|Publisher||:||Penguin Books Ltd Auflage Reprint 1979|
|Number of Pages||:||407 Pages|
|File Size||:||580 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Better known for his stories such as Watership Down or even The Plague Dogs, this is possibly the most intense book by Richard Adams that I have read. When I read it at the age of 16 or 17, it felt like an adventure story. Upon rereading, its relevance is much more poignant: it is a spiritual meditation in many ways, as well as being a good adventure.There are not too many characters to deal with, and so the plot can easily be understood, unlike so many fantasy novels where one is swamped with people and connections between them. There is a very clear development and evolution of the characters through this novel, as they struggle their way towards enlightenment and wisdom. But there is no preaching about it: there is enough ambiguity for the reader to draw his or her own conclusions from the narrative.Beautifully written, I found I was highlighting many passages, and enjoyed the rich and well tempered style.No regrets about rereading it, or the time spent thinking about it. I strongly recommend this as a serious adventure story that combines imagination, adventure and reflection.
Dieses Buch liest sich äußerst wechselhaft. Mal rauschen die Seiten nur so an einem vorbei, mal zieht es sich etwas in die Länge. Das liegt wohl daran, dass der Autor hier einen etwas zähen Erzähl-Stil angewendet hat. Manchmal beschreibt er über eine Doppelseite hinweg jeden Handgriff und jeden Schritt den eine Figur macht, ohne dass dies irgendwie wichtig für die Handlung wäre.Wenn man jedoch das Buch irgendwann ausgelesen hat, zeigt sich einem ein Bild, welches einerseits zum Nachdenken über die Natur des Menschen anregt, und einen zum anderen unsäglich traurig stimmt.Ob Shardik nun eine göttliche Kraft war oder doch nur ein Bär, das wird nicht wirklich aufgeklärt. Für mich war die wichtigste Aussage des ganzen Buches, wie rücksichtslos, gedankenlos, egoistisch, verblendet und vor allem dumm doch die Menschen sind, ob heute oder vor eintausend Jahren.Stets bedeutete Glaube oder religiöser Wahn nur Schlechtes für sie selbst und die Welt. Das unnötige Leid, dass Shardik in der Geschichte erleiden muss, weil Menschen sich anmaßen ihn für ihre Zwecke zu benutzen, und sein eigentlich schäbiges Ende, eines Gottes unwürdig, all dies kann einen fast zum Atheisten werden lassen, denn heute verfahren religiöse Fanatiker nicht anders. Menschen leiden, Kreaturen der Natur werden missbraucht im Namen verschiedenster Götter, und das Ergebnis ist nie die Opfer wert...
I had this book with this cover years ago and lost mine in one of many moves, so I was glad to be able to get another with the same cover artwork. I love this book, and have since I was a kid more years ago than I like to remember. It's really detailed and beautifully written, and an amazing tribute to Richard Adams' worldbuilding ability.
Superb. Superb. A quasi-sequel to Adams' "Maia", but either will stand alone. Richard Adams is more well known for the famous, "Watership Down". But this one may be even better. Or maybe "Maia" is. Masterpieces all. For the serious reader, no disappointments here
Shardik starts with an epiphany of faith, develops commitment, misuse, and continues with the challenges of a return to the true belief. Then the author runs out of ideas and settles for and everybody is happy. Wasted my time reading it.
The book is great but probably not for everyone. Keep in mind that it was written when it was fashionable to really 'get into' things....coming out of the hippie era. So you may feel that he rambles on sometimes about little things. But if you're looking for a epic tale for the sake of reading through it...not in a hurry to find out what happens next...then you'll be fine with that. As far as that goes, I would compare his writing style to Herman Mellvile and other 19th century authors who wrote for the sake of a story rather than selling books.Now for the warning: do not expect a delicate, light-hearted tale. This book is full of tragedy with some very graphic, realistic cruelty that may leave you scarred. If you're worried about that at all but want to read something by this author, you may want to start with Watership Down. If you're ok with that, mulitplied by 100 on the cruelty scale...then read shardik. I have to say that it was long and sometimes a little boring, but no more than Moby Dick...and like Moby Dick, it left permanent impressions on my mind...some I wish I hadn't read actually. But overall, I'm very glad I read the book and plan to read it again.
Let me begin by saying that Richard Adams is my absolute favorite author, so this review may trend on the biased side. My top favorite book is "Watership Down", but this novel may actually be better than that. At the heart of the book is the main character, Kelderek, who while hunting sees a gigantic bear and perceives him to be the embodiment of the power of God manifested, Shardik. Thus begins a long odyssey for Kelderek in which he rises to the heights of power as priest/king of Bekla (the world where the story takes place) and falls to the lowest of lows as he learns exactly what his reign has wrought (mainly child slavery) and in how he begins to feel that he has betrayed his God, Shardik. Many powerful and thrilling moments occur throughout the story, and more so the descriptive writing is absolutely exquisite. Mr. Adams truly builds this world and the reader is without fail able to envision all that is part of this kingdom, from the marshes, deserts, and rivers to the wonderful Kynat bird that is a symbol of luck and prosperity. Not just a great, mythic, epic adventure, "Shardik" approaches the reader with much larger, deeper ideas and concepts as well, primarily religion and humankind's perception of it. Is nature to be perceived as the manifestation of the power and presence of God, or is it simply immune to any perceptions concerning it and is non-responsive to man's thoughts, ideas, or even prayers? Once having discovered the presence and/or manifestation of God, how should one proceed? Does one take that presence and abuse it to exert power over others, or does one simply allow God or it's manifestation to mold and move the enlightened, even shattering and remaking he/her as it sees fit? Is religion simply a path of redemption for the faithful? This is certainly an exciting, extremely well written book with many overarching concepts and ideas to make the reader think long after finishing the book. I can not recommend enough reading it at least once, or as I have, four times!