Mard Audran has risen from hustling on the streets of the decadent Budayeen ghetto to being the right-hand man of one of the Maghreb's most feared men. As an enforcer for the powerful Friedlander Bey, Mard is just beginning to enjoy his newfound wealth and privilege, when he and Bey are betrayed by a rival and accused of murder.
Sentenced to exile and abandoned to die in the vast Arabian desert, Mard and Bey must somehow survive the searing sands and make their way back to the now-hostile Budayeen - and, then, take their vengeance.
By turns thrilling and philosophical, The Exile Kiss is the culmination of one of the great works of modern SF.
©1991 George Alec Effinger (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
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"The series concludes. Just buy it already!"
I have read and listened to the series several times over the years. I take away some new element each and every time.
Maybe some of Wiliam Gibsons early work. They both have the flawed main characters, drug abuse and the desperation of living on the street.
He helps you put a face (mentally) to some of the characters.
It makes you sad a bit to see the Marid fall prey to his inner demons at times when it could easily cost him his life.
Just an awsome book and series.
"Great insights into the middle eastern mind"
Not as strong as the first two stories. Some of the Arabic stories and fables were marvellously entertaining but I just couldn't buy into Marid and Poppa being put into the predicament of the first half of the book and then the resolve of the situation was wishy washy and lacked the punch of the first novel.
The story's setting and the narrator's voice went together excellently and helped propel the experience to a new level. I wish there were more than three audio books in the series.
"Start with When Gravity Fails"
Sorry to say that you really can't start with this excellent book. The trilogy should be read in order, and I speak from experience. I tried to listen to this book first and just couldn't get into it, to the point that I almost didn't go back for When Gravity Fails, the first in the series. I eventually did, however, after reading numerous passionate reviews, and I've enjoyed all three, now, one after the other.
Jonathan Davis does a fine job on the voices, but he often puts the emphasis on the wrong word in a sentence. Be prepared, and then blow it off and enjoy the story.
Sad to say, this is all there is of Marid Audran, since there was so much farther this setting and character set could have taken us. Effinger died in 2002, only two chapters into the fourth Audran novel. We'll never know all there is to know, but when do we ever. Highly recommended.
"Ending With a Whimper"
Exile Kiss, the third book in the series, starts strong with Marid Audran and his patron cast into the desert (and stripped of Papa's wealth and influence) after being framed for murder.
The book promises a tense conflict where Marid and Papa must pit their wits against the world to regain what was taken, but the novel falls apart in its second half when it returns to the city. What I hoped would be a tense mystery meanders and unravels into fluff that is quickly tied off in an unsatisfactory fashion. This does not live up to the noir detective novels it loves to check so much.
Well done performance. The story seems drawn out at times. The ending is anticlimactic.
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