Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Bear's Tears


By Craig Thomas

Yet another disapointment, though this time I was braced against the possibility by having read 'Snow Falcon'. TBT was my latest attempt to penetrate the cold war spy genre, but it was a lame attempt since Tom Clancy's spirit was ever lurking in the back ground just waiting for the moment when he'd pop out and give a lurid description of some weapon system or other. Craig Thomas isn't quite as bad as Clancy, but he may as well be since he doesn't really shake of the gun-nerd's fascination. He doesn't seem capable writing a novel which doesn't at some point or other feature a MIL-24 complete with grotesque descriptions comparing the helicopter to various animals.

As a teenager that sort of writing might have passed by my quality control criteria, but at 42... No. I want a story with CHARACTERS. A reasonable plot is always a good idea but even an unreasonable plot can suffice, just so long as the story in some way relates to the human condition, rather than describing the pointless interaction of several cardboard cut-outs with clich├ęd names.

Having said all that, this novel was better than 'Snow Falcon', but it still grated my teeth so it deserves about the same pitiful score.

I feel sorry for Thomas as he was a published, and quite successful author in his day. Having read several of his novels now, it seems obvious he catered to a very specific audience in a very specific time and I doubt he shall be remembered except as a little read page on Wikipedia.

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