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Book reviews for "Farmer,_Philip_Jose" sorted by average review score:

Published in Hardcover by Faber & Faber, Inc. (2000)
Author: Andrew Martin
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A Cracking Good Read....
I first got hold of this book back in 1982 (or thereabouts), and I loved it straight off the bat. It knocked Ringworld off the top of my All Time Favourite Books list. Great extrapolations, great characters (characters you really get to care about, even though some of them are pretty, er, "out there"), and some great solid adventures. I was at art school in Glasgow at the time, and found Dark Is The Sun such a great source of well defined, richly described people (and non-people), I picked it as a college project to illustrate the cover of the book and depict the main characters. Great fun. If you read and rate good SF and you haven't read this novel, buy it NOW!

PS: Never, EVER lend your books. I had a hardback first edition, sigh...

This really deserves to be listed in the best sci-fi of all time. The story is miles wide, delving into a range of ideas that leave you gasping for more. If you want to read something intelligent that has perspectives you've not come across before, and I mean REALLY new, then you cannot afford to pass up any opportunity to read this book. I've read it many times, and I don't let people borrow it (which really annoys them, because I constantly tell them how brilliant it is). Read this book. Read it again. And again. I envy you your first trip through the pages.

Farmer does it again!
Farmer is the best science fiction author of all time and this book is a truly wonderful read!Definitely a book to read more than once, it is rich with adventure, excitement, and deep thought provoking philosophy. Imaging living in a far away future time when the earth is dying as the sun burns out. Society has become primitive again. There are great ideas in this book which is what one expects from Farmer, who has the most brilliant and original imagination ever.If you have ever read "to your scattered bodies go" or "maker of universes" then you will know what I am rambling on about.

Published in Paperback by Ace Books (1988)
Author: Philip Jose Farmer
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Let me say he's the best
This book is absolutely awsome. It made me enjoy every single single page I read, and I actually read it twice. Why living everybody on the same days at the same time? Here is a nice solution to the population explosion problem. In each day of the week only 1/7 of the population will live. But what heppens when someone want to live out of his day ? If U want to do a day-brake, then you need difrent identity in each day. Can anyone be 7 difrent peoples at once ? I guess so, I suggest to read this book, though.
Read it, it's fun.
Read it, it's very smart.

One of his best. The concept is the most creative yet.
The book tells a story about a criminal who wants only the freedom to live all the days of his life instead of being subjected to one day of the week. The only way he can do this, is to fight for it...

the social ramifications to a politcal solution
i read this book several months ago and it has really stuck. the concept of the book is simple enough, but the author really exploits the societal ramifications his world creates. it is difficult to locate the books in the series since most are out of print. let me know if any of the books are available.

Philip Jose Farmers Riverworld
Published in Paperback by Berkley Pub Group (1980)
Author: Philip Jose Farmer
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The Riverworld series and the Foundation series...
are the best of SF series.

Scattered across the years, I have bought two or three sets of Riverworld. Just thinking about the series - far from my home base in MInnesota - makes me want to read it again. Unfortunately, the series is now out of print.

Make the effort to find a copy of this series in either a used book store or a library. It WILL be worth it.

Tim Niles

Would make a better religion than Scientology
If the premise of this book does not grab you, the intelligently written stories will. This series is one of my all time favorites, even though I do not really enjoy Science Fiction. The Riverworld series takes you realisically through what could be the afterworld. Farmer manages to put historical figures in to realistic fictional stories and draw on how they would really react. If L Ron Hubbard can spawn a religion with Dianetics, why can't Farmer's Riverworld?

