Rand, Thor, and NCIS*

* Woo! How the samhill is he gonna tie those three together?

Wellp …
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]


  1. Juatin Credible
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:21 am |

    Now, see – you’d have known about Brad Thor a long time ago if you utilized Twitter. He’s been in my timeline for a long time.

    Perrette is on Twitter, too. She’s a hard lefty.

  2. Scott
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    I’ve been a huge Brad Thor fan since I caught up on my Vince Flynn reads. I have 3 that I must read their latest; Brad Thor, Vince Flynn and Ted Bell. I have only read the Alex Hawk series from Bell, though.

    FYI, Brad Thor is on teh twitters: https://twitter.com/BradThor He always has excellent commentary, and if I’m not mistaken he fills in on WLS 890 (Chicago) some times.

  3. rustbucket
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

    I just KNEW that youse guys read THOR, BELL, FLYNN, et al.
    Makes me proud to be a lurking Porcher.

  4. mojo
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

    He doesn’t have a half-brother named Loki, by any chance?…

  5. apotheosis
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm |

    ^ Puny God.

  6. rustbucket
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

    ^^^ Apo, I laughed out loud!!

  7. Melissa In Texas
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    Doug… all I had to do was see the bangs…. hahahahahaa!
    Thor is one of my favorites

  8. DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!)
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

    The new Vince Flynn book is here!
    The new Vince Flynn book is here!
    (What? #13 “The Last Man” Pre-ordered it and downloaded it five minutes ago.)

    I updated the post to include Vince Flynn.
    Yeah, I know. [slaps self, again]

    As for Pauley, yeah, a lefty with too many tattoos;
    but I can’t turn away.
    Needs to wear glasses more, though (right, Melissa?).

  9. geezerette
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm |

    Did the library today for the camp in the woods— I’ll have to check on the Vince Flynn book next week– In looking for some old books I’ve read b/4 or didn’t I found Whistle by James Jones– it’s the third book of his war trilogy– I’ve read the other two so– can’t wait to get to camp.

  10. Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm |

    Have just stared reading Thor “Lions of Lucerne”. Think I may have found someone to replace WEB Griffin once he shuffles off this mortal coil. (And yes, I have read all of Griffin’s books.)

    NCIS is still fun to watch, but not quite up to the caliber of a few years back. I am willing to bet it will probably hang it up after next years shows. (YMMV) If you want to watch something a little quirky, and fun, with more than a bit of geek tossed in, give Warehouse 13 (SyFy channel) a shot. If you have netflix they have the first year or two up, if not I think it is on DVD.

  11. Leonard Jones
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm |

    It’s nice to see you discovered NCIS. It is my favorite running
    TV series. Rent the disk with episode 7, season 2. It features
    Charles Durning as an elderly veteran carrying around a sack
    of guilt since Iwo Jima.

    A little Abby trivia: Pauley Perrette was picked for the role
    while she was working on her masters in criminal science.

    Brains as well as unconventional beauty!

  12. DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!)
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm |

    I watched a few episodes of Warehouse 13 when it first came out, but it got all fantasyish. Not my cuppa.

  13. Bil
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm |

    You should look at Nelson DeMille. He writes some good guy stuff.

  14. Melissa In Texas
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm |

    ^love some Nelson DeMille!^

  15. Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm |

    The producer, Donald Bellisario (sp?), of NCIS did his time in the Corps. He makes sure that the military and it’s culture are respected. He also makes sure that all uniform details are correct.

  16. DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!)
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |

    You seem to read a lot of high-testosterone stuff.
    You’re my ideal movie date.
    Here, try some of my popcorn.

    Yeah, I’ve never seen an epaulet hangin’ out over a collar.
    [insert tirade on one of the most irritating movie/TV errors, waves around gig log]

  17. mojo
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

    And Ziva is a hottie.

    Just sayin’ – she could definitely kick my ass.

    Real name Fernandez, I believe. “Cote de Pablo” means “knot of Paul”, so I assume it’s some Chilean religious affectation.

  18. ZZMike
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |

    I’ve read a bit of Lee Child, the Reacher series. Now I find out that Hollywood is going to make a movie with Tom Cruise.

    TC is not Reacher (who is described at least once, and it doesn’t fit TC).

    This will be a movie to miss.