Customer Reviews for

The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10 (Chronicles of Amber Series)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Corwin, Corwin, Corwin!

The Best Series to come out of the Seventies! Long before Hollywood fell in love with comics, pulp fiction and superheroes, scifi and fantasy got there first. And one of the leading lights among those writers was Roger Zelazny. His tales can be detective noir 'th...
The Best Series to come out of the Seventies! Long before Hollywood fell in love with comics, pulp fiction and superheroes, scifi and fantasy got there first. And one of the leading lights among those writers was Roger Zelazny. His tales can be detective noir 'think Sam Spade' and cinematic ecstacy 'think Wizard of Oz' all in one. That hybrid style brings antihero Corwin back to life in an upstate hospital in New York. And then gives birth to the universe containing the one true world, Amber, and the infinite variations of itself which lie between Amber and the nether end of existence known as the Courts of Chaos. Both are revealed with flash and finesse, love and humor, action and mystery in the original five books. In the decades since its publication, other 'multiverse' tales have appeared. But when the tale of Corwin, his brother princes, their sisters, and the lost liege Oberon, first arrived on the scene there was nothing like it around. Though decades have passed, that original Amber series remains as impressive, fresh and exciting today as it was when it first saw print in the 1970s. Shakespeare, Dumas, Hammett and Verne somehow meet and mix it up in the story told in the first five books, which focus on Corwin and his struggle to regain his memory, his power in Amber, and something he never knew he needed or wanted but which matters most of all. You travel with him to an Avalon that once knew an Uther. Which now needs a Corwin. You follow Corwin into a city of dreams where destiny can be reforged, and into an underwater city where memories wash up on the shores of the mind. With Corwin you journey down into the wild and untamed reality underlying all existence, even Amber herself. But first you will sail into battle with Corwin, fight alongside him on the slopes of the mountain which holds his home, and begin fitting together the pieces of the mystery 'yes, this is a mystery novel, as well!' behind the disappearance of Amber's nigh-omnipotent king, Oberon. Many fans of Zelazny and the original Chronicles of Amber wish he had stopped with the fifth book. Or that he had continued the adventure by returning to the character his readers enjoyed and cared so much about: Corwin. Had he found a way of continuing Corwin's story, the books that later followed might have benefitted and won over Zelazny's followers. Instead, books 6 through 10 'written nearly a decade after the original 5' focus on a new character and lack the freshness and fun found in the Corwin Cycle. Nevertheless, the Corwin Cycle remains the greatest science fiction/fantasy series to come out of the '70s. And is one of the greatest scifi/fantasy epics of all time. Buy this book for the first 5. And then, if you simply MUST have more, even if 'more' means 'not quite as good,' then the second five books are there for the taking.

posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Great Story, BAD book/binding

This is just too many pages for a paperback. Certainly a savings over all the other books bought separate, but we're talking about a pound or more of paper here. How about an electric version, guys!!??

posted by 4361854 on August 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    Great Story, BAD book/binding

    This is just too many pages for a paperback. Certainly a savings over all the other books bought separate, but we're talking about a pound or more of paper here. How about an electric version, guys!!??

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2008

    Corwin, Corwin, Corwin!

