Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Last Castle by Jack Vance

Read For:
What's In A Name Challenge

Synopsis: The novel is about a group of expatriates who have created a set of castles on an otherwise uninhabited world; they pursue an effete aristocratic lifestyle. Their servants inexplicably revolt; what will gentlemen do? This novel shows Vance's verbal style like no other.

My review:
For such a short book (113 pages), The Last Castle provides a scathing commentary and parody on a "gentile" society, who through their enslavement of three other societies, provides the seeds of their own destruction. The main society is filled with intelligence but have stupidly built their society on theory and not practice.

They set up their culture that to do ANYTHING for ones self is demeaning. In turn, they view all others: the strong, alien Meks, the "peasants", the "Nomads, the creatures phanes and the birds, as less than, bestial and without thought or purpose other than to serve them. When, unsurprisingly, the "lesser beings" revolt, the reader witnesses this societies rapid downfall.

My only fault with the book is it's shortness. Mr Vance's grasp of language is amazing and will make some readers, like me, realize just how little of the English language we use in comparison with the plethora of words Vance employs.
3 stars.

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