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Can I skip Witness? - 6/22/2016 11:39:20 AM   
Diphon


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From a plot standpoint? I just finished Magicians and I'm about 8 chapters into Witness. So far I'm bored to tears and the writing style seems a bit rougher than the first 25 books. Is it a standalone? Or does it tie-in, in some important way to the main story line?

I guess I have the same question for Prize, since the "girl books" don't really do much for me in general. Should I stick it out through 26 and 27 or just skip straight to Kur?
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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 6/23/2016 11:58:30 AM   
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If any of them bore you to tears, forget them.
It's not required reading, whatever some on here might claim.

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 6/26/2016 10:43:44 PM   
Malkinius


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Diphon.....

No...you really can't. The first 150 pages or so of Witness were very slow for me the first time I read it. After that point you will find you like it and it is worth reading both for the story line and it does fill in certain story elements and information about other characters as well as what it tells you about Goreans and being Gorean. the same is true of Prize but it starts a lot faster. It is very worth reading as it starts a new story sub-arc and it helps to know what happens there and in the following books.

Malkinius of Chicago

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 6/26/2016 11:06:20 PM   
UllrsIshtar


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Witness you can't skip if you're interested in the full story line, Prize you could. Although Prize has tidbits of story continuation, (Tarl's in it later on, for a brief bit, as well as some Kur, and some 'hows' are explained on the looting of Ar, etc) but none if it important enough so that later books in the series won't make sense if you skip them.

If you're reading purely for the enjoyment of the story, you could do without some of the details Prize fills in, though I'd more recommend just skipping past some of the slave girlie parts (which are particularly painful, drawn out, and poorly written in Prize, even for Norman) and sticking to the 'action' sequences, some of which really are quite good.

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/23/2016 11:01:43 AM   
Live2Learn


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If you only plan on reading one book, would it be the first?
Or would it be a specific book?

I guess there is no real answer to that so I'm just asking for helpful advice.
And I do know that I don't even know what I want out of it and I haven't said so you have to guess.

But that still remains the question of what one book would you recommend if one book is all that someone wants to invest in to get the idea better?

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/23/2016 11:19:12 PM   
Malkinius


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Live2Learn.....

We always say that the very best place to start is at the beginning. It does introduce the world, some of the major ongoing characters and the places which will be frequented later in the series. It also has some things that almost never appear again later on in the series. It does feel a bit derivative of the John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but that feeling drops after book two. Some people claim you can understand everything you need to know by book 10. I disagree. There is always more to learn and understand about the story, the culture, the philosophy and how to live it as you go on in the books. And it goes on that way as far as it has been written. Some books are better than others. Some disagree on which books those are. I didn't like the Jason trilogy the first time I read that series within the series, but I liked it a whole lot more the third time I read the books. Even after all of that, start with Tarnsman of Gor and see if you really can read only one.

Malkinius of Chicago

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/24/2016 7:12:45 PM   
UllrsIshtar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Live2Learn

But that still remains the question of what one book would you recommend if one book is all that someone wants to invest in to get the idea better?


Book 4 ~ Nomads of Gor.

Mainly because it's one of his best works. If you don't like Nomads, it's highly unlikely you're going to like any of his other books. Quality varies quite a bit through the series.

Secondary because Nomads gives a good overview of Gor as a culture, slavery as practiced on Gor, manhood as defined by Goreans, and Gorean ethos in general. After reading Nomads, you'll have a good rough gist of what Gor is roughly about (though you'll obviously miss out on 33 books worth of further details).

Thirdly because it's not far enough into the series that you're missing a whole bunch of backstory needed to make the book make sense. Some of the later books really wouldn't work well as standalone items, because you missed several books worth of set-up needed to make the plot line make sense (or be interesting). Nomads also gets set-up in the previous books, but not to such an extend that the story line won't make sense to you, and all the essential backstory needed from previous books will get conveyed in enough detail in the first chapters that it won't hurt the story to read it as a stand-alone.

Like Malkinius, I'd recommend reading the series through from the beginning if you become interested enough to want to read them all, but it does take a couple of books for Norman to 'settle into' his style, and really define what the Gorean saga would become to look like. Now, 34 books into the series, sometimes it feels like the first 3 books aren't really fully connected to how Norman would later come to define the Gorean world, he was still finding his 'voice' so to say (in facts, in some of the later books he blatantly contradicts some of the stuff in the first 2, with statements that are indeed more in line with the direction he takes with Gor after the first few books, instead of the original statement).

