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Book Notes

(Oops update: this review is from 1994, which I could have seen if I'd actually read the byline right there at the top of the article. So the current conflict has nothing to do with the novel. Or does it? See my comment. I'm going to leave this post as is; just make timeline adjustments as necessary.)

Hm. Tom Clancy has emitted a new tome. Now, we are currently at war with the crazy jihad branch (or perhaps one should say "trunk, "root system," or even "entire tree") of the Muslim world. Which is centered in the Middle East. And who do you think are the dastardly villains at the center of Mr. Clancy's plot?

The Japanese.




Sorry, folks, I've got nuthin.' Really.

Except to note that the example of prose Mr. Buckley quotes --"Yamata had seen breasts before, even large Caucasian breasts" -- has replaced my former favorite example of bad sexy-talk from a book (in this case one of Allen Drury's dreadful Cold War spy novels): "Irina went to the shower to douche and towel herself dry." I can't remember the name of the novel that contained this bit of sparkling romantic prose, probably because I don't want to. But I swear by Jack Ryan's "sword" that I've quoted that bit exactly as I read it some time in the early 80s.

(Link to the book review via The Anchoress.)

Comments (4)

aelfheld [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Umm, the review was from 1994.

(squint) So it was! Well, that's what happens when you blindly accept blog links. And er, don't read bylines.

I do recall that the early 90s were the age of Japan-bashing. Of course, the year before that, 1993, was when the World Trade Center was first bombed. But you know, the Japanese were making better cars and stereos, so they were the real danger.

That doesn't get Clancy off the hook though. His recent books have shown a weird preoccupation with who he thinks our enemies and friends are. For instance, in 2000, he wrote a book called The Bear and the Dragon where Russia is our close friend and ally and the Chinese are the baddies. Not that the Chinese aren't in real life, but Russia our friend? Not exactly comrade. Even weirder on that point was how he portrayed them as this rising new superpower, as opposed to the necrotic vine-withered husk they're becoming. In that same book, he also hilariously posits the Saudis(!) as close, very friendly allies as well.

Not exactly prescient.

Well, he does write fiction. Then again, even fantasy must somehow be based in the truths of human nature.

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


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