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Ship Of Fools Mass Market Paperback – Jan 22 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (MM) (Jan. 22 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441008933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441008933
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.7 x 17.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,948,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

After raising some tantalizing religious issues, Philip K. Dick Award-winner Russo fails to deliver a real climax and leaves the plot unresolved in this initially suspenseful but ultimately disappointing novel. Bartolomeo Aguilera, the story's narrator, gives a haunting picture of life on the Argonos, a starship that is home to generations of humans born aboard her; no one remembers the ship's origins--its birthplace may have been Earth--but it drifts year after year "almost at random through the galaxy," without apparent purpose or goal. Finally the ship lands on an unknown planet. There the crew finds a Dante-esque scene in a chamber located deep within a jungle: "There were hundreds of bones scattered about the floor, strips of decayed flesh, pools and smears of viscous fluid. Just as it was impossible to avoid brushing against the hanging skeletons, so was it impossible to avoid stepping on bone or in thick, sticky liquid as I moved through the room." A mutiny follows. Bartolomeo is imprisoned, but when a mysterious ship, seemingly imbued with evil, shows up, he is released and named leader of an exploration team. Here the book becomes largely static and uninvolving. The hoped-for resolution never occurs, the religious questions remain unexplored, while the ending proves an all-too-familiar shaggy-God story. Perhaps a sequel will supply some answers.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The starship Argonos has wandered without purpose through space for hundreds of years when it receives a transmission from a strange planet. For the first time in memory, the crew must make decisions that could change their lives forever. The author of Carlucci's Edge explores the timelessness of space travel and its effects on the human consciousness while simultaneously telling a tale of high adventure and personal drama in the far future. A good choice for most sf collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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WE had not made landfall in more than fourteen years. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a story written in the first person and written from the perspective of Bartolomeo, a man who is a misfit amongst the inhabitants of The Argonos, a massive spaceship that is trawling the galaxy in search of new life. Generations of humans have been raised on the ship and very few have ever had the opportunity to step on solid ground. Bartolomeo is a loner, brought up by various members of the 'upper levels', never knowing his parents and suffering from various physical disabilities. His only friend is the Captain of the ship. So far, no evidence of extra terrestrial life has been found until the Argonos stumbles on a seemingly deserted alien craft drifting in space. Bartolomeo is chosen to lead an exploration team to investigate this strange ship in spite of opposition from the sinister Bishop, leader of the Church on the Argonos.

Richard Paul Russo has written an excellent tale, fast paced enough to keep the interest going but in depth enough to give a satisfying read. His alien craft is truly alien, unlike so many sci-fi stories that have the universe populated with humanoid life. The feeling of menace on the deserted craft is almost palpable. The one small criticism that could be levelled at this book is that the characterisation is not terribly strong, but, with such a strong storyline, this can be forgiven. All in all, a very good book, well worth a look.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If Ship of Fools had more of a conclusion, it would have been at the top of my list. However, Russo seems to have grown tired toward the end, and the pure energy that fills the first 805 of the book is lost.
Still, Ship of Fools is full of excitement and discovery. Despite being set in a cliche (the "colony of people who live on a ship and have never set foot on a planet" cliche), Russo manages to pull of a highly original series of events. All of them surround the discovery of a mysterious vessel, which keeps a singular focus within the story. However, the events themselves range from death to inner conflict to paranoia to sympathy. Ultimately, it is a tale of exploration that is approached from many levels, grounded in the most obvious exploration -- that of the ship.
If only it had an end, it would be a 5-star book. When I finished reading it, I immediately went online to order the sequel... I just assumed there was one, and was devastated when I learned otherwise.
I would still recommend this highly to those looking for an interesting story about discovery and exploration, and anyone who enjoys reading because it makes you think. For those who look to sci-fi for space battles and combat and three-breasted she-beasts... well, while there is a cloud of danger and some action, this probably is not what you're looking for.
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By "evenmere" on Sept. 21 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think what a lot of the reviewers are missing is the fact that Richard Paul Russo can WRITE! I was drawn from chapter to chapter in a way I haven't been in years--the book had the feel similar to that in Rendevous with Rama. I don't read much science fiction anymore--there is so little sense of wonder in it. Ship of Fools has wonder aplenty, and the characterization is excellent. Nor did I find the dialogue clumsy, as one reviewer did. I was most impressed with Russo's balanced viewpoint between Christianity and disbelief. A sympathetic priest in a SF novel? Quite refreshing.
The scene with Father Veronica (you know the one I mean) is breathtaking. And yes, I felt the ending was not quite as dramatic as I would have liked. But I really enjoyed the ride. I would indeed read the sequel, but I rather hope there isn't one.
I also hope that those who read these reviews and decide to buy the book buy a new version rather than a used one. The writer receives no royalties on used books, and cannot continue to be published unless someone buys new copies.
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By A Customer on Aug. 27 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just finished reading this book. I like it for the fact that it reminds me of a X file episode. Where it always leaves you hanging wanting more. . It was a lot like reading a fast manuscript for a movie idea. So many things seemed like they could have been more fully explained or given more depth. Doesn't mean it wasn't a fun read however. <don't read past it will ruin the book>. On the other hand there were a number of things wrong with the story if it was minimally examined. The old women was a sore point for me. Pg 199 with him speaking Spanish, so lame. Then the question of the old women/alien speaking of the planet name given by the bishop. Why would aliens with superior intellect and technology make such a careless statement. Why are the aliens dumb enough to leave doors unlocked that have tons of rotting dead people yet smart enough to control gravity etc. Why are the alien blaster weapons so weak and fire only at the last two ships. Why do some of the people go crazy. Why did the bishop try to kill him, and in such a strange way. What did the machine the bishop had at the start have too do with anything. What became of reading the records the church had. Why is jumping in a worm hole at the end going to save anyone, don't the aliens know the coordinates back to the planet. And a bunch more.
In the end I give it a 3 out of 5. Fun read but not enough.
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