Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Read

I am of the opinion that all reading done in the month of December should be light reading.  I am also of the opinion that all reading done during the week between Christmas and New Year should be simple, almost to the point of mindless. 
Thus, I met my goal for this month by reading 3 books at the end of December, all of which fall in line with my opinions. 

First, I finally finished Jane Eyre (a re-read put on hold by a certain small being needing almost constant attention for 6 months and my lack of a nook color reader during the intervening late night feedings).  But I will review that one later.

Then, I started and finished (emphasis on both of those events because of the aforementioned long pause in reading) Babywise: Book Two.  But I may not review that one on this blog ever because it is really just about introducing food to your baby (not riveting stuff, folks).

And lastly, I started and finished Vince Flynn's Transfer of Power.  This book very easily falls into the category of simple reading.  I have read approximately 4 of Flynn's Mitch Rapp books and find them action packed enough for a road trip/beach read.  They are nothing great in terms of characterization (most of the characters are painted with a broad brush - the politicians are incompetent for the most part, and the men on the front lines are the heroes; which I must say, I don't necessary disagree). 

Transfer of Power has one distinction from the other Rapp books I have read in that it was written before 9/11.  This was before Americans had a concept of jihad, radical Islamists, or terror in their own backyard.  Thus, Flynn proves prescient at points in the novel and at others, it seems a little implausible.  The story revolves around a 9/11-light terror attack on the White House during which the terrorists storm the White house and take hostages.   The number of people actually killed by terrorists in the book is extremely low (leading a post 9/11 reader to wonder, "What makes that such a big deal?") and the idea of hostage-taking terrorists is a bit more 1970s/1980s style terrorism than the Al Qaeda style multiple suicide attacks of the twenty-first century.  But at it's heart, Transfer of Power asks many of the questions that confront Americans (and indeed all the world) when terrorists strike: Is negotiation a feasible solution?  Is one man's life more important than another's?  How should terror suspects be brought to justice? 

Overall the book is a good rest-your-brain and watch the action kind of read.  It is surprising that one of his books has not been adapted into a Hollywood screenplay yet, but I assume it is in the works.  What each of Flynn's books (this one included) end up saying is the good guy is the one who takes down the terrorists without remorse and without flinching while the politicians sit on their hands and wonder what the best course of action is. 

NOTE TO VINCE FLYNN:  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get a better editor (both content and grammar).  Goodness gracious, you misspelled your main character's name in this one.  The errors get so tedious!

Sorry, just had to put that in there in case he reads this. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 7


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