Saturday, April 03, 2010

22. The Destroyer #106: White Water by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir

You really never know what new world you are going to fall into in the used paperback game. I went up to the great S.W. Welch bookstore with my wife to sell some of our recently read books to clear some shelf space. We had the neighbour's dog in tow and I am on a strict no new books embargo, so I waited outside. They had the $1.00 book table out and I couldn't help but notice the cover you see here. I'm not a fan of most of these series of men's military action books that were produced in series, though I like to keep an eye on them and there are definitely some gems in there. I looked closer and seeing the lady with the 4 arms on the cover was just too much to resist. So I started skimming the book and lo and behold it is strongly centered around an environmental theme, the over-fishing of the ocean. I went to the back and saw that #107 is about plagues of insects attacking the world. Going against my embargo (and convincing myself that the book would be a quick read, especially with a train ride to Toronto for Easter weekend), I picked it up.

Well it turned out to be even wackier than the cover implied. The hero of the book Remo Williams (does that ring a bell to anyone in their '40s?) practices this super high level Korean martial art that allows him to run on water, smash people's teeth in with a flick of the finger and other pretty over-the-top stuff. I was quite pleased to see that they take this concept to the limit, with Remo trapped in the Atlantic and running out of the energy needed to maintain his body temperature, so he punches out a shark's teeth and rides it back to shore, but near the end of the trip, he rips open the shark's back and eats its meat raw in order to gain enough energy to make the trip! Colour me impressed. This was almost a send-up of these kinds of books.

So I did a little research and it turns out that this series has a strong following and was purposefully intended to be a bit of a humourous satire of the genre, but at the same time there was enough there that people kept buying them for over 100 books! This one sort of petered out at the end, and there is no way I'll read the whole series, but I'd dabble into some of the earlier ones. According to what I read online, books 1 and 2 are very straightforward and it isn't until the third that things really go in the new "neo-pulp" direction.


Doc said...

Oh man. That sounds awesome! (And yes, I remember the Remo Williams movie, though I never saw it.)

Doc said...

BTW, it looks like the cover says #106, though your post title says #107.