Read Hadon of Ancient Opar by Philip José Farmer Roy G. Krenkel Online


Opar...the Atlantean colony in the heart of Tarzan's the words of Edgar Rice Burroughs, a hidden city of "gold and silver, ivory and apes, and peacocks." the starting point of this fabulous novel of twelve thousand years past, when Africa had in inland sea and a high civilization bloomed along its forgotten shores, when lost empires flew their timOpar...the Atlantean colony in the heart of Tarzan's the words of Edgar Rice Burroughs, a hidden city of "gold and silver, ivory and apes, and peacocks." the starting point of this fabulous novel of twelve thousand years past, when Africa had in inland sea and a high civilization bloomed along its forgotten shores, when lost empires flew their time-vanished banners, and deeds of daring were commonplace....

Title : Hadon of Ancient Opar
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ISBN : 9780879976378
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Hadon of Ancient Opar Reviews

  • Steven Harbin
    2019-05-03 00:35

    Originally published at most general readers of science fiction, Philip Jose Farmer is probably best known as the creator of the RIVERWORLD series, and possibly also as the Golden Age writer who brought sex into the Science Fiction scene through his stories “The Lover” (1952) and Flesh (1960). He also loved to dabble in other author’s created universes, to the extent that he wrote numerous pastiches and fictional “biographies” purportedly by and about such characters as Edgar Rice Burroughs’ TARZAN, Kurt Vonnegut’s KILGORE TROUT, and DOC SAVAGE, just to name a few. Fans of Burroughs’ Tarzan books will probably remember that the erudite “ape-man” visited a lost city known as Opar in several of the books, a last remnant of an ancient civilization, possibly Atlantis. The denizens of Opar are ruled by a beautiful Queen named La, who is high priestess of the Oparians and falls in love with Tarzan in The Return of Tarzan, the second book in the series. Since Tarzan is already in love with Jane Porter of Virginia (not Great Britain, as in the Johnny Weissmuller movies), the love of La is not requited, but the two have a mutual attraction and relationship that persists throughout the series in several of the novels.In the 1970’s Farmer wrote a novel set in the prehistory of Burroughs’ Opar, entitled Hadon of Ancient Opar (1974) which was to be the beginning of a series. The eponymous hero of the novel is Hadon, a young warrior from Opar sent to represent his city at the Great Khokarsan Games, a sort of Olympic Games set to choose a new King every generation. At the time of the novel, roughly 12,000 years ago, Opar is actually a smaller less important city in the empire of Khokarsa, a civilization set in various cities around the shores of, and also on a large island in, a huge inland sea in the middle of the African continent. The kingdom or empire is matriarchal, with a Queen/High Priestess ruling the land, but also with a King/High Priest who controls the military. The ruling deity is Kho, a fertility Goddess whose female priestesses control all non-military aspects of society, while the male deity is Resu, god of the sun, whose male priests are subservient to the rule of Kho and her priestesses. At the time the novel begins however, there is a struggle going on between the patriarchal followers of Resu and the matriarchal followers of Kho.Farmer has a lot of fun with the set-up of the history of the Khokarsan ancestors of the later day Oparians Tarzan will later encounter. He drags all kinds of literary antecedents and historical anachronisms into his novel, including homages to H. Rider Haggard’s ALLAN QUATERMAIN series, especially the novel Allan and the Ice Gods (1927) and also some possible links to Haggard’s other memorable character Ayesha of She: A History of Adventure (1987). There is also a mysterious off-stage character mentioned throughout the story, a seemingly immortal tall grey-eyed wanderer known as Sahhindar, possibly the god of Time, or possibly a human being who has discovered the secrets of time travel and long life. Sahhindar is responsible for having introduced the Khokarsans to many of their advancements in agriculture and military science over the preceding centuries, allowing them to achieve a Bronze Age culture while being surrounded by Stone Age neighbors. Astute readers of the book may deduce who this Sahhindar really is.The premise of the novel is that the winner of the games will become King, if the Queen decides to accept him. She has the option of refusing to do so, however. Young Hadon does indeed win the games, but before he can become King he is sent on a quest to find a mysterious woman with violet colored eyes who was seen by a previous expedition of Khokarsans in the far north and who is under the protection of the even more mysterious aforementioned Sahhindar. At the point where Hadon and a group of warriors and priestesses set out for the legendary northern sea, the action truly picks up and Farmer is at his best.Hadon of Ancient Opar is a fun read, and it is especially so for die-hard fans of Burroughs, but it may be a little confusing for those readers who aren’t familiar with the Tarzan books. Editor Christopher Paul Carey has written a forward to this Titan Books reissue of the novel, along with appendices of dates, maps and glossaries for this edition that help explain the tie-ins and context of the story. I enjoyed re-reading this novel almost forty years after the first time I read it, but there are a few things that I noticed this second time around that escaped me initially. There are parts of the novel where the anachronisms seem a little over the top, especially early on in the book when the contestants are competing in the games to determine who will be king. As just one example, I wish Farmer had taken time to call his running events something different than the “100-yd. dash” and the “2 mile run” as the modern terminology grates a little. While the society is matriarchal, with women priestesses being in charge both in relationships and government in the villages and cities Hadon and his group pass through, the essential passiveness of a couple of the major female characters may be off-putting to some readers. There is also a fair amount of blood and gore and an alleged off stage rape of a high priestess, resulting in the exile of a character who makes an appearance late in the book.I recommend Hadon of Ancient Opar to anyone who’s a fan of Burroughs, and Haggard however. I also recommend it to anyone interested in reading up on Farmer’s diverse oeuvre and learning about his various forays into the works and creations of other authors. There are several related novels and stories in this series, including a direct sequel Flight to Opar (1976), and a couple of related stories started by Farmer and finished by Carey in The Song of Kwasin (2012). (These are all collected in Subterranean Press’s recent omnibus edition.) There is also a novella entitled “Kwasin and the Bear God” and Farmer’s time travel novel Time’s Last Gift (1972) can be considered a sort of prequel to the series as well.

