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5.0 out of 5 stars The Geodyssey continues...
The Geodyssey continues... 1999's 'Muse of Art' adds a fourth volume to the epic saga Piers Anthony has constructed of the history of the human race. As the title suggests, this novel concentrates on the arts, including the obvious (story and drama) and the subtle (politics, irony). A handful of characters' lives are followed, matched up with humanity's lifetime so that...
Published on April 19 2001 by Arinwalt

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2.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not what you hope for or think...
I picked up this book as a reader who had thoroughly enjoyed a couple of the humorous Xanth books, excited to see what such a witty author had to say on real 'issues'. Well, I really should have read the author's note in the back instead of the one in front, because there the author plainly admits the many faults of the work.
It's unfortunate, but the 'issues' margin...
Published on June 10 2001


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2.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not what you hope for or think..., June 10 2001
By A Customer
I picked up this book as a reader who had thoroughly enjoyed a couple of the humorous Xanth books, excited to see what such a witty author had to say on real 'issues'. Well, I really should have read the author's note in the back instead of the one in front, because there the author plainly admits the many faults of the work.
It's unfortunate, but the 'issues' margin is very, very small in Muse of Art. Chapters are headed provocatively with words like 'Drama','Justice', 'Arrogance', and other things, but the real problem is... the author rarely has a point. There's a lot of ambiguity, and that's ok, but not in a book that is specifically Supposed to have points. It gets annoying, reading through narratives, growing more and more in anticipation for where the author is going with this and then with most chapters... nowhere. Or sometimes he will say something, like the Romans were arrogant, but the accompanying narrative that is about people attacking the Romans makes you feel sympathy for them. And that's pretty much how things go... nothing proved, if we can even figure out what he's trying to prove...
The main device of the book is that each chapter travels forward to a different offbeat slice of history, using the same cast of archetypal characters that are experiencing a progressing situation. (So the things that happen in prehistory, happen in some manner in other time periods to the same group) So we do get the evolving story of these people, their emotional tribulations and loves... which is kind of neat... but... it once again doesn't have much to do with 'issues' and this is supposed to be an 'issues' book! Perhaps then if the material had been reframed and offered in a different manner it wouldn't seem so disappointing... The whole work has that feel, of improperly supervising. For example the chapter 'Seduction', while unique (although you prudes out there won't dig it) essentially has the same thing going on for a LONG time. And some chapters about wars and sieges are just boring and ardous. I think trying to juggle too many things - Historical background and insight, emotional character development, and personal philosophy have made this book suffer on many accounts, with only the character development really standing out, although slighty. There are a few neat notions by the author, but only a few.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Geodyssey continues..., April 19 2001
The Geodyssey continues... 1999's 'Muse of Art' adds a fourth volume to the epic saga Piers Anthony has constructed of the history of the human race. As the title suggests, this novel concentrates on the arts, including the obvious (story and drama) and the subtle (politics, irony). A handful of characters' lives are followed, matched up with humanity's lifetime so that interesting events in one are tied to interesting events in the other. In 1964 BC, for example, Egyptian actors relating Osiris's tale find their own lives to be in parallel with the play.Anthony is having fun with his creation now, freeing himself of the rigid twenty-chapter framework of the prior instalments to tell fascinating stories of our turbulent past. Also, having made his point that there's more to history than the transfer of "civilization" from Greece to Rome, from England to America, better-known areas now receive his unconventional approach: the Roman empire is seen through the eyes of both Celts and Huns, Vietnam is visited eleven centuries earlier than usual (while Napoleon encounters the guerillas, in Italy), and World War Two is represented by the siege of Stalingrad.Even World War Three, previously skirted around, gets a Geodyssey mention, with biological and nuclear warfare killing off 98% of the population in 2024 AD. Once again the reader is cautioned to learn history's lessons and admit to our responsibility for the world. This entertaining story carries a powerful message, one which we would do well to take to heart.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing..., Oct. 21 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Muse of Art (Hardcover)
You know how when you were a kid, Anthony was a quick, fun read, even though his dialogue left a bit to be desired? Then you got older and realized that most of his books contained the same plot - that only the Names had been changed, and his colloquy really wasn't very good at all?
I thought that with Geodyssey, maybe things were going to change. The series concept was brilliant. The first 2 books were thought provoking and refreshing and even the conversations had improved. However, by the third book you were left somewhat - unfulfilled... And now this newest novel, well, it leaves a raunchy taste in your mouth.
I think maybe he was trying for the popular "gritty" style of writing - lots of sex, outrageous scenarios and shock value. In my opinion, he failed miserably. The sex is frequent and lukewarm, the outrageous scenarios are more embarrassing than intriguing, and the shock value is tasteless. I almost felt as if I was reading one of those Italian porno graphic novel/comics.
To sum up, there is very little of substance in this work. While in this series he is trying to make certain statements, in this story, I had no clue as to what points he was trying to raise. If you ask me, reading subway graffiti will give you more insight into the "human condition" than this book will.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well designed fictionalized historiography, May 6 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Muse of Art (Hardcover)
From prehistoric times to some time in the future, the arts have been the distinguishing feature that sets humanity apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Whether it is prehistory, ancient Egypt, World War II on the German-Russian front, or even the twenty-first century, science and technology have also kept step with the arts. However, "tribal" conflicts (wars between countries) still plague humanity by 2024 when global annihilation begins in the small country of Tuva which is surrounded by Russia and Mongolia.
MUSE OF ART, the fourth volume in Piers Anthony's Geodyssy series, is an interesting look at the history (including a future "history") of humankind through various short and short-short stories at different eras. Through it all, Mr. Anthony clearly demonstrates he fully relishes this project that summarizes the generalization that history repeats itself. Most of the periods never fully develop. This leaves readers to feel that they are missing out on something. Still, Mr. Anthony provides his audience with an intriguing look at the lessons of history that each generation ignores even as they rewrite the "facts" to fit their own needs. Historiography lives in Mr. Anthony's opus.

