The adventure of a polio stricken earthling who travels across the universe to be reincarnated as the mighty warrior Chong. There are creatures to fig..Show More »ht, a beautiful princess to save and protect, a strange world to accept as one's own, and all done with an intelligently descriptive vocabulary. The narrator is easy to listen to, who clearly articulates the descriptive passages without drawing undue attention to the words, and keeps a steady pace. He gives a strong performance with the culminating scene.
Wildside Press has recently been producing Lin Carter???s books in audio format and, since I read the first of his GREEN STAR series on my Kindle last..Show More » year, I picked up the second book, When the Green Star Calls, on audio. These novels are short planetary SF adventures similar to the tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
In the first volume, Under the Green Star, we met our narrator who has been crippled since childhood. After discovering the ancient Tibetan eckankar, a method of freeing the soul from the body so that it can travel unhindered, he found an exotic planet with a green star, entered the body of one of the planet???s ancient heroes, and fell in love with a princess. While defending her, he died and was abruptly brought back to his dissatisfactory earthly body.Lin Carter When the Green Star Calls audiobook
Some time has passed when we meet him again in When the Green Star Calls. This time when he travels to the green star planet, he enters the dying body of a teenage boy. He hopes to find out if the princess he loves is alive, captured, or dead, but he doubts she???ll be interested in his new youthful self.
I knew what I was in for with When the Green Star Calls ??? a fast pulpy adventure requiring few working synapses, so I read it when I was in the mood for that sort of thing, and it was indeed entertaining. Besides the beautiful scenery, there???s also a decaying city to explore, mutant vegetable vampires, man-eating insects, and mad scientists.
Lin Carter???s narrative is sometimes repetitive, the dialogue is sometimes stilted, and the writing is sometimes overdone to the point of hilarity. For example, a map is a ???cartographic guide??? and a hairless man is not simply ???bald,??? he???s ???devoid of hirsute adornment.??? And then there are comical sentences like this one: ???...he had an indescribable accent I can only describe as the Laonese equivalent of cockney.??? I think these little kinks make the story even more fun ??? it???s just so pulpy.
Wildside Press is new to audiobooks. They???re using Audible???s new do-it-yourself ACX system with narrators I???ve never heard of, so I was concerned about the quality of the production. At least in this case, I needn???t have worried. When the Green Star Calls was narrated by Joel Richards, who isn???t going to be declared my favorite narrator any time soon, but who was quite pleasant to listen to nonetheless. Some of Mr. Richards??? dialogue was stilted, but that could very well have been Lin Carter???s fault. Overall, this was a nice performance and I will definitely be picking up some more of Wildside Press???s offerings at Audible. When the Green Star Calls ended, kind of annoyingly, on a cliffhanger, so I???ve already downloaded the next adventure: By the Light of the Green Star. Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
I picked up As the Green Star Rises, fourth in the five-book GREEN STAR series by Lin Carter, only because it wa..Show More »s cheap at Audible. The last book, By the Light of the Green Star, was mildly entertaining but I didn’t feel compelled to go on. (At this point, probably nobody is reading further in this review, but for the sake of a sense of closure, I’ll go on just a bit. After all, it is possible that readers looking for a mindless audio adventure series might be enjoying GREEN STAR.)
In As the Green Star Rises, our hero (gosh, I forgot his name), who has been blinded and separated from his friends and the princess he loves, is pulled out of the sea by pirates and turned into a galley slave. He makes new friends and enemies and pines for his lost princess. A string of various adventures occurs: daring escapes, near drownings, unexpected rescues, encounters with frightening animal life and weird pseudo-human races, etc. Some of it we’ve seen before.
This installment simply feels like a stepping stone from book three to book five. I feel like Lin Carter is dragging us around, making up little side-adventures, just to prolong the romantic tension: Will our hero ever find the princess, will she know him, and will she love him? I’m sure. Because nothing seriously bad ever happens to our hero. Every other page he is sure he’s going to die, but then some amazing miraculous event occurs which saves him. I see how it is.