  • Anthony
    2019-04-25 06:31

    I first (and last) read Hadon of Ancient Opar in middle school. Obsessed with anything connected with Tarzan or John Carter of Mars, I picked the book up simply because it referenced Opar in the title. I hadn't read Farmer's Time's Last Gift, so I had no idea who the man/god Sahhindar referenced throughout the book was supposed to be. I remember enjoying Hadon well enough, but I never read the sequel (Flight to Opar) and in fact forgot about / lost track of the series for several decades. A few years back, I became reacquainted with Farmer's Wold Newton works (rereading Tarzan Alive, and moving on from there), and so I was excited when I heard Titan Books was reissuing several of them, including Hadon.Perhaps it's just that I'm not the same twelve-year-old who read the book the first time ... but I've moved from "liked it well enough" to "love it." In Hadon, Farmer did everything I love about George RR Martin's first Game of Thrones book, and I find myself understanding where my love of those aspects first came from. In Hadon we have an ancient setting (more bronze age than medieval), an adventure-fantasy without the more fantastical features (yes, there's an Oracle, and some talk of gods walking among men, but otherwise the mystical aspect is so low as to be non-existant) and a veritable mountain of political intrigue and world-exploration. And Farmer does it with an economy of language that most modern fantasy writers can't be bothered with (unless we're talking about urban fantasy). That's not a surprise with Farmer coming very much from the Burroughs-Doyle-etal school of pulp adventure writing: move the story along, make things happen.I enjoyed the fast pace of the book, even if there are occasional phrases so purple my eyes ache. I'll allow Farmer a few hyperbolic sentences here and there, because they don't slow the narrative down. We follow Hadon and his fellow contestants from Opar (which we see very little of, despite the back cover copy) to the capital city of Khokarsa; we endure the Great Games with him, and then his journey out to follow an Oracle's command to rescue three outsiders who had been under the protection of Sahhindar but lost along the way, and his journey back. Farmer shows us Hadon's growth from a youth obsessed with winning the Games and becoming King (but still worried over the prospect of having to face and kill his friends) to a hero more concerned with the safety of others than himself. Hadon is surrounded by a cast of colorful characters: his cousin, the giant exile Kwasin, particularly stands out, but so do the female leads Awineth and Lalila, the dwarf Paga, the scribe Hinokly, the soldier Tadoku, and the bard Kebiwabes. The two female leads could perhaps be a bit more fully developed (characterizationally, I mean ... it's clear that they are both absolutely beautiful physically) in comparison to the male characters, but they're still more well-rounded than a lot of the other fantasy and adventure fiction I read back in that period (and certainly more well-developed that most of the females in Burroughs' own work).There are a ton of hidden connections in the book: to Tarzan, naturally, and to H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quartermain, but also to other works by Farmer and Burroughs and others. This is one of the things Farmer excelled at: building those connections into stories and novels for people to find, but not beating the reader over the head with them. I enjoyed Hadon well enough in 1978 without catching most of those references, and I enjoyed it again in 2013 both without and because of them. Despite what some folks will tell you, it is entirely possible to enjoy Farmer's Wold-Newton works as stories in and of themselves, without constantly searching for the winks, nods and hidden references -- but finding them sure does add a fun layer to the experience. If you enjoy pulp and adventure and/or light fantasy, you'll enjoy Hadon of Ancient Opar.I have to mention the new foreword and afterword provided by my friend Christopher Paul Carey. Chris is THE expert on Farmer's Khokarsa works, even co-authoring the final book in the trilogy, The Song of Kwasin, with Farmer and writing other Khokarsa stories with Farmer's blessing. The foreword traces the "literary archaeology" of Hadon, providing the necessary context for how Farmer's work grows from and connects back to the work of Burroughs and Haggard. The afterword is a glossary of names and places and some events pertinent not just to Hadon but to the trilogy as a whole. Both enhance enjoyment of the book, whether you read them before the main text or after. They may this edition work purchasing even if you have an old dog-eared copy of Hadon sitting around waiting to be reread.The second book in the series, Flight To Opar, is not currently slated for re-issue by Titan in their current slate of Farmer books, but one can hope that sales are good enough to justify a second round of re-issues and that Flight (and perhaps Song of Kwasin) will be included. In the meantime, I did find an old copy of Flight (and Hadon) in a used book store not long ago.

