13 May 2015

Review: THE LAUGHING MONSTERS, Denis Johnson

  • review copy provided by Random House UK, through NetGalley
  • ISBN 9781473520363
  • published in 2014.
Synopsis (NetGalley)

In Sierra Leone, suspicion has become the law. A contemporary spy thriller from the great American writer Denis Johnson, author of Train Dreams and Tree of Smoke
"In this land of chaos and despair, all I can do is wish for magic armour and the power to disappear."

Freetown, Sierra Leone. A city of heat and dirt, of guns and militia. Alone in its crowded streets, Captain Roland Nair has been given a single assignment. He must find Michael Adriko - maverick, warrior, and the man who has saved Nair's life three times and risked it many more.

The two men have schemed, fought and profited together in the most hostile regions of the world. But on this new level - espionage, state secrets, treason - their loyalties will be tested to the limit.

This is a brutal journey through a land abandoned by the future - a journey that will lead them to meet themselves not in a new light, but in a new darkness.

My Take

Perhaps this book was just too far out of my comfort zone, but I have to admit that I didn't finish it. According to my Kindle I got to 90%, but that's when I decided I couldn't go any further. I no longer knew what was going on. In fact, it was worse than that. I no longer cared.

I know others who would not bother to write about a DNF, but for a while there, I thought it had some good things going for it. I thought I knew what the central characters were trying to do, although I must admit to some confusing moments. I thought the description of the squalid state of things in Sierra Leone and the Congo rang true, but then I simply didn't recognise the protagonists as the book drew to the end.

I'm sorry.

My rating: 2.0

1 comment:

R.T. said...

You offer a great review and a great service here by telling readers about the good, bad, and ugly qualities of a book. Denis Johnson has a reputation for being a great writer. However, I think I will take a pass on this one. Thanks!


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