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Riverworld: Including To Your Scattered Bodies Go & The Fabulous Riverboat Paperback – March 30, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[A] jolting conception, brought off with tremendous skill.” ―The Times (London)

“Impressively imaginative and well-researched.” ―Evening Standard (London)

“One of the most imaginative worlds in science fiction!” ―Booklist

About the Author

Philip José Farmer was one of the great SF writers of the 20th Century. He lived in Peoria, Illinois.

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Product Details

  • Series: Riverworld (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765326523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326522
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephen R. Finney VINE VOICE on June 28, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Riverworld, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, The Fabulous Riverboat, and all the other Riverworld stories are as good as it gets within the genre of fantasy. Imagine a world that is one long riverbank, along which live the entire population of Earth. All their needs are met leaving them with time on their hands to engage in any and all manner of pursuits, both good and evil. You are there among the crowd as are all your family, neighbors, and friends. Among those who play rolls in these books are Richard Francis Burton, Mark Twain, Herman Goering, King John Lackland, Motzart, Tom Mix, and many others. The possibilites for intrigue are endless. Reading this series you will be drawn in to their world to experience life anew. Don't miss out on an opportunity to live on Riverworld if only for the amount of time it takes to read all the books; you won't regret it. I have read the eitire series several times and never get tired of the story. I suspect that once you have read it once, you too will go back and re-read the story also. Were it possible to give Riverworld 10 stars, I'd do so without hesitation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Riverworld is a planet covered by one long, long river, winding back and forth and up and down from pole to pole. Adjacent banks are separated by unscalable cliffs, necessitating travel by foot along the banks of The River, or by some kind of river craft. But there are rare exceptions.

If you were a human being who was more than five years old when you died, and if you lived and died any time beyond 99,000 B.C. up to and including 1983 A.D., you are resurrected along the banks of The River. If you lived and died beyond 1983, you will also be resurrected there, but you are not in this particular Riverworld saga. Famous persons who are in this saga are Mark Twain, Jack London, Hermann Goring, and Mozart. Less famous persons are numerous, including Sir Richard Francis Burton, Alice Liddell, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Tom Mix.

The story involves characters trying to discover who built Riverworld and why it was built. Mysteries arise, secrets are revealed, hardships and treacheries are endured. Eventually, after some twists and turns, everything comes to light.

Five novels are included in the four volumes of Tor's latest trade-paperback editions. The first volume, RIVERWORLD, contains the first two novels: TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO and THE FABULOUS RIVERBOAT. These two are short, but they are agreeably paced and stick to the storyline. Increasingly as you progress through DARK DESIGN, THE MAGIC LABYRINTH, and GODS OF RIVERWORLD, more and more passages are slow. Depending on the reader, they are not necessarily bad, but neither are they necessary for the progression of the story. For example, we get mini biographies of some of the historical characters. Also, particularly in the last two books, characters think and talk about philosophical issues, like the human soul.
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Format: Paperback
Yes folks, the Riverworld series by Farmer is the best sci fi series ever written, by the best science fiction novelist ever. Now that sounds like a tall claim but is easily justified if you read the series and have a familiarity with other science fiction. Critics such as Fiedler have also labelled Farmer the best there ever was, but I have thought this ever since I first experienced " To Your Scattered Bodies Go" as a 17 year old. The concept itself is mind blowing ( all the people who ever lived on Earth resurrected on a new world by future advanced beings.) The science is plausible and shows what a genius Farmer is - he wrote this in the early 70's before gene technology and IVF etc even existed. The research he must have done is oustanding - all his characters are true historical figures- and then the way he makes them interact with each other is believable and compelling. But this is not just a science fiction series. It is a philosophical meditation on the human condition. You can see yourself in this book, and imagine how you would react if you had been resurrected on this world. The mystery of who created the Riverworld, and what the characters will find when they reach the mystical Tower will keep you feverishly reading on. Sci Fi novels that are just full of science concepts do not appeal to a large audience. But the Riverworld series is about people and how they interact. Furthermore, it is only when you read Philip Jose Farmer that you are exposed his real , no nonsense exploration of human psychology, warts and all, and the way he interweaves this with mind-blowing science fiction concepts is unique and a true joy to behold.
I have now read the entire series half a dozen times and I never get tired of this incredible journey.
Enjoy!
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Heaven, life after death, even Hell, are things that can drive us to endless distraction. Not surprisingly, they are also hot topics for science fiction writers. "Riverworld: Including To Your Scattered Bodies Go & The Fabulous Riverboat" is Philip Jose Farmer's classic, literary, and often brilliant attempt to deal with this question. In Farmer's vision humanity is resurrected on a world with a river that starts at the north pole, winds a long, circuitous route around the planet, and dumps back into the north pole. At the pole is also an island with a grand building that becomes the goal of the book's protagonists. They devise a variety of schemes to arrive there, all without the aid of modern industry or even any kind of economy. Farmer's vision of humanity is somewhat dark. The one theme that bothers me is the unrepentant evil that Farmer portrays as the defining feature of humanity and their newfound world. While it is not a "hell", per se, Farmer's vision of the afterlife is far more dystopian than utopian, unnecessarily so in many cases. Despite this, River World is a fascinating look at one possible afterlife and the consequences it creates.
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