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God of Tarot

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Paul is a monk, which is better than a warrior on the planet Tarot, where religions are wielded like swords.


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Paul is a monk, which is better than a warrior on the planet Tarot, where religions are wielded like swords.

30 review for God of Tarot

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    When I was young, I devoured Anthony's fantasy fiction voraciously, and as I got a bit older, I started exploring his forays into "hard" sf, occasionally being surprised at the depth he was capable of. This book stands sort of at the precipice between those two extremes. It posits a world called Tarot, which causes hallucinations in its visitors, based on their visual-emotional states, which is becoming the center of a religious movement. Paul, a young monk from Earth, is sent to examine this pl When I was young, I devoured Anthony's fantasy fiction voraciously, and as I got a bit older, I started exploring his forays into "hard" sf, occasionally being surprised at the depth he was capable of. This book stands sort of at the precipice between those two extremes. It posits a world called Tarot, which causes hallucinations in its visitors, based on their visual-emotional states, which is becoming the center of a religious movement. Paul, a young monk from Earth, is sent to examine this planet for his Order, and to attempt to determine if the God of Tarot is real. Anthony structures the plot around the first nine trumps of the Tarot deck, with an odd interlude for a "Ghost" card which he introduces himself, but for the most part this book appears to follow the traditional deck in a structured and interesting manner (the next book would not). Anthony explores a number of themes, including spirituality and its relationship to carnality, drug addiction, faith, the occult, and the impact of matter-transmission technology on society, with intelligence and care. Although his understanding of the tarot itself seems fairly superficial, to judge by the appendices, he nevertheless manages to create an interesting story here that will not annoy those with greater knowledge. Unfortunately, the rest of the series did not retain this high standard.

  2. 5 out of 5

    K

    Piers Anthony is far too obsessed with sex, and his apparent view of women merely as sexual objects (the main character objects to this view, yet almost all of his thoughts dealing with women are sexual) does nothing to endear him or this book to me. The plot itself is decent enough, though it takes far too long to really get started, and the first few chapters are pretty boring. But the idea of a planet where Tarot cards come to life is fascinating, even though I know next to nothing about Tarot Piers Anthony is far too obsessed with sex, and his apparent view of women merely as sexual objects (the main character objects to this view, yet almost all of his thoughts dealing with women are sexual) does nothing to endear him or this book to me. The plot itself is decent enough, though it takes far too long to really get started, and the first few chapters are pretty boring. But the idea of a planet where Tarot cards come to life is fascinating, even though I know next to nothing about Tarot symbolism. The ending, however, wasn't so much an ending as it was the place the book stopped. Each book in a trilogy (or any series) should be self-contained, and this one was not. The characters... Well. The Antarean that we see all too briefly had potential. Some of the religious leaders also have potential, but like with the Antarean, we don't see nearly enough of them. Instead, we're stuck with Brother Paul. Brother Paul is, in a word, annoying. He knows the answer to everything, even while he's assuring us that he doesn't. He was a mysterious past that we don't learn about until the end, when it turns out to be the perfect background to convince anyone that while he is a religious man, he does know how the world works, really! He was a drug runner! He's seen all the dark sides! We promise. Again, annoying.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Not for religiously-challenged.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Phillip DeVries

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book explores some fun ideas and has a great premise. In the future we are transmitting people to other planets and one of those is the planet Tarot. There are some strange events happening there that our protagonist is asked to investigate. The book is the first in a series. I thought the book had a fun perspective. It would often get into a stream of consciousness with the main character. It tackled some philosophical and religious topics as well as gender roles and racism. I felt the gen This book explores some fun ideas and has a great premise. In the future we are transmitting people to other planets and one of those is the planet Tarot. There are some strange events happening there that our protagonist is asked to investigate. The book is the first in a series. I thought the book had a fun perspective. It would often get into a stream of consciousness with the main character. It tackled some philosophical and religious topics as well as gender roles and racism. I felt the gender role part was a bit dated though. Seemed like classical fantasy/sci-fi writers tendency to simultaneously talk about women being strong and independent and then objectifying the female characters in the same moment. I don’t know if I would recommend this book. It was a fun read, but the book ends without resolving any conflicts or story arcs. I think it’s meant to be a cliffhanger into the next book. I picked this up at a garage sale and do not have the next book, so that’s a bit frustrating. I guess reader beware.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael B Tager

    Now, Mr. Anthony has sold millions of books, so what do I know, but this book was kind of racially and gender-related ... not offensive, but at least insensitive. I don't think I've ever read a well-rounded black or female character from him. When I was a kid, that was fine (cause I didn't know better), but now it's not so much. And his writing/ideas aren't sophisticated enough to carry it. This book is so heavy-handed and clumsy. Sigh. For all that, Piers Anthony is nothing if not ambitious (th Now, Mr. Anthony has sold millions of books, so what do I know, but this book was kind of racially and gender-related ... not offensive, but at least insensitive. I don't think I've ever read a well-rounded black or female character from him. When I was a kid, that was fine (cause I didn't know better), but now it's not so much. And his writing/ideas aren't sophisticated enough to carry it. This book is so heavy-handed and clumsy. Sigh. For all that, Piers Anthony is nothing if not ambitious (the plot reminded me of Star Trek 6, where they're looking for god; maybe Shatner read this book). He's delving into rich terrain - the search for God - and his heart's in the right place. I feel like he thinks he's being super deep and sensitive...he just doesn't quite do it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David Magnenat

    Probably the worst book I've ever read. Anthony's sentence construction and language range from amateur to needlessly convoluted. His imagery is often poorly drawn and obscure unless you have knowledge of the particular Tarot deck and card he references, so there's a lot of "filling in the blanks." The initial idea is intriguing but, like A.E "Dead" Waite, quickly grows tiresome and pedantic. Tangents are many, and the story structure, such as it is, amounts to basically a series of meditations Probably the worst book I've ever read. Anthony's sentence construction and language range from amateur to needlessly convoluted. His imagery is often poorly drawn and obscure unless you have knowledge of the particular Tarot deck and card he references, so there's a lot of "filling in the blanks." The initial idea is intriguing but, like A.E "Dead" Waite, quickly grows tiresome and pedantic. Tangents are many, and the story structure, such as it is, amounts to basically a series of meditations on Tarot cards twisted to fit a sci-fi world. This is the first of a trilogy intended to be a complete work, but frankly the effort is not worth the payoff. Not recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vernell Schutte

    Definitely not Xanth type book. Mostly an explanation and history of the Tarot cards and a "preachy" putdown of religions in a novel form. Definitely not Xanth type book. Mostly an explanation and history of the Tarot cards and a "preachy" putdown of religions in a novel form.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vrinda Pendred

    What an excellent premise! ...that seems to go nowhere. The opening chapters were painfully dated (there's a rather long explanation of how calculators work, as if it's really sci-fi - as but one of many examples). When he gets to the planet, it turns into one boring explanation of a religion after another, with very little plot to hold it together. This then jumps straight into an Animation sequence that goes on for aaaaages with little coherence. It's very hard to get to grips with what he's t What an excellent premise! ...that seems to go nowhere. The opening chapters were painfully dated (there's a rather long explanation of how calculators work, as if it's really sci-fi - as but one of many examples). When he gets to the planet, it turns into one boring explanation of a religion after another, with very little plot to hold it together. This then jumps straight into an Animation sequence that goes on for aaaaages with little coherence. It's very hard to get to grips with what he's trying to express, as well (how exactly does one become an actor in someone's Animation and get forced to speak certain lines??). There is a lot of tarot card description that I felt was poorly executed - if I weren't so familiar with tarot, I likely wouldn't have been able to visualise what he was describing. Also, as someone who has studied tarot extensively for many years now, I can tell you he gets so much wrong. Even just his basic history of the tarot is wrong, before looking at some of his interpretations. He also makes many, many mistakes about various religions. (Seeking the God of Buddhism stands out to me - Buddhists don't have a God....) It pulls everything he says into question. And remember: those inaccurate tirades are pretty much all this book is. That's without getting into his shallow, objectification of women on just about every page, or the casual, awful racism that comes out of nowhere in the first overblown Animation sequence. He says in his introduction that the book was intended to offend and if you aren't offended, you've missed the point. Well, I was offended...and I still didn't see the point.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Shannon

    The most incomplete book I have ever read. It got lost in the Tarot deck then it got lost in the past of the main character then it just stopped. I am not really interested in the next book in the series. It was too much work to read this one. The only redeeming feature is the add on at the end about the Tarot. So I gave it one more star for that.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Paul Destefano

    The series is basically an episode of the original Star Trek series gone awry and made into something a little longer than the concept should hold. But, it's a fun romp through realities all the same. The series is basically an episode of the original Star Trek series gone awry and made into something a little longer than the concept should hold. But, it's a fun romp through realities all the same.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tina Bounds

    2 1/2 stars A re-read. I remembered enjoying it, but on my 2nd time through I found it dated, adolescent, crude, misogynistic and racist.

