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Phaid the Gambler Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1986


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Mass Market Paperback, Aug 1986
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reprint edition (August 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441662323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441662326
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,196,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The world is interesting, but the character might be more interesting. Unfortunately he travels across the world and among several different elements of society somewhat passively. We start with him gambling, see a few of his observational insights, and we end with him leaving a gambling table (though not as interesting as the first scene), but the rest of the time our hero is more of a reluctant fighter and sexual opportunist than a gambler. His travels become the excuse to put the world on display. Tension between the classes of society are built up but unresolved. In what passes for adventure our hero keeps pulling off snap shots and escaping, traveling once again to another part of the world until some crisis moves him on. The conclusion of this book must be in the sequel because it was not in this one... but I don't care to finish it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
Not a bad guy as such Aug. 19 2014
By Raisuli the Magnificent - Published on Amazon.com
I was tempted to give this book a two-star rating, largely because I had a very tough time getting through it. The text is well written enough, but there's no plot, just the chronicle of a single post-apocalyptic man going through the motions of life, and not much else.

Phaid doesn't have a whole lot going for him. Not a bad guy as such, but through his lack of ethics finds himself as a gambler bouncing from one episode of his life to the next with no rhyme or reason. He doesn't think to work to get a job, not to go "back to his roots" or much else. He is a victim of his own circumstance.

He has one seminal event with some psychiatrists disguised as aliens in the book, who try to examine his life and put him on the right and narrow, but Phaid fails again because he has little self impulse to go forward and achieve.

The world is never really described as such. It's just a post-war North America that has somehow rebuilt itself to a degree where pockets of high-tech civilization exist with a kind of sci-fi frontier where lawlessness also stalks the land.

It was a hard slog to get through, and I was angry enough to contemplate giving this book a one-star review, but, like I say, it's respectively well written enough in terms of composition. The tale itself just has no point to it.

My guess is that Phaid is modeled after a real life person who, though not inherently violent by nature, had no real drive to achieve nor become better and make the world better. And, as such, his parents subjected him to the worst form of psychological and psychiatric interrogation, found nothing wrong with him, and when released, went back to his old ways of being a drifter and consort for high profile concubines. That's what I think the story is really about, and, believing that, I'm hard pressed not to give this two stars.

But, like I stated, it reads well enough, even if it doesn't keep you engaged. Based on what I've read here, I will not be reading the sequel.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not Free SF Reader Dec 6 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on Amazon.com
A punter's journey.

Phaid, as the title suggests, is a punter. Not a singer though, and the book begins with him broke and absolutely nowhere near where he wants to be.

In an indeterminate grimy world that is in bad condition due to failed weather technology among other things, Phaid and his luck set out to try and get back to where he works out he should be.

A bit seedy, a bit baroque throughout his wanderings, lusts and adventures.

3 out of 5
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
And who said that guns weren't fun? May 6 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
There are many different views upon the validity of science fiction being placed within the literature "halls of fame". However, this book and many others written by Mick Farren place a great deal of extra weight behind the punches that sci fi is throwing. Either way. personally I couldn't give a damn, so long as it keeps coming .
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
a book for background May 18 2004
By David Brown - Published on Amazon.com
The world is interesting, but the character might be more interesting. Unfortunately he travels across the world and among several different elements of society somewhat passively. We start with him gambling, see a few of his observational insights, and we end with him leaving a gambling table (though not as interesting as the first scene), but the rest of the time our hero is more of a reluctant fighter and sexual opportunist than a gambler. His travels become the excuse to put the world on display. Tension between the classes of society are built up but unresolved. In what passes for adventure our hero keeps pulling off snap shots and escaping, traveling once again to another part of the world until some crisis moves him on. The conclusion of this book must be in the sequel because it was not in this one... but I don't care to finish it.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
WHAT A DREAM JOURNEY July 10 2010
By tulikai - Published on Amazon.com
The Song of Phaid the Gambler, is one of the finest detailed imagination written on Paper. It is totally immersing and takes you to height of fantasitic journey.

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