Like the Bomb Cyclone extending Christmas break for students across the American South, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.
Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish theme, and anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!
This week I’m reading Dark Full of Enemies by Jordan Poss.
The Goodreads Blurb:
Marine captain Joe McKay can’t sleep. Already a veteran of the brutal war against Japan, McKay now works in secret for the special operations of the OSS in Europe. When his superiors suddenly present him with a new mission — scout and sabotage a hydroelectric dam in the winter-long darkness of Norway, north of the Arctic Circle – he contacts an old friend, now in US Army, for help.
The mission bothers McKay — the poor intelligence, the rushed preparation, the hodgepodge team assembled at last minute, and the long, chill, and sleepless night lying over the target. And after the difficult trip to Norway, he finds himself confronted with yet another obstacle — Josef Petersen, his silent standoffish contact with the Norwegian resistance.
Hundreds of miles deep in enemy territory, surrounded by dangers, and unsure of his friends, McKay steels himself to do his duty. But can he succeed? And can he escape with his team and when the job is done?
The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 83:
The Viking to lay across the widening waves, disappearing into the dark. He saw two officers on the conning tower and deckhands scaling the metal rings to disappear below. He waved. Neither officer waved back, and the submarine was gone. Peterson looked at him a long time. At last, he extended his hand. "Welcome to Norway.”
Four Stars to Bunk by Kevin Young
In Bunk, Kevin Young gives us a primer of the (mostly American) hoax. Young goes beyond a simple retelling of famous (and infamous) conmen and conwomen and seeks to root out and identify the motives of the hoaxers and the reasons the public believes their lies.
This book asks deep, weighty questions of our individual and collective conscience. Unfortunately, Young seems to take the easy route, usually ascribing one of two motives to the charlatans he describes: racism or greed (and, more often than not, both). He seems to ignore the possibility that some are just born bent, with a natural propensity to lie and cheat and deceive even when there is no reason to do so. Nevertheless, I applaud Young for asking the questions, even as I disagree with his answers.
This book was, for me, a hard read, both in content and in style. However, around page 200 (out of 450 or so pages) I caught on and the pace picked up.
The pace was ruined towards the end of the book, wherein Young discusses Rachel Dolezal. This chapter reads more like a blog post or serialized Twitter feed, and one gets the feeling that Young, at this point, was tired of his own subject. Though he returns to his usual tone in the following chapter, this aberration causes the rest of the book to appear out of place as well. It is also in this chapter that Young shows at least one sign of weakness. Throughout the book he has asked tough questions and given good answers (just because I disagree with them doesn’t mean Young doesn’t make good points!) but now, after almost 400 pages of talking about liars and cheaters and thieves and rapists and murderers, now Young refuses to name Dylan Roof, perpetrator of the massacre at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, SC. Instead, Young refers to him as [name withheld] and [name redacted]. I don’t understand.
However, I’m willing to overlook these flaws and other small, personal disagreements and give the book 4 stars. His writing style might take some getting used to, but once the reader does, they will be challenged to carefully consider how they digest and disperse news, social media, and general gossip.