Harriet Klausner
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3.0 out of 5 stars Still Geodyssey - fascinating , but a little different, Jan. 6 2002
By 
Herschel O. Zarecor, III (Hampton, VA United States) - See all my reviews
No matter what the other reviewers say, Geodyssey was still a good read, like all of Piers Anthony's books have been. There are, admittedly, some sections which could have been toned down or shortened, take your pick. I speak specifically of the 40,000 word long story of Melee and Dillon which seems to be a tale told of a romance based on urination and sex and control. There was a brief mention of cannibalism seemingly from the view of "waste not, want not." As I said at the beginning, it is still a good read - the historical settings are fascinating, and while some of the stories are conjectural, Mr. Anthony readily admits to this. It is a good read some will have trouble with and some will not, like any other book. if you have read Piers Anthony before, especially previous Geodyssey installations, read this.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment, Feb. 16 2002
By 
Bruce A. Johnson (Hardisty, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
I have been a fan of Piers Anthony for many years: I have most of his novels, and have always enjoyed them . . . until now. I liked the other 3 Geodyssey books, but the quality of writing in this 4th book is surprisingly bad. The dialog and actions & attitudes of his characters is so contrived that it is hard to believe that Piers Anthony wrote this book.
I am rather liberal-minded when it comes to sex & erotica, but the sex in this book is surprising graphic, and lacks good taste.
The history is interesting, but Anthony has shot down his own dream of having these Geodyssey books in the classroom.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but it'll do., July 5 2002
By A Customer
I loved the other 3 Geodyssey books. They're among my favourite novels and I keep trying to get others to read them. I waited a year and a half for Muse of Art to come to paperback so that I could finally read it. Well, I must say I was a little disappointed! The history was good just like in the other 3, but it read like bad erotica. Piers himself stated somewhere that the Geodyssey series wasn't selling the way he had hoped, I think he's now stooping too low on purpose to try to make it sell.
We can only hope that Climate of Change (the fifth and final) has the quality of the first three.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved It!!!!, Aug. 29 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Muse of Art (Hardcover)
Although this book differed from other Piers Anthony works which were much more comedic, I loved it and would recommend it whole-heartedly to everyone interested in humanity, history, science, or learning about themselves. I did not read the first three books in the series but unlike most series I understood the story even without reading the first three. I thought that the book was a little bit heavy on the sexuality, but since reproduction is a major part of humanity, it was relevant. To anyone wondering whether to read it--I say go for it!!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Read something else, July 19 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Muse of Art (Hardcover)
While I am a huge fan of Piers Anthony, I not only found this book very "put down-able" but offensive. Between the gratuitous sex on every page and the consumption of human body parts as aphrodesiacs, there was very little good story. The history parts were very good and read well, but the story part of the book was a definite turn-off for me and several of my friends. I'd stick to the other Anthony series for better entertainment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Muse of Art!, June 23 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Muse of Art (Hardcover)
Muse of Art is another wonderful entry in the Geodyssey series. Piers is consistent in using the same basic characters through time and at the same time giving us a tour through little know and well know moment in history. I really enjoy the chapter dealing with the Olmec and Egypt. If you really like challenging reading, this is the novel to buy and for that matter all the previous installment of the Geodyssey series!
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Muse of Art
Muse of Art by Piers Anthony (Hardcover - May 21 1999)
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