sff_sandcastle (sff_sandcastle) wrote,

Image of the Beast (or, Look, CPC, I read my first Farmer book)

#61: Image of the Beast
Philip Jose Farmer

I admit to a point of guilt about this book--a friend from work lent it to me well over a year ago, and I'm just now getting to it, because his schedule change after tomorrow means it's going to be hard to return it to him because I won't see him. So, I'm in a mad dash to finish this book and the sequel by my shift tomorrow night.

(Though, if the covers would have been work safe, I would have finished these a couple days after I got them.)

Anyway. Oh, boy. This book is rather graphic, but it's entertaining, about a detective who sees a video where his partner is killed in a particularly gruesome fashion, and then goes in search of the killers, and gets tangled up with a vampire and several were-creatures. It's also mentioned in an essay in a critical book I have about sex with aliens, and how aliens are a reflection of man's own inner demons, which is along the same lines of how the Farmer book actually sums up.

A couple interesting world-building things is the smog (this takes place in L.A. at an undetermined time) which comes in acidic and thick clouds, but sporadically disappears. People want gas masks, which go at exorbitant prices and are stolen from cars.

The other nifty idea was the explanation for vampires and were-creatures and ghosts, something about them having to adapt to this plane and human existence while retaining a few characteristics of their own.

I suppose the jolting thing is that erotica usually doesn't use the clinical, biological terms for body parts, and Farmer unabashedly does. It doesn't detract from the book or the writing, it just takes a little getting used to.

Actually, one of the most interesting things about this book is the afterword by Theodore Sturgeon, a rant against "Labelers" who dared call Farmer's book pornography, and how Labelers can kill art.

Anyway. Good book. Glad to read it, and now I have to get cracking on the sequel.
Tags: philip jose farmer, review

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