Tuesday, 28 January 2014

For the record, I didn’t really think that President Dennis’s religion would play a role. It’s really there to remind us all that the novel is set in the far-off 1980s. Black presidents were once used the same way. I’d have used a second Catholic president myself.

Anyway, good that level-headed, likeable Dennis is there, because he does provide balance for Weinstein. I was much more interested in Margaret Cameron and her remarkable dancing eyes. A cha-cha as de Gaspé, the Least Interesting Man in the World™, works to woo her with talk about his nature, his genes, his ideas, his building blocks, and his general superiority.
“Keep going,” she said, “I’m interested. There are certain personal questions I won’t ask you. But I’m interested in what makes you tick.”
And so he does. And his wooing works: Toronto, Thursday, March 26, 1981, 11:00 P.M.

What I find most remarkable about Ultimatum and Exxoneration is that events unfold at such speed, yet both plod. In October, Margaret is the deputy premier of Nova Scotia. Twelve weeks later, she’s sitting in the Senate and on the board of Petro-Canada after having lost a month-long campaign for re-election.

(I blame her defeat on the missing premier.)

We have de Gaspé ordering two hundred or so American soldiers incinerated in October, then making a bid for Exxon in January. No one mentions that "skit" (his word) at the airport, not even straight-talking Senator Weinstein. And no one suggests that the hostile take-over of Exxon just might go over better with the grieving American public if someone other than de Gaspé is seen to be at the helm.

October is so last year.

One last observation: All things considered, two million dollars – $5.6 million today – doesn’t seem like much of a bribe.

Ultimatum begat Exxoneration, but I’m not certain Exxoneration begat Exodus UK. From the little I’ve been able to gather, Periscope Red comes from an entirely different series. But why not? Surely there’s a reason why it’s in the Omnibus.

No comments:

Post a Comment