That seems a bit weak to me. That's like saying that the overarching plot line of all Agatha Christie novels is that crimes are committed that get solved.
Not at all. That would only be the case if all crimes in Agatha Christie novel were somehow related, or were all pieces in a build up to one big crime.
The kind of things you describe are not the kind of things that require people to read all the books, or they won't understand the main plot, or even to read them in order.
It's not an issue of understanding the main plot line, Norman does well enough of a job -sometimes excessively so- to fill the reader in on the backstory to make books comprehensible enough as stand alones. Instead it's an issue of not understanding the character's motivations.
Norman evolves all his reocurring characters throughout the series.
This counts for Tarl, Talena and Marlenus, but also for minor side character that only appear in a handful of books, like Boots Tarskbit, Samos, Zarendagar, etc.
The actions of character, and they things they learn about themselves, and how that changes them in one book relate directly to why they behave a certain way in another book.
I'm not at all opposed to people cherry picking certain volumes out of the series to read as stand alone works if they're not interested in reading the whole series. I've already given advice on which I'd recommend if somebody only wishes to read one and it's not Tarnsman. Likewise if somebody asks which to read if they only wish to read a few (lets call it 3 or less) I wouldn't recommend reading the first 3 in order.
Hell, my slave girl is currently under instruction to read a bit of the series every night before bed, and I'm not having her read them in order. Instead I've got her on a schedule to read certain of the 'slave girl' books first, in the order I prescribe, because I don't care about her getting maximum enjoyment out of the literary aspects of the series, nor do I care about her understanding Gorean philosophy, I care about her picking up certain cues on what kind of behavior I expect from slave girls, and how my husband and I view them.
But when we're talking about somebody intending/interested in reading the entire series -all 30+ books, which is a vast undertaking at the pace most people read- then it's simple ridiculous to do it in a 'cherry pick' a book here and there' fashion, considering that one book does lead to the next, and the details of previous actions that Norman will reference in later books, and the characters' motivations are crucial to understanding a whole bunch of dept and nuance that will be lost on you if you haven't read what previously happened, and seen the journey of self-discovery the characters are on through the course of the series.
I find it rather nonsensical to put in the time to read 30+ books but deny yourself some of the most beautiful and interesting aspects of the series by reading them in random order. Presumably somebody who's putting in that amount of time and effort is doing so because they actually -unlike you- enjoy reading Norman, in which case reading the series out of order has them seriously missing out on one of the best features of Norman's work.
As such, I wouldn't ever recommend anybody reading the entire series out of order. It's akin to doing something like studying European history our of order. It absolutely can be done, and in some cases is advisable, but somebody who does so will miss out on connections and insights that they would have gotten if they had 'experienced' why one thing lead to another. Does that mean that one cannot study WWII without examining WWI? Nope. But studying WWI first, and then the transitional period leading up to WWII will make the German motivations to accept Hitler starting WWII make a whole lot more sense.
Same with the Gor series. Can it be read in its entirety out of order? Yep, absolutely. Will somebody doing so get as much out of the series as they would have reading it in order? Absolutely not... which at that point I consider rather foolish seeing that they just put in the time to read 30+ books, which is why you'll never see me recommend somebody "Yeah you can read the entire thing in any order you want".
I also wouldn't recommend just randomly picking a couple to read, considering that some of them do very much need to be read in the context of other preceding books and would just not make sense at all out of context. A cherry-picker reading one of those books first will likely be frustrated with the series because the book just won't make sense without the proper context.
< Message edited by UllrsIshtar -- 9/29/2016 8:36:33 AM >
I can be your whore
I am the dirt you created
I am your sinner
And your whore
But let me tell you something baby
You love me for everything you hate me for