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A Feast Unknown (Secrets of the Nine #1 - Wold Newton Parallel Universe) (Memoirs of Lord Grandrith) Paperback – October 9, 2012
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The diaries of Lord Grandrith, the legendary Apeman, Lord of the Jungle and bastard son of Jack the Ripper. Blessed with unnatural long life, his power brings with it a gruesome side effect - one shared by his nemesis, the formidable Doc Caliban, Man of Bronze and Champion of Justice.
But these two titans have more in common than they could ever have imagined. Who are the dark manipulators of their destiny?
A brand-new edition of the controversial novel.
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I read this book right after I read the first Tarzan novel ("Tarzan of the Apes" by Edgar Rice Burroughs) as well as the first Doc Savage novel ("The Man of Bronze" by Lester Dent writing as Kenneth Robeson), so the connections and themes Philip Jose Farmer was playing with were on the surface for me to see. While this is not needed by any means to enjoy the book, I believe it will enrich the experience. Farmer's pastiche's, Lord Grandrith and Doc Caliban can be seen on the new editions cover in an epic Herculean struggle on a suspension bridge. This is just one of the many testosterone filled action moments in this novel.
Fans of action, Rated R movies, heroic fiction as well as crossovers in general will surely enjoy this book. However, it is not for people who are easily offended. The graphic depiction of sex and violence (sometimes both simultaneously) can get pretty intense, but this is like no other novel you will ever read. That being said these scenes serve a purpose in the story and are not simply written for shock value. Hint: Jack the Ripper had the same problem. To find out more, you will have to check out the book.
Farmer is one of the three people who Robert Heinlein dedicated his ground breaking "Stranger In A Strange Land" novel to. There is a reason for that.
The lives of these two impressive specimens of manhood are ensnared by the machinations of a secret Illuminati-like group known as "The Nine." Grandrith and Doc must follow the Nine's rules because only the Nine can provide them with the elixir of immortality. Also, the elixir has recently exhibited an undesirable side effect: sexual arousement accompanies violent thoughts or acts, and sexual arousement occurs ONLY if accompanied by violent thoughts and acts.
Lord Grandrith and Doc Caliban might form an alliance and confront the Nine, but Doc's cousin has been kidnaped and killed. With firm evidence--such as witnesses--identifying Grandrith as the murderer, Doc becomes the lethal opposite of an ally.
The novel has much sex and violence, graphically and--depending on your personality--intriguingly described, but it all adds to development of character and story. Except for one full page later in the story, where Grandrith makes normal love. To me that read like standard pornography. A couple of sentences, or a short paragraph would have sufficed. Still, A FEAST UNKNOWN makes up for that one boring page with other absorbingly interesting pages. For that reason and because of its skillful and unique blend of violence, sex, adventure, heroic fantasy, and conspiracy, I award it five scintillating stars.