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The Beyond (The Well-Built City Trilogy #3)…
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The Beyond (The Well-Built City Trilogy #3) (udgave 2015)

af Jeffrey Ford (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
1354195,616 (3.97)1 / 3
The gripping final volume of the Well-Built City Trilogy The ruins of the Well-Built City and the village of Wenau are not all the world has to offer--there is also the Beyond, a dark land between life and death, populated by flying demons, restless ghosts, invisible terrors, and ravenous trees. Cast out by the people of Wenau after finding a cure for their sickness, former physiognomist Cley sets out to brave the dark mountains and seas of the Beyond in order to find the woman he doomed on his quest to destroy the Well-Built City. As Cley journeys deeper into the unknown, he is accompanied by an invisible companion--the demon Misrix, who is searching for his own humanity.   The final episode in Jeffrey Ford's Kafkaesque Well-Built City Trilogy, The Beyond fleshes out Ford's world further than ever before.… (mere)
Medlem:ejket
Titel:The Beyond (The Well-Built City Trilogy #3)
Forfattere:Jeffrey Ford (Forfatter)
Info:Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (2015), Edition: 1st, 290 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Beyond af Jeffrey Ford

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Originally posted at FanLit http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/the-beyond/

The Beyond is the last book in Jeffrey Ford??s WELL-BUILT CITY trilogy. This bizarre story began with The Physiognomy in which Cley, an arrogant and cruel physiognomist, is sent by the evil ruler Drachton Below on a mission to the mining town of Anamasobia. While there, Cley makes a bad decision which destroys the beautiful face of Arla, the woman he has fallen in love with. This humbles and devastates Cley (drastically changing his personality for the better) and leads to the destruction of Drachton Belowƒ??s Well-Built City.

In the second book, Memoranda, we find Cley in a new life ƒ?? acting as herbalist and midwife in the village of Wenau. When Drachton Below, still living in the ruins of his Well-Built City, poisons the people of Wenau, Cley is the only person who can help, but he has to go into Belowƒ??s warped mind to find the antidote. He gets some help from Misrik, Belowƒ??s charming demon son.

In The Beyond, guilt-ridden Cley is compelled to seek forgiveness and redemption by searching for Arla, the woman whose face he ruined. To do this, he must traverse the mysterious Beyond, the huge cold wasteland that lies north of the Well-Built City. At first he sets out with Misrix and Wood, his old dog, but the northern wastes are teeming with demons and Misrix, a tame and well-educated demon, must turn back as he feels himself losing the civility and culture heƒ??s learned. Cley and Wood go on without him while Misrix returns to the Well-Built City and uses a hallucinogen to watch their progress. Cley meets a few people and some strange creatures in the Beyond, learns that the Beyond is conscious and has plans for him, and then something weird and profound happens to Cley at the end.

Most of the plot of The Beyond consists of Misrix recounting Cleyƒ??s journey, but Misrix has his own subplot, too. Heƒ??s been alone and lonely in the decay of the Well-Built City because the people in the few surrounding villages think he and the city are evil. But when Misrix saves the life of a little girl, he makes a friend. This relationship brings him much joy and much pain.

Up to this point, Fordƒ??s WELL-BUILT CITY trilogy has been inventive, exciting, and surreal. Thereƒ??s so much to like: the pseudoscience of physiognomy, mechanical monsters, revived corpses, polite soul-sucking creatures, an academically-minded demon, a city built to be a memory palace, hallucinogenic drugs, thought-provoking ideas and plenty of symbolism and humor. I was hoping for more of the same creativity and bizarreness in The Beyond.
While I enjoyed the story, The Beyond didnƒ??t quite meet my expectations. Much of the plot involves the mundane aspects of Cleyƒ??s journey ƒ?? acquiring food and shelter, being cold, waiting for snow to thaw, etc, and these parts were sometimes dull. When Cleyƒ??s story finally gets going, much of it is so surreal that itƒ??s hard to become engaged. There may have been some connections and symbolism that I missed, but, frankly, I just wasnƒ??t engrossed enough to meditate on it. Misrixƒ??s story, on the other hand, has more impact because itƒ??s lucid, suspenseful and emotional, but itƒ??s definitely the minor plot.

I love Jeffrey Fordƒ??s style and imagination, and the audio version of The Beyond that I listened to was beautifully read by Christian Rummel. The Beyond wasnƒ??t as good as its predecessors, but it was still worth my time. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
"The Beyond exists on many planes and in many times," says the plant-man ("foliate") Vasthasha, speaking of the wilderness that exists beyond the realm and civilization, and sometimes, it seems, out of reality altogether. So too does The Beyond.

The third volume of Ford's Well-Built City trilogy sends his protagonist Cley in a final bid for redemption into the Beyond. This vector is complemented by that of the demon Misrix, a native of the Beyond, who discovers and pursues his aspiration to become civilized, human, and humane. I'm floored by the profound wonderfulness of this adult fantasy saga, which doesn't even seem to notice that it has discarded all of the threadbare conventions of its genre. Ford combines straightforward prose and a storyteller's pacing with exotically proliferating images and ideas. The result is truly engaging fiction with characters and situations that encode true dilemmas of the human experience.
2 stem paradoxosalpha | Nov 7, 2012 |
One of the things I've really enjoyed about Ford's Well-Built City trilogy is that every book is completely different from the rest. This concluding part has me thinking about Kafka -again- but also Michael Ende. Becuase Ford goes all out here, taking it further than in the first two books, letting Cley travel from weird isolated environment to weird isolated environment, bothering much less with world-building than situation and striking imagery. The use of objects loaded with meaning and symbolism used throughout the series is taken further in The Beyond, and it works. It creates a sense of mystery that puzzles without excluding.

At the same time the cast is cut back to a minimum here, a lot of the book dealing with just Cley and Wood the dog in the wilderness of the Beyond. It's effective and captivating to read a fantasy world that actually benefits from feeling small, isolated and fragmented. The opposite tends to be true.

The narrative level, about Misrix the demon's dealing with being falsely (?) accused of a crime and through this experience actually consolidating his humanity is just another example of Ford's unusual talent for creating universal moral dilemmas from weird premises (remember the "cure the disease by making everyone a drug addict" problem in Memoranda?).

Which is the forte of this whole series. Not just exciting, fun and different, but also profound and moving and engaging in it's own way, dealing with real issues and never resorting to a simple black-white view of things. And the concluding sentences, deeply satisfying in their enigmatic way, actually gave me goosebumps. ( )
1 stem GingerbreadMan | Oct 26, 2009 |
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The gripping final volume of the Well-Built City Trilogy The ruins of the Well-Built City and the village of Wenau are not all the world has to offer--there is also the Beyond, a dark land between life and death, populated by flying demons, restless ghosts, invisible terrors, and ravenous trees. Cast out by the people of Wenau after finding a cure for their sickness, former physiognomist Cley sets out to brave the dark mountains and seas of the Beyond in order to find the woman he doomed on his quest to destroy the Well-Built City. As Cley journeys deeper into the unknown, he is accompanied by an invisible companion--the demon Misrix, who is searching for his own humanity.   The final episode in Jeffrey Ford's Kafkaesque Well-Built City Trilogy, The Beyond fleshes out Ford's world further than ever before.

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