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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read in a long time
Almost every collection of novellas is met with a preface that says something along the lines of "Novellas are great to write but impossible to sell" which might be a good thing, because when novellas get published they are some of the best work of the particular writer.
These five novellas are some of the most intense literary experiences going. The first one is a...
Published on July 14 2002 by Tim Lieder

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Stick to 'Broken Stones' for short fiction.
Dan Simmons is no doubt a great writer... 'Hyperion', 'Carrion Comfort', and 'Song of Kali' are all great books, but this collection of novellas is a total disappointment. I think the problem lies in the fact that Simmons is moralizing here on subjects that he cares about (like the horrors of AIDS) and it's getting in the way of his usual magical style of storytelling...
Published on Oct. 9 2001


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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read in a long time, July 14 2002
By 
Tim Lieder "Founder of Dybbuk Press" (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Almost every collection of novellas is met with a preface that says something along the lines of "Novellas are great to write but impossible to sell" which might be a good thing, because when novellas get published they are some of the best work of the particular writer.
These five novellas are some of the most intense literary experiences going. The first one is a simple father-daughter outing colored by the fact that one of his children is dead. Everything in the story is tinged with the father's fear. The second story "Dying in Bangkok" is ostensibly an AIDS story, but AIDS plays a small part of it. The demonic prostitutes could be a metaphor for the dangers of unchecked sexuality or they could just be the attraction of death itself. It's a grimy story that keeps you reading.
The Teeth WOman story proves that some of the best writing is done angry. After the requisite slam on Dances with Wolves, this story gets going with Sioux legend and mythology given its due. The gee shucks romanticism of Dances with Wolves (and several other "Indian" books) cannot compare to the oft-times disturbing tale of sex and redemption. Reading this book is like reading Singer after watching romanticized crap like Fiddler on the Roof.
"Flashback" is an interesting take on memories and reliving them, but it's too cyberpunk. Making the Japanese the villains tends to date this story as well. The depressing ending is just kind of a wash.
But "The Great Lover" really makes up for it. WWI horror told with precision and gut-wrenching detail. It makes you feel like you are there in the trenches watching people die by the thousands, waiting for the machine gun blast that will turn you into a pile of rotten meat. The best war stories leave the reader shell-shocked, and this is one of the best.
The only other book by Dan Simmons I've read was SOng of Kali and I find this one to be far superior.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Simmons's best work, Aug. 7 1997
By A Customer
While Dan Simmons has produced some extraordinary books in the past few years, including the much acclaimed Hyperion and Children of the Night, this masterwork surpasses them all. Lovedeath is a one-volume illustration of the fact that Dan Simmons is one of the most talented writers of the generation, with a stunning ability that transends genre.

In the opening story, Entropy's Bed at Midnight, Simmons spins a suspensful, poetic tale that includes everything good about the way Stephen King writes internal dialog along with a dash of humor and a aura of quiet forboding. This is pure dramatic short story and compares well to any recent work of "serious" short fiction.

Dying in Bangkok, the next story, has a much different, darker tone. Here, Simmons takes a genre flooded with terrible writing, the erotic horror tale, and weaves a masterwork. Brilliant characterizations, a breathtaking description of a city lost in empty sensuality and sensationalism and a subtle blending of the supernatural carry the reader on a quest, deep into a dark, mysterious world.

His next tale would best be described as fantasy. It's an invented Native American legend, as told by an old tribal medicine man. Suffice it to say that I spent quite a while in the library trying to find out whether this story was Simmons's invention or the real thing. Once again, Simmons creates characters so human, the reader can't help but accept their world as real.

In the final story, The Great Lover, the theme of love, death and hope present in all four stories, takes clearer shape. Here Simmons writes what I believe is possibly one of the finest short story ever put to paper. On the surface, it's a touching story about the horors of war, but it's the subtle philosophy of hope that Simmons has been hinting at throughout the entire collection that really takes center stage here.

This collection is a sterling example the increadible talent that is Dan Simmons. The only question left is "is there anything he _can't_ do?"
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2.0 out of 5 stars Stick to 'Broken Stones' for short fiction., Oct. 9 2001
By A Customer
Dan Simmons is no doubt a great writer... 'Hyperion', 'Carrion Comfort', and 'Song of Kali' are all great books, but this collection of novellas is a total disappointment. I think the problem lies in the fact that Simmons is moralizing here on subjects that he cares about (like the horrors of AIDS) and it's getting in the way of his usual magical style of storytelling. With the story subservient to the moral, we the readers are left to consider Simmons' ethical point of view, which in the case of "Dying in Bangkok", is downright offensive. It's not hard to understand why this book is out of print. Stick with 'Prayers To Broken Stones' if you want to experience Simmons' shorter works of fiction.
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Lovedeath: Five Tales of Love and Death
Lovedeath: Five Tales of Love and Death by Dan Simmons (Paperback - May 12 1994)
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