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Hegira [Paperback]

Greg Bear
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 3 2003

The planet Hegira is the universe's melting pot. Hundreds of tribes in dozens of cities intermingle in the vast uncharted territory. The only thing holding the people together are the massive Obelisks, the chronicles of the all the truths and falsehoods each tribe has brought to Hegira. Young Bar-Woten is in search of knowledge and he knows the key to the truth about his homeland is contained in the writings of the Obelisks. With his fellow companions, Bar-Woten must travel through Hegira's exotic cities to discover the lies within the words of thousands.


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About the Author

SALES POINTS * 'Arthur C. Clarke's most formidable rival yet' The Times * 'A writer of compelling talent' New Statesman ' * 'One of the best of this generation's idea writers' David Brin --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! May 24 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I absolutely loved reading this book. It was a mesmerizing and fantastic story with implications that blew my mind (read it about 10 years ago, as a matter of fact, and glad to see new printings coming out). The obelisks are a fascinating idea, how the civilizations of the planet will only discover the higher technology inscribed on the obelisk when they are able to reach the "higher" levels of the obelisk to read what is written on it. I was shocked and dismayed when one of the obelisks fell, crushing an entire civilization! This is as fascinating a sci-fi story as you will ever find, and it is storytelling that will stay with you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it or die Jan. 22 2004
By Dragon
Format:Paperback
Wow. I was amazed by Greg Bear's brilliant sense of literary artistry. Every chapter evolved into an eloquent journey, enticing the reader into the quilt that is being knit before your eyes by this author. This work is nothing short of amazing. For too long has conceptual writing been avoided. Even for non-regulars, this work contains the rare ability to capture a once wary wanderer and find himself wandering down a gloomy alley in one of Hegira's elegant cities. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book, now.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good characters, good setting, but not much happening June 19 2001
By Dave Deubler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This sci-fi fantasy by Greg Bear makes for good enough escapist reading, but while it's fairly entertaining and imaginative, it really has nothing else to recommend it. As the title suggests, the story follows three men on an extended trek across a vast planet, not so subtly named "Hegira". One of the main plot threads focuses on the question of what they're searching for, and what they'll do when they find it, but the payoff doesn't nearly live up to the long journey that precedes it. Bear creates an interesting geography, and a couple of mildly interesting social orders, but there really isn't much that could be called new. There's very little science, and the more creative ideas aren't really explained very well and come off as mere fantasies. Younger readers (say, mid-teens) should find this novel a quick, easy read, and may be intrigued by its imaginative setting, but it's doubtful that they'll understand the story's resolution any better than this reviewer did. This book's greatest strength is that the main characters are fairly well drawn (at least for a science fiction/fantasy) - Bar-Woten fleeing from his murderous past, Barthel worshipfully following Bar-Woten, and Kiril searching for his soul mate - but it's a pity Bear didn't find better use for them than simply journeying across this enormous planet. Another weak point is the treatment of female characters. Few as they are, they function entirely as objects of male desire, and seem to have no will or even life of their own: not exactly a useful lesson for young minds. In summary, some good characterizations and a fairly interesting setting simply aren't enough to carry this novel all by themselves; there's too little conflict, too little action, and too little plot. Perhaps no one will hate this novel, but it's hard to believe anyone will really love it, either.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Early Novel by Greg Bear Sept. 14 2005
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Without question, Greg Bear has been one of science fiction's best writers and prose stylists for decades. He has successfully written everything from hard core space opera to cyberpunk and fantasy. Here in "Hegira", he successfully combines elements of fantasy and space opera in a terse, riveting tale about the life-long search of the secrets behind the obelisks and the enormous world that is Hegira, inhabited by several intelligent civilizations, including humans, who have forgotten their interstellar space travel origins. Bear's prose is as finely crafted as an early Samuel Delany novel in this little gem of a novel. "Hegira" was well worth reading; without a doubt it is a splendid example of Greg Bear's early work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing example of Bear's superb imagination March 17 1998
By Mario - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of my favorite Greg Bear books. It is set in a mysterious world where humans, many of whom live in barbaric medieval societies, study the texts written on huge obleisks hundreds of miles high. The higher you go, the more advanced the knowledge, so many build balloons and flying machines in order to learn more. Very interesting sci-fi concepts and as most of Bear's books, it gives us much food for thought and speculation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but left me unsatisfied May 21 2010
By Dirk Zimmermann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's a shame the three characters didn't really spring to life until the final quarter of the book. Before then I just couldn't connect with their emotions and motivations. Maybe because only one of the three characters acts on motive at all (though still very vaguely hinted to the reader), the two others are merely dragged behind. So the characters failed to immerse me for the most part of the book, which leaves the story. Unfortunately there's nothing happening much. Although it's mainly a story about a long journey, there's very little of chase and evade. Which leaves the frequent and detailed depictions of landscapes and cultures. Interesting, but just not enough.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! May 24 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I absolutely loved reading this book. It was a mesmerizing and fantastic story with implications that blew my mind (read it about 10 years ago, as a matter of fact, and glad to see new printings coming out). The obelisks are a fascinating idea, how the civilizations of the planet will only discover the higher technology inscribed on the obelisk when they are able to reach the "higher" levels of the obelisk to read what is written on it. I was shocked and dismayed when one of the obelisks fell, crushing an entire civilization! This is as fascinating a sci-fi story as you will ever find, and it is storytelling that will stay with you.
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