Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Return of Nathan Brazil Mass Market Paperback – December 12, 1979
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
My first impression of this book was that it was low-quality pulp sci-fi. A few chapters in I realized I was being far too harsh. Jack Chalker is a talented writer and there's much to like here. There's a lot of vivid detail and the prose is laced with subtly whimsical humor throughout, making this hard sci-fi work an enjoyable read. There are a number of unique and memorable characters. I particularly liked Marquoz, the small dragon-like detective who lights his own cigars, and Obie, a moody supercomputer who controls a planetoid that doubles as a spaceship.
My problems with the book were all plot-related. First, there's very little action. Mostly it's exposition or expository dialogue. Second, the plotline does an annoying switcheroo about a hundred pages in. Early on it appears the book will be about a serious threat to all of the known races in the galaxy. Then, suddenly and rather undramatically, the threat is neutralized but a new one arises in its place. Most of the characters and storylines are dropped and a new set of characters are introduced for the second plotline (which has nothing to do with the original one). A third problem is that while the action finally picks up toward the end of the book, nothing ever gets resolved. The ending is a cliffhanger, "will our heroes succeed in their quest" kind of thing. The upshot is, I kept reading this book because it was witty but I couldn't care less what happened next. I'm glad I read this book, but I don't think I'll bother with book 5, despite the direct feed-in.
This book begins back at the same interstellar community where the previous novels begin (it's know as the Comworlds, or the Com for short). An alien race has arrived from another galaxy and is bent on conquest of ours, and since they're more advanced than the Com, they're winning.
Mavra Chang, survivor of the War of the Well World, has just returned to the Comworlds.
The true reality of the situation is far grimmer than they realize, and when they do catch up with Brazil, they regret it.
Overall, the series really starts to pick up steam here, and that after admitting that the previous novels are already good to begin with.
Vol. 1: Midnight at the Well of Souls
Vol. 2: Exiles at the Well of Souls (Part 1: War of the Well World)
Vol. 3: Quest for the Well of Souls (Part 2: War of the Well World)
Vol. 4: The Return of Nathan Brazil
Vol. 5: Twilight at the Well of Souls
Also to be clear, do not read any of the "recent" Well World novels, they have little to redeem themselves. They are neither solid, fun or satisfying.
As noted by the other reviews this is the fourth of the original five part series. I say five part series, but really the series is a trilogy with both the second and third novels (Exiles/Quest) and this novel and the last novel (Twilight) counting as just one book each.
Of the series, the last part of the trilogy (this book and Twilight) remains my favorite.
I will not spoil any plot points, but I will say that if you like the genre, you will enjoy this book.
Bad things are happening in the the universe. To stop in, they need the Well World. To get the Well World working, they need a Markovian. To get a Markovian your options are limited, given only Nathan Brazil is left. To get Nathan Brazil is very heard. Cue Mavra Chang and machine sidekick, and a fun chase and convince and hope to survive story.