Lucifer Jones is a faux-missionary, travelling itinerant preacher, with a questionable grasp on morality - depending mostly upon the situation he finds himself in. In Adventures
, the first volume of Mike Resnick's series of short stories featuring Lucifer Jones, he is working his way across the African continent, trying to raise money, by any means necessary, to finance the building of his Tabernacle. Strangely, for the style, his Tabernacle doesn't appear to be a euphemism. He actually does build a Tabernacle at one point - in a brothel, and to keep him busy to avoid the attentions of the madam, it should be said, but all the same he does seem to believe he has a higher purpose of sorts.
We follow him through, what are effectively, twelve short stories. Although they are told back to back; each adventure runs into the next. It's supposed to be a humorous pastiche; imitating H. Rider Haggard, Edgar Rice Burroughs and other authors of that pulpy boys-own genre. But instead it quickly just feels repetitive and overly derivative. There are a few chucklesome moments like the introduction of the Lord Bloomstoke - a fairly thin version of the Lord Greystoke, otherwise known as Tarzan - as well as a few clever plays on words like the juvenile misunderstanding:
"Doctor Jones is probably even now wanted in some municipality or another for pederasty." said the Major.
"That's a lie!" I shouted. "I ain't never pretended to be a foot doctor in my life!"
I didn't hate it, I just didn't see the point of it. Perhaps when I was 16 I'd have loved it, probably not even then.