If I read this book without Philip José Farmer’s name on the cover I would not have paid any attention to it. I found a reference to this novel during some internet roving and thought it sounded interesting, though the reference noted that it was a very extreme novel. Feast Unknown was described as an over-the-top sendup of hyper-male pulp fiction like Tarzan and Doc Savage. Knowing that it was written by a writer whom I respected a lot when I was younger, and who is still revered in science fiction circles, I still found myself reading all goggle-eyed. The book plunges you into a combat between the aforementioned Tarzan and Doc Savage, or rather between the people on whom those characters were based (in the conceit of the novel). They are prototype superheroes who happen to be immortal, prodigiously endowed, and mostly naked most of the time. The book covers a little of everything that you don’t want to read about: cannibalism, coprophilia (a mild form, admittedly), homoerotic violence, heteroerotic violence. If you stand back from the book a bit you can see that Farmer might actually be sending up the whole genre but this does not protect you from the fact that his writing is weak, awkward, rushed – it reads very like an imitation of pulp writing, or of slash fiction. Or maybe it reads like actual pulp writing or actual slash fiction. The plot is one long series of explosions, gun battles, and hand to hand (and sometimes cock to cock) fighting. Farmer pulled out all the stops whether you like it or not. This novel was part of the inspiration for the Wold Newton universe and Farmer’s subsequent novels to this one are vastly different in tone, without any of the crazy eroticism and no sense of transgressiveness. Which give those elements a chosen quality in this book, which helped me to think about it. I enjoyed pondering this book a lot more than I enjoyed reading it.