Monday, May 21, 2012

Batman was an amateur

Title: The Knowland Retribution
Author: Richard Greener
Bookmark: the library receipt

You know that new TV show, The Finder?  The credits say that it's based upon "The Locator" series by Richard Greener.

There are two books in the Locator series.  I'm not sure that qualifies as a "series."

On the other hand, the show is really more "inspired by" than "based upon," so I guess they can apply that poetic license however they please.

Anyway.  This is supposed to be about the book, not my various beefs with TV.  The good news is, I really liked the book.  Gripping story, interesting characters, timely plot.  (man loses family to tainted beef, goes after all the corporate muckety-mucks who saw the disaster coming, ran cost-benefit analysis, and said, "we'll risk it.  let's take the money.")  All good stuff.  Plus, most importantly, it's a lot of fun to read, and there was at least one point when I cackled with triumphant laughter.  For a freshman novel, it's an impressive effort.  I've read stuff by far more popular and well-known authors that wasn't nearly as interesting, nor as compelling.

I only have two complaints.

The first half of the book jumps around in time.  A lot.  I'd be ok with that, but there's no indication that it's happening until you realize that one of the people in the conversation died in the previous chapter, or that they're talking about some future event that happened 80 pages earlier.  There's also a tendency to use characters an awful lot before you have any idea of who they are.  I frequently found myself flipping back several pages--or several chapters--to make sense of an earlier scene after I finally got an idea of who was in it.  That had settled down by the second half, but it was really distracting.

Second, I don't think Greener, a "retired broadcast industry executive" (from the author bio at the end of the book) has a good grasp of how us working stiffs actually live.  After describing the opulent home and lifestyle of his main character, Greener has another, far more wealthy character tell our hero "you are by no means a wealthy man," and throws out a number, purportedly Walter Sherman's annual income, which is nearly five times more than I made at my last job.  Granted, I paid taxes on mine, and he didn't, but I'm doing the math with pre-tax numbers.  I don't know exactly where the line is drawn demarcating the "one percenters," but even if we're both below it, I know I'm a whole lot further from that line than Walter Sherman.  I couldn't get over that conversation for the entire book.  I'm still not over it.

But I'll probably read the next one anyway.  If only to finish the series.

Labels: , , ,

posted by reyn at 4:13 PM


Post a Comment