Thinking Man's SF- Innovative Idea in Science Fiction A++
After death, wake up on the banks of a giant river-along with virtually everyone who has ever lived! Incredible story of ordianry people and famous historical figures on a quest to find the source of the river and the mysterious "Ethicals" who control it all. Great interaction between historic figures of different eras. One of the Farmer books you must have in your library-along with the other 4 in this mind-boggling series. Will become one of your alltime favorites

Doc Savage; his apocalyptic life
Published in Unknown Binding by Doubleday ()
Author: Philip José Farmer
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this is a fun book
This book is the biography of a fictional pulp hero of the 30's and 40's, and farmer has a lot of fun with the concept. He brings into the book references to almost every heroic character of the first half of the century from tarzan to now obscure figures like g-8 to the shadow. But focuses on doc savage and his team of helpers. It' a glimpse into a bygone era of pulp magazines and movie serials in which your parents and grandparents grew up.

A lot of fun
Doc Savage is one of those enduring pulp icons who will always have a cult following no matter how many years pass since his heyday. The creation of writer Lester Dent, Doc Savage was a combination private eye/crusading scientist/super hero who, with the help of his loyal assistant, managed to defeat some of the most evil threats that mankind has ever had to face. Certainly a bit corny but always a great deal of fun, the Doc Savage tales were always amongst the best of their type and, as the world continues to get more and more complicated, there's something wonderfully reassuring about entering into Doc Savage's world and discovering that evil can always be defeated by one bronze skinned genius. For this reason, Doc Savage continues to maintain a loyal fan base into the present day. One of these fans was the late science fiction writer Phillip Jose Farmer (creator of the Riverworld series and several other underground classics). Farmer wrote Doc Savage, His Apocalyptic Life as an obvious labor of love. While he goes out of his way to try to accurately document the mythos of Doc Savage (though some critics are correct when they point out that he sometimes draws conclusions that are far more Farmer than Dent), Farmer does so with a welcomed tone of uptmost (if still bemused) seriousness. Treating this book as not just a long fan letter but instead as an actual biography of an actual man, Farmer affords Doc Savage fans a dignity that others who have attempted to write about classic pulp icons haven't.

The book to a certain extent acts as a sequel to Farmer's better known (but, to me, of lesser quality) Tarzan Alive. As in the Tarzan book, Farmer concludes with lengthy and imaginative geneaology in which he manages (with not too many excessive liberties taken with their established canons) to show that every pulp hero was in some way related. Along with Tarzan, Doc Savage is soon to be related to Bulldog Drummond, James Bond, Nero Wolfe, The Scarlet Pimpernil, Prof. Challenger, the Shadow, and just about anyone else you could think of. No, its not meant to be taken seriously but, like the original Doc Savage stories themselves, its still a lot of fun.

must have primer for doc savage fans
whether a long time fan or if you've only recently discovered the Man of Bronze, this is a must have. While Farmer does take some liberties with (supposed) origins and fates of characters, neo- and longtime fans will find this book invaluable.

Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century
Published in Paperback by Monthly Review Press (1998)
Authors: Harry Braverman and John Bellamy Foster
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Action adventure thats not for the weak of heart!
Hang on to your seats for a tale unlike any Tarzan or Doc Savage story you've ever read. And SAVAGE is the word for Farmer's very controversial take on two beloved pulp fiction heroes. Theres plenty of action and spectacle familiar to adventure fans, but Farmer gives it all a gut-wrenching edge by pulling out all the stops on violent emotions and very explicit sex. All of this is wrapped together with an intricate storyline that'll keep you turning the pages. Stay away if you can't stand to see your favorite heroes portrayed with a style that will hit you like a hot poker in the eye. Otherwise, it's a great adventure taken to a level very few authors dare to try for. Try it if you dare

Rare and rewarding, You can look far and not find its like.
I have seldom found better imaginative prose than Farmer displays. The story is riveting in its primal intensity. Mr. Farmer has taken two of pulp fiction's greatest heros and given them new life. He has done so in a way that their creators would have been shocked to see. If you have read the adventures of Tarzan or Doc Savage, you must read this book

Definitely not Burroughs' Tarzan !
This book grabs you in a delicate place and won't let go until you put it down. Farmer speculates on what the famous 'Apeman' might have really been like if he had the moral sensibilities of an animal and the physique of a superman, and the result is pretty raw. Don't pick this up if you are easily offended. Do pick it up if you love alternatives to the established

