Monday, January 18, 2010

I, Sniper


Bob the Nailer is back ...

If you are a fan of Stephen Hunter's books, and I certainly am, that -- to repeat myself -- is all you need to know.

If you aren't, you should be. Run out and buy them all, right now.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this gonna set me back hour-wise like those addictive Hap and Leonard novels? Last time I took your reading advice it set me back a couple weeks. Well worth it though.

AF1 said...

Do the conservative politics get in the way of enjoying the story at all?

James said...

And let's not forget one of his first novels "The Day before Midnight" where he deserves the brass cojones award for actually naming the protagonist (and I am not making this up) "Dick Puller". He also wrote "The Master Sniper" set in WWII which was excellent.

steve-vh said...

Sweet, another one!!

Anonymous said...

"Do the conservative politics get in the way of enjoying the story at all?"

If you have to ask then my guess would be "Yes" in your case.

God forbid you find yourself challenged with alternative points of view.

It's like people who complain about '24'; uhm guys it's a TV show...

Steve Perry said...

Hunter's disguises for his roman-a-clefs are thin to the point of transparent.

Consider a trio from this book:

Joan Flanders, an older, but still beautiful actress, who had a famous actor father and a brother in the biz. Made a second fortune doing exercise videos, was loved and hated by the left and right for going to Vietnam, where she was filmed sitting on an anti-aircraft gun. Second husband was an anti-war activist.

Her third husband (divorced) was a multimillionaire media mogul, Tom ("T.T. Constable) who is the biggest private landowner in the U.S.

And there's a highly-decorated ex-sniper from Vietnam, Carl Hitchcock, (whose name is only three letters off that of Carlos Hathcock, whose book is somewhere in a box in my garage.)

Ring any bells?

Lot of shooters are conservative, and they are served here, but there is also a terrific letter to a New York Times writer, taking him to task for an error, that eloquently points out that everybody who likes to crank up boomware is not a one-tooth hillbilly from Butt Crack, Arkansas.

And the mistake the reporter made? Oh, it's a plot-device of great and amusing beauty.

I'm a Second Amendment fan -- but sometimes liberal to the point of radical. I don't read Hunter for politics, but for the ride, and this one is an E-ticket ...

Tony said...

Agreed. I thoroughly enjoyed it, enough to want to go back and read all the prior Bob Lee novels.

And I didn't notice any conservative politics (maybe the way a fish doesn't notice water...)

AF1 said...

"God forbid you find yourself challenged with alternative points of view."

As a guy who enjoys guns and action stories it just bores me to have to wade through crappy conservative rants to get to the good stuff.

But as long as it's an entertaining tale I can usually overlook that junk.

Shady_Grady said...

I enjoy Stephen Hunter's Bob Lee Swagger and Earl Swagger books. Perhaps I am just inured to it but I really don't remember a whole lot of conservative moralizing in most of his books. I love the ending to "Hot Springs" at the hospital and that doesn't seem too doctrinaire conservative. Are there examples that I missed?

Steve Perry said...

I don't think Hunter beats the drum too loudly. Now and then you get an echo of the soapbox being dragged up, but we all do that,a and it's not enough to distract too much from the story.

Gun culture is by and large conservative, and if you shoot and are around other shooters, you've heard it all before, you can agree or not.

Doesn't bother me.