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Book Review

Book Cover

Lord of the Trees


Author: Philip José Farmer
Titan Books
RRP: £7.99, US $9.95, Cdn $11.95
ISBN: 978 1 78116 293 4
Available 23 November 2012

Having survived the plans of the Nine, to pit him against Calaban to discover which is the stronger, Lord Grandrith is on the run, all the time planning his revenge against the near immortal Nine...

Lord of The Trees is the second Wold Newton novel, following on from A Feast Unknown. The book was written by Philip José Farmer.

As has been previously discussed, the books represent themselves as a more honest retelling of the stories of Tarzan and Doc Savage, the two bearing an uncanny resemblance to Grandrith and Calaban.

Whilst the first novel attempted to say something about the absurdity of these characters when placed in the real world, Lord of the Trees really does feel like a filler novel. This story is slimmer than its predecessor and for good reason, as little of note actually happens which pushes the narrative forward.

The first novel opened with a protracted flight and fight sequence, with Grandrith being hunted by three parties. This novel opens with the first seventy-eight pages dedicated to yet another fight and flight. There is a lull in the middle, when Grandrith encounters some other characters, before the book finishes with another fight. It’s almost as if Farmer had set himself the challenge of writing such a long piece of action without losing the interest of the reader. If so, he has succeeded. The fights are varied in tempo and type, so that although you may be reading, essentially, the same thing you read in the first novel, it never quite feels stale.

Farmer does spend some time fleshing out characters and their backgrounds, especially the mysterious nine and Grandrith, there is even some work done on Calaban, even though he doesn’t really feature in the book.

The book is well written and the action barely pauses throughout, but the lack of any real progress in Grandrith's war against the Nine makes the book feel like a holding action prior to the final fight.


Charles Packer

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