Hadon of Ancient Opar
Published in Paperback by New American Library (1981)
Author: Philip Jose Farmer
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Oh wow, what a book!!!
"Hadon of Ancient Opar" is one of the best action fantasy epic adventures I have ever read. There is no flaw in this book, taken it's genre. Hadon is the hero of the piece, but unlike most heros, he starts the book as an athlete at an early form of the Olympics. The games are designed so that the winner gets to merry the princess of the kingdom. Hadon wins, but is sent on a quest by the corrupt king. That is just the beginning. He goes on an adventure to rival Odyseus or Jason. He fights many half evolved man-apes, conspiring monarcs, and savage beasts of the land. The setting is in Tarzan's Africa, about 10,000 BC. Also a couple of references to Tarzan being there as an almost god-figure. I read this book in a day, it is so great. If there is a series in this line, please let me know. It's hard to find, but worth the look.

Epic adventure
This is one of Farmer's best efforts at the heroic epic. Set in 10,000 BC when Tarzan's Opar was part of a thriving civilization, the novel traces the adventures of Hadon while his society is transforming from matriarchy to patriarchy. If you notice anything familiar about the character Sahhindar, it's no coincidence. The sequel, FLIGHT TO OPAR, isn't quite as good, but is still worth reading. It's too bad these are out of print.

Philip Jose Farmer's The Dungeon
Published in Paperback by I Books (01 March, 2003)
Authors: Richard Lupoff and Bruce Coville
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What a Treat
In this reissue of 1988 Jose Farmers' The Dungeon .. not only does Richard Lupoff write but also Bruce Coville whose talents are worth an extra review. His contribution "The Dark Abyss" leads us to believe that Neville can be found and everyone can find a way out, his journal is leaving unsuspecting messages and clues but hope is short lived. Major Clive Folliot and his companions accompanied by new allies including his great-granddaughter Annabelle Leigh and friends will descend through a trap door in a cave with the help of Shriek.. a large spider woman that can change her inner self (which makes her a deadly addition to this group) spins a silk line to descend upon a world of vast oceans were there are people who live beneath the surface of that great body of water and there are islanders' populating a tiny portion of land. Here they meet Mr.Green who will reveal to Clive a key to the mysteries of the Dungeon and ancient races who play a game beyond rational comprehension. During all of this Sidi Bombay has been incorporated with a worm that feeds on what a person is, in return they make that person part of them. He is rescued and discovers the experience has made him young and vital again. Yet despite the fact that they have survived this long the worms are the only creature powerful enough to travel within the tunnels of the dungeon and they will learn to use that ability.

Gripping, a MUST read
This reissue of Jose Farmers' 1988 romp through a labrynth so wonderfully imagined and illustrated (originally) by robert gould , "The Black Tower" written by Richard Lupoff, brings to us a gripping tale of brother searching for his twin lost after a trip to the continent. He embarks on a journey following a strange pattern of stars' with his faithful companions, Sergeant Smythe..a master of disguises', Sidi Bombay..spiritual advisor and user of the mysteries, User-Anne..who really rocks/rolls and Finnbogg..a massive dwarf with doggy like eagerness. Together they will descend level after level experiencing all the strange beings trapped in this multi-layered world.
This exciting new series reissue will delight all fans of fantasy who liken to Dantes'Inferno sense and multi-facet themes. Come along and try this, you won't regret it !!!!!

Published in Paperback by Ace Books (1987)
Author: Philip Jose Farmer
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I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars....
I am an admitted Science Fiction junkie, but as far as the Phillip Jose Farmer "Riverworld" series is concerned, likes and dislikes of a particular genre do not enter into it. I bought the first book in the series, "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" on a whim, and began it suspiciously as I do any new book or author. Before I had finished a single page, I was completely immersed in Farmer's world, and I devoured the book whole within two days. Two days later, I found myselef back at the bookstore, racing to the shelf and praying that nobody had bought the next book in the series.