    The Best Series to come out of the Seventies! Long before Hollywood fell in love with comics, pulp fiction and superheroes, scifi and fantasy got there first. And one of the leading lights among those writers was Roger Zelazny. His tales can be detective noir 'think Sam Spade' and cinematic ecstacy 'think Wizard of Oz' all in one. That hybrid style brings antihero Corwin back to life in an upstate hospital in New York. And then gives birth to the universe containing the one true world, Amber, and the infinite variations of itself which lie between Amber and the nether end of existence known as the Courts of Chaos. Both are revealed with flash and finesse, love and humor, action and mystery in the original five books. In the decades since its publication, other 'multiverse' tales have appeared. But when the tale of Corwin, his brother princes, their sisters, and the lost liege Oberon, first arrived on the scene there was nothing like it around. Though decades have passed, that original Amber series remains as impressive, fresh and exciting today as it was when it first saw print in the 1970s. Shakespeare, Dumas, Hammett and Verne somehow meet and mix it up in the story told in the first five books, which focus on Corwin and his struggle to regain his memory, his power in Amber, and something he never knew he needed or wanted but which matters most of all. You travel with him to an Avalon that once knew an Uther. Which now needs a Corwin. You follow Corwin into a city of dreams where destiny can be reforged, and into an underwater city where memories wash up on the shores of the mind. With Corwin you journey down into the wild and untamed reality underlying all existence, even Amber herself. But first you will sail into battle with Corwin, fight alongside him on the slopes of the mountain which holds his home, and begin fitting together the pieces of the mystery 'yes, this is a mystery novel, as well!' behind the disappearance of Amber's nigh-omnipotent king, Oberon. Many fans of Zelazny and the original Chronicles of Amber wish he had stopped with the fifth book. Or that he had continued the adventure by returning to the character his readers enjoyed and cared so much about: Corwin. Had he found a way of continuing Corwin's story, the books that later followed might have benefitted and won over Zelazny's followers. Instead, books 6 through 10 'written nearly a decade after the original 5' focus on a new character and lack the freshness and fun found in the Corwin Cycle. Nevertheless, the Corwin Cycle remains the greatest science fiction/fantasy series to come out of the '70s. And is one of the greatest scifi/fantasy epics of all time. Buy this book for the first 5. And then, if you simply MUST have more, even if 'more' means 'not quite as good,' then the second five books are there for the taking.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 23, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    about this edition..

    This IS a good series. The characters are very funny and full of personality and the whole idea is very inventive. However, this particular edition of these books is full of grammatical errors. At first I had a hard time getting past that, but the story did do such a good job of drawing me in that I was mostly able to overlook the errors later on. Just a warning, it can be pretty distracting. If you can afford to do so, I would recommend buying the books seperately. I've researched a little and apparently it is only this particular edition that contains all the errors.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2011

    Great series, please put in e-book form

    I refuse to let go of these books, but my wife says we need the space!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2010

    THE AMBER STORIES ARE EPIC!

    FANTASTIC SET OF STORIES - but needs to be issued as an ebook for the Nook - my entire family (all 10 of us are Nook users) would buy this as an ebook. You should install a "tell the publisher you would like to see this offered as an ebook" link on your website!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Great Series Combined in 1-volume but missing illustrations

    When this book was originally published as individual volumes, it had some great illustrations which enhanced the story and character line. They are missing in this volume. Other than that, this is a very enjoyable read. A bit far-fetched but that's what makes it so good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2015

    This needs to be a NOOK book guys. Seriously. It amazes me how t

    This needs to be a NOOK book guys. Seriously. It amazes me how these books, which have given me hours of enjoyment have not yet been converted to electronic format. I don't know if there are problems with the publisher or with Zelazny's estate, but the minute this is out as a Nook book I'll purchase it. My old Great Book of Amber is falling apart and now it is time replace it, but I won't be buying another giant paperback. Sorry. I'm holding out for the Nook version and have been for some years.

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  • Posted January 10, 2015

    Simply wonderful.

    This is, indeed, classic SciFi/Fantasy and admit I was apprehensive about that (would it seem dated?) as well as the monumental size; it is all ten books in the series. However, Mr Zelazny's imagination, energy and wit hold up against any of the more contemporary writers in this area. The "books" feel more like extended chapters and 1200 pages have flown by. I was sorry to leave Amber for the final time and thank the late Mr Zelazny for a breath-taking adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2014

    Loved it when first read it many years ago and have reread it se

    Loved it when first read it many years ago and have reread it several times. Would LOVE a digital version of it for my Kindle. Had to downsize my book library from hard copies to digital due to storage space. PLEASE PLEASE tell me some one, somewhere is going to digitize this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    Make this a Nook Book!!!  Read the first 5 books as a teen in th

    Make this a Nook Book!!!  Read the first 5 books as a teen in the 70's, now want to introduce my kids. But my copies are 35 +/- years old and need replacing. However, I'm not buying any more paper books...just replacing them with Nook books as I go. So PLEASE make these in Nook form! 

