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Wyvern Hardcover – Aug 1988


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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist



Product Details

  • Hardcover: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Ticknor & Fields (August 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899194095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899194097
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 4.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 839 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of adventure yarns may relish this blend of fantasy and historical fiction if they take to the author's baroque, tinted prose and lush imagination. Jaki Gefjon, son of a native Borneo woman and a Dutch sea captain, starts life as witch-doctor's slave and apprentice. Later kidnapped by pirates, he befriends his captor, Trevor Pym, famed for his dreaded man-of-war, the Wyvern. Jaki falls for Lucinda, the headstrong daughter of Pym's arch-rival, Captain William Quarles. Crammed with intrigue, pirates' battles, curses and visions, this seafaring saga takes Lucinda and Jaki from the South Seas to India to the New World. Various plot strands interweavethe encroachment of colonialism on the world of spirits, Jaki's hard-won self-acceptance after abandoning the role of European gentleman, the clash of duty versus romance as Lucinda defies her father. But the cardboard characters defeat the book's epic and historicl pretensions. Attanasio's previous novels include Radix , a Nebula Award nominee, and Arc of the Dream.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Seventeenth-century adventure awaits readers in Attanasio's ( Radix ) novel. Jaki Gefjon is a half-breed, raised among headhunters of Borneo and trained as a "soul catcher" (medicine man). Drawn by the mystery of his Dutch father into a European way of life, Jaki joins pirate captain Trevor Pym under the fearsome serpent banner of Wyvern to combat the mercantile empires exploiting Asia. Jaki's saga is laced with mysticism as he struggles to understand the meaning of his life, buffeted by competing cultures. His mother, his mentor, Jabalwan, the pirate Pym, and his English wife help him to progress to self-knowledge. This solid adventure/fantasy is recommended for popular fiction collections. William C. McCully, Park Ridge P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mtgreen on May 18 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've read alotta great books.
I've listened to alotta great music.
I decided quite awhile back that picking "the Best of..." is something that defines to others what one's sense of culture is all aboot. So - in that sense, and of course with the understanding that there really is no such thing:
Best Album Ever: Abbey Road.
Best Novel Ever: Wyvern.
If you can relate to my album choice then that probably has no bearing on whether or not you will admire this fine piece of fiction laced with the incredible metaphysical observations that seem to reinforce my own worldview: adopted from several sources including this book. Ivy league MBA's probably should pass. Oh - one other thing: for some reason I found the first 89 pages or so rather slow going on the first read. They're now perhaps my favorite part. Has anyone mentioned Candide yet?
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By Robert King on April 11 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book many years ago and loved it. When I recently came upon it again I read it again and if anything I enjoyed it even more. Thank you Mr. Attanasio!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 63 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A devastating culmination Sept. 4 2000
By Bob Satori - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you are a fan of Mr. Attanasio's earlier works this seems to be the point where his theme of human potential and suffering finally concludes with a subtle but tragic realization.
If you have never read Atanasio's work this would be a fine place to start.
Wyvern is perhaps the most consistently violent tale I've ever seen from the author, but it is never gratuitous. This is a terribly moving story that will stay with you for many years, no mere work of light fiction for an evening's entertainment.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
One of the two greatest adventure books of all time Jan. 8 2002
By Randall J. Crook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When I first read Tolkien's trilogy in 1971 I never thought that I would find any adventure that I liked as well until I read Wyvern while on a backpacking trip. I have since reread it twice and find it as facinating as the first read. I can't believe that it is so difficult to find. I cannot recommend this adventure story highly enough.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Exceptional. Unforgettable. June 22 2005
By Kerryah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was the first Attanasio book I ever read, but certainly not the last. However, nothing has ever eclipsed the magnificence of Wyvern. I've never found anything else (by any author) that quite matches this in its sweeping scope. The setting is also wonderfully exotic and refreshingly different from most books in the historical fantasy genre.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Philosiphical works of a genius!! March 3 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book rocks!!!!! A young half-cast from Borneo takes you from the jungles of his childhood, through piracy and love. And along the way makes you think alot, maybe to much, about life, and why.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Still my favorite book Dec 5 2011
By Susan Johann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I first read this maybe nine years ago. I've read many, many books since then, but if I am asked to name my favorite, Wyvern is still it. I also found it somewhat tough going at first. Then I slowed my reading and it went much better. This is language that is dense and deep. It required sinking into it and taking it all in. One of the very few books I brought with me when I moved across the country. I've read it twice, and am thinking of reading it again, but don't want to ruin it through over-familiarity. It is strange to me that this book is not better known.

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