Monday, 5 May 2014

Now, where was I...

Well, I am finally starting Triad this week and can now spend May catching up with everyone.  But I can't start without offering a few thoughts about Periscope Red:

1. What struck me at the end of the book if you've never read anything without a real protagonist before, you don't really know what "episodic"  means until you jump from Washington to the Mecca to Moscow to the Indian Ocean with NOTHING holding things together. 

2. Brian is right in calling this his most accomplished/controlled book - he refrains from digressions about technical issues, doesn't talk overly-much about energy, even with oil tankers sailing through every second page.  That said, it's also his dullest book.  Maybe it's fatigue, but when Said starts planting Limpet Mines what should have been tense was instead as tedious as anything from the previous 6 books.  I longed to get back to Moscow so real-life Andrei Gromyko could make another generically Russian proclamation.

3. So not only Gromyko but Yasser Arafat appears as a character.  I guess this is a running quirk we should be documenting - real people as characters adding, er, adding.. something or other.  I'm sure this meant to add gravitas to the story, but it seems sort of random - why not Jimmy Carter or Trudeau? 

4. Never have submarines been rendered so boring.  That is an accomplishment.

Looking ahead:

Now that I am about to start Triad, I can read thinking of this notion of robbing the climax by redoing the ending of the last book.  I'm betting this isn't a technique like The Alexandria Quartet, where the first 3 books tell the same story from different perspectives and with different sensibilities.  But it doesn't change the story. 

I'll see soon enough later this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment