Thursday, October 30, 2008

Review:; My Name is Legion

This collection of linked stories is really old Zelazny. It's so old that I don't remember much of the stories except Home is Hangman, which won the Nebula award and has been reprinted so often that you'd be blind not to have read it at some point.

The three stories share the same protagonist, the nameless person who hacked his way out of the central database that now has data on everyone in the world. Unfortunately, unlike most first person narrators that Zelazny has, the narrator is not very compelling. At this point in his career, Zelazny had not developed the snappy, sardonic, sarcastic style that made his later novels such a delight to read.

The first couple of stories depict the nameless protagonist as sort of a trouble-shooter, someone who can slip into a system and figure out what's wrong. What's interesting is that he's not actually a very likable guy --- willing to kill to protect his identity, and really ruthless when it comes to being able to achieve his ends. Both those aspects disappear in the third novella.

All in all, I can't recommend this book --- it's aged enough that you notice all the discrepancies and issues, and Home is Hangman is over-exposed. His later novels definitely show him off in better light.
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