The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer

Source: LibriVox (zipped mp3s)
Length: 6 hours, 6 minutes
Reader: Mark Nelson

The book: Philip Jose Farmer is best known for his Riverworld series, in which people from throughout history are reincarnated in a mysterious land with a river running through the center. That mish-mash of people from disparate times results in people like 19th century explorer Richard Burton meeting Nazi leader Herman Goring. In this standalone novel, Farmer does a similar mashup, this time with genres. The Green Odyssey reads like a combination of A Princess of Mars (previously reviewed) with a pirate adventure novel.

Astronaut Alan Green has been living as a harem-slave to a queen on a semi-barbarous planet since his spaceship crashed there two years ago. He manages to escape imprisonment and flee to a merchant ship so he can search for two other astronauts rumored to have recently crashed on another part of the planet. The science-fiction coolness factor is that that on this planet, ships don’t travel across the water, but instead roll across giant plains of grass. Although I found the ending a bit disappointing, the rest of the novel was good pulpy adventure in an improbable, but interesting, setting.

Rating: 7 / 10

The reader: Mark Nelson is a great reader. I’ve reviewed his readings multiple times here at Free Listens: Right Ho, Jeeves, “The Call of Cthulu,” Plague Ship, and the previously-mentioned A Princess of Mars.  I really can’t think of anything else to say about him that I haven’t already. He has everything you’d want in a LibriVox reader: a clear strong voice, a good sense of pacing, and the ability to do a few voices without going over the top.

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