  • Riju Ganguly
    2019-04-26 07:36

    Thank you Titan Books, for giving us this truly wonderful adventure, narrated like a fable, accompanied by lots & lots of additional information and notes. PJF had envisioned this trilogy as a tribute to ERB as well as Ambrose Bierce, but with his distinctive style. As a result, in this book we have a new mythology getting constructed, without any fanciful elements, but all having the essential characteristic of a dynamic society according to PJF: equality between men & women, with practical sense and courage triumphing over all obstacles. Recommended, especially since the good folks at Meteor House are about to give us the 2nd book of this trilogy very soon, since this one had ended in a cliffhanger!

  • Charles
    2019-05-03 00:35

    Philip Jose Farmer is a very fine writer. Here, he took the fabled city of Opar, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and takes us back into time to tell a story of its past. I thought the idea was very good, raising it well above the usual pastiche, and it was a fun adventure. I highly recommend this and the second volume in this series.

  • Xabi1990
    2019-05-14 04:50

    Fantasía veterana en el estilo de aventuras en África a cargo de un héroe típico de civilización perdida a base de espadas, mocetones con falditas de cuero y chicas macizas solo por dar el toque erótico.La novela es del 74 y aquí no aparecen ni elfos ni enanos ni nada de la imaginería tolkeniana, así que os podéis imaginar por dónde van los tiros. El héroe –no podía ser menos- protagonista se enfrenta en un torneo a los mejores y los malos en vez de darle el premio esperado le putean.Es entretenida y se puede leer, pero los personajes son planos (¡por supuesto!) y es como ver a un Conan en otro formato. De hecho esta novela y su segunda parte (que empieza donde acaba esta primera de forma abrupta) son un homenaje a Burroughs, ya sabéis, el de Tarzán, John Carter de Marte, Carson de Venus y esos. Y el estilo de la novela es el mismo de estos que os digo.Farmer era uno de mis ídolos de juventud por sus héroes sin dobleces, por sus chicas ligeritas de ropa y por su CF original. Su serie Mundo Río me encantó y le debía leer estas dos novelas y alguna otra que no pude conseguir cuando el rastreo de un libro era casi imposible. Hoy, con la red … pues eso …A los más puristas les horrorizaría tal vez las cuatro estrellas que le doy si lo comparan con el estilo actual, pero igual es que no han visto películas de Tarzán, ni leído a Conan, ni han sido absorbidos por el maestro Farmer allá en su juventud.

  • Travis
    2019-05-14 00:45

    Farmer takes us back into ancient history to show us what ancient Opar might have been like at the height of it's power and what happens when the warrior Hadon gets mixed up with local politics and plots.Neat idea and lots of good fight scenes.