Nomads is, in my opinion, the first true representation for what Norman shaped Gor, and Goreans to be. Book one and three, while perfectly setting the stage for what's to come later on and being foundational for understanding a lot of the later story line, don't really fit what would later become the 'Gorean template story' so to speak. They're outliers as far as common Gorean story goes. The second book fits the 'Gorean template story' much more, but still deals with a story of a city which is on Gor very unusual and exceptional, and thus the book has a lot of good examples of what Gor typically is not, but not a lot of good examples of what Gor typically is.
Thus, if you're planning to read only one, I wouldn't recommend any of the first 3, nor would I recommend anything after book 6 (you'd be missing too much backstory by then).
Between 4, 5 and 6, I think 4 is the best read for somebody unfamiliar with Norman's style, to test if they like him. Like stated before, if you don't enjoy Nomads, I find it unlikely you'll enjoy any of the other ones.





< Message edited by UllrsIshtar -- 9/24/2016 8:08:00 PM >


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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/24/2016 8:10:20 PM   
Malkinius


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Ishtar......

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

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/24/2016 8:17:31 PM   
UllrsIshtar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Malkinius

Ishtar......

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 >


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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/24/2016 9:41:26 PM   
Live2Learn


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Malkinius
the very best place to start is at the beginning.

Who can argue with starting at step 1.


quote:

ORIGINAL: UllrsIshtar
Book 4 ~ Nomads of Gor.

Mainly because it's one of his best works...
Nomads gives a good overview of Gor...


Who can argue with quality and substance, especially if only one book is to be read.
Especially if it's not too far from step 1.

Therefore: Nomads it is.
Thank you for your advice.

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/25/2016 6:02:05 AM   
Bhruic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Diphon

From a plot standpoint? I just finished Magicians and I'm about 8 chapters into Witness. So far I'm bored to tears and the writing style seems a bit rougher than the first 25 books. Is it a standalone? Or does it tie-in, in some important way to the main story line?

I guess I have the same question for Prize, since the "girl books" don't really do much for me in general. Should I stick it out through 26 and 27 or just skip straight to Kur?


Is there, in fact, an over arching plot line that spans all the books? Aside from some on-going characters, the books all seemed stand alone to me... Captive of Gor, for example, seemed to me a mind numbingly tedious rehash of the first book, with very little story, let alone contributing to an over arching plot. I highly recommend using that one to prop up the corner of your coffee table.

If you want to obsess about the minutia of Gor, of course read all the books. If you like well told story, you will probably realize after book two or three that you are in the wrong place, and should go elsewhere.

< Message edited by Bhruic -- 9/25/2016 6:08:40 AM >


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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/25/2016 7:21:56 AM   
UllrsIshtar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bhruic

Is there, in fact, an over arching plot line that spans all the books?


Yes there is.

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/25/2016 4:27:36 PM   
Malkinius


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Bhruic....

There are several long ones as well as a few multi-book sub stories. The Jason trilogy and the Red Savages pair are each a single story spread over more than one book and do not stand alone. The mariner story arc with the Panni is another multi-book story but some of those books can mostly stand alone. There are other continuing sub-arcs that last over multiple books but they come in and out of the main story line as time passes. Most places in the books are a one and done area. The exceptions are places like Port Kar and especially the city of Ar which is a major part of the main storyline so far.

Malkinius of Chicago

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/26/2016 3:26:51 AM   
Bhruic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: UllrsIshtar


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bhruic

Is there, in fact, an over arching plot line that spans all the books?


Yes there is.


I don't think there is.

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/26/2016 3:30:34 AM   
Bhruic


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double post :(

< Message edited by Bhruic -- 9/26/2016 3:31:51 AM >


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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/26/2016 8:01:18 AM   
UllrsIshtar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bhruic


quote:

ORIGINAL: UllrsIshtar


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bhruic

Is there, in fact, an over arching plot line that spans all the books?


Yes there is.


I don't think there is.


*shrugs*

The plot line started with Talena in book one continues through several books, including the new ones. It goes from her being FCed to Tarl, to being caught as a slave, to rejecting Tarl, to being Ubara, to being enslaved by Tarl as Ubara, to being caught by other slavers and shipped 'beyond the world's end', to what happens to her there.
So does the plot line with Marlenus encompasses his denying Tarl salt and fire, to him in fight to regain power in Ar, him in the northern forests reclaiming Talena, him losing his memory, being held captive in Treve, returning and leading the revolt in Ar.
The plot line with Zarendagar begins with Tarl sharing paga with him, to Tarl attempting to warn him in the barrens, to Zarendagar rescuing 'the world' when it looks like Tarl's party is finally defeated when Agamemnon freezes the world out.
All of which span the entire series.
There's several others of these series wide sub plot lines spanning the entire series.

