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A Feast Unknown Paperback – Feb 1995

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Paperback, Feb 1995
£72.22 £0.80

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rhinoceros Books; New edition edition (Feb. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563332760
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563332760
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,911,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"[A] jolting conception, brought off with tremendous skill." --The Times

Farmer is still an excellent storywriter and even despite the often graphic violence as well, everything is put in context and makes sense. --SF Crowsnest --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Philip José Farmer was a multiple award-winning science fiction writer of 75 novels. He is best known for his Wold Newton and Riverworld series. In 2001 he was awarded the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Prize and a World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. He passed away in 2009. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Frogstopper on 11 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I've given this four stars not because this is a very good book, but because it is a very interesting one. The author apparently believes the mindless brutality of Tarzan and other such 'heroes' is underpinned, or a sublimation or canalization of an overactive sex drive. (There are people (usually the more radical feminists) who claim this is the case for all men, which as a general theory I can confidently refute, but is presumably the case for some.)
Prudish and repressed people will, no doubt, focus on the unpleasant sexual aspects of this book while overlooking the conscience-free murderousness of the heroes. Why is it that people are unashamed to admit to liking their protagonists to go around killing the 'bad guys' indiscriminately, but as soon as he gets a stiffy they start throwing their dummies out of the pram?
The book isn't very well written, but if you were going to write an accurate pastiche of Burroughs, or this kind of writer, you would have to write execrably, so it could be a deliberate badness on Farmer's part.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tarasdad on 6 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't waste your time with this book, it's absolute trash.
If I could have given it no stars, I would have, which is a shame as I have been a fan of PJF for decades (25 years plus), especially Riverworld, the World of Tiers, even Henry Miller's Dawn Patrol.
However, this book reduces the Tarzan figure to a beast in human guise, hateful, spiteful and indulging in cannibalism, perversion and getting sexual excitement from violent homicide. The scene of cruel bestiality was awful. I was so disappointed and disgusted by this story, I stopped reading it before Tarzan met Doc Savage, so can't comment on the treatment that that character got. It does no favours to either Tarzan, ERB, or fans of those novels.
Now that I'm done with it, this book will go in the bin. I won't even hand it in to a charity shop.
Far below the usual standard of PJF's work. Utter muck.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Deans on 24 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like Philip Farmer's work - just thought I should start with that! The Riverworld series is amazing, and his love of Tarzan, Doc Savage, and other 'classic' heroes shines through in much of his other work - that's the positive stuff about Farmer. So what to make of a book that features Tarzan and Doc Savage, but with both trying to kill each other and also getting sexual gratification whenever they kill other people? It just doesn't work! There is an epilogue in the book which explains that Farmer intended to dramatise the clear link between sex and violence, but I didn't really get that. I agree that lots of sexual crimes are really about violence and power, and that violence and sex can clearly be linked, but this story makes for uncomfortable reading a lot of the time. I think the phrase "hit wide of the mark" sums it up - Farmer tries to make a point, but really doesn't! For example, one 'walk-on' character allows his testicle to be cut off (without any anaesthetic) and then sliced up and eaten by other characters while he watches - what the *&$!! is that all about!!! Farmer fans should read the book for completeness, but its hard to recommend to anybody else. I would guess that Tarzan and Doc Savage fans will be horrified by the portrayal of their heroes; they might enjoy Lord Tyger instead (or his biographies of Doc and Tarzan). This isn't a great story in my opinion, but I still read it to the end, because I really do like Philip Farmer's prose - how contrary of me! P.S. Am I the only one who wishes he'd written a dozen other Hadon of Opar books?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
DOCTOR PANIC 17 Oct. 2012
By Doctor Panic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
WOW!!! Man talk about exploring some out there stuff. I was blown away by this book with not only the Deep and dark carnal stuff, but the pace and action that continued from start to finish. The homage or what ever you wish to call it of Doc Savage and Tarzan was strong, but man it definitely is not your dad's version. This is a must read folks, really great book!!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Farmer shows the dark side of the pulp universe! 30 Oct. 2012
By frankschildiner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Philip Jose Farmer's "A Feast Unknown" is one of the most incredible views of classic heroes that has ever been written. Showing a darker side of these characters, PJF was able to create an entire universe that used the pleasurable fiction of the pulp days, with real life issues that few would have considered in the past. It's an eye opening book as well as an enjoyable story by one of the best writers of sci-fi, fantasy and pulp fiction. You will not be disappointed!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Shades of What?! This is the original underground classic. 30 Oct. 2012
By Jason Aiken - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in classic hero characters like Tarzan and Doc Savage. Especially if you are interested in seeing a more realistic and unfiltered take on the Jungle Lord and Urban Superman archetypes. "A Feast Unknown" is right up your alley, this is the original underground classic of blood and lust.

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.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Original Slash Fiction? 29 May 2005
By F. Orion Pozo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Feast Unknown by Philip Jose Farmer may not be everybody's cup of tea. There is a lot of graphic descriptions of both violence and male arousal. Yet if the reader is open-minded enough to get past these, this is a well crafted adventure novel by one of the masters of the field.

The novel pits Farmer's versions of Tarzan and Doc Savage against each other in a fight to the death over the secret of eternal life. Farmer calls these foes Lord Grandrith and Doc Caliban, and tells the story from the point of view of Grandrith. Also, it turns out there is another secret these two share that they must discover before they kill each other.

There are enough explosions, deaths, and dismemberments for a summer Hollywood adventure blockbuster, but Farmer has added a strange twist to the story that makes this risky material for the screen. As the novel opens, Grandrith finds that he becomes physically aroused to the point of climax whenever he kills someone. This is very distracting for him, as he must outwit his most deadly enemies while his body is being drawn towards other feelings.

This is difficult material to handle and Farmer does it superbly, and with a touch of humor, while keeping the excitement level high. Leave it to the creator of Riverworld to invent such a fantastic story line and carry it off superbly from beginning to end.

Is this the original slash fiction (fan writings involving fancied romantic liaisons between fictional male companions)? Most articles about slash trace it back to 1970s fan fiction depicting romantic adventures between Star Trek's Kirk and Spock. A Feast Unknown was first published in 1969, a date that precedes the earliest dating for slash so far. However, regardless of whether this novel has anything to do with slash fiction, it is a great work on its own terms that was certainly groundbreaking at the time and can still be controversial to this day.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
exciting thriller 28 Oct. 2012
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In 1968 septuagenarian Lord Grandrith looks back at his life as he enjoys living in Africa looking like a thirty year old person. He learned early on that he is the illegitimate son of Jack the Ripper and over the years has become almost as famous in his own right as the Apeman, Lord of the Jungle.

Grandrith is also aware that he becomes aroused when he kills so he must control his urges to complete the opponent's death. His greatest adversary is legendary Doc Caliban, the Man of Bronze and Champion of Justice, who shares with Grandrith the secret of eternal life. They know they will one day meet with only one of them walking away. However, to the chagrin of both of them before they can have that ultimate climax that each desires, each obsesses over identifying who the third party foe(s) manipulating them into their coveted duel to the death.

This is a reprint of an exciting late 1960s satirical thriller that retains its controversial freshness with the ripping away of the goodness mythos of two pulp fiction heroes. Filled with gore and more gore and with the twist of the Apeman's sexual appetite, fans who appreciate something different will want to read Lord Grandrith's engaging memoir.

Harriet Klausner
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