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

4.7 86
by Roger Zelazny
     
 

“Fantasy of a superior order.”
Washington Post Book World

 

“A storyteller without peer. He created worlds as colorful and exotic and memorable as any our genre has ever seen.”
—George R.R. Martin

 

One of the most revered names in sf and fantasy, the incomparable Roger Zelazny was honored with

Overview

“Fantasy of a superior order.”
Washington Post Book World

 

“A storyteller without peer. He created worlds as colorful and exotic and memorable as any our genre has ever seen.”
—George R.R. Martin

 

One of the most revered names in sf and fantasy, the incomparable Roger Zelazny was honored with numerous prizes—including six Hugo and three Nebula Awards—over the course of his legendary career. Among his more than fifty books, arguably Zelazny’s most popular literary creations were his extraordinary Amber novels. The Great Book of Amber is a collection of the complete Amber chronicles—featuring volumes one through ten—a treasure trove of the ingenious imagination and phenomenal storytelling that inspired a generation of fantasists, from Neil Gaiman to George R.R. Martin.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
Library Journal
Speaking of bargains, this volume combines all ten installations in Zalazny's popular "Amber Chronicles" in one neat--and, even better--cheap package. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380809066
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/28/2010
Series:
Chronicles of Amber Series
Pages:
1258
Sales rank:
73,683
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 8.98(h) x 2.20(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Nine Princes
In Amber

It was starting to end, after what seemed most of eternity to me.

I attempted to wriggle my toes, succeeded. I was sprawled there in a hospital bed and my legs were done up in plaster casts, but they were still mine.

I squeezed my eyes shut, and opened them, three times.

The room grew steady.

Where the hell was I?

Then the fogs were slowly broken, and some of that which is called memory returned to me. I recalled nights and nurses and needles. Every time things would begin to clear a bit, someone would come in and jab me with something. That's how it had been. Yes. Now, though, I was feeling halfway decent. They'd have to stop.

Wouldn't they?

The thought came to assail me: Maybe not.

Some natural skepticism as to the purity of all human motives came and sat upon my chest. I'd been over-narcotized, I suddenly knew. No real reason for it, from the way I felt, and no reason for them to stop now, if they'd been paid to keep it up. So play it cool and stay dopey, said a voice which was my worst, if wiser, self.

So I did.

A nurse poked her head in the door about ten minutes later, and I was, of course, still sacking Z's. She went away.

By then, I'd reconstructed a bit of what had occurred.

I had been in some sort of accident, I remembered vaguely. What had happened after that was still a blur; and as to what had happened before, I had no inkling whatsoever. But I had first been in a hospital and then brought to this place, I remembered. Why? I didn't know.

However, my legs felt pretty good. Good enough to hold me up, though Ididn't know how much time had lapsed since their breaking-and I knew they'd been broken.

So I sat up. It took me a real effort, as my muscles were very tired. It was dark outside and a handful of stars were standing naked beyond the window. I winked back at them and threw my legs over the edge of the bed.

I was dizzy, but after a while it subsided and I got up, gripping the rail at the head of the bed, and I took my first step.

Okay. My legs held me.

So, theoretically, I was in good enough shape to walk out.

I made it back to the bed, stretched out and thought. I was sweating and shaking. Visions of sugar plums, etc.

In the State of Denmark there was the odor of decay. . . .

It had been an accident involving an auto, I recalled. One helluva one. . . .

Then the door opened, letting in light, and through slits beneath my eyelashes I saw a nurse with a hypo in her hand.

She approached my bedside, a hippy broad with dark hair and big arms.

just as she neared, I sat up.

"Good evening," I said.

"Why-good evening," she replied.

"When do I check out?" I asked.

"I'll have to ask Doctor."

"Do so," I said.

"Please roll up your sleeve."

"No thanks."

"I have to give you an injection."

"No you don't. I don't need it."

"I'm afraid that's for Doctor to say."

"Then send him around and let him say it. But in the meantime, I will not permit it."

"I'm afraid I have my orders."

"So did Eichmann, and look what happened to him," and I shook my head slowly.

"Very well," she said. "I'll have to report this.

"Please do," I said, "and while you're at it, tell him I've decided to check out in the morning."

"That's impossible. You can't even walk-and there were internal injuries. . ."

"We'll see," said I. "Good night."

She swished out of sight without answering.

So I lay there and mulled. It seemed I was in some sort of private place - so somebody was footing the bill. Whom did I know? No visions of relatives appeared behind my eyes. Friends either. What did that leave? Enemies?

I thought a while.

Nothing.

Nobody to benefact me thus.

I'd gone over a cliff in my car, and into a lake, I suddenly remembered. And that was all I remembered.

I was . . .

I strained and began to sweat again.

I didn't know who I was.

But to occupy myself, I sat up and stripped away all my bandages. I seemed all right underneath them, and it seemed the right thing to do. I broke the cast on my right leg, using a metal strut I'd removed from the head of the bed. I had a sudden feeling that I had to get out in a hurry, that there was something I had to do.

I tested my right leg. It was okay.

I shattered the cast on my left leg, got up, went to the closet.

No clothes there.

Then I heard the footsteps. I returned to my bed and covered over the broken casts and the discarded bandages.

The door swung inward once again.

Then there was light all around me, and there was a beefy guy in a white jacket standing with his hand on the wall switch.

"What's this I hear about you giving the nurse a hard time?" he asked, and there was no more feigning sleep,

"I don't know," I said. "What is it?"

That troubled him for a second or two, said the frown, then, "It's time for your shot."

"Are you an M.D.?" I asked.

"No, but I'm authorized to give you a shot."

"And I refuse it," I said, "as I've a legal right to do. What's it to you?"

"You'll have your shot," he said, and he moved around to the left side of the bed. He had a hypo in one hand, which had been out of sight till then.

It was a very foul blow, about four inches below the belt buckle, I'd say, and it left him on his knees.

"_____ _____!" he said, after a time.

"Come within spitting distance again," I said, "and see what happens."

"We've got ways to deal with patients like you," he gasped.

So I knew the time had come to act.

"Where are my clothes?" I said. "_____ _____!"he repeated.

"Then I guess I'll have to take yours. Give them to me."

\

Meet the Author

Roger Zelazny burst onto the SF scene in the early 1960s with a series of dazzling and groundbreaking short stories. He won his first of six Hugo Awards for Lord of Light, and soon after produced the first book of his enormously popular Amber series, Nine Princes in Amber. In addition to his Hugos, he went on to win three Nebula Awards over the course of a long and distinguished career. He died on June 14, 1995.

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Great Book of Amber 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!??
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I refuse to let go of these books, but my wife says we need the space!
lunchboxmonkey More than 1 year ago
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.
Patrick58 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
StylinSixty More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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! 
crazysarah More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
artrick More than 1 year ago
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.
sugarpy18 More than 1 year ago
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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