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Are the Gorean Books any good? - 3/30/2015 8:39:05 AM   
TheTrickster


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I've been interested in them for a while and have heard different things I'm curious are the books any good?

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 3/30/2015 11:31:52 AM   
Malkinius


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Yes, they are. Norman's writing style takes a bit to warm up to, especially in the mid numbered books, but if you read them in order and one right after the next it flows pretty well. The stories, both the story arc running through all the books as well as some of the side plots are good as well. He isn't the world's or even science fictions best writer but I have read a LOT of SF and fantasy over the years and he is VERY far from the worst.

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 3/30/2015 12:27:38 PM   
UllrsIshtar


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It depends on what you're after.
Do you want great SF?
Exciting BDSM story?
Just something new, easy, interesting, relaxing to read?
Something that's going to provoke intense thought and inspire your to reexamine your life?
To learn about the Gorean subset you sometimes find mixed into the BDSM crowed?

If you're after one or more of the first three, I'd skip the Gor books. There's better stuff out there to be had.

If you're after the last, one, sure the books are fine. Not great prose, but not a terrible read by any means. The second to last may or may not happen. If it doesn't, you'll probably not care much for Norman's style either, but still get a pretty overview of what this Gorean thing is all about, and you'll probably quite after a couple of em. If the second to last does happen, Norman's style will end up being irrelevant, and you'll end up reading all of them, probably several times.

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 3/30/2015 7:33:19 PM   
puella


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Greetings,

If I may put my two cents in, I think what was written above is all excellent input. I first read the Gor novels when I was about your age (or, the pre-dawn era), and liked some, didn't like others and was greatly challenged by more than one. I was also very lucky to be around some folks whom I tend to remember very fondly as some of the really great 'transitioning' (by that I mean those who have read the novels distilled out of them the basic philosophical tenets, and found ways to incorporate those ideas into a practical and healthy way of life) thinkers in the Gorean sphere, men women, free and slave alike, who encouraged vigorous and intelligent discussion and debate about the books. l think that you will find that some of the books take a lot of will power to slog through, but if you approach them with an open and contemplative mind, you might well come out of the reading marathon with some interesting ideas, and a whole lot more to think about than you might have expected, given the writing style. It is also, in my opinion, important to keep the author, the timeliness and context of the books in mind. John Lange is first and foremost a philosophy professor. I think perhaps if you look into his background and read about what he has had to say about his opera, you might enjoy and understand them more thoroughly.

Jen







< Message edited by puella -- 3/30/2015 7:42:32 PM >


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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 3/31/2015 12:59:43 AM   
ARIES83


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheTrickster

I've been interested in them for a while and have heard different things I'm curious are the books any good?


They can be an acquired taste. My advice to you is to not start at the beginning. I find some of the books at the beginning of the series to read a lot differently (less well constructed perhaps) than later ones. A couple I really liked were "Raiders of Gor" & "Beasts of Gor"(I think those were the titles), there are a few others that stand out. Some have large sections that are boring to try and trudge through. So just pick one and give it a try.

< Message edited by ARIES83 -- 3/31/2015 1:02:50 AM >


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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/7/2015 10:10:28 PM   
captainblack


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I have not read all of the books, but I found the first three to be fairly good reads for anyone interested in the Sci-Fantasy sort of thing, but sometimes I did find the prose to be dragging.

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/8/2015 12:29:44 PM   
nephandi


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Greetings

Oh hell the forum is back and I just discovered it by accident. Hello again all.

Anyway, I would say it depends on how you look at it. I really like the philosophy in the books and I like the story, but I personally do not think the books are well written, however I think they are well worth a read and if you want to follow the Gorean philosophy and lifestyle then they are a must.

Be Well

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/9/2015 2:13:25 AM   
FrankAr


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ARIES83

quote:

ORIGINAL: TheTrickster

I've been interested in them for a while and have heard different things I'm curious are the books any good?


