A book by Orson Scott Card
Yargo is a science fiction romance novel by Jacqueline Susann. Ms. Susann wrote the novel and then put it away as it wasn't the type of writing she normally did. Her husband found it among her things after her death and he had it published by Bantam … see full wiki
MANY years ago,I took a run through the local used book browsery in my hometown just to see what kinds of garbage I could encounter for under a buck. (Well, actually most of the novels I would purchase were less than a quarter.) The vast majority of these books would more than likely be old-fashioned trash novels with silly plots, romance novels, & of course cheap pulp fiction which looks good as a decoration in your house but fails to generate any real thrills. You can only imagine how surprised I was to come across Susann's virtually unknown classic Yargo at that time. I bought it for less than the cost of a single gumball & began reading it immediately upon purchase.
Sadly, the only book I had heard anything about of Susann's was the incomparable Valley Of The Dolls which was supposedly pretty campy & over the top for it's time. Needless to say, I'd never read it though & had no intention of picking it anytime soon. Yargo didn't seem to fall into the same trash novel pidgeonhole from what I could tell although I couldn't imagine finding anything revolutionary about the novel either. Boy, was I in for a huge surprise. Rather than succumbing to campy "B" sci-fi trappings, Susann's brilliant yet timeless themes of humanity reflect not only an era of great writing as well as completely believable characters whom we can actually relate to.
I read the book in a single afternoon & re-read it again that same year after I'd finished my junior year in high school. Without doubt, Susann's Yargo was a treat for me & I couldn't stop telling others about it. In fact, I actually went on a bargain book hunt all through my city for additonal copies of the paperback in hopes of giving them as gifts to family & friends as there was no way I could part with my holy grail. Needless to say, my search was fruitless for the most part though I did continue to encourage everyone to seek out their own copies by any means necessary.
Early in the story, our protagonist Janet learns what many face throughout our lives at some point & must cross that bridge between being an unhappy soon-to-be bride only to find there may be no great satisfaction in simply joining hands with another being of imperfection. We are only humans & we're born to make mistakes including often marrying the one who isn't right for us nor someone who can bring out the best in us. Janet would fare better being a single woman than marrying into a thankless marriage with someone she could just as easily live without.
Within the blink of an eye, things will take a serious turn for the worse & Janet will be abducted by aliens who mistake her for being Einstein. This race of aliens shun any kind of true emotion as their last war had been triggered by national emotions which almost annihilated them. On the upside of things, they are scientifically far more adavanced than earthlings as they've found cures for cancer & most diseases. Scientifically, they are light years ahead of us in most respects yet are deeply flawed creatures as they have lost the ability to recognize & understand the meaning of love.
Unfortunately, Janet is not at all what the Yargoians need and her days on their planet are going to be limited as the reader can imagine. The Yargoians do not initally find any great use for the young woman & learns that will be exiled to live on Mars until her death. Along the way, she learns a great deal about herself & humanity from the woman who is appointed to watch over her during her stay on Yargo and on the trip to Mars. In the following chapters, she will in turn be abducted again by Venusians & nearly becomes "mother" to the new Venusian race.
Naturally, Susann's novel takes risks in nearly every traditional sense of the word. She rolls the dice & wins. It's not an easy accomplishment by any means to tackle the male-dominated Sci-fi genre yet Susann writes as easily as breathes. Yargo combines great Sci-fi adventure, the liberated woman act, & some of the heartfelt drama that you could ever hope to read. To simply deny that Yargo is Susann's quintessential masterpiece should be a crime & I believe every lover of great books should read this atleast once in their life. I have re-visited the book many times since my late teens & still regard it as one of the greatest fantasy novels ever written. Yargo is, quite simply, a triumph & deserves it's rightful place on your bookshelf.
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