Read Pyramid Scheme by Dave Freer Eric Flint Online

pyramid-scheme

An alien pyramid has appeared in the middle of Chicago, destroying the city as it grows, and snatching people which it transports into worlds of mythology. One of the victims, Dr Lucas, an expert on mythology, finds that modern weapons don't work, and the Greek gods are out to kill them all....

Title : Pyramid Scheme
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743435925
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 504 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pyramid Scheme Reviews

  • YouKneeK
    2018-12-14 22:27

    This is one of the more bizarre books I’ve read in a while. I would classify it as science fiction, but most of the story really reads more like fantasy, with a very heavy dose of mythology. At the beginning of the story an alien, pyramid-shaped object lands on Earth. Some people who get within a certain radius of the object disappear. Not everyone is taken, but anyone in physical contact with a person who is taken will be taken as well. As it takes more people, the pyramid grows larger and its people-snatching radius increases. A small portion of the story takes place from the viewpoint of the non-snatched people who are trying to eliminate the threat and understand what is happening, but the majority of the story takes place from the viewpoint of a group of people who were snatched by the pyramid together when they were all in physical contact. This group suddenly finds themselves on Odysseus’ ship being attacked by a giant sea creature. They have, more or less, found themselves right smack in the middle of ancient Greek mythology. The gods are real, magic is real, mythical creatures are real, and these modern-day humans are totally out of their element.Mythology has never been of great interest to me, so it isn’t something I know well. The mythological aspects of the story were easy enough to follow, so it didn’t detract from the story, but it also wasn’t a selling point for me either. The main characters were likeable, and there was quite a bit of humor in the book, so I enjoyed that, but there were a lot of things that seemed unrealistic to me even within the context of the story. There were narrow escapes under less-than-realistic circumstances, convenient supplies that characters had brought with them that managed to save the day, convenient allies that showed up just in the nick of time, etc. The story itself held my attention, and I liked the writing style, but much of the content was just too bizarre for me to take seriously so I never became fully wrapped up in the story.I never felt like the premise of the story was explained sufficiently. There were brief paragraphs in the book that I guess were supposed to serve as an explanation for what was going on with the alien pyramid, but it was never explained in a way that seemed believable or logical to me. I didn’t think the odd mixture of science fiction and fantasy/mythology was combined in a way that made sense. There were definitely some things to like about this book. If it had been more internally consistent I might have enjoyed it better. There is a sequel, Pyramid Power. I considered reading it, especially since the second book is even shorter than the first book and this first book felt pretty short. I am slightly curious what will happen next, and I did get a fair amount of enjoyment out of this book, but I’ve decided against reading the sequel. I just didn’t enjoy this story enough to want to spend another week reading more like it.

  • Anna
    2018-12-15 00:50

    It's a simple premise, and the alien aspect is really more of an excuse to drop a bunch of modern day folks into the middle of some ancient myths. Odysseus, Medea, Arachne, Isis, Osiris... their stories make appearances and are often altered by the interference of the Americans. Flint and Freer clearly know their myths, and the variations in the book are very deliberate. (Medea's not vicious and evil; she's just a victim of bad press, because those stories were told by her enemies.)In an effort to cover as many myths and contain as many characters as possible, though, the book gets a bit cluttered and loses its focus. The plot, as it were, mostly involves the American heroes traveling from myth to myth, meeting legendary figures and stumbling their way through the pitfalls of a world full of magic as best they can. The closest thing to an overreaching arc are the people on the outside of the pyramid, trying to figure out how the alien device works and how to get rid of it. So there's a lot going on, and while there's constant conflict, none of the characters get much more than superficial development and the book hops from one thing to another like a child with ADD.The humour will pull a lot of readers along in spite of that, though. Situational humour, character quirks, puns... the book aims for light-hearted romp and for the most part achieves it. This isn't the sort of book you're meant to take seriously, because it can't even take itself seriously. And sometimes, well, a bit of that is exactly what you need in your reading diet.

  • Ralph McEwen
    2018-12-13 02:48

    Read as an e-book. A free download from \\www.baen.com/library Baen Free Library.

  • Bill Bowne
    2018-12-04 21:48

    A funny, creative romp!

  • Emma
    2018-12-02 19:25

    Read this years ago. A fun read.

