To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld, #1)
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To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  16,549 ratings  ·  436 reviews
To Your Scattered Bodies Go is the Hugo Award-winning beginning to the story of Riverworld, Philip José Farmer's unequaled tale about life after death. When famous adventurer Sir Richard Francis Burton dies, the last thing he expects to do is awaken naked on a foreign planet along the shores of a seemingly endless river. But that's where Burton and billions of other humans...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published June 30th 1998 by Del Rey (first published 1971)
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TK421
Let’s say you died in 2005. You wake up on a beach (I am simplifying here for those of that have not read this—the book does not start off on a beach), next to a river that is endless. You have no recollection of this place. You know this can't be possible because next to you are a man dressed in 16th century attire and a bit further down from him is what looks like a Neanderthal. But, hey, you're in a Philip Jose Farmer novel, so anything's possible.

I love the concept that when we die (regardl...more
Manny

A very Kilgore Troutish book. Farmer comes up with a phenomenal idea: a world where every human being who's ever lived has been resurrected, to spend the rest of eternity coming to terms with each other along the banks of a gigantic river. Unfortunately, after a few chapters it becomes clear that the author has no real plan about where to go with his concept. I remember some reviewer expressing similar disappointment with "The Matrix". It starts with a metaphysical revelation, and ends with a sh...more
Keely
For me, the appeal of Speculative Fiction is the breadth and depth of its scope. An author is free to explore the most difficult questions and imagine worlds vastly different from anything we have ever experienced. Though all literature is concerned with what it means to be human, few outside of Sci Fi go to such lengths to ask what it means to be capable of thought and self-knowledge

However, there is a drawback. Often, authors succumb to the temptation to create a world so new, so different, so...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

After he died, the famous 19th century explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton wasn’t surprised to find that what the Christian priests had taught about the Resurrection wasn’t true. But he was totally bewildered by what actually happened. He woke up young, hairless, naked, and turning in midair (as if on a spit) in the middle of 37 billion other young, hairless, naked and rotating humans. Soon after waking, the bodies — all the people over the age of five who...more
Stephen
4.0 stars. Excellent novel by one of the under-rated masters of science ficiton. Great, original concept and a well-written plot. Recommended.

Winner: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1972)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1972)
Matt
Philip Jose Farmer's strangely Hugo winning novel "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" is mostly notable in that it serves as a perfect example of how exactly not to write a science-fiction novel. The only thing I can think of is that all of the Hugo voters the year of its winning decided they were going to be ironic and vote for the worst sci-fi book released that year, as some kind of post-dada critique on the awards process.

Farmer starts with a great idea: everyone who dies wakes up on a mysterious...more
Amy
Imagine that you wake up and the last thing that you remember is dying. You're lying on a riverbank surrounded by strangers who are naked and hairless just as you are. As you explore your surroundings, you find that you are no longer on Earth and the people around you are all the people from the beginning of time who have lived and died on Earth. Furthermore, there are no animals or insects, but there are plenty of fish in a river that seems never never to end. Meals and wants like cigarettes, a...more
Greg of A2
The first PJF novel I ever read. His short stories from sci-fi magazines had impressed me but this novel went way beyond that. This novel has one of the most memorable opening sequences in all of sci-fi literature. Even 20+ years since I read this novel, I can still recall the fascinating opening of it with the suspended bodies and our protagonist coming awake. The mix of sci-fi and religion is always fascinating to me but in the hands of PJF, it was doubly fascinating.
Meg Powers
I don't know if this book actually deserves a four star rating, but it has been haunting the back of my mind since senior year of high school, when I had to read it for my "Literature of Science" class. Haunting me not because it is an amazing piece of literature (I recall it being awkwardly written ) but because it is so WEIRD. It's weird in that way that certain low budget movies you catch on t.v. late at night are weird. The progression of events and the unfolding of the story is weird. The c...more
Maggie K
The one sentence version: Great idea, bad execution....

I LOVE the idea of a world where everyone who ever existed is suddenly reesurrected and given a second chance...if that is what's really happening...

