Book Review: THE MAD GOBLIN

PrintE-mail Written by Scott Varnham

The Mad Goblin Review

Review: The Mad Goblin / Author: Philip José Farmer / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now

One of the more common observations that we’ve heard in regard to Philip José Farmer’s work is that he’s at his best when he’s been let in the sandbox to play with somebody else’s toys. Such proves to be the case with The Mad Goblin, the third in his Secrets Of The Nine trilogy.

For the uninitiated, the trilogy is about the adventures of Lord Grandrith and Doc Caliban (his take on Tarzan and Doc Savage respectively), servants of the immortal Nine who control much of the world from behind the scenes and have lived since the Stone Age. Enemies at first, the two eventually decide that enough is enough and decide to overthrow their masters. There, that’s pretty much covered it.

This particular adventure follows Doc Caliban, while Lord Grandrith does other things (as seen in the second book, Lord of the Trees). For whatever reason, Farmer decided to write this one in the third person. This is a shame as it would’ve been nice to get a handle on how a guy like Doc Caliban thinks (“’bitchin’’ I thought, as I broke some guy’s neck like a twig”) but this isn’t essential to the enjoyment of the book.

Also not essential to the enjoyment of the book, but appreciated all the same, is the new content that Titan have added to the reprint of this book. They’ve included an afterword and a guide to the pertinent events of the universe in which this takes place. However, having this new material is a bit of a double-edged sword as it shows how convoluted this mythology got after a while (especially when it takes into account a book that was never finished; there is an extant outline but it’s not included with this book). It’s probably for the best that Farmer left it where it was, but it would’ve been nice if he’d given some sense of closure rather than ending the tales on a cliffhanger.

Ah well, it is what it is: a finely honed tribute to the pulp novels of Farmer’s own youth that taps into that desire to believe in larger-than-life heroes and the hope that there are men like Doc Caliban out there. Maybe there are, maybe there will be. But for now, we must be content with reading their escapades in novels like this.


Suggested Articles:
With impeccable timing comes this new biography of George Lucas, perhaps the most important geek ico
The Language of Dying tells the story of a woman taking care of her father, who is in the final stag
For Jim Sturges Jnr. life is tough. Distinctly average in every way, he is regularly bullied by the
BBC Books has republished the three novels which began the Doctor Who literary phenomenon back in th
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Book Reviews

GEORGE LUCAS: A LIFE 08 December 2016

THE LANGUAGE OF DYING 08 December 2016

TROLLHUNTERS 08 December 2016

DOCTOR WHO BBC BOOK REISSUES 07 December 2016

IN CALABRIA 03 December 2016

PURGED 03 December 2016

AN A-Z OF CUMBRIA AND THE LAKE DISTRICT ON FILM 29 November 2016

THOUGHT X: FICTIONS AND HYPOTHETICALS 29 November 2016

BATMAN: A CELEBRATION OF THE CLASSIC TV SERIES 25 November 2016

FINK ANGEL: LEGACY 22 November 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144