Monday, 1 October 2007

Temple, Contest, Seven Deadly Wonders-Matthew Reilly

My Dad got me hooked on the author Matthew Reilly this summer. He is Australian and deals mainly in action/adventure novels. That is to say, novels that have one heck of a plot but no real literary qualities. To put it even more simply, they are movies on page.
Reilly's works deal with main characters like William Race: a linguist at NYU, perfectly normal, fairly attractive, 30-something, who doesn't believe in himself but by the end of the book is quite remarkable.
Ok, I'll admit it, so far the book doesn't really sound like a good use of time or brainpower. Well, it's not. But it is worth the ride. Reilly takes measures to research what he is writing about. He includes plot lines and gadgets that are believable, or at least conceivable. The guns described are real guns, the helicopters are real helicopters and actually used by the military braches they are ascribed to.
If you are a literary snob, I would not recommend these books. Reilly tends to include a lot of italics. This bothers me, an avid reader, because the genre of the piece suggests emphasis already. Exciting things are happening, I get it, you don't need to make it even more obvious. For example: " onto the wing of the moving seaplane," is italicised. I don't know about you, but if I was reading about someone running across a moving plane, I would be impressed. I wouldn't need the italics to tell me exactly how impressive it should seem. Especially when they tend to happen once or more a page.
Overall, I like Reilly's books because they are a nice break from the usually depressing classics. They don't take a lot of thought and can be read in a day or two. They are exciting, quasi-historical, Indiana Jones meets James Bond and Mr. Smith books.

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