01/08/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Titan Books. 416 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK), $ 9.95 (US), $11.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-85768-966-5).
check out website: www.titanbooks.com
With 'Lord Tyger', you might be mistaken in thinking that this is Philip Josť Farmer's version of Tarzan and...er..well...how can I put this without being a spoiler. Actually, you can't. It's best to read the story of Ras Tyger aka Lord Tyger as if Farmer is doing the correct version of Lord John Greystoke and get caught up in the story and let things unfold for itself rather than let me explain just what is going on.
In many respects, that is probably correct. After all, if you're familiar with Edgar Rice Burrough's creation, wouldn't you wonder about Tarzan's amore urges as he grew up and what he did about them? The same would apply the local black tribes and how they would cope with the white ghost giant who lived nearby. The elders would obviously attempt to chase him away but it would be inevitable that he would get on with the youngsters. In many respect this is an adult tale not for the young adult market but it is all rites of passage for the lord of the jungle. The parallels to Tarzan are irresistible only this is the more adult version.
Farmer was a master storyteller and turned out a great page-turner here with a lot of events playing with the Tarzan legend and just as when you think you've got everything sussed, he happily pulls the loincloth away and reveals something entirely different. Mind you, Tyger rarely wears his loincloth.
Is it Science Fiction? That's a very good question. In many respects, I would say no. Is it fantasy? Definitely not because he uses conventional technology. However, the twists at the end will make you think it belongs on our side of the fence than in any general genre and again, it's Farmer and who can't resist another book from the grand master?
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