The Book of Atrus (Myst, #1)

ISBN: 0786881887
ISBN 13: 9780786881888
By: Rand Miller Robyn Miller David Wingrove

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About this book

Based on the best-selling CD-ROM game, a fantasy novel fills out the lives of the game's characters, tracing the strange apprenticeship of Atrus to his father, Gehn, who wields the power to create worlds. Reprint.

Reader's Thoughts

Albert Einstein (andrew)

1 book in myst series. awsome, awsome, awsome. i just checked it out from the onterio library because the cover looked good but wow did it ever turn out to be good. the imagination that went into this is simply amazing i recomend it to anybody!

Sasha A.

I played the Myst game series growing up and LOVED them. Never thought they'd make a book series too. When I found this book I was delighted !! It covers all the plot holes that the game left, and it has beautiful character depth. I'm so delighted that the the science (in a way) of creating a world from books (literally) has finally been explained !


I love this book not only for the story behind it but for the splendid moral integrity of two of the characters. The book is essentially about Atrus--about what it means to grow up, to be a man, and to be a responsible and good person. One of my favorite passages (and quotes, really) is this poignant moment where Anna sends her grandson into the unknown with his unstable (and ultimately sociopathic) father:"You must remember what you have learned here, Atrus. I have tried to teach you the mechanics of the earth and stars; the ways of science and the workings of nature. I have tried to teach you what is good and what is to be valued, truths which cannot be shaken or changed. This knowledge is from the Maker. Take it with you and weigh everything your father teaches you against it . . . I no longer know him, but I know you, Atrus. Measure your own deeds against the truths I have taught you. If you act for self-gain then no good can come of it. If you act selflessly, then you act well for all and you must not be afraid."Atrus's upbringing is the perfect guide on How to Raise a Beautifully Well Adjusted Abandoned Granchild in the Middle of the Desert with No Friends and No Money. Anna is my hero. And one of the reasons I love the whole premise behind "Myst" is the idea that the fantasy bit--the books that link to different worlds--are created through thoughtful analysis and an understanding of nature. How many books (fantasy or otherwise) are there that focus on geologists, after all?


as an original Myst fan, I couldn't wait top get my hands on the first book. I read this book many many years ago, and several times since. I actually have two copies of it just in case the one I read falls apart. there is so much in this book that paved the way for the games that followed the original. I even still play Myst Online.


This was a fun re-read. I was obsessed with MYST and Riven as a kid, and I ate up the expanded universe novels like candy. I'm glad to discover this one still holds up, although the pacing isn't as great as I remembered (hence the one star off). I'm pretty sure these books will only appeal to enthusiasts of the games...I can't imagine someone reading this without that context and getting very much out of it. They'd probably wonder why there's so much focus on ornamental descriptions of passageways and buildings and rolling hills. The truth is, the MYST games have always been about setting and ambiance, and they manage to pull that off in this book without getting too Tolkien-esque about it (thank god). By telling us the story of the relationship between the bright and inquisitive Atrus and his emotionally abusive, megalomaniacal father Gehn, the entire game universe is enriched and we as players get a better understanding of the narrative, particularly of the game Riven. I always thought the idea of writing Ages was one of the best ideas for a fantasy series I've heard in a long time, and I wish they had continued the series further than just three novels.


I bought this book because I enjoyed the Myst computer game and thought it might be fun to read more about the world. Unfortunately, several years passed between playing the game and reading the book, so the connections are a bit fuzzy.I enjoyed the book enough to want to play the game again, and to want to read the other books in the Myst series.However, as a fantasy book on its own, there are too many unanswered questions and too many gaps in the story for it to really succeed.I found Anna and Atrus to be interesting characters, although the reader gets to know Atrus more fully than Anna. Gehn is intriguing but, again, not fleshed out as completely as I would have liked. And Katran/Catherine is so mysterious... Like the story as a whole, the characters captured my interest but did not satisfy my curiosity (except Atrus). Too much missing information.I love the concept of "writing" an Age (a world) into existence, and the authors do a credible job of describing both the intricacies and the pitfalls of the process.This book is a quick read. I hope the other books in the series are better, but for now, I'd have to say that the Millers (Rand & Robyn) are better game developers than novelists.


my dad & I read this together and still quote it to each other. I suspect it's really as good as I remember.


I like some dystopian novels but this one was a little too out there - it does make me want to play the game Myst tho & see what all the hype was about.

Dev Null

Quite enjoyed this. Its based on the games, and it inspired me to go back and play them again (well, I've played the first 3; I'm still in the 4th.) I finished this a couple of weeks back, so now I'm a little blurry on which bits of story are from the book and which from the games. But it was a nice extension of the story in the games, which was always their strongest point. It was also kind of interesting to read, in a book that came out a good 2 years before the sequel to the first game, descriptions of places that I recall vividly from the Uru game, which came out 8 years later. Obviously, the folks at Cyan had a very detailed idea of their world from early days.

