Review – Book of Skulls

Posted September 14, 2014 by in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of Book of Skulls by Robert SilverbergBook of Skulls, Robert Silverberg

I liked the idea behind this, and I even liked the way Silverberg set up the four characters, stereotypes that over the course of the novel are pried open and exposed for the often hypocritical things they are. The writing, too, is pretty good, lyrical and intense. The psychological building up and tearing down of the characters works really well, and it’s not easy to predict who will commit the murder, who will be the sacrifice, etc. The only real problem for me was that I kept having to check the chapter headings to see who exactly was talking: despite the four very different character backgrounds, they didn’t sound different at all.

But. The stereotypes manage to be so offensive — like, the portrayal of the gay male character/s is kind of horrifying, the whole portrayal of what gay people are like as a community. I know this isn’t exactly a new book, and doubtless Silverberg knew he was using stereotypes and that real gay people come from all over the spectrum, but it’s still pretty ghastly to read.

I can see why people enjoy it, I think, but euch, not for me.

Rating: 2/5

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2 responses to “Review – Book of Skulls

  1. I was planning on checking this out, but after you criticized the way it portrayed LBGTQA community I decided that unless I really wanted to call my best friend to rant about misrepresentation and people being jerks for a week I probably shouldn’t.

    Rebecca @ Vicariously!

    • I reaaaally wasn’t a fan. All the characters were stereotypes, not just the gay guy/s, but I really didn’t care for the exact things Silverberg chose to use. I mean, there’s no need for a swishy promiscuous gay guy with a crush on his roommate who has had drama-filled relationships in the past and tried to split happy couples up and who is really manipulative and… on and on. Even his secret was just part of the stereotype.

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