Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Command Authority by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney

The flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics flew high above the Kremlin in a rain shower, a red and gold banner waving under a gray sky.

A flag in the rain begins the prologue. Nothing to see here. No story, no problem, no characters and quite toneless. Pretty barren sentence. It is all setting: place and weather.

First thing said:


The translation follows: Come in! It's great there is a translation. This little display of foreign words is only to establish atmosphere. The dialogue that follows is in perfect English, readers only need to imagine that it should be Russian and if they like, can play Putin speeches in the background while they read.

Chapter 1:

The black Bronco shot through the storm, its tires kicking up mud and water and grit as it raced along the gravel road, and rain pelted the windshield faster than the wipers could clear it.

Yawn. Sigh. Another first chapter that takes place in a different time and presumably in a different place, at least that's the impression the Bronco gives. Two cliches are deployed: Vehicle and weather. It reads like an annoying car commercial, exactly what I try to avoid by refusing to own a TV. I hate commercials and advertising so much that when I walk down the street I walk with my eyes shut.

Verdict: Fail

Theodore Moracht

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