I would be very hesitant about recommending this as a read to anyone. I would NOT recommend this book as an introduction to Tarl's adventures in Gor. It's lacking. Why? Because the book doesn't focus on the Players of Gor. For sure, the actual Players' characters are formed well. But not as great as Nomads of Gor. Not even close. That goes to the writing and background he's given to the characters of Nomads of Gor. In Players of Gor, the characters have a background. But there's little love if they live or die.
The "Monster's" identity was predictable... If you have read the previous books. Tarl seems to be a buffoon at times. I didn't think this went along with this previous thought processes and decision making. I understand John Norman is attempting to paint flaws into Tarl. However too many too quick. And very very poor choices. It was obvious he was being marked the moment he received the ribbon. It was obvious he was being laid into a trap when the free woman kept showing up around him, in what was supposed to be a "Rio-ish Carnival" atmosphere.
Most was Taskboot. Least was the woman who ended up being drugged and tied under a table (trying not to give anything away).
He brings the imagination of the character's persona to the forefront.
Maybe. The "Game's" aspects were interesting. It would be nice to see how the game is actually formed in reality. They way the book went into it was well done.
Overall this book was disappointing. It did have some good parts. But I see that it's the beginning of a new adventure for Tarl.
I don't know.
This book wasn't about the mercenaries of gor. It is about holding and being a slave. There was more about Tarl's interaction with slaves and the subject of slavery than anything else. I was literally board and dreaded going through the book at certain points.
To make my point, Chapters 25 and 26 were entirely about slavery. Jeeeze, he covered this already. In previous books; and throughout the entire book, he kept going off on very long tangents about slavery. Any interaction between him and the story was slight. Enough already about slavery. Yes we understand it's a large part about Gorean life. But Tarl kept going on and on, every chance available about slavery.
Interestingly enough, he has Tarl raping a free woman. Really? You make the hero of the series, a rapist?
His characters are crisp and diverse. You sometimes forget that its only him speaking.
The free woman he raped. The free woman he drugged. The free arlar woman.
I've spoken to people about the gor books. Many haven't read them all. Nor have they reached the amount of boos I've gone through. Why? Perhaps willingness or the motivation to read them. What should be bothersome to John Norman, is that one person, this past week, actually said she stopped at book 26. Why? That person was obviously disappointed by something. I am quickly becoming this way as well. Not only was Mercenaries of Gor was HORRIBLE. Players of Gor was less than par.
Now I have to deal with Dancer of Gor. If this doesn't turn around, I am quickly going to stop reading these books.
I know it's too late. 30 books have been written so far. But this S&M trip Norman is/was on, is killing me.
I honestly believe just about anyone will more than enjoy this book. It's very detailed and provides the listener with a firm grasp of the environments and it's characters.
If you go into this book blind, like I did. You will find yourself asking yourself if this is an autobiography.
I smiled, laughed, felt sad and wondered while listening to this book. It's very long. But well worth it.
In the end, you will be quite satisfied, yet a tiny bit of you will want more. If there was another 24 hour continuation of this book, I would be too busy listening to the new book, to have written this review.
BTW, you are not from the area they speak of in the book, you will come away with a firm understanding of the culture and some of it's language.
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