Hhhmmm....interesting choice. Of the two, book five, "Assassin of Gor" gives more of the back story of the first four books and it is where things really are set up for the rest of the series and you see the full foreshadowing...of that which is to come....<grins> Also if you are interested in the slavery side of Gor it is the best of the books for that at an introductory level.
Malkinius of Chicago
I agree with that, but it's also one of the reasons why I wouldn't recommend it as a stand-alone, it's much more tied in with the rest of the series, and I think it benefits more from having read the previous ones first before hitting it. It could still be read as a stand-alone if desired, but I think Nomads is the better choice for that.
Like you I generally wouldn't recommend skipping around in the series, so for somebody looking to read a good example for getting the 'gist of Gor' I think Nomads, Assassins and Raiders all work, but would prefer Nomads of those 3 because it's earlier in the series, less attached to the general story line, and generally a funnier and easier read than either Assassins or Raiders, which are both quite a bit heavier material for serious thought (which again makes them better if you've read more of the backstory first).
Nomads is also Tarl's first venture into Gor with him truly trying to adapt to living-as-a-Gorean, instead of him imposing his Earth behaviors onto Goreans and trying to convert them to Earth type behaviors, like he heavily does in the first 3 books.
While he continues adapting more to living-as-a-Gorean in Assassins, it has the difficulty of Tarl's relationship with Vella thrown in, which is decidedly unGorean at that point, and therefore not as good an example of 'the gist of Gor' as the example Kamchak sets of 'typical Gorean slavery' in book 4 (though there's issues there too as far as how men in the later books treat kajirae).
In Raiders, Tarl's continued insistence of imposing Earth morals on himself while trying to act like a Gorean, of course hits an unavoidable bump, when he's confronted with the fact that, while he's been acting more Gorean, in his core he's still thinking like an Earthling. Which is why Raiders which makes more sense if you've first seen him rebel against Gor in the first 3, then try to adapt to Gor without giving up his Earth morals in 4 and 5, to then hit the wall and realize that you can't have your cake and eat it too in 6.
While Tarl emerges in book 8 decidedly more Gorean (and thus sets a better example of the 'gist of Gor') anything after 6 relies way too heavy on the backstory to recommend (or are 'slave girl books', which aren't good representations of the series in general and leave out most of the Gorean ethos from a man's point of view), which again leads to Nomads, because, while early enough in the series that Tarl hasn't really fully adapted to Gor, it is -unlike any of the other first 6 books- also relatively 'unpolluted' by him constantly throwing his Earth morals into the mix to confuse the issue on what really ought to be done in a given situation (from the Gorean point of view instead of the Earth one).
Either way, if any of those get read as a stand-alone, and the reader is then seriously interested in continuing in the series, I would recommend going back to the beginning and reading them in order (preferable rereading Nomads then again in order, though I doubt that many would do so).
< Message edited by UllrsIshtar -- 9/24/2016 9:05:09 PM >
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