Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Practically speed-reading!

In my last update, I had just finished the first book in my pile (after a false start with a book that I ultimately decided to abandon for now). That was just over a week ago, and last night I finished book number two in my pile.

This one was The Executioner #67, Beirut Payback. Written in 1984, it's set in the height of the Cold War, with the city of Beirut as a violent backdrop. Mack Bolan has severed ties with the government, officially, and is on the top of every intelligence and law-enforcement agency's hit list. So, what does he do? Heads into the most volatile city in the world on a mission of justice and revenge.

My wife once read a Mack Bolan book, and described it as being "like reading an action movie." And this one was just that. Filled with over-the-top gun fights, explosions, and hand-to-hand combat, some of the descriptions were a bit melodramatic and excessively detailed. Mack is once again the super soldier who never misses with his faithful sidearms. In a couple of instances, the guns seemed to fire magic bullets, even. The dialogue was occasionally corny, the characters a bit more like caricatures, and the continuity of the passing of time a bit of a stretch.

Despite all of this, I had a blast. And it was all I could do to stick to my pile, and not just grab another Executioner last night.

My next book is the one I decided to replace the Amber book with. Keeping with the fantasy theme, I chose Conan - The Road of Kings, by Karl Edward Wagner. KEW has been a staple among sword & sorcery fans, and this is largely considered the best Conan pastiche ever written. It tells the tale of how Conan gained the throne of Aquilonia, which was a story that Howard himself never got around to writing. I'm looking forward to it.

In school news, had a bit of a panic last week. On Tuesday I suddenly realized I had a 5-7 page essay due this past weekend. Then, on Thursday, I realized that my professor decided to cut a day out of my work time on it, by making it due Saturday (every other class has weekly assignments due on Sunday). So, I spent most of Friday cranking out a 5 and half page essay. We were going to be out of town on Saturday, so I needed to turn it in early. The quality of the essay is questionable, but it got done and turned in. I need to keep more on top of these assignments. I'm just getting so burned out on school these days, it's hard to even want to do anything.

I have already failed to meet my first writing goal for my sci-fan book. The outline isn't done yet, and I should be well into writing prose by now. I may go ahead and start cranking on the prose of the first few chapters, and see if that inspires me to finish the plot and outline. I'm kind of at an impasse now, and not sure how the story should progress to get to my ending. We'll see how that goes.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I bet you would like the Survivalist books by Jerry Ahern. Definitely action movie.