However, it seems like it never gets too developed from an idea into a story, and using real-life people as characters...well, it can be sometimes disconcerting. When the main character Richard Burton goes after Alice Hargreaves (Alice in Wonderland) it seems more like a peek at the author's own...more
Mike Moore
Here's the premise: all of mankind is reborn, all at once, on a planet custom made for the purpose. If you think about this for a few minutes, you'll probably come up with all sorts of possibilities: anthropological exploration, meeting famous historical figures, fights with savages from various time periods. Give it a few minutes more and you'll probably start thinking about your personal interactions: folks you might want to settle a score with, or even people long dead who you'd like to take...more
Amanda
Hugo Award Winner. listening to this on audio in the car

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Wanted to give this a 3.5, but as i'm not able too, i guess it gets a 3 because i don't feel right giving it a 4. Until about halfway through the book i was gonna give it a 5 but then it felt like the the author didn't really know where else to go with the story and wanted to make sure it was a novel not a novella. So it just went on somewhat pointlesss,(i thought),for a bit. The end...more
Althea Ann
Usually, the Hugo Awards are a good recommendation for entertaining literature.
Not in this case. I really don't understand how this book could have been given an award of any kind. Were there NO other sf novels published in 1971?
Farmer uses historical figures as his characters as an excuse to not bother writing any characterization of any kind. Every character in the novel is completely two-dimensional. It's pretty hard to make such an interesting and multi-dimensional character as the historica...more
Karen
I tried. I realy did. The premise of this book is fascinating and right up my alley. I got about 1/4 of the way through and realized I couldn't continute. It wasn't because 1) The protagonist is unlikeable, unsympathetic, possibly a rapist and definitely kind of an @sshole (though, to be honest, I'm sure Farmer was drawing on his knowledge of the real Burton) or 2) It was insanely misogynistic, racist, and possibly homophobic, but mostly because 3) It was written like a 12th grade writing projec...more
Travis
One of the great sci-fi epics of all time.
Everyone that ever lived on earth has been cloned and deposited on an alien world, dominated by a huge ( you guessed it) river.

What happened? Who did this? What the heck is going on? A band of assorted historical characters are thrown together with the hopes of surviving in this strange new world and discovering the secrets of the Riverworld.

Buck Ward
A unique premise: All the human beings who had ever lived are resurrected on a world made for that purpose. They find themselves all at once, naked and youthful, in this strange place. Their basic needs of food and water are provided for as they begin to form new communities, cultures, civilizations. Stone age war is a common state of affairs.

Some of the characters are historical persons: Hermann Goering the infamous Nazi, Alice Liddell Hargreaves of Alice in Wonderland fame, and Sir Richard Fra...more
Jonathan Erwin
I enjoyed this book though to be honest it only really got interesting in the last fifty pages or so. I liked the ideas behind it and the protagonist had several qualities I truly enjoyed such as always questioning authority no matter how good the scotch is. The historical entities brought forth in the book caused a few problems for me. Herman Goring the character in the book was in my opinion pitiful, though when I think of Herman Goring the historical figure I felt that he had not been torture...more
Mark Oppenlander
Famed 19th century explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton dies. When he awakes, he finds himself resurrected, lying naked on the banks of a seemingly endless river, along with every other human being (and non-human sentient) who has ever lived on Earth or ever will. The human race is provided with food that miraculously appears from strange machines, but little else. There are no buildings, no clothes and no instructions. It is clear that this is not the afterlife that most world religions promised...more
Myles
Having a Victorian man be your protagonist, even an adventurous libertine of a Victorian, will allow an author to get away with a lot.

Riverworld is a fantastic idea. Stupendous. All who have ever lived and died on Earth have been simultaneously resurrected, including prehumans, cured of disease and disabilities and in the prime of life. All of their basic needs are provided for but there are no explanations given for this strange miracle. I was introduced to it through the 2003 TV-movie (a faile...more
alissa
I feel like giving this a 3/5, but for the plot alone I have to give it an additional star.

Even though it wasn't as interesting as it could have been, or written in a style I particularly love, the idea alone is amazing. It has endless possibilities.

After reading it at long last, I'm so disappointed that it's television/film adaptations have been so poor. This story has limitless potential and I can't help wishing an amazing film or series would come out of this.

Thirty six billion, six million,...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 03, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This is the opening novel in Farmer's Riverworld and was a fantastic read. I just cracked open the book and hours later I blink having reached the last page--so smooth style and page turner. This was written in 1971 but didn't read as dated, aside from that time's Environmental Doom Fad(tm).

The premise is fantastical: every humanoid being born on the Earth from Homo Erectus to early 21st Century Homo Sapiens to alien visitors, about 35 billion of them, is resurrected along the banks of a river...more
Fiona McGier
May 29, 2012 Fiona McGier rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
This book was written in the 70s, but he was born around the turn of the last century, so he was already old when he wrote it, which might explain a lot. I had read a review that claimed it was the one book that person wanted to have with them, if they could only have one book. My husband had just finished and passed to one son a book of Arthur Clarke's short stories that he claimed was wonderful. That son had just finished a college lit class on sci-fi, and he's been sharing stories with us. So...more
Dan Schuna
This is a great little book. As a stand alone it's very entertaining in the Ripping Good Yarn or Jolly Good Tale sense, but as the start of a five book series it's an excellent setup. It's a slim volume but manages a tremendous amount of characterization and a fairly long-seeming story. More questions are posed than answered but there's a little taste at the end of the overall story arc for the series.

