Friday, December 24, 2010
HANCOCK TIPS HIS HAT TO FARMER'S AND ECKERT'S PEMBERLEY HOUSE!
TIPPIN' HANCOCK'S HAT-Book Reviews by Tommy Hancock
The Evil in Pemberley HouseBy Philip Jose Farmer and Win Scott Eckert
Dust jacket by Glenn Orbik
Published by Subterranean Press
Length: 216 pages
And, oh boy, that is a good thing.
The basic plot is that young Patricia Wildman, daughter of famed crimefigher, scientist, and general all around genius Doctor James Clarke Wildman, finds out she has inherited an estate, the Pemberley House of the title, and all the wealth and possibly titles that go with it. Recently widowed and having lost her parents as well, Patricia welcomes the distraction of going abroad and sorting out this inheritance. Mayhem instantly ensues with attempts on her life, introductions to rather repulsive family members and Pemberley residents, kidnapping, and rape. Oh, wait, then there's the curse that a ghost of long dead relative revisits for three nights on the anniversary of her death to a person in her direct lineage. And, yes, that would be our young heroine.
Farmer and Eckert weave a gothic tale that is punctuated throughout with pulpy goodness. Patricia Wildman is actually a thin, almost transparent mask worn by the main character who is actually the daughter of Doc Savage. Inherent in this character is all the strength, description, and vitality that comes through in tales of Doc, tempered by a rather human fallibility, one of which I'll speak more of in a bit. The characters around Patricia, though most of them are repugnant and dare we say irredeemable, add gaudy, fascinating color to this tale of intrigue, family secrets, conspiracies, murder, and even on some level vengeance. Throw in the fact that this is Wold-Newtonry at its best and you get Sherlock Holmes, Sexton Blake, Jane Austen characters, and Tarzan, among many others salted and peppered from beginning to end. The phrasing and structure is definitely Farmer and there is mostly a seamless line between Farmer ends and Eckert begins.
All in all, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE stands out as a fantastic addition to the works of Farmer. Eckert deftly delivered a complete tale with enough dangles to have another tale or two yet to tell.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT-Definitely one worth reading and rereading, even if the sexual references get a bit heavy early on.
Posted by All Pulp at 8:27 AM