'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

18 January 2011

Book Review

Ok, I admit it. I'm a philistine when it comes to some of my reading materials. I like pulp fiction. There, I said it.

I love the Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs and have them all. The Ashes series by William Johnstone. The Brotherhood of War by W.E.B. Griffin.

The best of the pulp fiction I have collected however is The Destroyer series by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir. The series runs well past 100 books and I have most of them. It's about a wise cracking assassin named Remo Williams and his trainer Chiun, the Master of Sinanju. Remo works for an organization, CURE, that doesn't exist officially. It was designed to combat crime from outside the Constitution. Only 3 people are aware of the existence of CURE; Remo, the administrator Harold Smith and the sitting President. They never name the President and it's fun to read descriptions of him and figure out who the authors were talking about.

Smith runs CURE from Folcroft Sanitarium in Rye, New York. He has a vast army of unknowing agents who contribute snippets of information that allow Smith, with the help of his state of the art computers, to pinpoint crime and threats to the nation. Smith provides surreptitious information to prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies to battle crime. When that fails he identifies persons who merit 'special attention' from Remo.

Remo is an assassin trained in the Sun Source of martial arts, Sinanju. He can do things that are nothing short of super human. He does have weaknesses and the authors do a good job of putting him in life threatening situations. The series does veer into the ridiculous from time to time but that very campiness is part of it's charm.

Chiun is the Master of Sinanju, an ancient Korean martial art, said to be the source of all others, and Remo's trainer and surrogate father. He's racist (hates everyone except Koreans from his own little village but in a funny way, I swear), ancient and a lover of 70's era soap operas. A singular character. He doesn't know what CURE is or does and doesn't care. He just wants to get paid.

The earlier titles are the best and it's fascinating to read about things long past and to realize how circular culture and politics in America really are. The books are very, very non PC and it's refreshing to read. There are also some very stirring and moving tributes to America and what makes us who we are.

I love these books and trot them out from time to time and reread the entire series. They're fun, fast and great escapist entertainment. I can usually get through one in a couple of days. I highly recommend them.

So now you know my dark secret. I have the culture and taste of a four year old boy being raised by monkeys. Yeah, who didn't see that coming?



MrG's said...

I first got into pulp fiction with the Ashes series, still have most of them and they are fun to read. I also used to read the mercenary series by Axel Kilgore. I usually read history books or technical books but it is fun to read *pulp.

Fred said...

I may have to look into these...

Six said...

I'm with you MrG's. Sometimes you've just gotta shut off the brain and read for pure pleasure.

I think you'd like them Fred. The early ones are best in my opinion. Numbers 1 through about 80 or so. If you want to try them drop me an e-mail and I'll loan you some.