Traitor To The Living-Philip Jose Farmer (1973) (Exorcism Trilogy)

philip jose farmer-traitor to the living

This is the third entry in the series. The first two are “The Image Of The Beast” (1968) and the second is “Blown” (1969).  The first two were published as porn but this one is totally different. This one is about a device called MEDIUM. Use it for a big fee and you can talk to the dead. Private Detective Herald Childe returns but now he has a new name, Gordon Carfax and he’s a history professor.

Gordon is once again a P.I. thanks to his cousin Patricia. Their cousin Western has taken credit for MEDIIUM. She says her father Rufton was the real inventor and accuses Western of murdering him and blowing up his house destroying any and all evidence. Of course he manages to rob the safe of all schematics so he could build it himself.

Gordon has been on the lecture circuit saying the contacts made with MEDIUM aren’t the dead but possibly aliens from another universe who can mock humans.

Gordon meets with Western and has a session with MEDIUM where he tries to talk with his uncle Rufton.  The entity seems to charge out of the machine and Gordon freaks and runs out of the room. Patricia tells him of a medium named Mrs.Webster who seems legit and they take part in a seance. That doesn’t go too well either.

A group consisting of various religious leaders uses MEDIUM to see if it’s the real thing. A bishop dies of a heart attack after talking with a playmate he had when he was eleven. Mass trouble begins. An atheist flies his plane into the building and destroys MEDIUM.

The book turns into an action thriller as bullets fly and more things blow up. Gordon and Patricia try and track down Western and solve the mystery of MEDIUM. They also discover what other experiments their cousin had in mind. A Senator gets involved when they find out MEDIUM can be used as a cheap source of power that could put utility companies worldwide out of business.

The thriller aspects are the main parts of the novel with SF mixed in. If you’re looking for an action novel as opposed to a SF story then you’ll probably like this one.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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4 Responses to Traitor To The Living-Philip Jose Farmer (1973) (Exorcism Trilogy)

  1. Joachim Boaz says:

    Read this — despised it… Glad I didn’t read the first two! haha

  2. vintage45 says:

    I never read the first two and they are not on my list. I don’t know if this one was a rush job to fulfill a contract. It is definitely not one of Farmer’s best..not even close.

  3. Joseph Nebus says:

    I must admit I’m curious if the first two books are about ghost porn. I could imagine such a thing, but in today’s market. A 1970-era Romance With The Supernatural book would seem to be a compelling curiosity at least.

  4. vintage45 says:

    The first two are supposedly loaded with kinky sex, ghosts,werewolves,hookers killers and even a snake woman. Oh yeah..there’s even an alien or two. Farmer must have been trying to reach the LSD market and whatever sparked their erotic dreams.

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