Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Book Details
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Paperback, 481 pages
1990, Spectra
ISBN: 0553283685

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope--and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

Hyperion is more a collection of short stories than a complete novel. Each story shows the background of one of the pilgrims on their way face the Shrike. Each pilgrim tells their story to the others as they travel in the hopes of figuring out how they are connected.

The stories vary widely and a reader's enjoyment of each will depend on their personal interests and preferences. While I enjoyed the scholar, the detective, the priest and the consul's stories, I could barely force myself to finish the soldier and the poet's stories.

The book as a whole had its share of dull moments. The tension and excitement finally gets going as the pilgrims get closer to meeting the Shrike. The problem is that the book has no ending. The entire story leads you to this meeting and then the book ends right before they get there.

I was definitely left with little satisfaction and the feeling that I read the book for nothing. I wonder what ultimately happens, but I'll never find out. Hyperion just wasn't good enough to make me read the next book in the series.


Dan Simmons' website


  1. I had this book on my wishlist, but I guess I won't read it. Thank you for your review.

  2. Thanks for the review! I am always kind of iffy on those (books that have several short stories) because I am never sure if the payoff is worth the time in the end!

  3. OHMYGOD! I almost gave Hyperion 5 stars, I loved it so much! I think it's one of the greatest sci-fi books I've read in the last 5 years. I can't believe you didn't love it. While I guess you're right about it being more like short stories, I just thought they all fit together so well that it didn't matter, and I would never have thought to call it short stories. And for me, there was never a dull moment! I'm sad you didn't love it as much as I did. And I feel like usually, we tend to have the same taste in books. Odd, indeed.

  4. I know I read a Dan Simmons book once upon a time but I remember being so completely confused about what was going on that I've blocked the title from my mind and haven't picked up another of his books.