Some of Lin Carter’s plot, when not repetitive, is actually creative and slightly exciting, though I never felt the urgency and danger of it. Some of it is just silly, such as the tiny knife called “The Avenger of Chastity” which noblewomen have sewn into their intimate undergarments. If a woman is forced to suffer “the ultimate indignity” she “unsheathes this hidden blade with a ritual gesture and sheaths it again in her own heart.” I snickered at this and wondered how long she practiced the “ritual gesture.”
Lin Carter’s writing style is also a bit silly. This tale is so low-brow, yet if there’s a big word that can do half the job of a more perfect small word, Lin Carter will choose it. For me, this added to the entertainment, though I’m sure that wasn’t Carter’s intention.
There’s another cliffhanger at the end of As the Green Star Rises. I actually have book five, the final GREEN STAR book, because it was also cheap when I bought book four. It’s been a month or two and I haven’t started it, but I will eventually simply because I bought it, it’s short, and it’ll be nice to be able to review the entire series. I feel like I already know what’s going to happen, though.
I’m listening to GREEN STAR in audio format, narrated by Joel Richards. He’s doing a fine job with what he has to work with.
Finally, our hero Karn, the crippled Earthman whose soul has been implanted in the body of a boy on a planet und..Show More »er a green star, comes to the end of his grand adventure. He has been through a series of harrowing events while trying to save the princess he has fallen in love with. In this last installment, he gets a short rest and then everything comes to a head. Old enemies resurface, new monsters appear and, perhaps most challenging of all, he’s captured by a band of man-hating teenage girls. Meanwhile, Karn’s allies are dealing with a race of hive-minded warrior ants and — would you believe it? — another evil scientist (actually, he was my favorite part of the book). It can’t possibly be a spoiler to say that everything eventually turns out okay in the end.
In the Green Star’s Glow is a fast read and, if you’ve enjoyed the GREEN STAR books so far, you won’t be disappointed. Basically, it’s more of the same except that this time it ends. As usual, the narrative is overly dramatic, often repetitive (how many times must each female be described as “lithe” and “supple”?) and sometimes just plain laughable. Here’s a particularly dreadful example, when Karn is a slave to a 13-year-old female who, he notices, is looking at him lustily:
I had been at work for about an hour and my naked hide glistened with perspiration which ran in long wet rivulets down my belly and thighs, cutting paths through the bark dust. The daylight gleamed in highlights along the raised ridges of the muscles of my legs and the great thews which swelled upon my back and shoulders. Each time I drew erect and lifted the heavy axe above my head, my powerfully developed pectoral muscles stood forth in sharp relief and the corded muscles of my taut midsection grew rock-ribbed and hard… I did not like the languid glow in her eye, nor the way she moistened her lips with the small pointed tip of her soft pink tongue. I opened my mouth, about to protest…
Not that’s just really bad writing, but I chose to laugh at it and be entertained. At the same time, I found it kind of creepy that Lin Carter, who was over 40 when he wrote this, would think that a 13-year-old girl who has just run away from a gang of men who were abusing her, would be turned on by a sweaty axe-wielding man. Also, I think Carter forgot here that Karn’s body is only about 13 or 14 years old. I’ve never seen “great thews” on a boy that age. And the protesting part? The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.
What I did like about GREEN STAR was Carter’s lush and beautiful world where the people live in cities built on the limbs of huge trees and fear to explore the forest floor. Our hero never discovers whether the trees and insects are magnified compared to Earth, or whether the people are smaller than humans. Though we see plenty of the Green Star world during the course of the series, it loses a little of its luster after the third book. The fourth book feels like Carter is just milking it, but this last book is a decent, if completely predictable, ending.
If you like these sorts of male-oriented pulpy adventures in the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and if you find these novels cheap somewhere (I read the audio versions by Wildside Press which are pretty inexpensive), you may find it worthwhile to read the first three GREEN STAR books at least.