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ginmar

ginmar

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Catharine Arnold
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Naomi Novik

Nelson Demille, The Boner's Game

The Lion's Game - Nelson DeMille

  Yeah,  I know,  shut up.  The premise for this book sounded interesting,  with many commenters claiming the plot bore a startling resemblance to the events of September 11, 2001.  Having clawed my way approximately two thirds of the way through the book,  I have to say:  "WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?"

 

The plot is that an Islamic terrorist is searching down and killing pilots who bombed Moammar Quaddaffi's Tripoli compound in 1986.  That's it.  The guy takes out a whole plane if people first,  after which he kills his on board accomplice and takes off.  He then tracks down the pilots on US soil one by one. 

 

John What's-His-Face AND his boner are now working for the feds.  His boner is practically it's own character.  We get updates from the goddamned thing far too frequently.  Alas,  if it weren't for them,  the book would need resuscitation.  The center section consists of John,  his boner updates,  and endless pages of gray hallways,  mind-numbingly-detailed minutiae like getting into cabs and cars and checking emails and.....briefings.  Page after page after chapters of briefing.  There's no information here that couldn't be found by a reader if they had a yen to know more.  These chapters of literary anesthetic are interspersed with chapters of the terrorist killing his victims.....and HIS boner offers updates,  too!  

 

Then there's the "romance",  which consists of John lusting after a woman,  harassing all the women around him with grade school level humor, and then a few cringeworthy "love" scenes,  which consist of euphemisms for "erecition" and an icky look inside the character's eternally-pubescent brain. I hear there's worse to come,  because this woman he allegedly falls for is not the same woman from the first book. 

 

Demille used to write a good,  if limited,  thriller.  But this book is like cold oatmeal. With bobers.  You trudge through the glow but...  nothing much happens. The people are all bland or crude,  and none of them is more puerile than the protagonist.  

 

I don't think I'll be reading another book by this author.  There's nothing here for women:  the few women are stick figures with tits because that's how John sees them. The writing is tedious.  What passes for "wit" is juvenile.  The story contains no suspense.

 

I just want it to be over.