Am I ready to talk about Periscope Red? Just you try and stop me! Must admit though that I'm only on page 110. Savouring every word, you'll understand.
Brian is slightly ahead of me - I am about page 100.Brian and I were in a pub last night having a drink and we both had the same question: where's Canada in this story?
Canada? There's a mention, in the Oval Office, very late in the thing, when the mood is tense. (Also two lines about foolishly moving Arctic oil by tanker instead of pipeline.) But you're right, since the submarine is both captained and crewed by non-entities, why couldn't they be Canadian? Or robots? Or the souls of the dead? If you're only 100 pages in, you're probably still waiting for a character to arrive, perhaps with some sort of backstory or drive. I promise you, this will not happen.
I'm in Montreal right now, seven hundred or so kilometres away from my Balls! so you'll have to forgive me if I'm a bit off on the timeline, but doesn't Periscope Red begin where the previous novel ends? Isn't there still a crisis in which Canadian cooperation is essential? Or is it that hero Hansen and writer Rohmer can deal with only one issue at a time?Either way, I'm going to finish the book on the train home.Yes, I will.
The soviet submarine exercise in Balls! dramatically foreshadows Periscope Red, but the brilliant plan to convert one kind tanker to another never comes up again. The president and vice president are the same, right?
Same names, anyway. But during that first White House scene they talk about his predecessor being from "the other party" whereas in Balls! he inherited the White House after the president died of a heart attack in Buffalo.Why is it so hard to be consistent over something like that?
People in my office, and around the world via internet, were pretty annoyed at the end of How I Met Your Mother yesterday. I've never seen the show, but I read the pilot ten years ago and it seems like what was clever in that -- "And kids, that was how I met... NOT your mother!" -- spent a decade biting them in the ass. (10,000 episodes later, no one wanted him to meet or marry the long-promised mother; they wanted him to end up with this other character.) They solved this the way melodramas have solved love triangles since the Hays Code: They killed one of them. But the fans didn't buy it.Rohmer would have solved this problem differently. He would have abandoned everything and pretended it never happened. But it makes you wonder: Why act like these books are linked at all? "This is a whole NEW tense Over Office full of entirely different middle-aged but trim and fit oil men delivering or answering an ultimatum about fuel." Who would care? It's not like he's created a beloved character, like Sherlock Holmes or Mack Bolan.
Seems to me that it's a bit like killing off Veronica Lodge, but then I never saw the show.The closest we've ever got to a love triangle with Rohmer is the weirdness involving Senator Cameron, Prime Minister Dennis and Colonel de Gaspé back in Exxoneration. I really expected some sort of confrontation between the two men, but it turns out to be just another of the author's abandoned subplots. Had he followed through, I expect Rohmer would've killed Dennis. Why not? He had Dennis' unnamed predecessor drop dead in the House of Commons and had President Baker die of a snow-induced heart attack. And let's not forget that President Blank was almost swallowed up by the sea or that Prime Minister Roussel came within inches of being struck by a drunk assassin's bullet.We would've had a love triangle in Periscope Red if that randy Israeli patrol boat captain hadn't been "dissolved, totally disintegrating".Shame - he was my favourite character.
From the cover of Executioner 751: "The return of the beloved Mack Bolan".
Just me, perhaps, but I can't see that name without thinking of Marc Bolan - and how he kicks more ass in "20th Century Boy" than The Executioner did in 800+ novels.
751 Mack Bolan novels. Wow. Imagine having them all.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV7BRbSgO_U
Wait - there really are 800 of them?How many people have read them all?
More than have read all of Rohmer.And on that note, I can now say with pride that I have read Periscope Red. Yes, I have.
I will make the big push and finish it then so we can discuss - I'm now comfortably in the last half and it is weird realizing there is no main character. Things happen, submarines are involved, PLO terrorists are along for the ride, but no Mack Bolan.