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January 2006

Book: The Fabulous Riverboat

imageAuthor: Phillip Jose Farmer
Started: 11 Jan 2006
Finished: 16 Jan 2006
234p / 6d
39 p/d

I averaged 39 pages a day over 6 days, but the reality is that almost all of that was the first day while I was on the plane from Seattle to Florida. Then I read just a little a day until I finished it up.

This is the second of PJF’s Riverworld series. I am not home and can’t look up and find my records for when I last read the first one, but judging from when I bought this one, it was in 2002. So a few years ago. And of course I had read it before then many years earlier. The first one had Sir Richard Francis Burton as the main character. This one has Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) as the main character. The premise of this whole story is that everyone who ever lived on Earth from Pre history to about 2050 (minus children who died before age 5) are resurrected on this “Riverworld” which was obviously artificially set up and planned by SOMEBODY. The books are mainly the story of how society reevolves in this Riverworld, and the quest of a small group of people (many of them well known people from history) to find out who created this world and why.

It is a fun series of books. In 2003 the Sci-Fi channel did a made for TV movie very loosely based on the series. I think I watched it. But I have absolutely no memory of it what so ever. It must have really sucked and I wiped it from my memory. Ah yes, in the reviews on Netflix there are some gem comments like ” This was perhaps the saddest excuse for entertainment I have ever seen. I was embarassed watching it, and even more embarassed that I finished it. I want to apologize to the human race for having disgraced it by watching this movie.” Oh well, I put it on my Netflix list anyway.

But back to the book. It is fun to watch the various historical characters interact. There is a bit less of that and the clash between people from different places and times as there were in the first one, although there is still a lot. Mainly Sam Clemens and King John in this book. But there are a few other real historical figures. Just a fun what if. Nothing deep. The entirety of the plot of this book is about Sam trying to build a big riverboat to travel to the headwaters of the river where he thinks the mystery of the planet and the resurrection will be solved.

Pretty lightweight read. Good for the plane. In another few year’s maybe I”ll read the 3rd book in the series. :-)