5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrection time!
Philip José Farmer is a groundbreaking writer that in the '50s & '60s starts turmoil in the scene of Sci-fi. Up to that time the genre was almost aseptic, romance: yes, sex: no. PJF launched his short story "The Lovers" (1952) and started a change; "Flesh" (1960) and "Riders of the Purple Wage" (1967) are interesting examples amongst other of the same kind. The...
Published on June 26 2004 by Maximiliano F Yofre
3.0 out of 5 stars Great setup But no better than medoicre
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...
Published on Jan. 29 2003 by Dixon Whitley
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1.0 out of 5 stars Promises much, but never delivers,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)To be honest, the writing style of this book is enough to make a seasoned reader frustrated. Simply put, it is pitiful. The characters are so carbord that they are not even two-dimensional characters; they are one-dimensional. They are clearly acting out of the author's motives, and have no motives of their own. One can literally see the clunkly machanics behind them, it is quite sad. They have sudden bursts of wisdom and understanding that they could not possibly have, and there is so much data-dumping that often one gets the feel of reading an encyclopedia entry. They also see to be speaking with the same voice: that was the author's voice. Not to mention the rampant sexism. When Burton said that he did not care much for woman's brains, I nearly threw the book accross the room, but lucky for the book, it did not belong to me. Besides, in a society where there was no pregnany, the whole male-domination thing would not have happened. It was disgusting. The only things that kept me reading to the end was that it was short, and the plot was intresting enough that I just wanted to see what it developed to in the end. And the payoff for my hard hours of enduring his baddly-wroght prose? None! There are more questions than answers, and I do not feel like investing more time to read another volume. Trust me, you do not want to waste your time and hard-earned money on this book.
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, okay execution,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)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.
4.0 out of 5 stars After-life; still a mystery,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)To Your Scattered Bodies Go was a very riveting and mysterious novel to read. The novel examines the aspects of being resurrected after life on Earth has expired. The story is based around Sir Richard Burton, a 19th century English explorer. Burton is awakened, from his last breath of life on Earth, to be surrounded by swirling bodies floating upon rods which are capable of being broken. After free falling from the rod, Burton is disturbed when he awakes upon a planet which is occupied by people from every time era that have ever lived on Earth. The people of the planet are given all of life's neccesities, however the reason for their being is still uncertain. Burton befriends a prehuman, an alien, another American and several others who set out on an endless journey along the million mile long river to find the answer to that question. Burton, himself, becomes frusterated when he is given chance after chance to redeem his life, yet does not know how to do that. The novel shows that during each resurrection, people are given the chance to correct the mistakes they had made in their past lives and it allows them to judge themselves before they are eternally judged in the after-life. Burton had trouble realizing his past mistakes and became prematurely judged. I thought the novel was very descriptive, and easy to read. Philip Jose Farmer did an excellent job of keeping the reader entertained. From reading the novel I am now interested in reading the other novels in his series to find out what happens after the end of To Your Scattered Bodies Go.
3.0 out of 5 stars weird, very weird,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)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
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)Although this isn't the best book I've ever read it is still good. It kept me interested the whole time and although I COULD put it down I would still pick it back up a little later. In conclusion, Burton's journey down the river is worthy of five stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars The most original sci-fi book I have ever read.,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but I was completely unprepared for how entertaining it was. Almost every page brought completely unexpected turns of events. Very enthralling. I highly recommend this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Start of a memorable series,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)I just re-read this book for the first time in (literally) twenty-five years. Some of my favored books from those "old days" don't hold up well. But this one does! Farmer came up with a awe-inspiring setting that gives him access to literally every human who ever lived, as well as some non-human characters, and the ability to shift settings quickly and dramatically. The hero of this book is Sir Richard Burton, the 19th Century British explorer and adventurer. After Burton breathes his last on Earth, he finds himself (after a puzzling interlude or two) reborn on another planet among everyone who ever lived on earth. All their basic needs are provided for, and in this new world, even further death is not permanent; since humanity is freed from the need to struggle for life, it's necessities, or even for many of its pleasures, there is time for something else. The focus of the series is on how different people used this unique opportunity. Burton uses it to try to uncover the motivations behind the beings responsible for the resurrection. Fortunately for him, he has a secret ally among the resurrectors. The book is interesting, very readable, and not terribly deep. I enjoyed it, and am going to re-read the whole series. You'll learn a lot about Burton in the book, but it did not inspire in me (originally or now) the fascination it appears to have inspired in some other reviewers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Book I've read in 15 years!,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)First of all, I'm only 15. Now then, "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" may not be a gramatically correct title (making it hard, in my oppinion to give it a chance in the first place), but it is still the greatest book I've ever read! It starts with the main characters death THE END... actually death is the beginning and the foundation for this book. I like how PJF showed all of the characters going through revelations as a result of their second chance at life... and then their third and fourth and so on... I also like the idea that everyone in creation is in this book, including the readers, if they can find the right ethnic group. One thing that I like in books, as well is being left in the dark at first and being able to read the solutions later. I recomend this book to anyone who likes History, boats, Sci-Fi's, WW2, and about anything else for that matter! It's just plane good! However, I have heard very bad reviews on his later books, except for that annoying person who gives the book a full 5 and thanking Amazon for the convenience of finding books online. Still, I am very tempted to see what Sir Richard Burton does on his voyage. Probably chew dreamgum... Alice in Wonderland is in this book, and it gives a new perspective to her...
4.0 out of 5 stars great revelation here is Burton,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)If forced to choose the single factor (other than crippling lack of ambition) that lead to my posting a 2.42 my Freshman fall of college, this book would be the culprit I'd point to. You see, I made the mistake of reading this book just before finals & immediately followed it up by reading everything about or by Sir Richard Francis Burton that I could find.
The central conceit of Farmer's Hugo Award Winner is that everyone who ever lived on Earth is resurrected along the banks of a river on a mysterious world. One of the first people to understand their predicament and take action is the linguist, explorer, translator Sir Richard Francis Burton. Along with Alice Hargreaves (of Alice in Wonderland fame), a Neanderthal named Kazz , an alien from Tau Centauri named Monat Grrautut (who precipitated the Apocalypse that destroyed Earth in 2008) and others found along the way, Burton sets off upriver to try to figure out why they've been brought to this place. But when they figure out that The River may be 20 million miles long and then they are captured by Herman Goring and a band of Ancient Romans, things get even more complicated.
Farmer has a wonderful idea here & he plays it to the hilt, dropping in interesting historical characters & playing off cultures and ethnicity's against each other. I especially like the way he's taken his characters to the promised afterlife & instead of finding answers to the question of existence, they find that it's just as confounding as life on Earth.
But the great revelation here is Burton. If you've never heard of him, you'll want to read more & if you're familiar with him, you'll want to read about him anew.
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate adventure,
This review is from: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Paperback)This is what science fiction is all about. What could be more exciting than to be "reborn" in a new world with historical characters as your friends and neighbors? Although the idea of rebirth is as old as the Bible, Farmer's Riverworld series has to be the most interesting telling of the story. Instead of a mystical god being responsible for the rebirth, it is instead a science-driven event.
"Scattered Bodies" and the rest of the series, shows that the spirit of the adventurer is alive and well in science fiction.
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To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer (Paperback - June 30 1998)
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