Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Last Wish Book Review

The Last Wish
Andrzej Sapkowski

First of all, thank you Orbit Books for sending me this book. It is probably my favorite book I've received in the mail since I started this blog.

So, here it goes...

(Check out the Of Blog for a good summary)

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski is a collection of six short stories, connected by a seven piece framework which begins, ends, and separates each of the shorts. Really, I didn't know what to call the short segments in between the stories, but I read some other reviews and the word framework sounded cool. So today we call it framework.

If I treat each story like a book, judging them individually, and separate from their "sequels" then A Grain of Truth, A Lesser Evil, and A Question of Price are cuts the rest. But I don't want to focus on each individual story, the reading just didn't go that way for me.

Instead, I read a whole book with a collection of stories that at the end, left me with a sense of rightness--not a sense of righteousness like I feel after reading Feist or Eddings--but more like the feeling I get driving by the three old guys sitting on their wall, or laughing at the probably homosexual man stopping at a green light to smile at me. It is just true.

I totally dig the whole collection of short stories thing. It reminds me a lot of books I read in school by Annie Dillard and Lewis Thomas. True, it doesn't really help the book's wholeness factor, but I'm not disappointed. It kind of made Geralt mysterious and handsome, or so it goes. And those scenes in the framing sequences with him at the monastery with all of the peacefully beautiful women didn't exactly work to divert that impression either.

Also, I'm freakin' glad Sapkowski saw fit to add the framework into the book. I feel like that was the most moving part of the novel. In fact, my only real complaint for the book would be the (totally overlookable) lack of grab me by the cajones material. The book was leisurely and humorous, witty and well written. But it didn't push me, pull me or move me anywhere. The framework being the most riveting part of the novel was a little weird to me...

Even so, it was totally worthy of my time. I'm totally hoping Orbit publishes more Andrzej Sapkowski, if only so I can learn a little more about the mysterious Geralt de Rivia. Rumour has it they are publishing The Blood of Elves sometime next out :)

Check out more The Last Wish reviews at:
Of Blog of the Fallen
The Wertzone
Fantasy Book Critic
Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

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