They can be an acquired taste. My advice to you is to not start at the beginning. I find some of the books at the beginning of the series to read a lot differently (less well constructed perhaps) than later ones. A couple I really liked were "Raiders of Gor" & "Beasts of Gor"(I think those were the titles), there are a few others that stand out. Some have large sections that are boring to try and trudge through. So just pick one and give it a try.


Sorry Aries but I have to go against your thinking here of not reading the books in order. Do you think it would be wise for a person to read book 4 then 2 then 7 of the series of Harry Potter, what about going to about 75% in the bible and missing out the boring start of it all.

If you do not read the series from start to finish, then you can and will miss out on the growth of Tarl through his journey, you can miss out on some good phylos through the books.

Just like you can never get the footnotes of the books or even try to get a quick fix of being a Gorean, you have to take the long haul, and this means by reading the books in order.

Have fun.


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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/9/2015 8:13:48 AM   
nephandi


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Greetings

I have to agree with Frank here, there is a red thread that go through all the books a progression of thought. Now off course if you want the story you need to read them in order, but even if you are not that interested in history professors fighting against aliens, there is a slow progression of understanding as Tarl slowly shift from a Earth bast morality set to a Gorean one which is important to understand the philosophy. I started with Dancer and was completely lost until I started again from book one.

I wish you well

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/9/2015 12:21:54 PM   
Malkinius


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I think almost everyone who has actually read the series in order will say, read them in order. Afterwards, if you want to go back and reread a specific book looking for something, by all means do so. Or if you didn't understand how something fit in, reread. I have gone back and read bits and pieces when looking for quotes or examples and read more than just the part I needed. The earliest books I have read so often I can reread them in a few hours, tops. They are also the shortest of the books. The last ones after Prize do take longer in general to read due to a lot of new things in there, especially the books with the Japanese culture. Yes, oriental cultures are finally in the books for those who have not gotten that far, but that is enough of a spoiler.

Malkinius of Chicago

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/9/2015 1:32:42 PM   
nephandi


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Greetings

Well for me the newer books, 27 and onwards are not as good when it comes to philosophy but they are better in story. that might just be me though. I have not even picked up 33 yet as I sort of was a bit disappointed with the newer books, but that is all up to taste I guess, I will get around to it though. I do like the oriental cultures and new concepts however to me the later books become less philosophy and more just another science fiction story and while I live for science fiction there are so many better series out there, in my opinion, for just that. I do love how the Stabilizer serums get discussed more though, unaging, kinky aliens for the win. However yes, for me I guess it will always be book 1 through 26 which is the Gor Saga.

Be Well

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/9/2015 2:56:15 PM   
Malkinius


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Nephandi....

The philosophy is still there but it is played off of and perhaps in a few places, incorporates a bit of the Oriental side as well into understanding how men should live. Or, a better way of putting it is that it shows yet another culture in which the details change a bit but the underlying ideas of what is right and what is wrong remain the same.

The other big difference is that the Caste of Warriors stops being the primary character class that it once was. I am certain that having members of the Caste of Slavers being able to out fight Warriors is really annoying to some of the bad ass wannabes out there. <evil grin>

Of course, the Gorean stories in Norman Invasions change a few little details that we have come to expect as well. But they are...small.

Malkinius of Chicago

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/10/2015 12:18:41 PM   
ARIES83


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quote:

Sorry Aries but I have to go against your thinking here of not reading the books in order.

That's ok Frank. It gives me something to reply to.

quote:

Do you think it would be wise for a person to read book 4 then 2 then 7 of the series of Harry Potter, what about going to about 75% in the bible and missing out the boring start of it all.

I don't know if it's wise. I just pick books that I find interesting and read them. If I find a good one and it's part of a series, I'll look for more in the series to read. I discovered the Gor series via a paperback copy of Nomads of Gor in the bargain bin of a secondhand store.

quote:

If you do not read the series from start to finish, then you can and will miss out on the growth of Tarl through his journey, you can miss out on some good phylos through the books.
I don't think my style of reading has been too detrimental to appreciating the various aspects of the books. But I'm sure there are some things I've missed, since I haven't read every one.

quote:

Just like you can never get the footnotes of the books or even try to get a quick fix of being a Gorean, you have to take the long haul, and this means by reading the books in order.

