Micheal Shea’s novel “Cugel in the Underworld” is the best proof that one should not expect exact replica of beloved novels, if they accept other authors of the ideas. So I was disappointed by “Cugel from the Underworld” on the front pages first. A few nasty phrases looked amateurish, but that was not the real reason for the disappointment.
Michael Shea was a fan of the “Dying Earth” novels by Jack Vance, and wrote a novel about the episode shrewd Cugel anti-hero, who plays in two of the four U.S. books the lead role. The world is as imaginative as I had expected, but missing the joke. The intelligent and pithy dialogue of Vance as missing, the clever story building does not exist. Moreover Cugel degenerates a little to a minor figure.
So much disappointment for me after waiting long, but soon I was able to free myself, After all “Cugel in the Underworld” is episode novel . In the narrative density of the original novels, he stands in nothing. On page 38 Cugel and his companion have already experienced so much that it would have been enough for most other fantasy authors for a complete novel: A long journey to reclaim an ancient right was started, where people came into contact with monsters and cannibals, should be killed and destroyed an ancient cannibal society – everything, as I said, not even at 4o pages of text.
At this rate, it goes through the whole short novel. Boredom can arise. So if some material for his “Dying Earth” requires addiction as does with “Cugel in the Underworld” is little wrong. One should not expect too much, but crazy stories about curses, magical amulets, Hornissenpeitschen, ghosts, demons, zombies and ancient magicians abound. Despite initial disappointment, I am glad that you have read the novel.