  • Daniel Shellenbarger
    2018-12-15 18:36

    Pyramid Scheme begins with the sudden appearance of a small object inexplicably decelerating through Earth's atmosphere. The inexplicable object turns out to be a small alien pyramid-like device which makes a crash landing in the library of the University of Chicago and begins "disappearing" people, apparently at random, with a beam coming from its peak, while constantly growing larger and larger. Even stranger, some of its victims reappear dead or near-dead with stab wounds and vicious bite-marks, as if attacked by the mother of all sharks, and mumbling about "Odooseos" and bodies with too many heads. The military is unable to put a dent in the pyramid, which makes no attempt at communication. There doesn't seem to be anything that can be done to stop the pyramid when it disappears a group of eight people: 4 paratroops, a brown-nosing cop, an intellectual maintenance worker, and two academics (a bookish antisocial mythology specialist and an amazon-like South African marine biologist). These eight (soon six) find themselves transported to a world where mythology is reality and they are forced to contend with a jumble of mythological horrors and the unscroupulous Greek "heroes" and gods, while seeking a means of escaping from this bizarre world, which is clearly under the influence of the alien forces which brought them. While reading Pyramid Scheme, the thought kept coming back to me over and over, "Dave Freer is the Anti-Riordan, come to dispel the glory of Greek mythology!" Not to sell Freer short; after all, Pyramid Scheme was published four years before Riordan's first Percy Jackson book. Rather, whereas Riordan has modernized and (to some extent) sanitized Greek mythology for the modern audience with a sympathetic point of view, Freer presents the gods and heroes of Greek myths as a lot of unsophisticated whining selfish savages interested only in rape and pillage without a shred of honor or morality (this is very much an adult novel), and it is amusing to see our protagonists allying with the MUCH more likeable "villainous" titans, man-eating monsters, and sorceresses. Freer's grasp of mythology (both Greek and Egyptian (kudos to Freer for adding ass-kicking Egyptian dwarf-god Bes to the story)) is impressive and while his characters are a bit thinly drawn, they are likeable (though the punning between the mythologist and his friend the maintenance guy can get a bit annoying) and more than capable of carrying the story forward. Frankly, I had a lot of fun reading this book and am eager to get my hands on the Norse-themed sequel (update: the sequel's good too).

  • Jim
    2018-11-19 18:43

    From Publishers Weekly In this SF-fantasy romp through classical myth, the authors of Rats, Bats, and Vats offer a charmingly picaresque journey that begins when an artifact of the alien Krim lands in the University of Chicago library and starts abducting people. Few of the artifact's victims return alive, and some do not return at all. Among those abducted into a Krim-twisted version of the ancient Mediterranean world are street-smart university custodian Lamont Jackson, biologist Elizabeth De Beer, paratrooper sergeant Anibal Cruz and, most crucially, mythological scholar Jerry Lukacs. Weedy and absent-minded, Lukacs is the only one who can advise the exiles on how to outwit Odysseus (who has the ethics of a junk-bond dealer) or win the good will of Medea (much maligned, but accompanied by two dragons who need a lot to eat). Assembling allies from different mythologies as they go along, the exiles must strive to undo the Krim's corruption of the Olympians before they can hope to effect a return to their own world. The novel is full of historical, mythological and folkloric erudition, as well as wit (usually laced with puns), coincidences, broadly painted characters and a vast profusion of the verbal equivalent of sight gags. Since the individual parts are sufficiently entertaining, the reader won't worry much about the whole's lack of integrity. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal When a mysterious black pyramid from outer space crash-lands inside Chicago's Regenstein Library, a mythographer, a marine biologist, two soldiers, and the library's maintenance man are tagged by the U.S. to investigate the phenomenon only to find themselves in the company of Odysseus and his bewildered crew. The coauthors of Rats, Bats and Vats combine ancient history with alien encounters in a rollicking cross-genre adventure that belongs in most libraries. Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

  • Snezan
    2018-12-05 01:23

    The pyramid scheme falls in the rare category of books that have so many ideas they are incapably of successfully executing any of them. In one sense, there are some interesting, if long tread, ideas brought up by the novelists; the power of mythology, the power of observation, a little quantum mechanics, some interesting thoughts on language and the evolution of magic in culture, a little social dynamics and Eric Flint's trademark light reminders of the existence of class issues that plague our nation. It all makes for a pot of good ideas that never quite thickens up. The novel is primarily marred by the jump cuts between the multi-dimensional mythological universe created by the pyramid that the protagonists are stuck in and the real world characters that are dealing with the pyramid. For three quarters of the novel we jump between these worlds only to find out in the end that the pyramid only served as a poor plot vehicle for the interactions of the main characters inside the world, and a joke about the different pyramids throughout history culminating in the Luxor of Las Vegas fame. We didn't need the real world in this story and the authors could have easily erased all of the chapters on the University of Chicago and ended the novel with the group escaping into the real world. Instead, we are saddled with ridiculous expositions of the governments ineptitude, the university's class politick and a plot that never actually goes anywhere. By the novel's end, the university professor has completely disappeared. I don't know if he makes a reappearance in the sequel, but I really found that development to be a little teeth-clenching.Also, the puns are not funny. Which, if they had been, could have saved this novel.

