Volume 4: Nomads of Gor

Note: This is the revised edition and an e-book (read from a Kobo Mini). I normally prefer the original editions of books but unlike the first three in the series, I could not find an affordable copy of this one.

Immediately the prose feels different, smoother, less arcane and far less fun. The heavy descriptions start coming at you and much information is given to the reader with statements like "I learned later that..."

With so much information and so little action, this book moves slowly. The prose starts to right itself just 10% in but the weighty tacked-on knowledge-transfer breaks any flow of the story. There is some effective imagery 20% in but not much else except more and more explanations and descriptions. This is also the poorest editing of the series so far with many grammatical errors.

Norman makes an astute observation that unlike on Gor, slavery on Earth is more subtle and invisible where people often disbelieve it.

Things start to become more interesting around 30% in but Norman guides you by the hand through each step. Each twist is well explained before it happens so as to offer no surprises. It also becomes quite repetitive. At 30% in, I feel like all of this could have been well done in a handful of pages. At halfway through it feels like things may start moving but there really just isn't much going on. Being led so delicately through all the foreshadowing so nothing can be a surprise is disheartening. 

Two thirds of the way through and it becomes work to read.

At about 80% the story starts. We learn about the Gorean freedom through slavery and how it compares to Earth. True freedom is found in submitting to the right master. This is much the same in Earth philosophy. We all submit to a master, be it Yahweh, money, a person, or many other idols. A fair amount of time is spent on this and while it's very interesting, it's also not essential to the actual story. It is something some may roll their eyes and skip while others will find this part most intriguing.

We finally get to see some action and the climax of the story. The main thrust is complete and we're left with a question to be answered by reading another book.

Conclusion? Nomads was often dreary, long, painstaking, and predictable. Once the story picked up, it was educational and entertaining. I'm glad I read it however with near 80% of the book easily skipped I am hesitant to take on another book in the series.



Priest-Kings 3/5
Nomads 2/5

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Comments

This book was painful to read, especially near the end. I found the wagon-people interesting but by the time the story got going I didn't really care about the outcome. Too much blathering about non-sensical things for my taste. The prose was definitely lacking. I found the slave description to be interesting, it seemed to say you can't truly be free until you've submitted in love to another. I wish I could put it more eloquently than that.

Kersus's picture

That was pretty eloquent. I wonder why that book was so painful. Was it just that there wasn't much to tell or that he wanted tot ell us too much?

I think it was a combination of both. It felt insincere compared to the earlier books.