Revisiting The Chronicles of Amber

Revisiting The Chronicles of Amber

amberIn my never-ending quest to bring heroic fiction and sword-and-sorcery to a wider audience, I have been writing essays for National Public Radio. Last May they carried an article I drafted about three books reprinting pulp (and slick)  magazine treasures.

Today, as part of their Guilty Pleasures series, I waxed on about one of my very favorite series, Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber. I can’t say as I feel especially guilty about loving the first Amber series, although I do always have to mention a few caveats when I recommend it. For instance, I usually emphasize that I didn’t care nearly as much for the later sequel volumes.

I discovered Zelazny’s Amber at about the same time I read Fritz Leiber’s Swords Against Death and a whole slew of Michael Moorcock novels. As a young teenager, those stories effectively blew my mind. I can honestly say that there’s no fantasy series that had as great an impact upon me. Even today, some twenty years after my last reading, I can still quote portions extensively. If you’re a fan of heroic fiction and sword-and-sorcery, you really owe it to yourself to give it a try

If you want to know more about Amber, check out the article, and if you’re wanting to see more coverage of genre work at NPR I hope you’ll Like, Tweet, Recommend, or whatever else the page.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lugo

I reread the Amber series and Leiber’s Swords series a few years ago, for the first time since I was in high school, and I thought they aged pretty well. I am almost afraid to look at Moorcock, a big favorite of mine in high school, as I fear his work will not appeal to me at this point.

barbarienne

I reread 9PiA every other year or so. Most times it leads me right through to the next book or two.

I probably shouldn’t mention the names of my cats, or my car, or the fact that I have the original masters of the embossing dies for the covers of the last mass-market editions Avon Books published…

Honest, I never intended to be a crazy Amberphile. It just happened!

andy

“I can’t say as I feel especially guilty about loving the first Amber series, although I do always have to mention a few caveats when I recommend it. For instance, I usually emphasize that I didn’t care nearly as much for the later sequel volumes.”

I used to know a guy who had been acquainted with Zelazny, and from what he said, Zelazny himself wasn’t very happy with the later Amber books either, as he had apparently only written them because he needed the money and wasn’t creatively invested in them.

Tyr

Amber and Nehwon – two of the best and most under-appreciated settings in all of fantasy.

Theodric the Obscure

Keep up the good work, HAJ. I tried to comment over there, but apparently NPR is crazy on the moderation. Maybe it will appear, eventually.

[…] Black Gate (Howard Andrew Jones) on Revisiting The Chronicles of Amber. […]

[…] for a counter-opinion, Howard Andrew Jones wrote a warm retrospective of the Amber books here just last year. And even more recently, Locus Online‘s poll for Best Fantasy Novels of the 20th Century […]

12
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x