Friday, 16 May 2014

Before we get into discussing Triad, I have to complain about a stylistic trope Rohmer keeps using that is getting on my nerves.  He's fond of stopping sentences in the middle to identify who he is speaking about by inserting the proper name after the pronoun - as if he doesn't trust the reader to remember who he's talking about.  3 examples, 2 from Periscope Red and 1 from Triad:

1. …the year that he, Said Kassem, had been born in Haifa.

2. As matters stood, he, Smirnov, had a good chance.

3. If he, Kozlov, had been inducted into the Politburo...

There are, unfortunately, many more examples that he, Rohmer, has used in probably each book.

While I'm at it, just when I start admiring something he's written, along comes something like this sentence where he, Rohmer, would rather insert 7 commas into what should he 2 or 3 sentences just to keep it running on, as if he would lose the reader if dared use a period: " For it was absolutely essential that, if the fundamental principle of command and control from the central position, Moscow, was to prevail, the chief of the general staff of the Soviet Armed Forces had to have the capability of bypassing his field commanders to get information directly from the spot, and, if necessary, to give direct orders."

End of my grammatical complaints (for now).  I am in the second half of Triad - are either of you done?  What do you think?


  1. You, Stanley Whyte, are right to complain. I'm reminded of my very favourite sentence in Triad:

    It struck John Hanson that the family car, that part of life extension of most every adult human in the United States, could well turn out to be the saviour of the nation – if the people did not panic – and if the military and police were in place to keep the traffic flowing – and if the national oil companies were instructed to keep their service stations at full supply of gasoline during the critical period.

    What makes the thing even better is that it follows this non-sentence: "The automobile."

    Am I, Brian Busby, done? Done as an Iranian tank column.

    You'll know what I mean by chapter 30.

  2. That sentence made me laugh - the ludicrous idea that the oil companies could save mankind by keeping their stations fully supplied during a nuclear attack.

    Energy - always about energy.

    1. The energy companies can always be relied upon in times of crisis - except when they can’t, like when they left Buffalo freeze. Three months ago.

      Thank God for the Kowal family car

  3. God give me strength to read Triad.