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天天閱讀英語島,在這裡感知世界,汲取英文的養分。
 

 

作者:George R. R. Martin
出版社:Omni

• 本書作者是美劇《權力遊戲:冰與火之歌》原著作者。
• 本書只有短短50頁的篇幅,可以輕鬆讀完,但會十足驚艷。
• 當得到了如上帝一般的權力時,人性的黑暗究竟會展露到什麼程度?

預估閱讀時間:01:55
文章難度: ★★★☆☆

 

Caveat: this is a dark book for people who like dark things.
警告:本書只適合喜歡黑暗題材的朋友

 

The newest arrival to the home of exotic pet collector Simon Kress is a terrarium housing four tribes of warring, castle-building creatures that resemble thumb-sized ants. When he receives them, he is told in no uncertain terms that they will worship him, that they will build magnificent miniature castles. Last but not least, they will fight bloody battles to the death for his amusement. However, Mr. Kress is far from being a benevolent god, and this is where things begin to go awry.

Simon Kress 這位喜歡珍奇異獸的收藏家,最近收到了一個水晶盒子,裡面裝著一種拇指大小,長得像螞蟻的生物。牠們分成四個部族,蓋著各自的城堡且互相征討著。當主角收到這個奇異的生物時,他明確地被告知,這些小生物們會崇拜他、築起壯觀的迷你城堡,而且他們會為了取悅主角而互相殘殺。然而在這樣的世界裡,主角Kress先生並不扮演著仁慈上帝的角色,事情也就開始出了問題。

 

OK, so technically speaking, this isn't a book. It's a novella. It's not super long, clocking in at about 50 paper pages. This makes it a great point of entry to the corpus of George R. R. Martin, an author also known as the creator of Game of Thrones.

以長度而言,這不能算是一本書,它是一本中篇小說。大約50頁左右的篇幅讀起來不算長。但這是本書作者George R. R. Martin龐大文庫中,一部很好的入門作品。他另外一部非常有名的作品則是HBO影集《權力遊戲:冰與火之歌》的原著。

 

It's worth noting that this author never seems to write the same book twice (See The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, or Fevre Dream). Sandkings is a tidy, bloody little page turner centered on the most fascinatingly awful tendencies humans possess. The story proceeds in an artful, methodical spiral of setups and payoffs that steadily raise the stakes.

值得一提的是,作者似乎從來不會重複撰寫一樣的故事題材(可以看看《The Armageddon Rag》、《Dying of the Light》、《Fevre Dream》)。《Sandking》是一部血腥卻又令人欲罷不能的小作品,以人類最令人著迷的邪惡潛能為中心。故事巧妙地以有條不紊的方式進行著,隨著劇情演進,主角的處境越來越艱困,行為所累積的代價也越來越高。

 

This story is sharp and witty. Furthermore, it creates a window into a world that you will wish he wrote more stories in. Obviously when one speaks of "world-building", this author's name is one that comes to mind, but even in pocket-sized works such as this one he showcases an incredible talent for such things.

本書的故事既犀利又詼諧,當你進入作者的世界中,你會一直想聽他繼續說下去。當有人提到擅長「創造世界」的作家,他的名字是你一定會想到的。就算如本書篇幅之侷限,也藏不住他洋溢的才華。

 

 


 

文/ Max Power

本文收錄於英語島English Island 2018年11月號
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