Have fun.

Thats not exactly my idea of fun Frank, But as an aside. Being Gorean isn't something I aspire to. Whatever the case, I've read most of the books. I do think I have quite a bit of knowledge on the subject. (Not as much as some) And the guy only asked if the books were any good after all. If he were to read one book, I would have him choose one he thought looked interesting and felt he might like. There were a few near the start that I didn't find too interesting. I can't remember which book it was exactly, but there was one in particular I didn't like. (I feel like it may have been the one with the talking spider) If I'd read that one first instead of Nomads, I wouldn't have picked up another "of Gor" book, and wouldn't be here talking with you know.

Although if someone wanted to study the series in earnest, you're probably right. A linear approach would have to be the surest way to proceed.

< Message edited by ARIES83 -- 4/10/2015 1:17:37 PM >


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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/10/2015 12:29:33 PM   
ARIES83


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Malkinius,
Do you mind elaborating on what you mean here? Norman Invasions?
quote:

Of course, the Gorean stories in Norman Invasions change a few little details that we have come to expect as well. But they are...small.


Hi Nephandi,
Tarl's progression wasn't lost on me. How have you been up there? Besides cold.

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/10/2015 1:24:33 PM   
Malkinius


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Aries....
Over the years, Norman wrote a number of short stories that he filed away rather than try to get published. Some of them are Gorean based and some of them are very much not. The one about the talking dog being treated by a psychiatrist is one very long shaggy dog story in more ways than one. <evil grin> So is the one about Frankenstine's computer. Neither of those are Gorean connected in the slightest.

However, some of the stories in there are Gorean, set on Gor and deal with Gorean themes and situations. They may have been ideas he wanted to write but were not enough to make a book out of or nothing that could be added into one of the books so it stayed a short story. There has been some debate as to whether or not these short stories should be treated as canon just as the main books are. I am of the belief that they should be so this extends the available Gorean material.

Malkinius of Chicago

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/10/2015 9:12:51 PM   
ARIES83


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That's sounds interesting. I'll have to do some searching for them.

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/10/2015 9:42:43 PM   
Malkinius


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Aries....
I had meant to include the link to the book. I omitted it. Sorry.

http://smile.amazon.com/Norman-Invasions-John/dp/1497648467/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428697072&sr=1-1&keywords=norman+invasion+john+norman

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/10/2015 10:09:33 PM   
ARIES83


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That's ok, I found it myself, half way through "The Calpa" thanks for letting me know about this book.

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/10/2015 10:30:11 PM   
ResidentSadist


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I think the first 7 with Ballantine were the best. It's like any fiction, highly subjective to your personal taste. I thought they were good story plots but very poorly written. I overlooked the poor writing to follow the story and read 25 of them anyway. The first couple books are short, read it in an evening. Try one, you might like it.

Series No. / Title Log / 1st Print / ISBN
1. Tarnsman of Gor (1967) ISBN 0-345-27583-7
2. Outlaw of Gor (1967) ISBN 0-345-27136-X
3. Priest-Kings of Gor (1968) ISBN 0-7592-0036-X
4. Nomads of Gor (1969) ISBN 0-75925-445-1
5. Assassin of Gor (1970) ISBN 0-75920-091-2
6. Raiders of Gor (1971) ISBN 0-75920-153-6
7. Captive of Gor (1972) ISBN 0-75920-105-6

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RE: Are the Gorean Books any good? - 4/13/2015 9:39:04 PM   
peppermint


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The books were okay. They have a fairly decent plot. What I hated about the books was the author treating the reader as if the reader was an idiot. There are some places in the books where the author writes a whole paragraph about some important point of Gor. That is okay. However, as you read the book you will find the same paragraph repeated word for word on other pages. It felt to me as though the author decided I wouldn't get his point upon the first reading so he repeated it a couple times to make sure I couldn't miss his point. The first time this happened I went back through the book because I couldn't believe an author would do something like that. It was the same identical paragraph.

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