Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Reading Report

Spent a lot of the weekend reading stories from a collection called Thriller. This is an anthology of short suspense tales from a lot of big name thriller writers, such as James Grippando, Lee Child, David Morrell, Brad Thor, David Liss, and many more. It even has a Repairman Jack story by F. Paul Wilson, but unfortunately I'd already read that one. I really enjoyed this collection. The stories had widely divergent plots, crossing a whole spectrum of what could be defined as a 'thriller.' A couple of them packed a considerable punch and truthfully, I didn't find a clunker in the bunch. Best thing is I've probably found some new authors. I'll definitely be trying novels by some of the folks I'd never read before. There's a second volume of Thriller out now in hardback. Might pick that up this weekend.
After I finished with the suspense stories, I switched to a re-read of Robert E. Howard's Conan yarn, Iron Shadows in the Moonlight. This is one of Howard's strongest Conan stories and features a giant ape, pirates, and a particularly nasty supernatural menace. It also has one of the most convincing scenes of rage that I've ever seen. When Conan finds an old enemy, a man who tortured and killed Conan's comrades, the big Cimmerian is literally foaming at the mouth. Howard makes you see it. For whatever reasons, REH was a man who understood pure, primal anger and could get it on the page in a way I've never seen equaled.
Now I'm about three quarters of the way through James Patterson's third Maximum Ride book, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. All I can say about this one is that if you liked the first two, and I did, then you'll like this one. Mostly plotless, but full of action and last minute rescues and escapes. Mutant kids with wings. Genetically engineered werewolves. Evil scientists. Teenage angst. Robots! Not going to win any literary prizes, but a fast, enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.
Anyway, that's the reading report for now. Got a long weekend coming up for the Fourth of July, so I'll probably have a lot more reading to blather on about next time.

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