Wednesday, 13 June, 2001
Various Book Reviews
Caught up on my reading again on the trip. On the way out to D.C., I picked up and read Randall Wallace's Pearl Harbor, from which the recent movie was made. The book is a fairly typical sappy love story wrapped up in a war novel, and not terribly interesting. Both the love story and the war novel are poorly done. Reading it certainly didn't make me want to see the movie. The book has a number of inconsistencies that are indicative of poor proofreading, poor editing, or a can't-miss deadline. For example, when describing Doolittle's raid on Tokyo the author refers to the B-25 as a four-engine bomber. Anybody with even a passing knowledge of WWII aircraft--and certainly the author of this book--should know that the B-25 is a twin engine light bomber. Somebody should have caught that one before it went to press. Other inconsistencies are similarly jarring.
David Morrell's Burnt Sienna is another fairly typical book: exactly what I've come to expect from him. Warrior turns peaceful man, gets screwed and gets even. I guess I need to start reading different authors because all of my previous favorite authors are just turning out the same old story wrapped in a new title with a few odd twists. The names and places change, but the situations remain the same. Yawn.
Every once in a while, though, I'm surprised. I picked up the English translation of Pierre Boulle's Planet of the Apes; the 1963 novel that spawned the movie with Charlton Heston, along with the three or more sequels. The book was prominently displayed because the new Planet of the Apes movie is set to release in a few weeks. What a fantastic book! The original movie shares little in common with it, and entirely fails to capture the book's feeling. This book is an absolute must-read for science fiction fans, especially if you don't like the Planet of the Apes movies.