December 13, 2005

How I spent my day off

Having recently discovered and thoroughly enjoyed Matthew Reilly's novels, I was delighted when UPS brought my copy of 7 Deadly Wonders--I set aside the book I was already reading to dive in.

It's good--the action is as non-stop and implausible as any of the Scarecrow stories, and the hero, Jack West, Jr., is somebody I enjoyed rooting for. It's about time that Australia got a cool action hero (Crocodile Dundee aside).

The problem, however, is that I was really, really, really disturbed by Jack West's enemies, the bad guys of the book: the Catholic Church and The United States of America. See, it wasn't that the bad guy happened to be a clergyman (like Cardinal Richelieu) or happened to be an American (like Al Capone). The entire institution of the Catholic Church and the entire nation of America were painted as irredeemably evil, without conscience, mercy or compassion. So while I could suspend disbelief long enough to grudgingly forgive the absurd notion that a single man could escape an underground fortress in an abandoned WWII submarine--which he piloted by himself--for the sake of the story, I had a hard time not throwing the book across the room in disgust a couple of times at the way the United States was depicted. Even the Nazis were portrayed in a better light!

I know there is a lot of anti-American sentiment in the world, especially in places like the Middle East, Europe, and California, but I was upset and saddened to find it has spread to Australia, too. The worst part is, my willingness to buy a future book of Reilly's has been seriously undermined by this latest effort of his. That's unfortunate, because--despite his excessive use of exclamation marks and the (literally) unbelievable action sequences, his books have been fun to read.

Hmmm... Matthew Reilly lives in Sydney---maybe Pixy knows him and can straighten him out....

Posted by Susie at December 13, 2005 11:05 PM | TrackBack

I guess I should have put the book comment in this post, eh?

Posted by: GEBIV at December 18, 2005 08:30 AM

That's ok, I found it! I also found Vince Flynn, whose Mitch Rapp stories are satisfyingly jingoistic...

Posted by: Susie at December 18, 2005 09:27 AM

Thanks for the review, this is one book I will not add to the Christmas literature pile! Single handedly pilot a WW2 submarine? I think not, not even in fiction is that believable. That would destroy any enjoyment in the rest of the book for me.

Posted by: The Gray Monk at December 21, 2005 11:36 AM