Actually, I'll ignore the many "as you knows" that once again pop up in the dialogue and concentrate on the unnatural way people are always speaking in Rohmer-world. After HTWAB$ and his encouraging comments on dialogue getting to the point, again in Red Arctic we again have to suffer through lines and lines of information that is supposed to represent the way a conversation might sound, fact after fact after fact. For example, as Boychuk, Raisa and pilot Joe Palmer are getting ready to leave in the Twin Otter to go flying off in search of Shalaurov's cairns, Boychuk tells the other two about the Soviets trying to find alternative routes from the Arctic to Atlantic Ocean. In one uninterrupted stretch of dialogue - one stretch! - he references the following geographical locations:
1. The Perry Channel
2. Ellef Rignes Island
3. Amund Rignes Island
4. The Perry Strait
5. The Wellington Channel
6. Barrow Strait
7. The Northwest Channel
8. Lancaster Sound
9. Baffin Bay
10. The Belcher Channel
11. North Kent Island
12. Jones Sound
And this is as they're getting ready to fly off on their mission, not while they're sitting around having a drink.
I actually wouldn't mind if this was part of the book - specific details can add verisimilitude if done right - but why is always done through forced dialogue?
- all Russians apparently refer to their country as "Mother Russia".
- The Soviet foreign ministry officer is named Mikhail Akhromeyev; Dr. Sokolov's first name is Raisa. Considering the book was written when Mikhail Gorbachev, husband of Raisa, was in power, couldn't he have cast the net a little wider looking for names?
- The central plot in Red Arctic - in which a document is discovered that gives Russia/The Soviet Union claim to much of the Canadian Arctic - is very similar to the Get Smart episode "Hello, Columbus – Goodbye, America", in which an ancient document is discovered that gives one of Christopher Columbus's descendants legal ownership of North America. Not the same, but similar. Though I doubt very much Rohmer would have thought very much of the episode title's Philip Roth joke.