Ship Of Fools Mass Market Paperback – Jan 22 2002
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
In the end I give it a 3 out of 5. Fun read but not enough.
Most recent customer reviews
Kinda slow to get going, but once it does there's no looking back. The best ending out of any book I've read in ages.Published on Aug. 4 2010 by M. Shisko
Do not let the excellent wtiting and character development fool you. This is a book that truly underestimates its audience. Read morePublished on May 3 2004 by Anthony P
Finally I picked a book which wasn't just a three star average story. I am so glad that I found that book. Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by Christoph Strizik
This is a well-written thematic story. Although it has several subplots, the main storyline is written to demonstrate the power of human curiosity. Read morePublished on Dec 2 2003 by Vynnie
I received this book mistakenly (I'd ordered Katherine Porter's SHIP OF FOOLS...quite different!), but thought I'd give it a read. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2003 by Nelson Aspen
Some of these reviewers need to lighten up a bit! This was a well written, wonderfully paced book that I read in 3 sittings. Read morePublished on July 17 2003 by Walter Sobchak Esq.
I picked up this book not knowing anything about the author. Ship of Fools held my interest a lot more than I expected. Read morePublished on July 8 2003
"Ship of Fools" is set on the Argonos, a starship housing a small society which has been shipbound for hundreds of years. Read morePublished on June 15 2003 by erica