Shortly thereafter, a colleague asked if I had read anything good lately, and I forced the book on him as a fanatic would force a religious text to a prospective believer... and within a week the Riverworld books were tearing through my friends, my family, my girlfriend, and suddenly everyone was buying and reading them, and a whole lot of people were constantly demanding of each other how soon they could borrow the next book in the series, and if delayed, running out and buying a copy.

I have become immersed in many many books before - series like Tolkien's Ring Cycle have drawn me deeply into them, but - and I realize that many will consider this blasphemy- I believe the Riverworld cycle to be far superior.

I will end this review by addressing the plot of the series, or at least the most basic concept: Everyone (with a few exceptions I will not explain) who has ever lived and died on planet Earth wakes up at the exact same moment, naked as the day they were born, and in the body they posessed at age 25, lying on the banks of a vast and winding river bordered on both banks by towering and unsurpassable mountains.

20th century Americans wake up next to pre-historic homo sapiens, next to 14th Century English lords, next to 8th century AD Mongol warlords... The entire spectrum of the human race - EVERYBODY - waking up alive after their deaths, regardless of their religious beliefs, together in this strange land.

Through 'Grails', huge mysterious mushroom shaped mechanical devices spaced evenly one kilometer apart down the length of the River, every human need is provided for; food, drink, cigars, liquor and even marijuana - but this planet is not Heaven, nor is it anything as obvious as what one would expect from any hackneyed twilight-zone episode scenario.

Ordinary people from all periods of human history are the main characters in these novels, as are famous historical figures like the legendary English explorer Sir Richard Burton, or even notorious villains such as King John Lackland and Herman Goering.

As a friend of mine crassly but accurately put it after reading the first book series - "If that stupid Dianetics book could become the basis for a religion, why couldn't this?" - I think I saw the same sentiments echoed in another review on this site, and I don't know about that, but if the concepts Farmer outlined in these novels were a metaphysical reality, I for one would feel better about going to church on Sundays... buy these books and believe; not in a religion, but in ridiculously good writing.


The Unreasoning Mask
Published in Hardcover by Putnam Pub Group (1981)
Author: Philip Jose Farmer
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A must read * The world isn't what it seems to be
I read this book a while ago and am anxious to reread it soon. Expecially concerning the dawn of the 21st century, where strange things might - or might not - happen ( ;-), this book places you in the set of mind of someone who discoveres that the world is much more complex and unbelievable than one had thought possible before. A book that has a magical fascination - IMHO - that draws you into the story. Enjoy it! :-)

This was my favorite Sci-Fi novel!
I read this novel over ten years ago, so my knowledge about the details are sketchy. But I feel compelled to write this review because of how it affected me. It is the ONLY novel I have ever read in one sitting. Perhaps the reason I liked this novel so much is do to the fact that it is slanted toward the hard philisophical questions of life.

Escape from Loki
Published in Paperback by Bantam Books (1991)
Author: Philip Jose Farmer
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Farmer chronicles Doc Savage's first adventure.
In this well-crafted novel, Philip Jose Farmer, best known for his Riverworld novels, chronicles the earliest known adventure of 1930s and '40s pulp hero Doc Savage. Young Clark Savage, shot down while balloon-busting over WWII Germany, finds himself a captive in Camp Loki, a prison camp specially designed for incouragible escapees. Doc pits his super abilities against Camp Loki's commandant, the wiley Baron von Hessel, a complex, nihilistic creature who ranks high on the list of Doc's most undaunting foes. The novel provides insight into Doc's motives for his later life of crime-fighting, made more intense by Farmer's ingenious weaving of disguised characters from other works of popular literature. Farmer, who once wrote fictional biographies of Doc Savage and Tarzan, was well qualified to pen this prequel which stands on firm ground with the original Doc Savage series by Kenneth Robeson.

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