Auto boutiques-francophones Simple and secure cloud storage giftguide Kitchen Kindle Black Friday Deals Week in Music SGG Tools

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars55
4.1 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(3 star).Show all reviews
on August 2, 2001
Farmer's Riverworld saga takes place on a planet where all of humankind has been resurrected simultaneously. Everyone is in the prime of life, no one can reproduce, and people who die are resurrected on some random place on the planet. The planet is divided into sections by a planet-long (and -wide) river and impassable cliffs. Each subdivisions is populated with a large percentage of people from a given geographical area and historical era (e.g., a group from Nazi Germany, a group of ancient Sumerians, a tribe of Seneca Indians). The main character in this installment is Richard Burton, a real-life explorer and adventurer. He sets out to travel the river and try to find its source, where he hopes to find out who or what has caused the resurrection and why. Along the way, he meets up with a number of people from different eras and cultures, most notably Hermann Goering, Reichsmarshall of the Nazi Luftwaffe.
The underlying theme of the book is a great idea - the possibility to write about any person in history. The clash of cultures, political ideals, etc. could be endlessly investigated. Unfortunately, in this first book, the pace is breathtaking - Burton travels through and past literally hundreds of little enclaves, with barely a passing glance. I was left feeling a little frustrated that the book refused to slow down and consider any details about the various societies he encounters. So, while I enjoyed the setup, the payoff was lacking.
It's entirely possible that the author purposefully wrote the book with a broad, undetailed stroke of the pen. Perhaps the other books in the series are meant to linger and consider the details of this world. Unfortunately, this book does not make me wish to rush out and immediately purchase the subsequent books in the series. I'm intrigued, but not hooked.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 11, 2000
The premisse of this book is fascinating: what if after you die there is nothing. No heaven (or hell, for that matter) no reincarnation. Just nothing. Until someone develops the technology, and the will, to bring back everyone who has ever died on this planet. Bring them back with no possesions, no tools, no clothes, no infrastructure, and not a clue. Just billions and billions of naked confused, semi-immortal, multi-cultural human beings. What will they do? What is the meaning of all this?
The actions these resurrected peoples take are very well written and highly believable (unfortunately). The motives of the people who are responsible for all this are the mystery we are trying to solve.
Farmer received the 1972 Hugo Award for this book that did survive the test of time, and is still a good read now. Then why not 5 stars? --- This book is not a well rounded whole, with a plot that comes to a resounding conclusion. At 3 quaters of the book the pace changes, slowes down. The answer is pushed further to the future, and it soon becomes clear a further quest will be nessessary, even though the book ends. I suppose you'll (and I'll) have to read the rest of what now turns out to be a series to reach the fullfillment of a filosofical conclusion. That's why I feel a bit cheated.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 29, 2003
This is one of those novels that the simple setup will keep you interested and on your toes long after the author drives the story into the ground. It is dissappointing because at many points I felt that Famer was onto something really special. The idea of having every human for ten thousand years put onto a planet together creates an infinite number of possible story lines. Farmer even sets up some very interesting plot lines with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, but then fails to treat them in any real intellegent or significant way. It's nice to see Burton meet Goering, I wanted to see into Goering character or into the character of a different society that would use his talents as Germany did. This is not done however, and is what keep this book from being any better than mediocre. The end result is like talking to someone who keeps asking, "What if", but lacks either the words or the imagination to take it any further.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 8, 2001
This book to me so far is a little strange considering the events that take place. At first the character is spinning on a rod around a whole bunch of naked dead people and he is trying to grab another rod. Once he does, it gets even weirder. All of a sudden he is in a seperate place. Kind of like another world, but it is part of the after life. He then meets a tall scary alien like guy who talks to him and things start getting a little more understandable. Once it picks up with the dialogue between these two, the book becomes easier to comprehend and I kind of like the book. Once I finish it I am sure that I will have a better understanding for what the author was aiming for with this novel. I think that Farmer did a great job with making the reader think when they read it by making up things that are a little odd from normal everyday life. I like it
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 15, 2003
This is fairly run-of-the-mill old-style science fiction. There are two notable shortcomings: first, he doesn't make any attempt to resolve the main questions of the book (who made the Riverworld, and why?). I don't think the book was good enough to bother reading the many sequels to find out the answers. Second, as with much old-style science fiction, the female characters are all more or less helpless. I also didn't really like the use of actual, historical characters (like how Goring kept popping up -- it was just weird).
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
The Fabulous Riverboat
The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip Jose Farmer (Paperback - July 28 1998)