Hyperion by Dan Simmons was this months selection by my in person bookclub.
In a far future time on a very distant planet, seven travellers are trying to determine why they have been selected to undertake a very difficult and most likely deadly pilgrimage. The six men and one woman each have very complicated backgrounds and each of them has some sort of tie to the planet Hyperion. Their destination is the mysterious Time Tombs. For centuries, the Tombs have defied explanation and now it is widely believed that the Tombs are opening and that opening could spell the end of worlds and civilizations.
The pilgrims are at a loss to explain why they were selected and what is expected of them. They hope that by sharing their stories, they will gain some sort of understanding of what might be expected of them and how they can help each other.
Five members of my bookclub were present for our meeting. The other four all said that this book strongly reminded me of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffry Chaucer. Not that the pilgrims stories were alike, rather that they each were told in a different style. One horror, another tragedy, a military/romance etc. I haven't read the Canterbury Tales, so can't comment on that. The six tales that were related to us, were very different from each other. The most moving of them, was that told by Sol Weintraub about his daughter Rachel. None of us were ashamed to admit that we were brought to tears by Rachel's illness and the effect it had on her family.
I was once again the standout, when the group was asked who was looking forward to reading the next book in this series, The Fall of Hyperion. I have no interest in reading more. I felt cheated by the end of this story. It was almost 500 pages of introduction and when it was time for the plot to advance, it was done. Nothing was resolved, how disappointing. I feel that I have invested enough time in these characters and don't want to risk reading another book only to have it also with an unsatisfactory ending.
Thanks to Mr. Simmons for the use of the cover image.