Tuesday, March 27, 2012

19. Butcher #8 Fire Bomb by Stuart Jason

Wow, was this book ever terrible.  Just inept all the way through.  I'm certainly not a book snob (more like a snobby anti-snob, really).  I love gratuitous violence, cheap thrills and exploitation as much as the next red-blooded male.  I've never been a big fan of these numbered series of men's adventure novels, but I respect them for the role they played and the pleasure they gave to a lot of readers.  I've read a few myself already and they've generally been okay.  I've actually grown to appreciate them much more thanks to the recent discovery of Joe Kenney's excellent Glorious Trash blog where he reviews in some depth these kinds of books and compares them to each other.  Often, his blog posts are more fun than the books themselves, though he treats them with respect when they deserve it, which they often do.

I couldn't find a review of any of the Butcher novels in his blog, though he makes a passing reference to them, so he must have read them.  I'm just curious if he would consider this one any good.  It's just so badly done, walking this middle line of mediocrity where it is stupidly brutal but not brutal enough, preposterously unbelievable, but not over-the-top enough to make it fun, stupidly sexist without any real good sex and just terribly, terribly written.  It's almost as if it was written by a hard-working 15-year old boy with some promise who had only ever read numbered men's adventure novels.

Even the action is lame.  The Butcher always whips out his Walther P-38 (which can both blow a hole in a man's back the size of a teacup and hit a sniper high up in a building 100 yards away; nice gun!) which goes koosh!  koosh! every time.  There is no resistance to anything he does, not a single challenge.  So the whole book is just us following him around on this stupid quest by his organization White Hat to find some guy who is responsible for smuggling super high quality heroin into the states.  The big reveal is supposed to be how they do it, which is to mix it into a paste and make dolls out of it.  Then to fool customs, they stamp "Made in Hong Kong" on the back, so they won't realize it just got shipped from Iraq!

It's pointless for me to go on and on with the pathetic plot.  What makes this book really suck is the basic behaviour of the protagonist.  He kills everybody left and right, always figures everything out, but when then he is constantly getting totally surprised by the most obvious thing or having some weird over-reaction, like his hands trembling.  It's just so bad.  Even the cover is lame.  While not offensive, this is definitely the worst book I've read in quite some time and possibly the worst since I've been doing the fifty books thing.  I wish I had the wit and patience to actually make this review enjoyable for the reader, but I'm just too lazy.  So my apologies for the rant, but boy, that was a tough book to get through.  I'm glad it's over!

1 comment:

meezly said...

I'm glad it's over too, if only to not have to listen to you exclaim repeatedly how bad the book was while you were reading it.