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    must read

    so far i have read almost half way thru the book and i am hooked on it and cant stop reading it im so glad i got the book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    I read the Amber series twice and now that it's been a few year

    I read the Amber series twice and now that it's been a few years since I read them last, I'm going to read them again. Fantastic read. I would buy The Great Book of Amber just the have them on my Nookcolor, but it's not offered in that format.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    The story itself draws the reader in from the very first chapter

    The story itself draws the reader in from the very first chapter. As the main character, Corwin learns who he is and what happened to him, the reader discovers as well. One part in the book where Corwin and Random are going to Amber for the first time in the book Zelazny paints a picture of the pair traveling in a car and the world is changing all around them. “We kept driving, and I kept wondering what the hell was happening. The sky had grown a bit greenish then shaded over into pink.” Corwin’s reaction could be how any one of us in his position, and if I was in the position he was in I would be wondering the same. As the changes came in this situation I felt as if I was falling down the rabbit hole with Alice, Zelazny painted a picture vivid enough to where I could picture it in my mind but he was also mindful enough to allow enough space for imagination to take over.
    The characters Zelazny created are also very believable. Corwin at the beginning of the story is a blank slate as he regains his memory, the character traits and story that is introduced create a person one feels for and wants to succeed. Zelazny’s depiction of Corwin’s family tree shows how many families, friendships, and workplaces are with examples of alliances towards a common goal, deception to gain power over another, and a lack of trust in any one person. Sibling rivalry also plays a part between the characters as two brothers, Corwin and Eric, fight to hold power in Amber and go as far as to war with full armies to determine the victor. With all of the character flaws each member of the family has all of them have redeeming qualities to keep them grounded to people we can all relate to.
    In my opinion one of the great hallmarks of a good story is the need to keep the reader invested in the characters and story to want a longer narrative, after all where would Harry Potter be if J.K.Rowling had Potter defeating Voldermort in chapter one of The Sorcerer’s Stone? Or if Frodo had tossed the ring into Mount Doom In The Fellowship of the Ring could the story have carried on for two more books? The same can be said about Corwin and his endeavors to gain the throne, because the reader becomes invested to a point of feeling happy and sad for the characters we want to know what happens after Corwin is blinded, how does he escape?, will he fight again?
    While reading Nine Princes in Amber I found at some points I was losing track of time. I became so engrossed into the story that the other night I found I was reading until 3 A.M., normally not an issue on Friday night, but an issue for a Wednesday. In fact the book was so engrossing to me I finished the book in a day and a half, and when I was done I was left wanting more. Luckily Nine Princes in Amber is the first book in the series which stretches ten books and seven short stories. I finished the next book in the series The Guns of Avalon in one day due to the fact that this series makes me not want to put it down.
    I must say that I am happy I took the risk and read from an author I was unfamiliar with. I highly recommend this story to anyone who likes The Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Harry Potter series. Zelazny’s work reminds me of these great fantasy novels, and like these examples Nine Princes in Amber leaves you wanting more. With the knowledge that I have eight more books to read I am certain I am going to be caught up into this story for quite a long time.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Outstanding Read Highly Recommended

    Highly Recommended. A Series you will never tire of reading..imagery and the language makes you forget where you are phsically drawing you into the many adventures and characters..A 10 book series that will not seem it..Check for yourself.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    Great book, a must read!

    Just finished reading this book and I could not stop reading most of the time. This book is very well written, with vivid imagery, addictive plots and realistic and relatable characters. As a fan of fantasy books, I was very pleased with the Chronicles, and I would suggest anybody who loves fantasy to read these.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2010

    Great plot and fast read

    Plot is excellent although the characters are not as well-developed as I prefer. Fast reading.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Kept Calling Me Back

    If you grew up in a beautiful orderly place like Amber, would chaos hold any attraction for you? And what would chaos look like? Two generations of princes show us a world where Earth is just one of many attractive and dangerous shadows and where the only alliances seem to be ones of convenience.

    While this compilation of 10 serialized novels had its ups and downs, the good parts were great. Zelazny threw so much at me that I'm sure this book will repay a second reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2008

    Amazing Book

    Before Amber, I had never really read a sci fi novel, so I was a bit skeptical at first. But almost as soon as I cracked the spine of this book, I knew I would love it, and I do! It's amazing and I fully recommend it to anyone who loves a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2007

    Fabulous

    This is the set that started me on my journey into the sci-fi world! Very, very good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2006

    Great book

    The was the first book I've read in a long time. It kept me interested throughout the whole book and was hard to put down. I have to say it was one of the best books I've read. I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good sci-fi novel.

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