  12. 4 out of 5

    nathaniel

    Real easy to go to sleep to. Somewhat interesting reading what was probably progressive in 1979, but comes across real sexist and not nearly as enlightened today.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael Pilgaard

    The story started quite well, but all the stuff about Tarot and communicating with the animations I found incredibly boring.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    DNF around of 75. Heavier on the sci-fi than I expected or wanted.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    Brother Paul of the Holy Order of Vision is a monk on a future Earth that has expanded to the stars. He's sent by his order to investigate reports that God has appeared on the planet Tarot . On this planet the various Tarot cards manifest in creative ways and "religions are wielded like swords." I discovered this book in my teens right around the time I became fascinated with the Tarot. I'm really the opposite of a New Ager, and don't buy any deck of cards have powers or that the tarot cards hav Brother Paul of the Holy Order of Vision is a monk on a future Earth that has expanded to the stars. He's sent by his order to investigate reports that God has appeared on the planet Tarot . On this planet the various Tarot cards manifest in creative ways and "religions are wielded like swords." I discovered this book in my teens right around the time I became fascinated with the Tarot. I'm really the opposite of a New Ager, and don't buy any deck of cards have powers or that the tarot cards have a mystical past going back to Egypt, but I loved the art and symbols of it all, so I adored how Anthony played with it and religious and spiritual themes. This book is structured around the first 9 trumps of the Tarot. The first book of a trilogy and it's no standalone, but more like the first part of one long book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Interesting book. The author has an uncanny knack to take science fiction & fantasy concepts and blur them in such a way as the reader is never sure is this sci-fi or fantasy. Whats more interesting about Anthony is that he also writes in a lot of spiritualism/psychic/divination/occult into his books (as far as I have read) and this book is no exception. There is a philosophy about religion that is present throughout this book. The only issue I have had with the philosophy is that it is Western Interesting book. The author has an uncanny knack to take science fiction & fantasy concepts and blur them in such a way as the reader is never sure is this sci-fi or fantasy. Whats more interesting about Anthony is that he also writes in a lot of spiritualism/psychic/divination/occult into his books (as far as I have read) and this book is no exception. There is a philosophy about religion that is present throughout this book. The only issue I have had with the philosophy is that it is Western and does not account for occult images that are also Eastern in nature. Good book though it can be tough at times with action given way to explanation regarding Tarot cards and their origins.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    This is my first experience reading anything by Piers Anthony. I like the writing style, and was intrigued by the characters, particularly the main character Brother Paul. The discussion of Tarot in all its forms/incarnations/developments was very highly developed, and made the read somewhat informative. I found the ending to be abrupt and under-explaining. I find I have no desire to pick up the subsequent novels in order to see where the story goes. The manner in which this book ended makes me This is my first experience reading anything by Piers Anthony. I like the writing style, and was intrigued by the characters, particularly the main character Brother Paul. The discussion of Tarot in all its forms/incarnations/developments was very highly developed, and made the read somewhat informative. I found the ending to be abrupt and under-explaining. I find I have no desire to pick up the subsequent novels in order to see where the story goes. The manner in which this book ended makes me feel that would be the result of coercion rather than innate desire to do so.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    This is my second Anthony book. My other book was the first Cluster book, which I didn't realize was in the same universe (so to speak) as God of Tarot. Had I known, I would have tried something else. This book is pretty much a poor, poor man's Hesse. Anthony is to literature what Bob Saget is to stand-up comedy. You want it to be satire, but he seems to be earnest. I will probably give him another chance, but it will have to be Xanth or something else silly, because I'm too embarrassed to read This is my second Anthony book. My other book was the first Cluster book, which I didn't realize was in the same universe (so to speak) as God of Tarot. Had I known, I would have tried something else. This book is pretty much a poor, poor man's Hesse. Anthony is to literature what Bob Saget is to stand-up comedy. You want it to be satire, but he seems to be earnest. I will probably give him another chance, but it will have to be Xanth or something else silly, because I'm too embarrassed to read anything else by him that is supposed to be "serious."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kirk Burris

    This was a darker series for Anthony, and challenges religious beliefs and faiths. I would not recommend this for younger readers, who aren't yet grounded in their own religious beliefs. It contains deep thoughts, and I believe some pretty hard core sex scenes if I recall correctly, though it's been a lot of years. That said, if you're older and want a good read that explores complex notions of religion and philosophy, then this one was pretty good. Make sure you're well grounded before diving i This was a darker series for Anthony, and challenges religious beliefs and faiths. I would not recommend this for younger readers, who aren't yet grounded in their own religious beliefs. It contains deep thoughts, and I believe some pretty hard core sex scenes if I recall correctly, though it's been a lot of years. That said, if you're older and want a good read that explores complex notions of religion and philosophy, then this one was pretty good. Make sure you're well grounded before diving in.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Johnson