The lead character, a fictionalized Richard Francis Burton, is at times repulsive, at times sy...more
Tony
TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO. (1971). Philip Jose Farmer. ***.
According to the jacket cover, this is the first book of the legendary “Riverworld” saga. It also lets you know that this novel was the winner of the Hugo Award (1972). It looks as if there were a total of five books in the Riverworld series by the time Farmer quit, but this first one is likely to be enough for me. The concept was clever: all the people on Earth who died (which included all the present population up to 2008 because of...more
Nancy Oakes
First, a word of warning: do NOT expect to know the answers to the questions you're going to have by the end of this book. They aren't there. So if you read this book, get to the end of it and say "this stinks! There's no resolution! I hate this book," don't say I didn't warn you! The book isn't about finding the answers...it's the journey that counts. And if by the end of the book you don't have any questions, you need to go back and read it again because your curiousity should be absolutely on...more
Ben Babcock
When I first began reading To Your Scattered Bodies Go, I didn't give it enough credit. It has an amazing premise, and as a narrative it contains both the conflict and the thematic depth required to create a compelling science fiction story. And, I mean, it won the Hugo award—that can't be bad! So why was I so incredulous in the beginning? I'm not sure. It might have been the opening, which didn't draw me in like a book should. And it was difficult to connect to Burton as a character at first, a...more
Connie
I read this book upon the recommendation of my father, and can't help but just think "Meeeh." I've started the second book in the series, but only because they were combined in the same volume, and I'm still not convinced I will read further.

So, the beginning of the book is fantastic! After a couple of bizarre scenes (that aren't really worth getting into), Francis Burton (our narrator) and every other member of humanity (and some protohumans and a few aliens) are resurrected, naked and hairles...more
Lyn
To Your Scattered Bodies Go was author Philip Jose Farmer’s 1971 novel that went on the win the 1972 Hugo Award for Best Novel. About as inventive as a great science fiction novel from a very good writer can be, this describes a world where everyone who ever lived is reincarnated into a river valley environment. Filled with philosophical and theological metaphor, this is an excellent vehicle for the author to explore various subjects revolving around sociology, human nature and group dynamics. A...more
Theo Logos
This is the introductory book of Philip Jose Farmer's five volume Riverworld series, books that do not stand alone, and must be read in sequence from beginning to end for the whole story. As an introduction to an unique series, 'To Your Scattered Bodies Go' works well, and makes a good beginning.
The premise of the Riverworld books is unique, fantastic, and the hook that will draw you in and hold you. All of humankind, everyone who ever lived, is simultaneously resurrected on an artificially form...more
Lindz
Fascinating concept, dissatisfying execution. Sir Richard Francis Burton died in the 19th century and awakened here in the Riverworld, along with every other person that died on Earth. Naked, surrounded by unfamiliar people (including an alien) and uncertain how they're going to survive (can you die in the afterlife?) he bands together with a few people to figure out how to live in this new world.

Like I said, fascinating concept. After all, in what other mind could you have a story where the mai...more
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10089
Philip José Farmer was an American author, principally known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. He was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, but spent much of his life in Peoria, Illinois.

Farmer is best known for his Riverworld series and the earlier World of Tiers series. He is noted for his use of sexual and religious themes in his work, his fascination for and reworking of th...more
More about Philip José Farmer...
The Fabulous Riverboat (Riverworld, #2) The Dark Design (Riverworld, #3) The Magic Labyrinth (Riverworld, #4) The Gods of Riverworld (Riverworld, #5) Venus on the Half-Shell

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“The fortune of the man who sits also sits” 4 likes
“- И защо човечеството получи своята Втора Възможност? - попита Колоп с тихия си сериозен глас.
- Нима я заслужава? Не. С малко изключения хората са подло, нищожно, дребнаво, злобно, тесногръдо, невероятно себично, вечно препиращо се и гнусно гъмжило. Като го наблюдават, боговете - или Бог - би трябвало да повърнат. Но в тази божествена храчка се намират и съсиреци на състраданието, моля да ме извините, че си служа с подобни образи. Колкото и да е долен човекът, той съдържа сребърната нишка на божественото в себе си. Не е безсмислено твърдението, че човек е сътворен по образ и подобие Божие. И в най лошите сред нас има нещо, което си струва да бъде съхранено, и от това нещо може да възникне новият човек.”
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