FORGOTTEN BOOK: Hazards: The Chronicles of Lucifer Jones 1934 – 1938 by Mike Resnick, 2009
This is the 121st in my series of Forgotten Books.
This is one time when I will tell you up front I have not completed the book I am about to type about. This one is far too much fun. I do not want to zip to the end to see how things work out. Mike Resnick does that to me. I’ve been following his work for close to 30 years. I don’t read every book, but when I do read one, I really enjoy it.
This is the fourth set of adventures for the Right Reverend Honorable Doctor Lucifer Jones, a man without honor (or a home) in his home land, having been asked to leave from more than 30 different countries. Dr. Jones is a con man, grafter, liar, thief, politician, entrepreneur, and exploiter of anything which can be exploited. I first encountered him in his first collection entitled ADVENTURES. This was later followed by EXPLOITS and ENCOUNTERS.
This is wonderful stuff as the Right Reverend travels through South America looking for fame, fortune, a good meal, an easy woman, and anything else he can find. All while trying to fund the Tabernacle of St. Luke, but not the disciple. This St. Luke is really St. Lucifer, aka the Right Reverend Honorable Doctor Lucifer Jones. Somehow St. Lucifer does not get the same monetary response as St. Luke.
I am about halfway through and so far he has become President of San Palermo, a small Latin American country where he tries to bed the women, loot the treasury and survive for 24 hours, which is more than the last 15 El Presidentes have done. Leaving behind the citizens of San Palermo he travels to the Island of Annoyed Souls, where someone suspiciously like Dr. Moreau has been changing criminals into talking animals so they can elude capture. Sounds good, but eventually you get tired. The woman who may have killed a dozen husbands, Felicity, finds herself turned into an elephant. She hates her weight and her partner has been turned into a mouse and she is terrified of him. All the various animals want to be people again but unfortunately the good Doctor is not that good and does not have a way to help them out.
Dr. Jones finds his way to the lost continent of Moo, which strangely resembles the Pampas and has to duel with the local god whom he angers because of a woman. That happens a lot and he finds himself wrestling with a nude high priestess for his life. Chartreuse Mansions has him meeting Rama the bird girl, easily the most enchanting thing on two legs, except perhaps for her sister. Her father is convinced that Dr. Jones should be settling into a family situation, but he finds the conversations a little one sided.
This is as far as I have gotten. I got this for my Kindle when Subterranean Books had a sale and I have been loving it. Up next is the story Carnival Knowledge and I know it is going to be a goody.
So check out Mr. Mike. He does great short fiction work and has a boatload of awards to show for it. Or get one of the earlier adventures. They are around and not very expensive. You might just laugh yourself sick.
Series organizer Patti Abbott hosts more Friday Forgotten Book reviews at her own blog, and posts a complete list of participating blogs.