    Even bad Piers Anthony is still good, but this book was a mess. The bulk of it is not terrible but im assuming either the original cut was way longer and got trimmed down or he was forced to turn in the manuscript waaaay before it was finished. The book ends literally so abruptly that i checked around me for missing pages that may have fallen out (bought at used book store). No missing pages, just a missing third act! What story of it that was there was good but not rly worth reading all the way Even bad Piers Anthony is still good, but this book was a mess. The bulk of it is not terrible but im assuming either the original cut was way longer and got trimmed down or he was forced to turn in the manuscript waaaay before it was finished. The book ends literally so abruptly that i checked around me for missing pages that may have fallen out (bought at used book store). No missing pages, just a missing third act! What story of it that was there was good but not rly worth reading all the way through in its seemingly unfinished state.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leanna Aker

    Brother Paul goes to the Planet Tarot to investigate some odd possible hallucinations to determine if God is actually appearing on Tarot. He comes to find out that these are no hallucinations. This is more fantasy than science fiction and is very good. Be aware there are very adult themes in this book (sex, racist slurs, etc.) This is the first in a trilogy. A knowledge of Tarot (cards) would enhance the reading of this book, but isn't necessary, as all of that is explained. Brother Paul goes to the Planet Tarot to investigate some odd possible hallucinations to determine if God is actually appearing on Tarot. He comes to find out that these are no hallucinations. This is more fantasy than science fiction and is very good. Be aware there are very adult themes in this book (sex, racist slurs, etc.) This is the first in a trilogy. A knowledge of Tarot (cards) would enhance the reading of this book, but isn't necessary, as all of that is explained.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    I always liked Piers Anthony, and was looking forward to reading these. The series is off to a bit of a slow start, mostly using the book to set the stage. Paul, a monk and ex-card sharp, Tarot, a world far away, where visions are reality. The cards frame the chapters. Curious as to the next book, but not yet sure if they really appeal to me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    Um...sixties flashback, or very "swinging seventies." Interesting premise but it somehow felt like a SF version of Love American Style, I don't know why. Nothing like as good as his Cluster series, which I love (and which is pretty much all about sex LOL!) Um...sixties flashback, or very "swinging seventies." Interesting premise but it somehow felt like a SF version of Love American Style, I don't know why. Nothing like as good as his Cluster series, which I love (and which is pretty much all about sex LOL!)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mad Scientist

    I tried to read this series while on a Piers Anthony kick. After loving Xanth, Bio of a Space Tyrant, & the Incarnations of Immortality (etc) series ... I figured I'd try his older stuff. Maybe someday I'll try again ... ABANDONDED. I tried to read this series while on a Piers Anthony kick. After loving Xanth, Bio of a Space Tyrant, & the Incarnations of Immortality (etc) series ... I figured I'd try his older stuff. Maybe someday I'll try again ... ABANDONDED.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thing One

    The Tarot series is very early Anthony. Lots of struggling with morality, faith & belief here. This is not a light read or inoffensive, but interesting and thought provoking. Also, it proves that at one point Mr. Anthony could actually finish a series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Overmyer

    I found the book, Okay. Anthony's Xanth series is far the superior to this. I found it a little hard to follow at times. I did think the premise was good, but unless you are a huge Piers Anthony fan, I would not recommend this for the average reader. I found the book, Okay. Anthony's Xanth series is far the superior to this. I found it a little hard to follow at times. I did think the premise was good, but unless you are a huge Piers Anthony fan, I would not recommend this for the average reader.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Charl

    Anthony's writing is rather hit-or-miss for me. I love Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality, but hate the Flinx stories. Unfortunately, it looks like the Tarot books are also a miss. I'm halfway through the first one and I just don't care. I'm completely NOT engaged, so I'm moving on. Anthony's writing is rather hit-or-miss for me. I love Xanth and Incarnations of Immortality, but hate the Flinx stories. Unfortunately, it looks like the Tarot books are also a miss. I'm halfway through the first one and I just don't care. I'm completely NOT engaged, so I'm moving on.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ayacalypso

    Read it so long ago that I hardly remember it. It was probably ok, or I would have remembered more.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Catherine brooks

    its terrible but i lov eit.

  30. 5 out of 5

    SciFiOne

    Grade D-. Book Ct1.

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