Philip Jose Farmer's work has never failed to delight me, and this book is no exception. Once again, Farmer puts his own unique spin on a classic literary character, this time featuring Ishmael from Herman Melville's MOBY-DICK (which honesty compels me to admit I have not read yet, though I certainly plan to) in Earth's remote future. Although this novel does not contain quite as much world building detail as many of Farmer's novels, he more than makes up for this in his excellent characterization of Ishmael and in many exciting action scenes.
Some reviewers, as noted by Farmer's great-nephew Danny Adams in his excellent afterword, have described this as a "lightweight" novel by Farmer's standards. Perhaps. But to this particular Farmerphile, even lightweight work by Peoria's finest author is better than a lot of books being produced by authors today, in the science fiction genre or otherwise. While ISHMAEL is perhaps more straightforward than most of his works despite its unique premise (something one can always find in books by Farmer, who after all wrote biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage that treated them as real people whose lives were fictionalized by Burroughs and Dent respectively, and tied them genealogically to dozens of other pulp and adventure heroes and villains,) and does not shatter any taboos as do many, the book does not suffer for it, and you could certainly never confuse Farmer's writing for anyone else's.
I am thrilled that Titan Books is reprinting so much of Farmer's output, as one can no doubt deduce from my reviews of all their previous releases of same. Farmer was a groundbreaking author whose work needs to be introduced to a new generation of fans, and I applaud Titan for taking up that gauntlet.