Monday, April 21, 2014

The Gray Man

So I pick up OldNFO's book on the top of the stack with a bit of trepidation.  Because, what if it is no good?  It's his first book, to my knowledge, and how many of those are really any good?  Especially nowaday with self publishing proliferating and easier.  There were plenty of BAD books back in the days where a handful of publishing houses controlled everything and people besides the writer had actually read the stuff and could jettison the dreck before the presses spun up and it was too late.  What are the chances nowadays?  What if he wrote in crayon?  I know the type of personnel that went through Pensacola Naval Air Schools Command, it'd be written in crayon if we were LUCKY.

Anyway, so I pick up OldNFO's book, The Gray Man, with that frame of mind.  And sure enough... that phrase seems clunky, there's a typo, that's a tired cliche, there's another typo, kind of a weak opener...  I'm not even on page 7 and thinking this if going to be a slog.  Then I look up and it is chapter 10 and I have no idea where that time went.  Wow.  I never should have doubted.  I only put it down because it's a school night and I gotta get up early to make the donuts.  And I can't wait to take it up again.

I'm sure 'Fo himself will admit it's not literature.  Never meant to be.  But it does what you want it to.  Draws you in and engages you.  His action sequences are very good.  There is only the slightest distracting hiccups in the interpersonal stuff of the characters.  And the one girl with broken ribs and recovering from a collapsed lung does a little too much hugging.  I broke a rib once.  I'd be hesitant shaking someone's hand if it were me.

I'd have bought this book and enjoyed even if I DIDN'T know OldNFO.  Money well spent.  My trepidation was misplaced.  Mea Culpa.

Now this is a gunnie's delight, so it has that appeal to a certain subset that reads stuff like gun blogs.  I've never read the Jack Reacher stuff, so I don't know, but, I have a feeling NFO has and drew some inspiration from that corner.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Thanks NJT! And you're right, I wrote it for those who shoot... :-)
And you're right, I probably did a lot of things wrong too! I do take constructive criticism though! :-D