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Book 35 of 80

June 10, 2010

So…we were at Powell’s (you know, I sure do name drop this store an awful lot in this blog; I feel like they should at least help swing The Daily Dose in my direction) and I had this book that’s set in Madagascar on my list. I’m not even sure how I found out about it or why I picked it. But Matt was doing his normal routine — where I give him a book name, author, and room location at Powell’s and he brings me the book like a puppy returning a slobbery ball to its owner.

Matt brought me this book, placed it in my hands, and said, “Really? This book?”

Yeah. Sure. Why not? The book is called The Sapphire Sea by John B. Robinson — it’s a mass-produced-paperback-adventure-novel — where the blurbs on the back promise that it is: “Gripping” and “Action-Packed”. If I like this book, the publishers recommend I check out Michael Chrichton’s Congo or James Rollins’ Ice Hunt or Gregg Hurwitz’s The Kill Clause. I’m promised blood and adventure; the cover boasts a prop-plane flying over luscious jungles.

On the way home from the bookstore, I happened to flip open to the last page and read a page and a half of dialogue between what I assumed was the main character and some Dutch blonde at a hotel bar. There is a pick-up line involving a reference to them being in the “Cape of Good Hope”.

I don’t remember the specifics, but I think it went like this**:

Boy: Let’s have sex. Every man who has been involved in life-threatening situations for weeks — shot at, bombed, dropped from airplanes, punched, tortured — clearly has enough energy to have a meaningless tryst with someone who is at hot as you are…

Girl: You adventurers are so silly.

Boy: Come on…a treasure hunter has needs!

Girl: Well, it is the Cape of Good Hope. So…

Well, if that isn’t a knee-slapper! (Eye-roll <— in case you missed the sarcasm.)

**So, I feel compelled to add that “something like this” is code for: “Not really like this at all.” Just to be clear. Well, not really “not like this at all” more like “kinda like this”.

I’m aware that mocking a book like this is like shooting fish in a barrel. This book serves a specific purpose — it’s action on every page, sultry one-dimensional women who appear in the story long enough for a steamy sex scene before turning on our hero, it’s macho and it’s written with Blockbuster Movie in mind at all times. You know what you’re getting. So, let’s make this clear: I know what I’m getting here. And I wanted it — chose it — picked it up and said, “Sure. Let’s ditch the heartache and classic literature and find something I can read in one day.”

Which (the reading in one day part) is pretty likely. So, no matter what I think of this book, I’ll be grateful for the quick read.

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