epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Book Reviews: Hurricane Punch + The Distance + The Empire Of Time

Hurricane Punch by Tim Dorsey
This 2008 novel sees Serge once again refusing to take his medication. So he and his drug addled pal Coleman decide to take up storm chasing. With a record number of hurricanes set to hit Florida, things couldn’t get any better for Serge. But it becomes apparent that another serial killer is on the loose and this offends Serge on a moral level. So he decides to unmask his rival all the while dodging his FBI nemesis who has finally been released from the lunatic asylum. This is absurdly funny warped slapstick. Serge is wounded by comments he has lost his edge do he goes back to what he does best: killing annoying people in improbable ways.

The Distance by Helen Giltrow
Charlotte Alton is a fixer and a purveyor of information. She is asked to get a hitman into a secure prison to kill an inmate. Cue ulcerous uncertainty as Charlotte wonders who the target is, why such an elaborate death trap has been set up and why the target triggers such an outburst of hatred. She also wonders if the target is really callous, dismissive and deserving of visceral hatred or could it all be a set up? This starts out with promise but quickly goes into vertiginous decline due to the extreme violence, wannabe noir and sheer desperation to be seen as hard and badass. Instead boredom ensues punctuated by bouts of violence for that desperate wannabe well hard noir vibe. Avoid this.

Best Lines:
“They look at this big, clever man with his air of unjudgemental concern, and for some reason they tell him.”

“Get out of here. And if they’re outside, waiting?”

“She was running. Just not fast enough.”

“You think I don’t know what it’s like in there?”

“The only place they wouldn’t look.”

“Back up against the wall, being asked for answers he cannot give, with no one to believe his ignorance and no exits in sight.”

The Empire Of Time by David Windgrove
Book One of The Roads To Moscow. This is a sci-fi tale of an eternal time war waged between what is left of Germany and Russia in a ruined future. Otto Behr is a German agent fighting stalwartly against the Rus throughout the millennia. He thrives on his grim conduct until it all begins to unravel and he becomes unsettled about the impossibility of war ever ending. What is the point of it all? This is a very good bleak tale of a total endless war seemingly being waged over nothing and for nothing. This is an apocalyptic miserable future and I am intrigued.

Best Lines:
“The heathen Prussians eke out their godless lives praying to rocks and trees and demons of the air.”

“One man must learn to become a man of that time in every detail: in look, in speech and in basic mannerisms.”

“The past is an alien country. It is brutal and unforgiving, and you cannot make mistakes-”

“For I am unborn these many centuries, while she, in my time, lies in the earth, long dead, her bones turned to dust.”

“Not everyone who shapes history leaves a mark,”

“Minute by minute what is takes hold, and what was slips from us.”

“For what they were. And what they might yet be.”

“Julius Caesar’s private journals. And lurid reading they make, too.”

“Eternal racial war - Rassenkampf - with Russia. All else can change, but not that.”

“All - all - will be consumed by the coming fires.”

“We get time travel, yes, but at the greatest cost imaginable.”
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