Reviews of Fifth Head of Cerberus, the (1972)
Review by ropie (2006-06-27)
There are few SF books that are all about the writing, but this is one of them. Each word is carefully chosen and a vital part of the complex 'melange' of the novel as a whole. The language is rich, intelligent and redolent of the spirit of the place in which the story is set.
'The Fifth Head of Cerberus' is also a puzzle, and in some ways a frustrating one as little is clear on the first read. Nothing is straightforward here and everything is interconnected. Still, it's all so beautifully presented that it almost doesn't matter when the end comes and you are left wondering what just happened, or at which point you lost track of what was happening.
This is one of my favourite novels in any genre and, no, I didn't understand it all either. But - and rarely for me - in this case I am very keen to reread and make new discoveries about it.