Brad Wheeler

I love Myst. It's one of my favorite gaming series. And I remembered reading this book when I was younger and really enjoying it. There seems to be some contention on this point, but I think the book evokes the game nicely. Whether it could stand alone is a little harder to tell, and for me, entirely beside the point.The author(s) do a great job of giving the world a feeling of mystery and the unknown, just like the games do. Atrus's ability to use observation and science to affect his world is a cool character concept entirely in theme with the series, and his confrontation with Gehn over their clashing worldviews is a thread that runs through the entire Myst canon.The writing was plain and unadorned, which worked well. It was rarely exciting, but it was a fast, enjoyable read that made me want to start the next one right away.

Diego Garcia

Para aquellos que llegaron a jugar Myst por aquellos dias del Windows 3.11 este libro tendrá mucho mas significado.(view spoiler)[Nos muestra con mayor detalle la civilización de los D'ni, una raza de seres intraterrestres que ademas de ser excelentes mineros cuentan con el Don de la escritura. Pero estos seres no escriben libros normales, desarrollan un amplio sistema descriptivo que en conjunto con una tinta especial, desarrollan libros que al tacto los transporta a los mundos ahi descritos.Pero para escribir estos libros no basta con estar inspirado, conlleva una educación ardua que comienza a los 3 años por que la descripción es un arma peligrosa tambien. Cualquier cosa descrita asi sea un sol a punto de extinguirse sera el destino de dicho libro.Pero esto también los lleva a lugares inimaginables sin limites del espacio o del tiempo.Este libro comienza con el relato de como hace contacto con los D'ni la primer humana y como esto los lleva a un gran desequilibrio y llegan casi a su extinción (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

El Templo de las Mil Puertas

Puede que nuestros lectores más veteranos hayan conocido la saga de Myst en sus inicios en 1993 bajo su formato original: un juego de ordenador en primera persona desarrollado por los hermanos Miller, Rand y Robyn. Su éxito fue tan fulgurante que, junto con sus secuelas, se proclamó como uno de los juegos más vendidos de los tiempos hasta 2002, desbancado por Los Sims.Cuando los hermanos Miller empezaron el desarrollo del juego, escribieron pequeñas partes de historia para poder situarse en ella, y pensaron que sería algo que la gente disfrutaría si lo plasmaban en una novela. Con el éxito del juego tuvieron su oportunidad.La saga de Myst, conocida en inglés como The Myst Reader es una trilogía compuesta por El libro de Atrus, El libro de Ti'ana y El libro de D'ni. En ellos se relata la grandeza y caída de la civilización D'ni, un pueblo que gracias a la Escritura Descriptiva podía establecer nexos a mundos —o Eras, como los D'ni los llaman— que ellos mismos habían creado en los Kortee'nea, libros en blanco a la espera de ser escritos.Sigue leyendo -->

