Friday, October 9, 2015

The Janson Equation, by Douglas Corleone

Apparently the characters in this novel originated with the late Robert Ludlum, so his name gets a large font billing on the cover of this book.

The first chapter of this book was a test: given such poor writing, is it worth going on?  The writing mysteriously got better. Or maybe I became inured to it. The plot movement is fast. It is the standard super hero spy can do anything kind of novel.

Let me justify my condemnation of writing style. The first sentence of this novel ran 93 words. Yes, in one sentence. And it wasn't a great sentence. Here's a sample from page two:
"Lynx fished around the inside pocket of his jacket and plucked out a small key to open the lock on his bicycle, then walked the bike away from the compound before lifting his right leg over the frame and straddling it."
Perhaps I'm too demanding. Why did the reader need to be told that the key was small, that the right leg went over the frame first, that the rider ended up straddling the bike? Still, this was a way better sentence than others (and yes, I'm too lazy to retype the first long line of the novel).

Having just finished the masterfully written "Fifth Gospel," my standards have been set high due to brilliant craftmanship. Maybe that's why reading this novel was so jarring.

So is this worth reading?  If you can get it at a steep discount, it is a good airplane book. You can leave it behind or at a hotel for the next traveler to pick up.

Robert Ludlum's (TM) The Janson Equation (Janson series)

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