Roger Zelazny - Nine Princes of Amber

I have this vivid childhood memory of going to the library with my mom. The big, main city library, not the children’s branch. Mom’s friend who worked there gave me the first Chronicles of Amber novel suggesting I would like it if I’m into sci-fi and fantasy (which I was). I don’t remember many details from the book but I remember reading more than one (maybe that whole cycle) and liking it.

So I picked this book decades later and it’s much worse than I remember. Not sure how the original is written but translation sounds very weird and unnatural due to the heavy use of aorist. The story is pretty thin with potentially most interesting parts skipped or contained into few pages.

The majority of the book is spent describing what Corwin wears and eats and how much he sleeps. Felt like describing boring parts of a video game. The characters are pretty shallow. Starting with all-powerful and super skilled Corwin to his one-dimensional siblings. I thought the battle sequence was particularly bad. Book had one bad joke told by a character that I found funny enough to try and remember (update: I forgot what it was).

When all craze with movie adaptations of LOTR and Harry Potter started I wondered why this one never happened. Now I understand why. It’s simply not a good book.