Sunday, July 30, 2006

Book Review Time (again)

What I read over vacation week:

The Scapegoat, Daphne DuMaurier. A masterful story about a man haunted by what he thought was failure, only to find himself in the shoes of a another man whose failure is worse than his own...and how he tries to redeem the other man's situation. DuMaurier is great at these sorts of complicated internal struggles with self-doubt, vulnerability, hypocrisy, and love. She must have been quite a student of human nature. Do read it.

Katie Fforde, never mind the name of the book. A very skip-able authoress. British fluff, not redeemable. Stupid.

The Omega Deception, John Bayer. Christian war thriller about missile-launching submarine technology during WWII. It's a clean, interesting read, but not especially deep with lessons about human nature. The protagonist rediscovers the sovereignty of God in the midst of hopelessness. Bayer is a Navy veteran and former missionary. Not bad.

The Sultan's Seal, Jenny White. I tried hard to get into this one, but it bored me, so I didn't finish it. It takes place in late 19th c. Istanbul, and the author does know something about the culture of the place and time, having scholarship credentials. But it's a little too sexual for me...too much innuendo.

(In our family we kiss alot of frog-books before finding the princes.)

Rich got through several maritime authors, all of whom get compared favorably or unfavorably to Patrick O'Brien, among them:

Any Approaching Enemy, Jay Worrall. Not bad, perfectly clean, but a tad unrealistic, as the story includes women on board a fighting ship, and few get killed and hardly any hurt during battle.

Audacity, Privateer Our of Portsmouth, J.E. Fender. The Portsmouth is New Hampshire in this case. Rich said it was a slow read, and not altogether as realistic as one could hope, since battles did not seem to result in much damage to the ships involved. Sea battle was a messy, messy desperate business. You need to get that right if you're after authenticity. The language of the book is more technical-- laboriously so, Rich thought-- but also more true to the period, which may or may not appeal to some.

Plan of Attack, Dale Brown. Rich always enjoys Brown. Thought I'd give it a try; occasionally I can get into a technothriller, but this one was too technical for me. Rich says it's a good one, though.

ALexander Kent is another maritime author Rich has much enjoyed as well as he has O'Brien. There is a whole, ehem, raft of these, which Rich is saving for travel reading. They are clean and very virtue-inspiring, he says.

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