Thursday, 26 September 2013

Empire and Honer by W.E.B. Griffin


When the Edificio Libertador was built (1935-1938) to house the headquarters of the Argentine army, known as the “Ejercito Argentino,” the twenty-story structure was the largest building ever constructed in Argentina.

This does not sound like the beginning of a story but rather the beginning of an encyclopedia entry. This is to establish setting, but I prefer to know first the story about to unfold. Joining plot and setting together seems like a lost art these days. Why read X number of words and pages about a place only to find that once the story starts, it stinks? And that is what happens here. The first page is about this building. Page two is a history rundown about World War II. Not bad if you need to prepare for a history exam.

Chapter 1 and first thing said:

“Let me have a look please,” SS-Brigadefuhrer Ludwig Hoffmann said...

They are looking at something from the periscope of a submarine and the war is just over. Inserted back story is pumped into the opening chapter, causing the forward story line to stall and backfire as it desperately tries to take flight. 

An SS officer doing his business after the war intrigues and hooks many, but it's the prologue that once again ruins the enjoyment of opening this book.

Verdict: Fail

Theodore Moracht

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