Throughout it all there's also the main plot line with Tarl fighting agents of Kurii, resulting in several minor side quest in the service of the main plot objective.

And then there's several more minor plot lines that start, and get fully resolved, within a couple of books.

If you cannot see an overarching plot line in the series, you've either not read enough of it, or didn't pay enough attention while scanning through.

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/28/2016 6:42:19 AM   
Bhruic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: UllrsIshtar

If you cannot see an overarching plot line in the series, you've either not read enough of it, or didn't pay enough attention while scanning through.


An overarching plot line is a single plot line that spans an entire series... such as the destruction of the ring in LotR.

I am aware that some of the books have minor plot lines, that may span a few books. Some of them, like captive of Gor have no plot line at all... just a sequence of events that lead nowhere.

What IS the overarching plot line of all the Gor books... since you say there is one?

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/28/2016 7:58:17 AM   
UllrsIshtar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bhruic

What IS the overarching plot line of all the Gor books... since you say there is one?


The overarching plot line is the struggle between Kurri and Priest Kings, and the struggle for power in Ar.

Various books have various characters examine the events in that struggle from various perspectives. Some books only touch on the first plot line, others the second, others both.

Captive, for example, deals with the struggle for power in Ar and the event surrounding the disgrace of Marlenus via his daughter from the perspective of a slave girl who witnesses events that are later tied into the experiences of more major characters (Tarl and Marlenus) but from whose perspective the story regarding Talena could not have been told seeing that they were not present when the events took place. It fills in the blank on what happened to Talena in the forest, and sets the stage for her later actions in Ar by explaining how her experiences being scorned by Rask and Verna made her bitter and angry, so that she would later reject both Tarl and Marlenus and betray the Home Stone of Ar. Without that plot line it wouldn't make sense how we went from Talena loving Free Companion of Tarl, and proud daughter of the Ubar taking her responsibilities towards the city of Ar seriously, to cold, bitter, traitress Talena, a woman seeking to destroy nobility in others whenever she finds it.

Every single book, except for the second one, directly involves either or both of those plot lines, either by direct participation in them, or by witnessing/experiencing events directly related to the major character's experiences regarding those plot lines that the major characters themselves couldn't have partaken in.



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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/28/2016 10:46:08 AM   
WickedsDesire


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They all end with them sucking my cock thence I ask then to marry me - but I secretly put them on muffin bay for cake money and the ones that fetch me no cake I simply thrash with my potatoe masher...and the butler did it


Thats how I would have wrote it. Sure I have may have thrown in the promise of 47.5 orgasms and the promise of the state of utter bewilderment, yet delivered a mere 46 before their breakdown, and shagging their better looking friend for my appetites are vast and them worthless and do not thank me enough for my utter glory

fin

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RE: Can I skip Witness? - 9/29/2016 7:11:13 AM   
Bhruic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: UllrsIshtar


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bhruic

What IS the overarching plot line of all the Gor books... since you say there is one?


The overarching plot line is the struggle between Kurri and Priest Kings, and the struggle for power in Ar.

Various books have various characters examine the events in that struggle from various perspectives. Some books only touch on the first plot line, others the second, others both.

Captive, for example, deals with the struggle for power in Ar and the event surrounding the disgrace of Marlenus via his daughter from the perspective of a slave girl who witnesses events that are later tied into the experiences of more major characters (Tarl and Marlenus) but from whose perspective the story regarding Talena could not have been told seeing that they were not present when the events took place. It fills in the blank on what happened to Talena in the forest, and sets the stage for her later actions in Ar by explaining how her experiences being scorned by Rask and Verna made her bitter and angry, so that she would later reject both Tarl and Marlenus and betray the Home Stone of Ar. Without that plot line it wouldn't make sense how we went from Talena loving Free Companion of Tarl, and proud daughter of the Ubar taking her responsibilities towards the city of Ar seriously, to cold, bitter, traitress Talena, a woman seeking to destroy nobility in others whenever she finds it.

Every single book, except for the second one, directly involves either or both of those plot lines, either by direct participation in them, or by witnessing/experiencing events directly related to the major character's experiences regarding those plot lines that the major characters themselves couldn't have partaken in.





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.

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.

But... we will likely disagree about that.

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