  • Kevin Lanahan
    2018-12-09 00:48

    A strange pyramid fall on a University of Chicago library and starts snatching people. While the pyramid targets certain people, a group of academics, soldiers, cops and a maintenance man all end up in mythological Greece. There are elements of all sorts of stories here. A rewriting of the Medea story. The real Odysseus. The plight of the sphinx. This had elements of Gilligan's Island, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules and the Time Warp Trio. The authors kept it light, but then would bounce back into modern times and the problem of the pyramid, and what "the government" was going to do about it. The subplot of what was going on in Chicago while our heroes were in mythical Greece and Egypt took away from the light-hearted fun and adventure going on in a rather mish-mashed mythical time. The plot was silly, but the book was fun to read, doesn't challenge much, and entertains. It is not serious at all, and people that really like their Greek or Egyptian myths may take umbrage with the liberties taken here, but it all adds to the fun if you are not too wrapped up in serious scholarship.

  • Tracey
    2018-11-19 00:30

    Originally read Nov 2005 - re-read May/June 2011An alien artifact has landed in the library of a Chicago university. It's started snatching people, including a professor, a South African biologist, a maintenance worker and a couple of paratroopers - and placing them into the world of Greek mythology. Every attempt to destroy it results in it growing instead. Most of the people it has snatched come back dead, but this small group is determined to survive their adventures and come back home, while a professor thrust into a leadership role back home puzzles out what is going on. A clever, funny read - I was able to stay with the plot despite the bit-at-a-time reading style I usually employ with e-books. The writers must have had a good time with their take on Odysseus and the gods of Olympus - along with a side-trip into Egypt. The characters were interesting and believable; the ending was kind of sneaky, but logical within the structure of the story. Recommended to those with an interest in Greek myth & science fiction.

  • Stephan
    2018-11-24 00:23

    A relatively straightforward story: A group of scientists, paratroopers and a handyman are kidnapped by an alien pyramid and thrown into a mythological world populated by Greek and Egyptian deities, dragons sphinxes, hydras and a few heroes (who are certainly not very heroic).Oh, did I mention that the paratroopers weapons no longer work? That their rations have been destroyed and that only one in the group know how to speak classical greek? Things are not looking good.We get to follow the group as they journey to find a way back to our own world, encountering all manners of creatures from the myths. Some helpful, some not so much...The novel's filled with puns, interesting characters and action. If you enjoy the classical myths from the Mediterranean, and don't mind a bit of parody, then you're going to like this one!

  • Dana
    2018-11-18 21:50

    In the mash-up genre of sci-fi/fantasy and comedy this is just middling. It's funny enough at times and the characters are quite likable, but the story is preposterous and the writing is just choppy. It almost seems as if the editor dropped the copy on the floor and only picked up 50% of the pages to put into the final edition. "Rats, Bats and Vats," which is by the same authors was much better. The characters were better developed and the story flowed smoothly, with enough "world-building" that you had a good picture of what was going on.I was reminded strongly of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods," and Dan Simmons' "Illium," while reading Pyramid Scheme (Old Gods and Greek Gods figure heavily in all three books), although Illium is not intended as a comedy.

  • Billy
    2018-12-08 21:46

    A fun romp through light mythology! Will the heroes save themselves and the worlds of the Greek and Egyptian gods, or will they too succumb to promised ill fate?Eric and Dave provide an alternate view of ancient mythology, plumbing nuances I had been unaware of. Their characters come to life with much aplomb, and though not every thread is tied, not every thread needs to be; the world does not work in such ways. My only criticism regards a side arc; it feels like it exists to provide tension and a sense of context, but I feel the story did not benefit from the jumps in focus - would tension from simply being unaware have been more palpable?All in all, a very pleasant read. I look forward to future collaborations!

