Wednesday, January 5, 2011
'Gideon's War' by Howard Gordon
I know I’m probably the only other person in this world other than that Tibetan monk living in Africa to never have seen ‘24’, but I have heard of the show. So when I saw that a producer (executive no doubt) wrote a book… heck, why not check it out? Everyone else seems to be writing a freaking book. Actors, musicians, midgets (oops… little people), athletes, homeless folk, orange-skinned skanks from New Jersey, and prenatal babies. If those Darwin-reject yahoos that crashed the White House dinner can get a book (and TV) deal how hard can it be, REALLY!? Howard Gordon is exec. Producer for one of the baddest shows ON the tube, so what did he have to do? Put on his socks, grab his tall chai latte and say “I feel like writing a book today”? I doubt it but it’s a likely enough story and it IS Hollywood right?
My nonchalant tongue-in-cheek attitude was quickly put in check as I started reading. Cutting through all my BS, I was completely taken with this book. This is an ecstasy pill of adrenaline for us thriller readers. The main man, Gideon, couldn’t be more flawed and was actually getting on my damn nerves. A top negotiator on the world stage, Gideon is accustomed to using his words to get his meaning across. Usually he’s very successful, and because of this the President has him on his team. Unfortunately irony’s favorite bed mate is usually chaos, and their love child sprouts into Gideon’s life, placenta and all, to bring him some serious hurt.
Gideon’s brother is been accused of being a ruthless and severely bloodthirsty terrorist who is slaughtering his way across the Middle East. Gideon has some well placed misgivings but the amount of evidence leaves no room for doubt. His job: track him down and talk. If that fails? Well… Able, meet Cain. Be prepared for a journey as Gideon tracks down the only family he has left. We are taken us on a virtual peyote sit-n-spin of geographic locations, multicultural flavor, and “clinch it up” action. Blood, fighting, technology, villains to loathe, and some slight sexual tension is just some of what puts ‘Gideon’s War’ on my list (already) of ‘Jason’s badass novels of 2011’. (Yes I know it’s only January 5th, but just go with me here).
I mentioned earlier that Gideon was getting on my nerves. Dammit, that’s because he was! This fool was being chased, shot at, set-up, handcuffed, damn near blown up and he was trying to stick by his “I don’t use guns anymore” mantra. Lord help this fool! I’m not going to give away the story, but how long do you think he can keep up that ever so sweet motto while nine inch bullets are cutting him new sideburns? Whatever magic Gordon used for ‘24’ translates nicely in ‘Gideon’s War’. Everything about this book was just right. The tempo, the violence, the betrayal, and (of course) the male bravado with that fresh football locker room smell. Because this is a thriller and the main character is a guy who gets out of impossible situations, you’ll hear comparisons to past books/characters/movies. Ignore them all. This one totally stands on its own.