Meet Robert Wolff: 66, fat, balding, married to a shrew, and ready for retirement - but perhaps not on on earth. Everything starts out promisingly enough when our likeable hero with the unfortunate gap in his past is drawn by a magic horn to a paradise in another universe. Sadly, things go down hill from here as Wolff sort of accidentally gets drawn into a journey and quest of heroic proportions to rescue said horn, win the girl of his dreams, and topple the Lord of the universe.
The main problem here is that Farmer bit off more than he could chew, shoving a plot that Robert Jordan would have spun out into a dozen massive volumes (at least 6 of which would have been worth reading) into a bare 270 pages. I kept finding myself looking for the name of the abridiger on the cover! As a result, there is no time or space for niceties such as character development, suspense, or an examination of motivations, let alone some inkling that the book might *mean* something. The plot rushes on and on, with frequent references such as "3 months later" or "after a long hard journey." Foreshadowing, flashbacks, and other key revelations are handled clumsily at best - as if Farmer had forgotten to tell you something earlier (say, about Wolff's near super-human strength) and is slipping it in now in hopes you won't notice the omission. When he stops to deal with motivation or character development at all, his characters are likely to spill in one succinct paragraph their longstanding battle with alcoholism and apathy to a perfect stranger. When he does stop for breath, it is only to describe in gory detail a battle of some sort in which characters are killed off like so many Starfleet Redshirts (except for the important ones, of course, who escape with nary a scratch.) When we reach the inevitable confrontation between Wolff and the Lord, it is as if Farmer suddenly realized he needed to finish up in just 20 more pages, and shoves in the last dozen revelations in anywhere he can cram them, tying up everything in a neat little package as he reaveals that.... no, I won't ruin the plot for you. I'll just say that if you didn't see it coming, it's probably just because like me you were reading too fast so you could finish and pick up something with a little more meat.