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Author: Brett L

What are We Reading? July 2017

Sometimes you just need a good book to escape the brutal summer heat, humidity, mosquitoes plaguing America thanks to global warming (or the slushy mosquito filled taiga and bitter cold of Canadia). SugarFree Connie Willis’ The Doomsday Book, 1992 winner of the Hugo and the Nebula. Historians time travel to the past in order to record an accurate view of history, perfectly inevitable complications ensue. Not a completely new idea or anything, but Willis does a good job here, even if the novel itself could have used an editor with a strong hand. The book gets bogged down in the scenes set in the current time frame which runs as a comedy of manners set among the bumbling and back-biting academics of Oxford overseeing the project. The scenes in the past also have some repetition in the narrative which should have been caught. I’ve also been re-reading the Matt Helm books by Donald Hamilton for the first time since I was a teenager. They are satisfying little plot machines that chug along supported by Hamilton’s terse prose. I read quite a bit of the men’s adventure genre when I was in high school, like the first 80 or so Remo Williams the Destroyer novels by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, the Proto-Punisher The Executioner series by Don Pendleton, Jerry Ahern’s The Survivalist, the Casca books by Barry Sadler (the artist behind “The Ballard of...

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