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The Straw Men: 12/30/06

The Straw Men

I got a copy of The Straw Men by Michael Marshall (Smith) back in 2004. It was a battered copy that came with a group of books found in the middle of the street outside of an apartment building. The apartment manager gave them to me not knowing what else to do with them but not having the heart to throw away a truckload of abused but readable books.

The Straw Men was a book that I've been wanting to read since I got it. The blurb at the back of the book sounded interesting and a little like the X-Files. Back in 2004 I was still buried under rings, rays and relays and just couldn't justify further delaying things by reading a book not committed to another BookCrosser. Now that I'm basically caught up (except for again having too many relays promised to other members) I have been able to read books completely for fun along with the ones that are earmarked for a specific release.

The book wasn't quite what I had hoped it would be. The mystery never quite got going. Although there are moments of extreme violence the story seems too withdrawn to actually be engaging. Then there is the problem of the odd English dialect. I don't know if I should blame the author (who is British) or the publisher (an American branch of Penguin books) for the mangled American English. Nonetheless the story is often times interrupted by the strangest turns of phrases that are somewhere between American and British English that make the horror quite laughable.

Here's my BookCrossing review:

This book promised to be scary but it never was. I never learned what fear is even though the blurb said I would. Bah. It was interesting and intriguing but never scary. It was nothing more than an over-written who done it with an ensemble cast and enough modern day references to quickly date the book.

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