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Forward the Mage (Joe's World) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In spite of that, I recommend this book for those with patience. Not as comedy, exactly - though it has hilarious moments, they're not that frequent. Instead, I'd place it more in the hazy area of the Princess Bride - a story superficially impossible to take seriously, but ultimately very serious indeed. Beneath the antics, there's a real message about human nature. The characters may be literally larger than life, but they are complex and compelling.
Having a large vocabulary or a willingness to expand it rapidly will help. So will knowing something about nationalism and imperialism.
The biggest difference to me was the higher level of buffoonery. The characters seem less intelligent than in the original as they wander their way through this magical universe.
The wandering in this story is on the part of two principal characters. One is the mage who was called in to interpret the dream of a king. The king goes mad right after hearing what the mage has to say and said mage embarks on a quest to find out who is trying to thwart him.
The second wanderer is the artist, Benvenuti, from the original book. Since he was supposed to be hired by the mad king, he now has nothing better to do than wander around looking for the wizard who drove his patron mad. Eventually the two link up and set off on a greater quest.
This story is not as interesting as the original nor are the characters as likeable. Still, it is an enjoyable read and well worth the time.
This was also the book that had me laughing out loud in the library. And again. And again. Perhaps it's because I have the background to appreciate it, as another reviewer mentioned, but the points of view are remarkably well done throughout the whole book and the various historical, social, etc references hilarious in context.
I firmly believe that if you are a big fan of dry humor, meta-humor, and absurdist humor, this will be one of your favorite books.
The outlines of the story include the Wizard Zulkeh who is asked to solve the dream of a local King that is driving that King insane. The wizard cannot do it without consulting with a colleague so he is off on a journey with his dwarf apprentice. At the same time, a young artist comes to the same city to visit the same king in hopes of getting a commission to be the court artist. The King goes mad and the artist goes on his own journey after meeting a young woman who is active in the revolutionary forces trying to create changes in this world.
However, this does not tell you anything about the book. This book is meant to poke fun at things and so it does. It does so by its characters names, by the way they speak and interact and even by the way they are presented. I will only provide two examples here. The first is by way of a direct quote from the book: "Pushing down the peak of his picque hat to cover his widow's peak, and peeking through the window, Pike's picque peaked as La Madame's peke bit him on his peak of a nose". I was chortling aloud by this point so I actually had to read this sentence two or three times before I understood all of its subtleties. And this is but one sentence out of a book that is 585 pages long!
The second example I'll provide comes when the wizard provides a lengthy discourse on why he believes in this world's particular theory of gravity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The second, and prequel, book explains the origins of many secondary characters from the Strangler, and chronicles the theft of the Rap Sheet in Prygg. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David Harriss
Flint wrote an amazing little piece some time ago called the Philosophic Strangler and it was genius. it had everything, dialogue, action, movement. Read morePublished 9 months ago by will crow
Well-written but hardly ground-breaking sequel to The Philosophical Strangler. It essentially fills in the gaps in the previous book and manages to add some depth to the Joe's... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
Forward the Mage (2002) is the second fantasy novel in the Joe's World series, following The Philosophical Strangler. Read morePublished on February 7, 2012 by Arthur W Jordin
This book reads like a dervative of a badly written derivative of Tolkien, married to the son of "Dark and Stormy Night. Read morePublished on September 23, 2009
Combining prequel and aspects of similarity with The Philosophical Strangler, "Forward the Mage" is full of Rabelaisian nonsense that is certain to confuse and befuddle the average... Read morePublished on January 14, 2008 by K. Sozaeva
Like one reviewer mentioned below, this book is not for the squeamish. My friend and I got a kick out of it and we are both die-hard fantasy lovers (and not very old, either. Read morePublished on December 4, 2006 by A. Yen