Philip Jose Farmer
After reading the first book in this series, IMAGE OF THE BEAST, this one made a lot more sense, and seemed a lot more professional. BLOWN felt a little more maturely done craft-wise than the last book, and had a lot more plot arc and reasons for characters to do things, whereas in the first book, it read more like Herald Childe's crazy weekend, since there was no one he could tell about it, and at the end it was a little vague on the character and plot arc.
BLOWN was fun in a lot of ways. It was a riot to see Forrest J (no period) Ackerman make an appearance as a character. Having only seen him at last year's WorldCon, and knowing only what I read on an on-line bio about him, he still seems like the perfect character to put in this book, and no made-up character would be quite the same. I do wonder what Forry thought of his appearance, though it seems he would have enjoyed it.
This book sort of read like a sci-fi nerd's dream, with all the mentions of SF books and materials, not to mention Forry's own Vampirella series and an obsession about a certain one-of-a-kind painting.
It was also more apparent in this book that the frequent and graphic sex was there to serve the plot, and not just thrown in to titillate. In a way--if one went by the definition that SF revolves around a piece of technology without which the book would fall apart--the sex serves that purpose, since the aliens using it need it to travel from one place to another and it's a major piece of their existence.
So I did enjoy this book, more than the first. And, yes, I did give both books back to their rightful owner tonight, and he was happy to see them. :>)