Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hugo Winner Review: 1964 Way Station

Clifford D. Simak
Read 3/2013, reviewed 4/13/2013, updated 9/26/2013
5 stars

Okay, so if you read many of my reviews, you’ll notice that my biggest problem is that I find it difficult to put together cohesive thoughts for books I love, especially when I began writing reviews in April of 2013.  “Way Station” was one of the first books in my Hugo quest that moved so deeply that I didn’t want to leave it.  It’s been a while since I’ve read it and can’t really add to the review with much more insight.  So I’ll just let you read my original text and let you revel in my stream of conscience gush:

I loved this book.  I loved the main character, Enoch.  I loved the deaf-mute neighbor girl.  I loved the plot, that Enoch is the custodian of a Way Station for travelling aliens.  I loved his interaction with the aliens.  I was totally enrapt by the government spying and conspiracy.  I was emotionally gripped by the struggle to keep the white trash neighbors away and to keep the deaf-mute girl safe.  And OMG, what an ending! 

I can’t describe my excitement about this book in any other way.  It totally entranced me.  This is what great fiction, and great science fiction, should be. 

I had a taste of Simak when I read his novelette, “The Big Front Yard.”  It also won a Hugo.  Out of the Volume 1 Hugo Winners collection, it was my favorite.  Way Station has the same feel of a gorgeous, peaceful landscape with an isolated home, occupied by a simple man with a wild secret.  His writing style just draws you into his setting and into immediate empathy with his main characters.  The science is not that hard, but it’s not as relevant as the fact that the peaceful existence of a simple person is being disrupted in some amazing way. 

When I am done with the Hugo winners, I will definitely read more books by Simak!  This is a 5 star book! 

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