Monday, May 3, 2010
'Six Graves to Munich' by Mario Cleri (Puzo)
Never heard about this book. Ever. First published in 1967; five years before I drew my first breath. Forty-four years later, the words have not lost their effect. 2,294 weeks later the impotent helplessness can still be felt. 16,060 days later and the need for revenge, still unsated. 385,440 hours later and the torturous hauntings of the Munich Palace of Justice are still causing nightmares.
Michael Rogan has been raked through hell and has lived to tell about it. Unfortunately, just because you make it through hell doesn’t mean that is a good thing. Michael has scars and not all of them are on the outside of his body. We also learn, in raw-nerve clarity, that time does not heal all wounds. Michael has a number of special gifts and chooses to use these gifts to help the United States win the war. His work is extraordinary but in his carelessness he does get caught. And in a page right out the ‘Terrorist Book for Cowards’, the Germans not only torture him… but his wife as well. Wait… his pregnant wife. Excruciating pain doesn’t even begin to describe what Michael’s despair as he heard his wife being tortured in the next room…
Adding that mind-numbing horror to the aberrant violence already visited on him is the perfect fuel to his fire. He goes on a revenge killing spree with the bloody precision of an assassin. What I truly liked about this story was how undeterred Michael was. Sometimes violence IS the answer and sometimes you must repay blood with blood. Mario Puzo tells a story of violence with severity, fury, and force. And as I said earlier, all of Michael’s pain isn’t on the surface; the same can be said for this story. Oh the perpetrators leave their share of blood, but the one question I have for Michael is, “what kind of pain must you be in to mete out THAT kind of punishment”?
Despite Mario’s celebrated bibliography, this is the only book I’ve read by him. But what a one it was.
ISBN ~ 9780451230591