Lee Selwood's Reviews > The Fabulous Riverboat

The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip José Farmer
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's review
Sep 01, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi
Read from August 30 to 31, 2011 , read count: 2

This was better then the first book. I thought PJF had probably developed as a writer a lot more when he wrote this and I didn't find it as clunky as To your scattered bodies go. I had fond memories of this instalment as Sam Clemens(Mark Twain) reluctantly teams up with King John(yes, the dastardly lion in the disney film Robin Hood) to build a Riverboat to travel to the headwaters of the Riverworld. Although I enjoyed it a littel more I didn't think it was great, there are still no lead female characters, the book is littered with misogyny and at one point there is even the phrase "Firebrass(the engineer) moved into the cabin with his woman". Who says Sci Fi isn't completely sexist when it needs to be.

There were also some laughable characters. Hacking, the leader of the fantastically named soul city wants to create an all Black state. I couldn't help but imagine him as a cross between the jive talking passengers in airplane and Hooper X from Chasing Amy, I kept expecting him to yell "Black Rage!"

In all its quite an enjoyable romp but the main thing that lets this volume down for me is the staggeringly obvious plot turns of betrayal. At the end it was a case of Sam yelling - "curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal, that I've been expecting all through the book and have mentioned many, many times but haven't really planned for or watched out for". He deserved to have his boat pinched.

I will read the rest of the books eventually. Although I do remember Gods of Riverworld being a bit crap.


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