I’ve always thought that Cugel the Clever (aka The Eyes of the Overworld) is the perfect Jack Vance novel. All of his strengths as a writer are on display here. Thus begins the saga of Cugel the not-so-Clever and the not-at-all-nice. We are given ample opportunities to dislike him. Similarly Cugel is. Cugel the Clever is one of the great archetypal figures in SF literature, the vain trickster in Jack Vance’s post-apocalyptic Dying Earth stories.

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Twango’s basic reference work on Sadlark’s scales is Haruviot’s Intimate Anatomy of Several Overworld Personageswhich allows him to classify them as “ordinaries” or “specials”. With the aid of Nisbet’s gravity-repellent boot dressing, Cugel comes up with a scheme whereby he surreptitiously removes the bottom segments of every column in order to resell them to the women. The Columns, and 2. Oddly-benevolent people living on the site of ancient demon temples, a field of towers that reach towards the sky with men who lounge upon them to take in the sun’s healthy radiation, a festival of wondrous displays, and more.

Share your thoughts with other customers. Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter prizes. Cugel eventually ends up off the ship and stranded in the village of Tustvold where he meets the quarry caretaker named Nesbit.

This is Vance at his classic best.

A chance to win the big prize at a magical fair with his display of a wormwhole to another dimension turns nasty when Cugel messes with the cugdl dreams are made off. In other words, the Spatterlight fulfils its role as the magical macguffin. Or he saves the world by mistake from an alien starship. Retrieved from ” https: I wouldn’t recommend reading this immediately after the second in the series because of the similarity in content and structure, cuhel Storyline: Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.


This is a device that is a “contrivance of lenses above the fire” aimed toward the sun.

Cugel tossed over the jewel. I especially liked those portions where Cugel would engage in insult battles with other characters.

Ferretbrain – It Might Be Dying But It’s Still a Naughty Earth

They are classics in the true sense of the word and are as good today as they were when they first came out. Jack Vance has written a very diverting book. One person found this helpful. Cugel fancies himself a seducer of women, but his charms are apparent mainly to himself, and to certain types of women that wish to use him.

Yet Cugel always seems to fhe out ahead by a dizzying variety of stratagems. Together, both books make up the complete story. Your vivid prose and colorful characters ensure that your stories will be read for a long, long time to come. Like its companion novel, Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel’s Saga is an odd duck of a book, nominally fantasy, but different from most popular fantasy in setting and style.

If he sets out to con or deceive he invariably gets his comeuppance but if he tries to make his way honestly, he becomes the unwitting victim of bizarre local customs or vindictive individuals. In fact, he is a sociopath who does not trouble his cclever with thoughts of those he may have harmed in his efforts to better himself. This does not prevent Cugel from using the hole and tentacle to enter a contest of bizarre exhibits that is sponsored by Duke Orbal.

Both are full of the weird people and cultures that Jack Vance excels at.

Essay on Cugel the Clever – by Alan Robson

There are six chapters to Lcever Saga: You will love it. In a way, it’s a testament to Vance’s skills as an author that he is able to present us with such a terrible person and convince us to sympathise with him when we need to and boo and hiss at him when it’s called for.


Click any book cover or this link. Rhialto the Marvellous The final volume in the series very final, now that Vance has retired from cygel sees Vance switching his attention from the lowly Cugel to the doings of the grandest arch-magicians in the realms; a mighty association bound by the rules of the Blue Principles, presided over by the Preceptor Ildefonse, they who command dugel sandestins and covet the precious IOUN stones and for whom the magic of Turjan and Mazirian and the like are mere party tricks.

As I have siad in my ucgel reviews of the other Dying Earth books, superb world-building, great characters and tons of fun. He returned the satchel to where he had found it, then separated the branches and tossed them aside.

Cugel soon finds that as the supervisor he has no authority over others and is expected to supervise the comfort of the workers.

Despite the overt silliness of affairs, Vance is a smart, literate writer, and the clever exchanges between characters can be a hoot. The tye is not pleased. How do you account for this? Some scales are more valuable than others with one of the more prized being “an interlocking sequalion for either turret or pectorus”. Unfortunately didn’t get a lot of time to read in It’s really tough to describe the appeal of these novels: Vance takes a huge delight in this dichotomy and plays with it to clrver comedic effect.