Adam Boudreau

It really seems only fitting that a video game about books would have a series of books published in its name. For some reason when such books were first coming out I was sort of skeptical about their quality. I truly am glad I overcame this and decided to pick up the Myst books. I was an early enough adopter to be able to get all the hardcover texts and they are all beautifully designed. It's strange that a lot of books don't adopt this kind of method, because it really is eye catching and I'm glad the makers of Myst picked up on that. In terms of binding, it technically is rather cheaply done to support the mass market interest in this series. Rather than have a truly older styled binding, they have the typical style with embossed paper wrapped over the hard cover. The paper is of excellent quality and is embossed in sections, which adds a tinge of making it feel artificially handmade. I've had mine for many years now and there is barely any wear on it. However, when one inspects the design you can tell it is merely paper glued over the normal hardcover pressing and it is merely there for aesthetic appeal. The books in the game have a very old styled feel, which they should since they're all handmade books, but the makers wanted to keep that atmosphere alive with printing these books. Despite my inspection of the edition, I must say it was a great marketing idea and wish more publishers would do this rather than just adopt the typical dust jacket. That being said, the current editions more readily available to readers are the regular paperback and now the collected edition which was recently printed. I wasn't sure what to really expect from this book when I first got it. I had beaten the game "Myst" and the game was pretty well written. However, the game had a lot of unknown elements in its story, and I'm sad to report that "The Book of Atrus" doesn't fill in all the gaps. It certainly fills in quite a bit, but not everything. This book acts as both a prequel to "Myst" and a bridge to "Riven". It's an interesting story in that regard because it tells about Atrus' childhood and goes into why the age of Riven is in dire need of our help! At the end of Myst we find Atrus sitting at a desk in a deep cavern in place known as D'ni. We are transported there with him once we escape the island of Myst, but we are never told why he is there; just that he needs to make a decision concerning his sons. This is all well and good, but there are so many holes and questions, thus the novelization seeks to explain them. At one time Atrus lived with his grandmother, Ana, in a desert region. "The Book of Atrus" goes into detail about his life and learning there. It's almost an ideal childhood until one day his father, Gehn, returns and seeks to take him back to D'ni. See they are from a race of people who lived underground until they were all of a sudden destroyed. Ana, Gehn, and Atrus are the only decedents we are made aware of from this great society. So when Gehn was old enough he returned to the world of D'ni in search of its secrets, to see if he could find it and possibly rebuild it. Needless to say he sort of succeeded. Gehn understands how to write in the books and knows the secret D'ni language to make different ages to create portal links between his world and others. However, he does not wield this power intelligently, but he doesn't want the knowledge to die with him, so he seeks out his son. He teaches Atrus everything, but Atrus has a keener mind for creating ages. Most of Gehn's worlds are unstable and if a world has inhabitants Gehn insists on be treated as a God. Needless to say Atrus' kindly nature has the better of him and he seeks to change this. In this we get to see the bridge to Riven's story line. Riven had been an age linked to by Gehn, but the world was vastly unstable. So he and Atrus sought to fix it if they could. Gehn, being the overbearing man that he is, did not think most of Atrus' ideas were good ones. However, one thing would change Atrus' life forever when he got to Riven, he met Catherine there. Yes, the girl he references frequently in the first "Myst" game. Eventually she would bear his two sons Sirrus and Akenar, so as you can tell, I knew Atrus would succeed even during reading this, so I don't feel I am giving anything away. The book doesn't go into detail about the two sons growing up, so you never really know how everything started with them. Anyway, there is a solution to Atrus' problem, but I'll let the readers find that out for themselves. When we get to "Riven", the video game, there are further complications based around this story... I'll leave these mysteries to be discovered for yourself. I don't feel I am spoiling very much of the book because it is riveting in itself. Most people who read this will undoubtedly have played the video games and already know the stories' outcomes before reading this. As any Myst player knows the interesting factor is in the details, I have left every part of these out. The book is a fascinating page turner and I really couldn't put it down at all. This book leaves a lot more mystery to the reader in the end and left us looking forward to the follow up text, "The Book of Ti'ana." I especially recommend this to any Myst fan who wants to delve deeper into the story line and world of Myst. I don't think many people would pick up Myst if they didn't already enjoy reading books to find out what new worlds they would be brought to. In that spirit these books are clearly written!

Taylor Kinnicutt

Once again I find myself drawn to the series of Myst. Its lore, its wonder and the shear, mind bending thought of how someone thought of this in the first place. The book opens in the sandy deserts and the life of a young Atrus, still a boy and far from the happenings of the first Myst game. After a loving, peaceful life in the desert presided over by his grandmother, Anna, a strange figure appears at their quiet desert home. A tall, pale man who claims to be Atrus's father, Gehn. After 14 years, he has come to take Atrus to the fabled city of his heritage,D'ni. After Atrus's first impression of his father he decides to descend into the earth with this man, leaving all hes known behind. Once in the great city all Atrus knows is replaced with the lost culture. The language, the alphabet even the day cycle. It is then that his father reveals the real purpose of bringing him here. He is to learn the Art of Writing, a powerful and incredible art of writing worlds(known as Ages) into existence! Amazed by this science, Atrus begins to learn his father's ways, "to become gods" as he says. But its all to soon the Atrus realizes that What his father knows is a corrupt and evil shadow of what the art is. Instead of writhing Ages that he envisions, he takes phrases he likes from ancient D'ni text and tacks them together, creating worlds that are unstable and doomed to destruction. The "Mad God" Gehn, is not what Atrus wanted him to be. So with the help of a girl named Cathrine, a local of one of Gehn's Ages, he plots to trap Gehn and rid the world of his disregard for what the Art stands for.Atrus, weather he knows it at the time or not, gets puled into a man vs. man conflict, centering on his problems with his father. While Gehn wants Atrus to rule by him as a god and rebuild the D'ni empire as an empire of 1,000 slave worlds, he is unsure of how it goes against what his grandmother had taught him. While he tries to understand his father and learn what he teaches, what he teaches is evil and soulless. When Atrus comes to the realization that bis father's knowledge is corrupt he attempts to fix what he has done, only to find that he was being used all along, a tool to save Gehn time. With Atrus's struggle comes the importance of his observations, and the way the Miller writes the scenes is spot on. You imagine it just as he draws it every few pages. His vision instilled on the whiteness of the page as if it were the window in a Linking Book. As with the other books in the series the point of view changes can be confusing at points, but overall it is an flawless crafted series. I completely recommend it to anyone who wants to swim among the stars or be lord of a thousand worlds.


On a gut level, I really enjoyed this book. I read it back when it was new and the game was all the rage, and I had fond memories of it, which a rereading didn't belie. However, if I'm honest, I can't give it any higher than five stars. It has an incredibly slow beginning. About a third of the way into the story, a new character is introduced, and that is when the emotional drama picks up speed. So that's one star off. And the book does rather depend upon the reader's affection for the game and its universe, so that's another star knocked off.But what the hell, I still liked it, and I'm looking forward to the other two, although it will probably be a while before I get to them.

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