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The Wind Whales of Ishmael Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955
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Top Customer Reviews
Some reviewers, as noted by Farmer's great-nephew Danny Adams in his excellent afterword, have described this as a "lightweight" novel by Farmer's standards. Perhaps. But to this particular Farmerphile, even lightweight work by Peoria's finest author is better than a lot of books being produced by authors today, in the science fiction genre or otherwise. While ISHMAEL is perhaps more straightforward than most of his works despite its unique premise (something one can always find in books by Farmer, who after all wrote biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage that treated them as real people whose lives were fictionalized by Burroughs and Dent respectively, and tied them genealogically to dozens of other pulp and adventure heroes and villains,) and does not shatter any taboos as do many, the book does not suffer for it, and you could certainly never confuse Farmer's writing for anyone else's.
I am thrilled that Titan Books is reprinting so much of Farmer's output, as one can no doubt deduce from my reviews of all their previous releases of same. Farmer was a groundbreaking author whose work needs to be introduced to a new generation of fans, and I applaud Titan for taking up that gauntlet.
Ishmael find himself in a future with a swollen red Sun, oceans evaporated to the point where islands appear to be mountains and the primary means of travel are lighter than air ships that rely on sails and air bladders. Ishmael quickly established himself as a warrior leader and after disposing several kinds of vicious predators gets a kingdom and the girl.
To be honest this is a minor Farmer work; light and pleasant reading. I would recommend this book for some interesting comments about the idol cults Ishmael must contend with to win over the confidence of the natives. Farmer almost always works some perceptive observations pertaining to religion into his books and this one is no exception. Readers looking for some deep analysis of Moby Dick will be disappointed.
If you liked this book, you might be interested in The Stone God Awakens and its amazing view of an Earth without humans, save one, or his Lava Lamp Worlds series with its lead character, Kick-a-ha. Of course, he is the imaginer of the Riverworld Series and many, many other wonderful stories.
But read this first. If you loved Melville, you will really love Farmer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Philip José Farmer doing what he does best taking a beloved character from another story and inserting it into something brand-new and uniquePublished on September 18, 2013 by Kerrie
Even if you've never read it, almost every reader know the story of Moby Dick. Opening with "Call me Ishmael[,]" Hermann Melville's novel is the tale of the white whale and... Read morePublished on August 19, 2013 by Daniel B.