Reviews of John Crowley’s Endless Things

Tue 1 May 2007 - Filed under: Authors | Leave a Comment

Crowley, Endless ThingsEndless Things
John Crowley

Reviews

“This long-awaited fantasy novel brings an end to the critically acclaimed Aegypt quartet that takes ‘the vast jigsaw that Crowley has assembled in the first three books – and places them in a picture that’s open, smiling, filled with possibility….gracefully written, beautifully characterized, moving, and thought-provoking.'”
Locus Notable Books

“A beautiful palimpsest as complex, mysterious and unreliable as human memory.”
Seattle Times

Endless Things is the fourth and last installment in a vast, intricate series of novels collectively entitled “Aegypt.” The series (which is really one long novel) began in 1987 with the publication of Aegypt (soon to be reissued as The Solitudes) and was followed by Love & Sleep (1994) and Daemonomania (2000). It was clear from the start that Crowley was on to something special, and the appearance of this final volume confirms that impression. In its entirety, “Aegypt” stands as one of the most distinctive accomplishments of recent decades. It is a work of great erudition and deep humanity that is as beautifully composed as any novel in my experience.”
Washington Post Book World

“With Endless Things and the completion of the Ægypt cycle, Crowley has constructed one of the finest, most welcoming tales contemporary fiction has to offer us.”
Book Forum

“The miracle of Endless Things is that it takes these pieces — and the rest of the vast jigsaw that Crowley has assembled in the first three books — and places them in a picture that’s open, smiling, filled with possibility.”
Locus

“Crowley’s prose, on a sentence-by-sentence level, has never been stronger or lovelier. His epigrams and observations on the core nature of existence continue to be wise and, well, piercing, at once novel and, with a moment’s reflection, undeniably primal. This is a book that conveys the uncanniness of the mundane, and the mundanity of the uncanny. Readers who have followed Pierce’s travails for two decades will find that the ending of his story resonates as brightly as the Aeolian harp that is the book’s final image.”
— Paul Di Filippo, Sci Fi Weekly

Endless Things is the perfect ending to a true master work which offers a densely detailed exploration of the connections between story and history, the fictions which inspire our imagination and the desires which inspire our visions of the future. At its heart, however, Endless Things is a love story about books and readers, and such is a treasure trove for any reader who wishes to delve into the timeless mysteries of books and stories.”
Green Man Review

“Solemnity is out of order in a review of a book that ends with a mountain-top pastorale accompanied by heavenly music from an Aeolian harp played by no human hand.”
John Reilly

“Crowley’s eloquent and captivating conclusion to his Ægypt tetralogy finds scholar Pierce Moffet still searching for the mythical Ægypt, an alternate reality of magic and marvels that have been encoded in our own world’s myths, legends and superstitions. Pierce first intuited the realm’s existence from the work of cult novelist Fellowes Kraft. Using Kraft’s unfinished final novel as his Baedeker, Pierce travels to Europe, where he spies tantalizing traces of Ægypt’s mysteries in the Gnostic teachings of the Rosicrucians, the mysticism of John Dee, the progressive thoughts of heretical priest Giordano Bruno and the “chemical wedding” of two 17th-century monarchs in Prague. Like Pierce’s travels, the final destination for this modern fantasy epic is almost incidental to its telling. With astonishing dexterity, Crowley (Lord Byron’s Novel) parallels multiple story lines spread across centuries and unobtrusively deploys recurring symbols and motifs to convey a sense of organic wholeness. Even as Pierce’s quest ends on a fulfilling personal note, this marvelous tale comes full circle to reinforce its timeless themes of transformation, re-creation and immortality.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for the Ægypt sequence:

“A dizzying experience, achieved with unerring security of technique.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A master of language, plot, and characterization.”
—Harold Bloom

“The further in you go, the bigger it gets.”
—James Hynes, Boston Review

“The writing here is intricate and thoughtful, allusive and ironic. . . . Ægypt bears many resemblances, incidental and substantive, to Thomas Pynchon’s wonderful 1966 novel The Crying of Lot 49.
USA Today

“An original moralist of the same giddy heights occupied by Thomas Mann and Robertson Davies.”
San Francisco Chronicle

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