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Shame of Man [Mass Market Paperback]

Piers Anthony
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 15 1995 Geodyssey (Book 2)
A magnificent epic of danger, desire, triumph and tragedy, Piers' Anthony's Shame of Man is nothing less than the story of humanity itself. It is the story of two lovers reborn throughout history--Hugh, a dreamer and musician, and his beloved Ann, a beautiful dancer--as they struggle to preserve their family and their way of life during some of the most turbulent periods of our savage past--and our troubled future. Through their eyes we experience humanity's greatest achievements, and witness its greatest shame, the relentless exploitation of nature that now threatens our very survival.

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From Publishers Weekly

That Anthony has attempted to write a multicultural work is laudable, if bemusing. Yet Anthony clearly cares about this book and, as in Isle of Women, the first volume in this series, imbues its serious, ambitious text with the frenetic action and joie de vivre for which he is known. Covering several thousand years, Anthony presents sets of similarly named characters in assorted situations and cultures. The always left-handed but never sinister Hugh and his wife Ann (and variant names thereon) are the good couple, while Bub and Sis do ill from Neanderthal times up through the near-future. Anthony can't quite manage to present any character who comes off as truly evil-Bub never rises above caricature, while Sis has several redemptive moments-but the effort here is honest, one whose spiritual antecedent appears to be Will Cuppy's The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody. There are moments when the Anthony that many condemn comes through, mostly in the early sections (for example, when a woman whose baby is killed before her eyes immediately has sex with the killer), but, overall, this is an encouraging work. There's enough action to satisfy Anthony's Xanth readers, while those who stopped reading him around the time of Macroscope may be pleasantly surprised by what they will find here.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Spanning the ages from humanity's primate roots to the 21st century, a series of connected stories traces the development of civilization and its environmental repercussions in this companion volume to Isle of Women (Tor Bks., 1994). The use of similar names for the protagonists in each tale evokes the universality of the human experience, while the author's choices of locale-the Orkney Isles of 1500 B.C., the Levantine Coast of 1000 B.C., southern Japan of the third century A.D.-provide a refreshing smorgasbord of cultures. Filled with fascinating anthropological speculation, Anthony's latest novel showcases both his passionate convictions and his storytelling talent. This deserves a wide readership.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminates eight million years of history April 13 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The second Geodyssey volume from Piers Anthony, 'Shame of Man' follows the lives of Hugh and Ann, illuminating as they do eight million years of history. The self-contained formula of 'Isle of Woman' is maintained; however, characters from that novel usefully return as occasional backdrop. The scenery remains wonderfully varied, with the narrative opening in the Great Rift Valley and continuing as far afield as Vietnam, Newfoundland and Scotland's Orkney Islands.The strongest of the twenty scenarios occurs 3,000 years ago, around the time of King David. Anthony's choice of Philistine characters here illustrates his approach: he doesn't always avoid the history textbooks' ground, but is nonetheless loath to retread conventional paths. Thus we see Japan visited in the third century AD, and on Genghis Khan's rise to fame we see an enemy's colossal misjudgment where other authors might substitute triumphant slaughter. The requisite Mediterranean setting is not Rome but New Carthage; similarly, when the story touches down in 1862 the siege is not of Richmond but of Shanghai, where millions died in the Taiping rebellion.Anthony expresses concern that global catastrophe lurks around the corner, and this is brought home to the reader most clearly in the microcosm of Easter Island (neatly sandwiched between Genghis and Scheherazade). Indeed, even the characters gradually become aware of it. The future of the sensible ones is glimpsed in Tasmania half a century hence. The use to which they put their technology, and their need to do so, is rich food for thought.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but not as refreshing as the first one March 5 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The concept behing the Geodessy is compeling and the first book was great. This one didn't add that much to it.
I do admire the way Anthony changed his focus. This novel focuses on the role of the family and family members in struggle. This is not as dynamic or suspenseful a focus as that of Isle of Woman and therefore the book lacks a little in the suspense department. You will probably always know what the characters will do - they stick together 'cause their a family.
That being said, the stories are fun and the concept behind the book still carries it further than you'd expect (the concept of the same characters being reborn in various places and times).
If you like Isle of Woman, you'll probably like this one. If you thought it was so-so, you may be in for a long, dull night.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful book in the Geodyssey series Jan. 26 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading Isle of Woman, getting and reading Shame of Man became my next obsession. I'm happy that I did read it. This sequal to Isle of Woman is about Hugh and his beautiful wife Anne and their family. While the plot seems simple enough, Piers Anthony puts in the most wonderful unexpected twists and turns that make this story so exciting. He also includes characters from other sagas in the Geodyssey series as they continue on with their lives. I very highly reccomend this book to people who love history and enjoy feeling as connected to the characters as I do. All in all, the characters are wonderful, and the places in the past Piers Anthony sends you makes you feel like your there. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! April 16 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Piers does a great job here. I would have never
considered some of his ideas about evolution, but they definitely make a lot of sense. And on top of that, he writes an excellent plot that keeps you turning pages. He does a great job of timing so that there is just enough of his theory of evolution at any one point to keep me fascinated!
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5.0 out of 5 stars It changed my outlook on life. Highly recommended! April 19 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book really makes you think about how our insticts guide us and human existence in general. It caused me to realize a lot of things I had taken for granted. Excellent!
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