read online Textbooks Jack FaustAuthor Michael Swanwick –

The Acclaimed Novels Of Award Winning Author Michael Swanwick Have Been Praised For Their Heady Mix Of Wild Ideas And Images San Francisco Chronicle And Extraordinary Richness And Scope Kirkus Reviews But Nothing That Has Come Before Can Quite Compare To This, Swanwick S Finest Creation To DateIt Is Wittenberg, Germany, And Dr Faust Is Burning His Books The Alchemist Is In Deepest Despair, For Even His Vast Learning Is Powerless Against The Ignorance And Superstition Of His Fellow Man Then, In His Darkest Moment, A Voice Whispers Faust And So Begins Swanwick S Masterful Reinvention Of Goethe S Story Of A Scholar Who Sells His Soul To The Devil For The Gift Of Unlimited KnowledgeBut The Wisdom This Mephistopheles Offers Goes Far Beyond Anything Even Imagined In Goethe S Day The Principles Of Flight, Technology And Economics, The Mysteries Of The Cosmos, Medicine And The Atom All Are Made Known To Faust As He Remakes The World In His Own Image, Ushering In The New Age Of Mechanization Centuries Before Its Rightful Day Ultimately It Is Love For His Creations And For A Woman Named Margarete That Damns Jack Faust, As This Brilliant Story Spins Forward Through Time, Pulling The Reader To The Very Brink Of The New Millennium To Confront The Progress Faust Has WroughtLyrical, Arresting And Provocative, Jack Faust Is A Cause For Celebration It Is An Extraordinary Work That Entertains Gloriously As It Takes A Deep And Disturbing Look Into The Collective Soul Of Humankind

10 thoughts on “Jack Faust

  1. says:

    Set in Wittenberg, Germany, on the eve of the 19th century, Swanwick s vivid, retelling of an immortal tale opens with Faust burning his books in frustration at his own ignorance, trapped in a time and in a city where things were done by magic Faust accepts Mephistopheles s offer of infinite and absolute knowledge Faust has no companion except Mephistopheles He accepts the devil s offer to see women naked, falls in love at the sight of virginal young Margarete Reinhardt, and is willing to do anything to win her Faust approaches Margarete s father with get rich quick schemes, and essentially becomes a businessman instead of a scholar, learning that the best way to sell inventions is by applying them to military ends.In the name of love, Faust sets the world into a downward spiral of greed and war.

  2. says:

    If there is no God, everything is permitted Fyodor Dostoevsky Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law Aleister CrowleyBoth of the quoted lines could well serve as epigraphs for this novel though the author actually used three other quotes , and both summarize the major thrust of its message Swanwick uses the Faust legend here as a literary conceit for a very dark and pessimistic meditation on the social, moral and spiritual results of modernity The Goodreads description is technically accurate enough, but really doesn t convey the flavor of what s here.Marlowe and Goethe both envisioned the Faust legend in terms adapted to the ideas and concerns of their day Swanwick does likewise This is a vision of the Faust story for a secular minded age the protagonist s bargain, in the early decades of the 16th century as a scholar who s lost his faith, is not with the devil, but with a malevolent alien race supposedly omniscient and capable of communicating telepathically across the vastness of space, and one of their first supposed revelations to Faust is that there is no God And unlike the devil, they re not bargaining for a human soul For reasons not fully explained, their race faces extinction If they can t live, they don t want any other race to live, either and barring their intervention, the human race will outlast them What they want of Faust is to be the conduit for their scientific knowledge and nihilistic philosophy into the 16th century, to ensure that the human race will complete its own self destruction in Faust s lifetime.My only experience of Swanwick s work prior to reading this book was his short story A Midwinter s Tale which I wasn t overly impressed with but when I saw a remaindered copy of this book on sale, being a sucker for alternate world scenarios, I took a chance on it It does deliver a fascinating alternate 16th century, as the full effects of the scientific, commercial and industrial revolutions, the Enlightenment, Darwinism, Marxism and Fascism are all crammed into a few decades In this alternate world, Faust s Periodic Table of the Elements, not Luther s 95 Theses, is the revolutionary document nailed to the door of Wittenberg s Castle Church Dark and pessimistic reads, of course, aren t usually my cup of tea I rated this one as highly as I did, partly because Swanwick s story telling skills here are pretty effective at involving the reader, and partly because this is a very penetrating, honest critique of exactly what modernity has done to the human race, in terms of the quality of our lives and thought and our relations with each other not a Pollyanna celebration of the glories of Science and Progress And this critique also takes seriously the devastating and socially destructive effects of widespread loss of religious belief, a recognition that s significant given the fact that elements of the book indicate that Swanwick is an atheist himself but, like H.P Lovecraft, one who refuses to whistle in the graveyard.Although I did check the Wikipedia description of Goethe s Faust before writing this review, I ve never read the latter work, and you don t have to have in order to appreciate this one Swanwick, however, has clearly read it, and having read it beforehand would doubtless enhance your appreciation, and understanding of where some of the plot elements come from view spoiler Goethe s Gretchen, for instance, is also impregnated by Faust, also kills her baby and is imprisoned for it, and also refuses Faust s attempt to release her hide spoiler

  3. says:

    Real Rating 2.5 of five meh

  4. says:

    Faust said with sudden apprehension, Yes Yes, what do you want of me in return Only that you listen p.28A demonic bargain, to be sure in a sense, the same one I ask of you here But Faust and Mephistopheles go further, of course, in this updated version of the old tale what the demon asks Faust to listen to is nothing less than the whole of physical science, given centuries before its natural advent in our universe The demon makes it clear that its gifts are made from malice, but Faust accepts them anyway, telling himself and Mephistopheles that humanity might not use them for destruction after all That redemption might yet be salvaged from the savage revolutions Faust will set in motion The chance is there The choice is there All we need to do is choose wisely, when faced with worldly ease and wealth taken from the toil of others, at the expense of the future.And when has humanity ever chosen wisely When have humans ever really listened Does Jack s love for Margrete change things Only time will tell and Jack s time is out of joint.This book won multiple awards when it was new, and understandably so yes, that s exactly how events would proceed, once the bargain has been struck As a work of speculative fiction, Jack Faust is nearly unparalleled Yet is it bad of me or merely all too human, to have wanted just a little light

  5. says:

    Storyline 1 5Characters 2 5Writing Style 3 5World 1 5I hadn t realized when I picked this up that this was another adaptation of the classic Faust story That wasn t a tale I felt I really needed to hear again, but I tried to be open minded and look forward to what Swanwick would bring to the story His contribution pushes it into the science fiction realm, though really it probably should simply be considered alternate history It is the nature of the knowledge and the terms of the Faustian bargain with the devil that Swanwick plays with view spoiler Faust repeatedly receives advanced scientific knowledge that leads to society wide changes hide spoiler

  6. says:

    Michael Swanwick, rendido personagem, presenteia nos com um Fausto insatisfeito, que logo de in cio se questiona sobre o conhecimento que almejara e que de momento nada significa, n o o convence Queima praticamente todos os seus livros, sendo salvo pelo seu fiel disc pulo Wagner, considerado como louco pelos seus conterr neos e durante um ataque de febre que o deixa completamente inconsciente, ele recebe a ajuda que tanto almejara Algu m oferece lhe uma vis o inesquec vel sobre o universo e um inesgot vel conhecimento Finalmente a alma sedenta de Fausto encontra um reflexo naqueles seres que o abordam, aceitando um pacto com eles No entanto, em qualquer pacto h sempre o outro lado e quando questionados sobre o que pretendem em troca, lhe mostrada uma vis o horrenda do fim da humanidade, da destrui o da ra a humana provocada pelo pr prio ser humano O conhecimento que lhe vai sendo transmitido, tem um prop sito bem definido, que este seja aplicado no desenvolvimento massivo de armamento, de material b lico, que possa conduzir ao fim desejado por aqueles que visitam Fausto, a destrui o da ra a humana, ra a insignificante perante a vastid o do Universo Ao despertar da sua doen a, Fausto come a uma nova vida, e como prometido lhe transmitido o conhecimento que lhe permite desenvolver novas teorias e conceitos da f sica e da matem tica, inovando a tecnologia e provocando uma verdadeira revolu o industrial em pleno s culo XV Desde sempre as d vidas existenciais contrabalan am com a sede de conhecimento Quem ganhar esta luta interna de Fausto N o vos vou dizer como bvio.Muito bem escrito, Swanwick leva nos atrav s do tempo, pela Europa fustigada de cren as religiosas e castradoras Numa linguagem clara, muito longe, na minha opini o claro, dos outros Faustos liter rios que foram surgindo, o autor foca de igual forma as quest es de bem e do mal.At onde a cren a no divino atrofia o desenvolvimento cient fico, ou mesmo nos responsabiliza pelas andan as dos dem nios interiores As personagens est o bem desenvolvidas, sendo que todo o livro desenvolve se volta de Fausto, Wagner e o insepar vel Mefist feles Margaret ganha um papel de destaque para o final, revelando uma verdadeira lutadora pela emancipa o feminina.Apenas quero referir que uma verdadeira revolu o industrial e tecnol gica em pleno s culo XV conduziria a situa es a meu ver claro verdadeiramente catastr ficas O autor apresenta com muita ligeireza esta situa o, a pr pria igreja tem um papel muito passivo, e este para mim o ponto menos conseguido na obra.

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  8. says:

    It s tough to like a book that is all about the meaninglessness of life and inherent evil of humanity, but the author comes close to making the sale This supposedly modern retelling of Faust is really an alternate history tale, with aliens standing in for the Devil The premise is that these aliens wish to terminate humanity by accelerating the development of technology, which of course happens But this is patently unfair to humanity since technological and societal change usually move hand in hand and to expect that underdeveloped societies just emerging from 1,000 years of darkness since after the fall of Rome would be able to handle nuclear power overnight is simply ridiculous It s like giving children cars to drive and concluding that children are ultimately self destructive because they subsequently get into accidents with the cars and kill themselves, when in reality they just weren t ready for them and neither are the humans in this book Still, the writer is very skilled and his descriptions of a Middle Ages industrial, financial and social revolution are fascinating, as are the manifestations and observations of his Sci Fi Mephistopheles, and his sometimes sweet, mostly cynical and always vivid passages on sex this book is definitely not for the puritanical However, notwithstanding these enjoyable aspects, this ultimately remains a hard book to like Maybe I m getting soft in my old age, but I just don t think that mankind or life sucks as much as the author does.

  9. says:

    The middle of this book was so strong, but the ending really fell apart for me I think it either needed to take the apocalyptic trajectory of J Faust further to explicitly allude to the prophecy pact come true, or to go out with the air raid on the Spanish fleet A bad ending rates equal with the average of the rest of the book in weight and importance for me, so this one left me meh, in spite of lovely prose and a fantastic Gretchen Margaretta.

  10. says:

    Swanwick s just a frakking genius and this just goes to further his place in the list of criminally underrated authors Much as I liked this, it s no Dragons of Babel which, just go read that, I regret at least weekly that I sent my hardback copy off to a friend Worth buying if you re looking for a pleasant reworking of the Faust legend or just a pleasant read.