Friday, November 23, 2012

Amazon Review

This one is a "guilty pleasure."  I don't expect anyone to be edified or enlightened by the content, although my idea for the "Dumarest drinking game" is inspired, if I do say so myself.

The series is cheesy and cliche, and, yet, there is something in its cheesy predictability.  Also, I read the tail end of the series in college, and it seemed that the series had grown self-aware of its own cliches and had somehow matured as Dumarest's quest started taking on galactic significance.

If you have a mind, please vote "helpful."  My Amazon rating seems to have stalled at 2,500.

Toyman: The Dumarest Saga Book 3
Toyman: The Dumarest Saga Book 3
Price: $5.33
3 used & new from $5.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Dumarest shows that he is no plaything on Toy, November 23, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Earl Dumarest finds himself on the losing side of a battle. As soon as he landed on the planet Toy, he was impressed into one side of a staged battle, fought with shields and spears, for the entertainment of the stockholders who are the aristocracy on Toy. Because this is the Dumarest universe, the law of Toy is "win or die" and everyone on the losing side is left in the arena to die of exposure, starvation or the malicious attention of stockholders who come to clean up the arena.

Toy's society is interesting. There is, of course, the vast distance between the decadent rich and the oppressed poor. The rich in this case are the descendants of the original settlers. Toy was set up as a "corporate planet" and so ownership of stock in the corporation is everything. The rich live off of a dividend that must be spent. The ruler of Toy - the Toymaster - is a decadent individual of Neronic appetites, not that anyone could make such a connection since "Earth" is long forgotten. There is a scene in the book where the Toymaster's sister scoffs at the idea that all of humanity could have originated on a single planet.

Naturally, the religious forces of the Dumarest universe are on Toy. The Universal Brotherhood - the Franciscans of the Dumarest universe - assist the poor and seek alms with the insight that "there but for the grace of God go I." The Cyclan - the Jesuits of the Dumarest series - are attempting to subvert another planet by making another ruler dependent on their crystalline, unemotional logic. (Hint, hint: there is probably fodder for a term paper in English on "the meaning of the religious elements in the Dumarest series.")

It seemed to me that at Book 3 we have all the cliché lines of the series established, and that it could be used to make a pretty good drinking game. Take a shot of your favorite liquor when you read "'re the fastest man I've ever seen" or "and the rest was mental intoxication" or "death in torment" or "Samatchazi formulae" or "Homochon elements" or "never seen anyone as fast."

Dumarest has come to Toy in order to get information on Earth from Toy's famous computer. Naturally, Dumarest manages an escape his initial death trap with his companion of the moment, but then he's caught, and enslaved, and sold to a fight master. Will he win his freedom? Will he find Earth? Will he face off against the Toymaster, who seems to have re-incarnated the least redeeming features of Nero. Important questions - I will only reveal for the record that he learns that another name for Earth is "Terra" - but keep in mind that there are another 30 books to go in the series.

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