Freedom & Necessity Paperback – 5 September 2000
- Paperback : 446 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0765316803
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765316806
- Product Dimensions : 15.24 x 2.52 x 22.86 cm
- Publisher : St. Martins Press-3PL; Reprint Edition (5 September 2000)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 737,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"Resembling the works of Tolstoy and Dickens in the plethora of characters, Stoker and Mary Shelley in the exposition, the novel brings together intrigue, adventure, politics, and magic in a complex epic that astonishes the reader." --Library Journal on Freedom and Necessity"Complex and masterly . . . A skilful act of ventriloquism, faithfully reproducing the argot of the early Victorian upper classes with only a few lapses, and plausibily weaving the plot into the politics at the time. Imaginative and finely written." --Interzone on Freedom and Necessity "Expertly styled after a 19th-century English epistolary novel . . . Engaging characters and surprises that, for all their thrills, stem quite naturally from the groundwork that the authors have so cleverly laid." --Publishers Weekly on Freedom and Necessity "One of the most impressive novels I've read in a long time." --Locus on Freedom and Necessity "Brilliantly written as an epistolary novel, rich with historical detail, enlivened by fully drawn characters, this is one of the most unusual and certainly one of the best fantasy novels of the year." --Science Fiction Chronicle on Freedom and Necessity
About the Author
Emma Bull's War for the Oaks won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her subsequent works have included Falcon, the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-finalist Bone Dance, Finder, and (with Steven Brust) Freedom and Necessity. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.
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James Cobham, thought drowned at a family party, comes to his senses, injured and ill in a country inn with confusing and fragmented memories of how he spent the last two months, or so he writes his cousin, Richard Cobham. The two cousins, along with Richard's wife Kitty and another cousin, Susan try to unravel the mystery of James's missing months and the political and familial plots arrayed against him. The letters and the characters traverse much of England, Ireland, Continental philosophy, Victorian social and political conditions and the birth of Communism as a philosophy. The answers to the puzzle are meted out at exactly the right pace and are everything the reader could hope - the perfect blend of magic and realism.
I was unfamiliar with the work of either Brust or Bull when I bought this book, but became familiar with it on the strength of this work, which is different than anything either writer has produced before. The characterization is especially strong too. These are real people, good people who make mistakes in a complex situation based on both personal flaws and misreading of the motives of others and their own. The love stories are a joy to read conducted as they are between real, whole people. Freedom and Necessity has become an all time favorite book of mine and I re-read it every few years. The complexity of the plot, the philosophy, the characters and the language keep this book evergreen for the reader. A phenomenal achievement. I wish there were more books with this wonderful combination of deep thought and fast plot. Highly recommended to readers of Victoriana, historical novels, fantasy adventure and just plain old popular fiction that verges on the literary.
A well-written X-Files meets Sherlock Holmes meets Lovecraft, meets Emma Bull and Steven Brust. Throw in the beginnings of communism and the 19th Century British Labor movement, elite British families, and a hearty dose of feminism, and you've got magic. (really - it works far better than you'd imagine!)
Emma Bull is one of the great unsung writers of her generation. I stumbled across her 'War for the Oaks' in a used book store years ago, and was blown away. I then did the same with 'Falcon' and was again surprised. Unfortunately, she has been sucked into 'genre' writing and storylines that just plain don't differentiate her. But she writes so very well!
I've never read anything by Steven Brust before, and I would guess that I'm one of the few out there that read this for Ms. Bull's reputation. But I'm going to be picking up his work soon.
Outstanding just for the style. A VERY SMART BOOK!