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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Secret Houses - John Gardner

"The Secret Houses" is billed as the sequel to "The Secret
Generations" by John Gardner.

It's a continuing tale of two families, American and British,
both within the secret world of intelligence gathering
during World War II and the beginning of the cold war
with Russia.

I've enjoyed John Gardner's previous books, among
them six James Bond thrillers, Gardner continuing Ian
Fleming's tales of the superspy.

"The Secret Houses" has kept me interested.
The entire plot is very plausible and could have come
from events right out of history within the intelligence
community during/after WWII.

Update: I've finished reading "The Secret Houses" and
Gardner kept me guessing until the end. I like an author
who can do that. It can be fun from time to time to
guess who the hidden protagonist is, but not every time.

The plot: Members of both families, from either side
of the pond (Atlantic) are embroiled in the final
intelligence events and days of WWII and
afterwards. Two women of the extended family
had agreed to stay behind in France at the beginning
of the war to help with the resistance. The resistance
group Tarot which the women were a part of, was rolled
up by the Germans in a violent manner. No one knows
the fate of the two women.

The families, especially those within the intelligence
units of both countries, are desperately seeking
answers to their fates.

The action swings from Berlin, France, England and
the United States as the main characters confront
the budding cold war and those Russian or French
communists who become integral to the search
for the two female family members.

Once the two are found, the plot has a distinct
twist in the tale.

Posted by Patsy :: 10:57 PM :: 0 comments

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Friday, September 14, 2007

The Hitchhiker's Trilogy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is included in the
Hitchhiker's Trilogy by Douglas Adams. If there's
ever a book that I would consider wacky, this is it.

Although the overall plot could be considered interesting
if presented better, there are pages I've definitely
skipped through! Normally if a book had more
pages that I've skipped than read, I'd put it down
and turn it's pages nevermore. However, I've
decided to see how this one ends. Perhaps I'll
regret that decision, perhaps not.

Update: I definitely regret finishing the book.
It's not one I'd recommend to even the most
die hard fan of Science Fiction or Fantasy genres.

Why is it that in some books, as you are following a
plot line, you are interrupted with a mass
of extraneous bullshit stuck in between the
actions of the characters?

That's what occurred in this book. Repeatedly.

The plot: Take one Englishman down on his luck,
who's shanghaied by a friendly alien (who happens
to write for the agency Hitchhiker's Guide to the
Galaxy) just as the world really does "end"
courtesy of a alien villain who's clearing the way for
a galatic super highway. Bye bye Earth!

Said Alien and Englishmen then gallivant
via different means throughout space
meandering among galaxies back and forth
through time encountering various
meaningful and non-meaningful
characters, only to end up back on earth
just prior to the earth goes kaboom
saving it in the nick ... er, space of time.

The plot was almost an afterthought to
the explanations of various worlds,
word usage, events in space that
had no valid connection with the
present plot.

Thus, my regret for finishing the book!

Posted by Patsy :: 8:31 PM :: 0 comments

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