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Book Reviews

May, 1998

Land of the Golden Clouds
book cover, Land of the Golden Clouds
Land of the Golden Clouds, Archie Weller (p/b, Allen & Unwin, $19.95)

- It's rare in this day and age of mass produced literature to see someone experimenting with the format of the story itself. This is one of many reasons to read Land of the Golden Clouds. Archie Weller has reformated the written word so that you feel like you are having the story told to you by a tribal elder or grandfather, who surely must have lived it to be able to go into such wonderful detail.

But perhaps detail is the wrong word. The writing style for a book so large (378 pages including a lexicon of languages used) is surprisingly short of descriptive phrases. While some writers are caught up in flowing phrases, Wellers writing style actually benefits from the lack of such things. It is the characters and their actions that drive the story, not any great omniscience that writers normally use so their readers can feel like they know everything.

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A post apocalyptic sci-fantasy saga it starts with a rundown on each character, with the barest of information, and really, that's all you need. This is new territory being walked here, new lands with new people.

The book progresses with you learning more and more of what lies within it's world but never without taking away from it's own discoveries. All to often such tales have one with them who have encountered such things before, but the characters here are thrown into the deep end just as much as the reader. I'm not really sure who was meant to enjoy this new found things more.

It is a book about many journeys. About the many paths that are taken by people on the same road. Well worth a look.

Simon Feeney

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