Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tarnsman of Gor

by John Norman

I first read this book back in high school. My tastes had started to run towards sword & sorcery fantasy and my eye was caught by the Boris Vallejo illustration on the cover. I read the book and was enchanted by the world of Gor--a world filled with hawk-riding warriors, beautiful women and the mysterious Preist-Kings. I devoured the first seven Del Rey editions, following the adventures of the hero, Tarl Cabot, an earth man transported to the planet. With him I discovered the fascinating world of Gor, as he defeated evil foes, rescued beautiful damsels and unraveled the mystery of the Priest-Kings. The series continued with another publisher--Tor, perhaps? As it progressed the books became filled with less adventure and more philosophy: men are naturally more dominant, women are naturally submissive, blah, blah, blah. I suspect Mr. Norman had never encountered stubborn women of midwestern and/or German descent. (Now there's a book, HausFrau of Gor.)

Anyway, when I finally got around to paring down my library, the Gor books were easily sold off. Years passed and at the most recent Friends of the Library sale, I found a copy of Tarnsman of Gor on the book tables. I had forgotten a lot about the book, so I figured I'd reread it and see how much I'd enjoy it 30+ years later. The story itself was all right, once I got over the bad science and the similarities to A Princess of Mars. I could relate somewhat to Tarl Cabot, a young man learning a new culture, but still hanging on to some of his native values. The plot moves along pretty well and the characters are likable stereotypes. But in the end, I wasn't even slightly tempted to read the next book in the series.

It'll keep you occupied in the waiting room.
LibraryThing link


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