Sean's Reviews > The Fabulous Riverboat

The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip José Farmer
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's review
Jun 27, 12

bookshelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Read in May, 2012

A lot of other reviewers have pointed out that the second book in the series doesn't quite sustain the mood of the first ("To Your Scattered Bodies Go"). Yes, Sam Clemens isn't particularly 'funny', but I don't think he was intended to be. There's constant talk of how people can shed their old ways in the Riverworld--perhaps that's why Clemens isn't the jester he was on Earth. I don't really know.

There's a lot more war and bloodshed in "The Fabulous Riverboat", as some humans can't seem to let their conflicting natures go. I like the "Joe Miller" character - a prehistoric giant called a 'titanthrop'. He's learned to speak decent English and even philosophise a bit. For the naysayers...uh, it is fiction, after all.

A couple of pieces are added to the ultimate puzzle of Riverworld, but enough remians hidden to keep it all intriguing. Between Clemens and King John, there's so many double and triple-crosses, you almost lose track. This happens right up to the end of the book.

While not as psychedelic and shape-shifting as Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea's "Illuminatus!" trilogy and not as out-and-out strange as Michael Moorcock's "Dancers At The End Of Time" series, "Riverworld" is shaping up to be an epic series in it's own right.

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