Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Summer reading seems to consist of lighter fare. Right now I am finishing Robert Ludlum's "Matarese Countdown." Sequel to "Matarese Circle." It isn't as bad as most reviewers said, but then the first book was not as great as many felt it to be. I like Ludlum for light reading. His style grows on you, but he tends to not have a knack for bringing the reader up to speed when the book is a sequel. Rather cumbersome boilerplate informs you of who what and why at every turn. In the case of "The Matarese Countdown" there is also the feeling that he wrote it in installments and had feared the reader could easily forget the characters. For instance, the reader is constantly reminded of the nickname of the main character, Beowolf Agate, being a code for Brandon Alan. Sigh. Really, we had that drilled into our skulls in the first book. I don't need every page to say "Beowolf Agate...the alias for Scofield, ace agent..." or words to that effect.

Ludlum had an awkward way with the women in his books. The women seemed to be very stereotyped, no matter what their role, from agent to computer whiz to business ace, yet in a sort of a good way. Always "motherly" or "she beamed in an indulgent way," or "as women will do" sort of thing. Dated, but not insufferably so.

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