon

This "new" Roger Zelazny work was finished posthumously with the help of his coauthor and friend, Jane Lindskold. Unlike some after-the-fact "collaborations," this one has Zelazny written all over it. It's a typical tale from one of science fiction's greats, a world-spanning story that deals heavily with mythology and the ability to cross between two realities. In this case the realities are the real world, Verité, and the virtual world, Virtù. When Donnerjack--one of the architects of Virtù--loses his lover Ayradyss, he makes a pact with Death to return her from the dead. In return, Death demands their first-born child, who will be the first baby born from a Verité/Virtù union, and a force to be reckoned with in both worlds. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Zelazny died in 1995 after beginning this next-to-last hard sf collaboration with Lindskold. They have created a dazzling, 22nd-century future in which the real world, Verite, coexists with a computer-generated realm, Virtu. While citizens of Verite can visit the virtual world, denizens of Virtu cannot exist in Verite until John D'Arcy Donnerjack makes a deal with Death to save his beloved Virtual, Ayradyss. She is the first to cross over to Verite in exchange for giving their firstborn son to Death. First Donnerjack and then his son must find a way to cheat Death. In this intricately plotted novel, the authors create believable, densely populated worlds with a richness of characterization and subplots that will leave readers believing in Virtu. Highly recommended for most sf collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Good for the first half, but fizzles. March 30 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I agree wholeheartedly with the review here by Phil Thwing. Essentially, the book starts out in classic Zelaznyish fashion but suddenly shifts over to something else about half way through. Very disappointing. The first half is full of depth and then the second half turns shallow. About the only good thing you can say about the ending is that it seems to tie up all the threads. But, there's no satisfaction to it. I wish people would stop trying top publish a dead man's unfinished works. It just degrades his real legacy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it. Nov. 1 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
...I like long books, so it's length didn't trouble me. The voice of two people haunted by death are clear to hear in the pages, I had no quarrel with its emotional authenticity. I liked the combination of science fiction and myth and the humor exposed in many of the characters. If I quarreled with it, I quarreled with some of the more dream-like sections-- things went by too fast, or were explained too little. There was too thin of a line between fascination and irritation in that respect.
Most of the time I don't like posthumous completions. This time I did. High recommend. I'm only sorry that one of the authors isn't around to make a series out of it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not really Rodger May 27 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think I have everything he ever wrote in my collection, and my copy of Lord of Light is getting worn out from my re-reading it, but this is not him - not after the beginning. Forget it. Re-read Jack of Shadows or Creatures of Light and Darkness. This is just a might-have-been.
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4.0 out of 5 stars New Mythology May 18 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This collaboration between Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold, while not entirely seamless, is very smooth. As one would expect of a Zelazny book, the characters and settings are wildly inventive. The virtual world, populated by living programs and mythic deities, is attempting to take physical reality in the "real" world. This is only the background plot. Much of the opening deals with a deal with a devil -- or Death, and the rest of the novel is involved with the consequences. Not quite as taut as, say, Lord of Light, the novel is nevertheless excellent. The novel would deserve a five-star rating if I were comparing it to the work of almost any other writer, but Zelazny can only be compared to Zelazny.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two master writers confront Death Dec 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read Zelazny as a teen, but never kept up with his stuff. A few years ago I got hooked on Jane Lindskold's SF and fantasies (I've now read all of her books), and I loved Lord Demon, her first collaboration with Zelazny. Inevitably I picked up Donnerjack, and what a great story! It's long, but it's never boring or slow.
A hero confronts Death to regain a love from his realm, in exchange for their firstborn. Donnerjack weaves together tales of computer programs and ancient prototypical gods, legends and 22nd century Americans, and manages to tie them all together with a satisfyingly pretty bow. It balances an incredibly dark subject matter (trying to beat Death and eventually to let go when one cannot - bear in mind that after a long illness Zelazny actually died before the book was finished) with great stories that inexorably twine together as the plot moves forward. While exciting, it manages to catch creepy on a really visceral level - I couldn't just blast through this book like my usual reads, but had to take it in bits.
Part of why Donnerjack is so distressing is that the subject of death touches us all, and the authors capture its horror in delicate ways as when a character's gradual deterioration necessitates the amputation of his leg. The authors present this in such an unapologetic and off-handed way that it feels uncomfortably personal - if this didn't come from life it certainly felt like it. This must have been a very painful book to write. The result is just wonderful, though. Because of the authors' real-life situation, the evolution of the book's presentation of Death from being a horrific chaotic factor to a necessary (and even well-meaning) part of the lawful order of things is particularly evocative.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS BOOK! Aug. 24 2000
By Xoandre
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Roger was a master of the planes. He wrote of heroes and gods who transcended space and time and realities. This is a tantalizing tale of a world, a man, his son, and the virtual world that he helped to "create." But did he really create VIRTU or did he merely open the door?
Similar at times to the matrix and yet not. You must read it to understand. What is Virtu? What is the Matrix? Similar questions, the answers may be found in DonnerJack.
Yes, you can challenge death and win your way, but death comes to us all: men, women, re-animated junk heaps that resemble snakes and dogs, even gods.
To understand this you need to read this book! If you are a true Zelazny fan, you would like this one.
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