* Woo! How the samhill is he gonna tie those three together?
there I was [lights pipe] some months ago, searchin’ through audible.com for a new audiobook series with guy stuff to listen to. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a biiig fan of audiobooks, bought or free. They’re great for bein’ by oneself or for tryin‘ to be by oneself, especially if your ol’ eyes get tired readin’ all ‘em books you’ve collected all your life and meant to get around to readin’ one’a these days.
A•ny•wayyy, I’d read or listened to a lot of the std-issue guy adventure fiction, and I’d just finished the latest of Mark Greaney’s great Gray Man series and Vince Flynn’s terrific Mitch Rapp series** and was well into another go-round of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series. O’Brian is wonderful, but I’d already read everything he wrote, twice; and it was full of humor. I wasn’t in the mood for humor; and I didn’t want to re-read/hear Clancy (even his branded Op-Center series), Ludlum, et al, soooo I flipped through the list of available adventure/thriller offerings without a clue as to what was crap and what was utter crap and what wasn’t. *sigh*
Okay, I narrowed it down to three authors I hadn’t read who had a decent-length series available. I reckoned that a long series meant that some publisher was actually selling that author’s output, so … [scan, scan, scan] Let’s see, one guy’s stories were a Clancy knock-off, and another used the flawed-America motif (*ugh*). Okay, let’s try this third guy, what’s his name? Uhm, Brad Thor (now, that name just drips testosterone, dunnit?). Never heard of ‘im. Ah, what the heck [dops coins in slot]. Let’s start with “State of the Union,” his third book (the first two weren’t available on audiobook, yet). [listen, listen] Hey, that was pretty doggone good! Yeah, I choose Brad Thor. [more coins in slot, more listening] Dayum! [pulls out earbuds, taps pipe] Now, that is what I want in my guy-fiction: varying pace, understandable plot line, superb detail, realistic hero, minimal artifice, and a good explanation of the ethno-political issues at hand; you know … something that could really happen.
I had found my new NCIS. (Huh?)
Okay, a few months ago, I was bored and started watching an NCIS episode. Why NCIS, you ask? Pauley Perette (Melissa will understand). I saw a commercial she did, and I was fascinated by the look and the voice. I discovered that she was a regular on NCIS. Whehehehellll, when one of the weekly NCIS marathons was running on the USA Network, I peeked in. Yeah, Pauley was there and quirky/cute as one could hope, but I also discovered that the series is a true gem. It … it respects the military and right and good and justice and my America. On TV? (Yeah, I knowww !) Plus there’s guns and science and boat-building! Now NCIS, both new and re-runs, is DVRed; and it’s almost always playing in the background during my morning breakfast/coffee/pipe/KisP/web-surfing routine.
(What? Oh, right. Ayn Rand.) [re-packs pipe]
Back to Brad Thor. (Be patient. Trust me, I’ll get to Rand.) I’m currently listening to #10, “Deep Black” in his Scot Harvath series. As I mentioned, he does a lot of explaining of the ethno-political issue he’s adventurizing about. This time, he plays an interesting dinner conversation between a reporterette (I see Megan Kelly with bazooms) and a bad guy (clearly George Soros). In their second interchange, it’s almost Randian; collectivism vs free-market capitalism. Guess which side Brad Thor is on? No, go ahead, guess. Yeah, that’s right. It kind’a reminded me a bit of Francisco D’Anconia’s “money” speech in Atlas Shrugged.
This guy is definitely worth a read/listen, not only for the adventure stories, themselves, but because they are inspirational in a fundamental sense. I think he’s a KisPer. A couple of his earlier novels dipped their toes into the non-PC pool, but by the time we get to #10, “Deep Black,” it’s full-immersion. No, do not read it first. If you don’t read ‘em all, go back at least as far as #7 “The Last Patriot” or #8 “The Apostle” or earlier. The series is a continuing story, so jumping in late will cause some disorientation and loss of flavor and delight. It’s a multi-course meal, and each course deserves to be savored, in turn. No heaving bosoms, just brain juice, testosterone, and adrenalin. And a female SF squad.
(What? Well, yeah, okay. Chic shooz are mentioned, but only wrt beautiful women.)
See? Rand, Thor, NCIS.
** Updated: forgot Vince Flynn [slaps self]