Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Night of Thunder - Book Review

Some post-filing season catching up:

In keeping with my intent to fill in some of the spaces in the Bob Lee Swagger series, I finished Night of Thunder, a not-bad entry in the series but one which his fans, according to the comments on the Amazon.com page, thought was one of his weaker efforts. But, like Hunter says in his Afterword, he decided what a NASCAR event needed was a good gunfight and, by gosh, that's exactly what he's accomplished. If that's not your thing, well, that's not your thing and there's not much to be done about it, but Hunter's prose reaches a feverish pitch here and, though my experience in this culture is limited, I imagine his descriptions of the event and the people involved with it are about the best you'll find anywhere. Oh, and there's a corking good gunfight thrown in there as well.

And, as usual, there's the heavy baggage of updating readers on the tangled relationships of the series character with those around him. Once those are sorted out, though, it's a wild ride. Sure, of the books in this series I've read this may be the weakest but it's very entertaining and a solid entry. Nothing wrong with that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dead Zero - Book Review

After nine months I've managed to return to Stephen Hunter and his Bob Lee Swagger series. The latest is Dead Zero and it doesn't disappoint. This time around Swagger has to track down some rogue element within the government who can't stand to have the possibility of peace in the sandbox and complications ensue. Plenty of the stuff I've come to expect from Hunter: shooting, guns, 'splosions, sure, but it's his writing style that I'd admire the most. Keeping things from going over the top, but barely, Hunter tells his story with great enthusiasm. Sure, there's the usual problems of a series character - all of the baggage Swagger's managed to pick up over the series has to be commented on and sometimes updated and there's yet another surprise about family relations. That kind of plot twist and is old and tired but if you like that sort of thing, well, that sort of thing is there for you. Hunter knows what he's doing. Who am I to say otherwise?

But I'm back to my original dilemma: now that I'm current with the series, should I go back and fill in the spaces. I know back in February I said I didn't see the point but I'm enjoying this series so much I just might have to go back and read about Swagger's origins for myself instead of relying on a passing comments in the newer books.

We'll see. There's a lot of other books I'd like to read.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Likable Links

I've been swamped with work so I haven't been able to post some links that I'd wanted to post. I've used the following already over on my Facebook page - I'm not overly sold on the benefits of Facebook but it's a good place to keep up with friends and family and even a few clients - and since this blog's RSS feed sprays over to my Facebook page, these links will be a repeat.

Anyway, this caught my eye. You might like 'em, too:

America's most literary street.

Mass Karaoke at the Minnesota State Fair.