  • Luca
    2019-04-30 04:42

    Il primo appunto che mi sento di fare esula dal romanzo in sé e riguarda primariamente la traduzione. Un romanzo che in originale si intitola "Hadon of Ancient Opar" (ossia, "Hadon dell'antica Opar") per quale razza di motivo deve essere tradotto in "Opar, la città immortale"? Perché? Stravolge tutte le aspettative che un lettore si può fare, l'intera sostanza del romanzo assume un altro significato. La città di Opar si vede - accennata - solo all'inizio, e per il semplice motivo che è il luogo da dove viene il protagonista. Per il resto, nulla. Parla delle avventure di Hadon - come lascia intendere il titolo originale, peraltro...Ora passiamo alla recensione.Ho indicato due stelle anche se in teoria ne meriterebbe quasi mezza in più, perché non è proprio da buttare via. Le ambientazioni e la scorrevolezza del testo sono un punto a favore. Oltre a un paio di personaggi (Paga, Kwasin) che vale la pena seguire e con i quali ci si diverte.Per il resto, non mi ha entusiasmato molto - pur essendo Farmer uno scrittore di sostanza.L'intreccio è piuttosto banale. Si dipana a blocchi (Hadon che va ai Grandi Giochi, Hadon che va alla ricerca di Lalila, Hadon che torna a Khokarsa e via dicendo) senza che le varie avventure si influenzino più di tanto l'una con l'altra. Il protagonista è un personaggio noiosissimo, senza profondità, senza anima, l'ingenua facilità con cui supera gli ostacoli è snervante, i personaggi di contorno sembrano dei cartonati messi lì per fare colore, i dialoghi sono così naif che in confronto Dragon Ball sembra il Macbeth di Shakespeare. Per non parlare dell'idea: per leggere qualcosa preso da Burroughs, tanto vale leggere Burroughs...Infine, il fantasy. E' accennato, fragile, quasi inconsistente. In certi punti sembra buttato lì giusto per poterlo far rientrare nella categoria. Per il resto, tutto ciò che può essere riconducibile al concetto di fantasy e semplicemente frutto delle credenze e delle superstizioni dei personaggi - come in un qualunque romanzo storico ambientato prima dell'illuminismo.Ora, mi rendo conto di essere stato un po' duro nei confronti di un autore che non è nato ieri e che ha scritto vagonate di romanzi e più di un "ciclo". Nonostante ciò, il romanzo è stato molto, molto scarso. Purtroppo, aggiungo, perché lo avevo in libreria da un po' e non vedevo l'ora di iniziarlo.Delusione.

  • Joanne Renaud
    2019-05-08 07:38

    This story is fun, but it's a bit of a mess. It has a few things going for it, such as fascinating and thorough world-building (it's set in a prehistoric ancient Africa, about a civilization based around several inland seas) and a neat plot (the hero is defending his city against a megalomaniacal king, who usurped the throne from his daughter, the rightful queen). Unfortunately, the characters are sketchily drawn and the story just... ends, like an old cliffhanger serial. There's a sequel called "Flight to Opar," but there were supposed to be still more more sequels after that that were never written. I now have no interest in reading the sequel, especially since I know the main plot is never going to be resolved. There's so many unresolved plot threads too, like a half-baked love triangle with the queen and a priestess who comes from God knows where, and such queasy-making elements like the hero's big macho rapist cousin whose violence against women is played for laughs. There's also a time traveler too... He is discussed much but apparently never shows up. It's very strange. So yeah. It feels more like an outline than a finished novel. Too bad, because I liked the world-building a lot.

  • Derek
    2019-05-12 03:26

    It's a clever way to play in ERB's sandbox--take an established location (the city of Opar) and work backwards some ten thousand years, to the heyday of that empire.It felt kind of drawn out. First there was the journey to the city of Khokarsa for the Great Games, then Hadon had to win the Great Games, and then he had to lead an ill-fated-by-design expedition to the Mediterranean and back, and finally upon his return he has to deal with the inevitable and obvious coup d'état. And this, I felt, is where the story actually starts. But I am not one for seemingly endless jungle adventure and indeterminable missions into the wilderness.

  • Donna
    2019-05-08 06:28

    The world-building is nicely detailed, and I actually enjoyed the matter-of-fact tone once I got used to it. The story is a little flat, which I expected from a book like this, and it has no real ending, which I didn't.

  • Valerie
    2019-04-28 07:28

    This book is an explicit homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs. Farmer gets the flavor close to the original, except that he adds a lot more sex than the quasi-Victorian Burroughs. He could hardly add more violence, but he tends to be more graphic in that respect, as well.

  • John
    2019-05-14 05:35

    Grade D.

  • Bruce
    2019-05-16 06:34

    As always with PJF well written. But while Burroughs could carry off the formula, PJF does not do as well.

  • Karl Elvis MacRae
    2019-05-17 00:52

    This is ERB If ERB were a good writer; all the energy and creativity, none of the awkward prose and dreadful plots. This is a perfect heroic adventure story.