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The Ship of Ishtar von Abraham Merritt
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The Ship of Ishtar (Original 1924; 2011. Auflage)

von Abraham Merritt (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
367554,607 (3.2)5
Explorer John Kenton returns from a lifetime of wanderings and the wreckageof World War I to discover a mysterious block of Babylonian basalt containing acrystal model of an ancient ship -- the Ship of Ishtar! The sultry magic ofthe fable
Titel:The Ship of Ishtar
Autoren:Abraham Merritt (Autor)
Info:Benediction Classics (2011), 232 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek


The Ship of Ishtar von A. Merritt (1924)

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High fantasy, with a mediocre plot (modern man swept into a fantasy world, it has been done before), and a rather surprising ending (I must admit, I had suspected a totally different outcome).

That being said, I rather enjoyed reading this tome, for the same reason I usually enjoy this type of books: the language. It is so elaboratly descriptive, with beautiful, nowadays underused words, it gives the whole story a bit of a mystical air (like these 2 sentences found on page 163:
Kenton, climbing, heard thunderings like the clashing of armied shields; clanging of countless cymbals, tintamarre of millions of gongs of brass. Ever louder grew the clangor as he ascended; with it mingled now the diapason of mighty winds, staccato of cataracts of rain.)
( )
  HeyMimi | Dec 28, 2020 |
One of the books that turned me on to heroic fantasy fiction back in the early Seventies.

I've been a fan of Merritt's for a long time. He's little known outside a narrow field these days, but he knew how to drive a plot.

Our protagonist is "sucked" into a sculpure of a boat, finding himself part of the crew and forced to man the oars in a fantasy "Arabian Nights" setting.

That's just the start of a swashbuckling adventure worthy of a Douglas Fairbanks movie. There are sultry maidens, heroic rescues, and black magic, all you'd expect in a fantasy novel of the period.

The writing style seems pulpy and dated these days, but it's a great fast read, and should be on every fantasy reader's bookshelf, just so they can understand the history of the genre.
( )
  williemeikle | Dec 22, 2018 |
This book was on the "Seven-League Shelf"--a list of the "cream" of fantasy literature in A Reader's Guide to Fantasy. Originally published in 1924, the style feels antique, and the romance beyond antiquated. That style... well, we're definitely talking about the color purple--mind you, that sometimes has its beauties. The hero, John Kenton, a veteran of the first world war, is transported to a ship divided into two warring factions each representing a Babylonian God--Ishtar, Goddess of Love, and Nergal, God of the Underworld. The device through which Kenton is transported is an ancient artifact shipped to him from an archeological dig, a model of the ship. Here's how the model is described:

It floated high on a base of curving waves cut from lapis lazuli and
foam-crested with milky rock crystals. Its hull was of crystal, creamy
and faintly luminous. Its prow was shaped like a slender scimitar, bent
backward. Under the incurved tip was a cabin whose seaward sides were
formed, galleon fashion, by the upward thrust of the bows. Where the
hull drew up to form this cabin, a faint flush warmed and cloudy
crystal; it deepened as the sides lifted; it gleamed at last with a
radiance that turned the cabin into a rosy jewel.

There's only one way that style above is atypical. No exclamation points. I can't recall ever reading an author more fond of them--several in each page. More on one page than almost all contemporary authors would put into an entire novel. It was an annoying tic, but not nearly annoying as the romance within the pages. Here's another quote--that makes contemporary romance aisle bodice rippers seem enlightened and restrained in comparison:

"Yea--dear lord of me--even you do not know how greatly I love you,"
whispered Sharane again, eyes worshipping, arms fettering his neck. His
lips clung to hers. Even in the sweet fire of their touch he marvelled,
blind to his own renaissance, at this changed Sharane--Love's changeling
since that time he had carried her within her bower, disdaining her as
gift, taking her by right of his two strong arms.

Swift memories shook him; of Sharane--conquered; of some unearthly
wonder that had flamed over the shrine and with fingers of pure fire had
woven his soul with hers in threads of flaming ecstasies!

Oh, gag. Sharane aka Miss Love Object I found pretty insipid, Kenton too stupid to live and a victim of testosterone poisoning. I much preferred the secondary characters--the Assyrian Gigi, the Persian Zubran and the Viking Sigurd. Yet, I admit it. By and large I enjoyed this. The colorful characters, the lushness of the mythological trappings, the swashbuckling daring do. It was a rip roaring yarn told in bright primary colors that I sped through happily turning the pages, even if the characters were paper thin. This doesn't make me want to read more of this author--for this type of adventure story I'd recommend H Rider Haggard over Merritt. But melodramatic pulp fiction it might be, it was cheesy fun. ( )
1 abstimmen LisaMaria_C | Feb 8, 2012 |

Did you ever wonder what heroic fantasy was like before Conan and Kull? It looked like The Ship of Ishtar, big, bold, and fantastic.
  DaveHardy | Dec 27, 2006 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
A. MerrittHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Fabian, StephenUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Rosa, DouglasUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Explorer John Kenton returns from a lifetime of wanderings and the wreckageof World War I to discover a mysterious block of Babylonian basalt containing acrystal model of an ancient ship -- the Ship of Ishtar! The sultry magic ofthe fable

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Zusammenfassung in Haiku-Form

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Durchschnitt: (3.2)
1 1
1.5 1
2 4
2.5 3
3 14
3.5 1
4 10
5 3

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