  • Deb
    2018-12-07 20:41

    A pyramid has materialized in the middle of the University Of Chicago and not only is it growing, it is snatching people, most of whom soon return--dead. However one group of "snatchees" has not returned and both the government and the academics want to know why. We follow the adventures of the survivirs in Ur-mythological" worlds, in this case Greek and Egyptian, and the actions of those in charge back home. a highly enjoyable humans caught in mythic worlds story, the best since Pratt and De Camp's Compleat Enchanter stories featuring Harold Shea. Flint and Freer devlop their chief mythic characters, rather than just having them speak slang or indulge in cheap vulgarity.

  • Jenny
    2018-12-02 00:34

    A light, funny romp through mythology, with funnier puns than Piers Anthony. An alien probe shaped like a pyramid lands at the University of Chicago and immediately begins abducting people to the "Ur" universe with Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology to generate power for the invading Krim. As it absorbs more people and energy, the bigger it gets. The largest group kidnapped happens to include a couple of paratroopers, a South African biologist, a police officer, and a weedy academic who happens to be an expert in mythology. And now the pyramid realizes it might have made a mistake absorbing them, since they refuse to play by the rules . . .

  • Andreas
    2018-12-15 00:43

    A mysterious pyramid appears in the University of Chicago Library. It starts “snatching” people at random. Almost all return within a few hours, dead or nearly so. Then a larger group is snatched. They end up in a mythical version of ancient Greece.This romp through Greek myth (with a brief detour in Egyptian myth) by a haphazardly composed gang of modern humans is a great deal of fun. The concept is very clever and thankfully the authors don’t take the whole thing too seriously. Heroics, adventures and awful puns!http://www.books.rosboch.net/?p=1161

  • Darren
    2018-12-06 01:24

    (Reread)The basic premise of the book is that an alien device throws certain people into the land of myth, particularly Greek and Egyptian myth, complete with Scylla and Charybdis, Isis and Osiris, Zeus and Prometheus.Look, there's some serious suspension of disbelief (handwavium if you prefer) going on and if you can't get past it then read some "serious" lit fiction.That said, the book is a hoot. Lots of puns. Some fun mythology as well as a critical eye on who is and isn't "good" in Greek Myths.It is a worth a read and a reread. (Though I am much less taken with the sequel.)

  • Ron
    2018-11-20 02:31

    Myths as mental constructs given form by the collective subconscious of those affected by an alien power source. Not a truly revolutionary concept, but Freer and Flint, without completely tuning out the potential horror of such a situation, focus on the unrestrained absurdity and amorality such an arrangement unleashes and offer their band of supremely sensible and unusually moral protagonists as the sarcastic voice of common sense.

  • Ryan
    2018-12-10 19:28

    Bit of a fun romp through mythological Greek and Europe, with around as much accuracy (and a somewhat similar style) as an episode of Kevin Sorbo's Hercules or Xena. The fun was somewhat spoiled by characters so flat and wooden they wouldn't seem out of place in an Ikea catalogue, and one of the most deus ex machina endings I've ever read.

  • Mary Clare
    2018-12-07 21:39

    Sci-fi meets mythology in a fun combination. Brings a whole new perspective to the gods we studied in mythology classes

  • Dayl Thomas
    2018-12-18 01:28

    Fun book, a bit too much cursing (though I see why the authors use it). Happy endings and justice is done. If you enjoy Greek or Egyptian myths, you'll get a kick out of this book. It got better as I continued to read, so it is a bit slow at first, but really picks up momentum.

  • Nathan Shumate
    2018-11-27 23:46

    It's a silly, borderline-dumb concept -- aliens which are somehow using the "mythlands" constructed by humans' older civilizations to, I dunno, do something -- but I kept reading it right to the end because I wanted to know what happened next. That's a compliment, of sorts.

  • Kevin Brown
    2018-11-29 22:43

    Wonderful sense of humor. Lots of fun with well developed characters. Very interesting setting.

  • Anne
    2018-11-17 22:28

    very slow to get started, but amusing once it finally got going.

  • Leesa
    2018-12-16 18:23

    VERY HILARIOUS!

  • Bill
    2018-11-30 23:42

    An entertaining romp through Greek and Egyptian mythology; particularly good when you're tired of serious stuff.

  • Shawn Thrasher
    2018-11-28 21:21

    Fantastically funny.

  • Debrac2014
    2018-11-19 21:29

    Very enjoyable! Wow, great storyline and characters!

  • Tobias Cooper
    2018-11-28 00:36

    Great fun, if slightly bonkers, mix of sci-fi and fantasy with a soupçon of satire. Would recommend for a light read. I read it in a day and resented putting it down :-)

  • Ellen
    2018-12-15 22:30

    A fun mash up of Greek and Egyptian mythology and a little bit of modern America to book.