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The Evil in Pemberley House Hardcover – September 30, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in Farmer's imaginative Wold Newton universe (the setting for Tarzan Alive; Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life; and other novels), in which an 18th-century meteor impact led to a genetic mutation that produced numerous superheroic characters of mystery and science fiction, Farmer and Eckert's struggling collaboration neglects the fantastic in favor of the violently erotic. American Patricia Wildman, obsessed with her father's body and incest fantasies, is abducted and sexually abused by another woman while traveling. Wildman manages to turn the tables on her kidnappers and escape, only to end up in a nest of intrigue at Pride and Prejudice's Pemberley House. Numerous familiar fictional characters, from Elizabeth Bennet to a descendant of Professor Moriarty's chief of staff, only add to the clutter and sense of overkill. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Part pulp romance, part erotic thriller, Farmer and Eckert's yarn is a steamy, intriguing addition to Wold Newton lore."
--Carl Hays, Booklist

"'Pemberley' is clearly a love letter rescued from the grave by co-writer Win Scott Eckert to Farmer's aged fans."
--Ron Capshaw, The Washington Times

"This one is fun--a good, tight story, enough psychology to keep it interesting, villains galore, characters with eccentricities that only the English can manage gracefully, a rich context, and lots of sex." 
--Robert M. Tilendis, Green Man Review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean (September 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596062495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596062498
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #764,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Lai on September 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This novel clevery links earlier works by Philip José Farmer into the context of a gothic mystery. The elaborate connections between Tarzan and Doc Savage from Mr. Farmer's Wold Newton Universe are skillfully interwoven into an exciting narative.

There are also many refrences to other fictional characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Fu Manchu and Bulldog Drummond. Even the most erudite fan of populer fiction may have difficulty in catching all of these literary crossovers. It took me a while to realize that a comment concerning a family named Belville tied into E. W. Hornung's Raffles story, "To Catch a Thief."

Completed by Win Scott Eckert from an unfinished manuscript and a very detailed outline by Philip José Farmer, the novel is an enthralling delight. Mr. Eckert was ideally suited for this task. He has consistently championed the crossover concepts of Philip José Farmer in articles (see Myths for the Modern Age) and in pastiche fiction (see Mr. Eckert's wonderful short stories in the Tales of the Shadowmen anthologies).

Although I wholeheartedly recommend this novel, I must add a word of caution. Unlike the other Wold Newton works by Mr. Farmer, The Evil in Pemberley House has graphic sexual content. Mr. Farmer clearly intended this novel to be the Wold Newton equivalent of A Feast Unknown (1969), an early controversial Tarzan/Doc Savage pastiche that was contradicted by his later works. While the disguised version of Doc Savage in this novel does not engage in any controversial sexual acts in The Evil in Pemberley House, the novel's heroine (meant to be Doc's daughter) behaves in a very provocative manner.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Power on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Eckert is perhaps uniquely qualified to be Farmer's collaborator on this novel since the background of the novel concerns Farmer's Wold Newton Family, a subject near and dear to Eckert's heart. Eckert has been webmaster and publisher of the premiere Wold Newton family website An Expansion of Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe for over a decade. Eckert was also the editor of Myths for the Modern Age, a collection of essays that expanded upon Farmer's Wold Newton Family concept.

Although some reviews may call The Evil in Pemberley House a posthumous work, it is not. Although published after Phil Farmer's passing, the novel was finished, approved by Farmer and bought by a publisher prior to his death.

Sex has always been a double edged sword for Farmer. Portraying it brought him both acclaim and condemnation, and I think possibly precluded him from being looked at in the same regard as Asimov, Heinlein or Clarke. For my money, I think his ideas were just as broad and his execution was in many regards more skillful than the Big Three.

While less explicit than Farmer's other pieces of erotic fiction The Evil in Pemberley is a book for mature audience and does have a strong sexual content. Yet these scenes are never simply prurient and each one is intrinsic to the plot as a whole.

However clever the author of a review wants to be in discussing his favorite novelist, the reader undoubtedly is impatiently thinking. Get to the gist! Is it any good? Does it measure up to Farmer's other works?

The answer to both questions is a resounding yes.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Merrill on October 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A mixture of gothic romance/mystery with an erotic twist, ghost story, Jane Austen spin-off and Doc Savage/ Tarzan/ Sherlock Holmes tie-in, this novel is surprisingly good at meshing all of them. For me the Sub Press description didn't give me the full scope of what Farmer and Eckert have done here. Not being terribly familiar with Farmer's work beyond Riverworld and his entry in Dangerous Visions, I really didn't know what to expect and how closely to the Doc Savage and Sherlock Holmes universes this book would read. I've been a fan of Doc Savage since I was a kid and this book was a lot of fun as a result. The main character is the daughter of Doc Savage and shares his skin tone, gold-flecked eyes and penchant for solving mysteries. It's also a story within a story as we read along with her a thinly veiled "fictional Holmes based short story" that gives her background on the characters she encounters at Pemberley House. This book has everything but the kitchen sink and is highly readable. Endpapers contain a helpful family tree showing how all the characters are related to each other and to Doc Savage and Tarzan, among others. You will have to see through their aliases in the story to make the connections, but there are plenty of clues to get you there. This is a great introduction to Farmer's Wold Newton world where he integrates the worlds of many pulp and literary characters. It made me want to read more Wold Newton books.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Anthony R. Cardno on November 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Evil in Pemberley House by Philip Jose Farmer and Win Scott Eckert, isbn 9781596062498, 214 pages, Subterranean Press, $40.00
(also available in a Limited signed & numbered edition with addtional chapbook for $60).

I'll admit that when it comes to the depth and breadth of character interconnectedness that is The Wold-Newton Universe, I am nowhere near as well-versed as Win Scott Eckert, Denis Powers, Rick Lai and the folks who have spent countless years building upon the basis laid down by Philip Jose Farmer in books like Tarzan Alive, Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, and such works. I like to think I'm a slightly above-average fan, though -- I enjoy picking out the little mentions here and there that indicate how a new piece of fiction might be linked to the classics (such as the veiled reference to Indiana Jones in the first Gabriel Hunt adventure; or the fact that Shannon Rutherford on LOST might actually be distantly related to Tarzan's mother).

As he says in his author's notes, Win Eckert got the chance to meet Mr. Farmer, and to dig through old files looking for pieces of interest for the Farmerphile fan magazine, and came across the unfinished manuscript for The Evil in Pemberley House. And Farmer agreed to let Eckert finish the manuscript and submit it for publication.

The Evil in Pemberley House is pure classic Farmer, connecting the daughter of Doc Savage to a curse that stretches back through the Darcy family of Austen's Pride and Prejudice and even further back from there. There are connections to Sherlock Holmes, Fu Manchu, The Shadow, The Avenger, and a variety of other pulp-and-earlier classic adventure tales, including of course Doc Savage himself.
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