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Great Reviews of Dave 2

Posted June 3, 2015 into Books by John Birmingham

With the US/UK publication of RESISTANCE this week, the reviews are starting to come in and two in particular caught my eye. My Bookish Ways followed up an insightful critique of EMERGENCE with an even more astute reading of Dave's character (or lack thereof) in the second installment.

"You already know that Dave isn’t stupid. In fact, he’s far from it, higher education and all. Except… there’s a self-loathing aspect that drives Dave to do stupid things, and once he starts, it’s awful hard for him to quit." (Emphasis added.)

I was really taken by MBW's reading of Dave in that way. If you've finished the whole series/season you'd know just accurate the self-loathing diagnosis is, but youd have to infer it from his behaviour before the revelations in New York.

The second review I really liked was in One Book Two, the work of a couple of women who read in tandem and them toss their reactions to the story back and forth. I've seen this a bit with reviews/recaps of TV shows like Game of Thrones, and of course it was the defining architecture the movie reviews by Siskel & Ebert, and Stratton & Pomeranz - but I haven't come across it in book reviewing before. (Perhaps I should get out less?)

The thing I really appreciated about it was the way the format allows the reviewers to push against each other. It address the main problem I've always had with reviews; they're entirely subjective exercises in pretending to be objective readings of a topic. 1B2's Dave review is that most rare of all things for a writer – useful. I took a lot away from it that I can apply in writing Season 2.

You can read the whole thing here. It's worth the jump just to bookmark the site for future reference.

12 Responses to ‘Great Reviews of Dave 2 ’

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted June 3, 2015
Yes, I thought you especially would like it.

GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted June 3, 2015

JB - With the reviewers describing Professor X Boylan as ... "an interesting character, obviously brilliant, cowardly attorney wordsmith and funny without meaning to be funny" ... is this a great example of the heights of fictional writing you have achieved or does it say much more about your keen skills of observation?

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Surtac asserts...

Posted June 3, 2015
Yes. Read it after seeing your tweet about it and I agree about the format. The to-and-fro aspect really does make it an interesting discussion.

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sibeen puts forth...

Posted June 3, 2015
Professor X Boylan, attorney at law, is an interesting character. He’s obviously brilliant, but he’s also an attorney, which makes him a wordsmith.
Christ, I threw up in my mouth just a little reading that.

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MickH reckons...

Posted June 3, 2015
Actually I can't agree. I think that Dave is extremely stupid, Homer Simpson stupid. In fact I picture homer as Dave when I read. Woo Hoo!

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Rhino reckons...

Posted June 5, 2015
Someone just listed #TheDave on Larry Corriea's FB page as a great read while his fanboys wait for the next MHI book. Should get the signal boosted. Lots of comments agreeing that it is good stuff.

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Ale X is gonna tell you...

Posted June 9, 2015
John, (did not know where to post this) my wife and I have demolished the first three novels (I hope you don't loathe us for only buying one copy of each book and sharing it - it is not like stealing GoT (which we don't do) really, it's not). We thought that your next champion should take down a monster with her Victor lawnmower. She could simply swing it at a monster that pops up on the back lawn at 8am on a Saturday morning and "thock" off goes the head as the blades connect. It would be a completely impractical weapon, and a wee bit interesting as the mower stopped running on two stroke, and started running on monster gore. I will leave it with you. Thank you for the great entertainment. Bring on "Deliverance - where a sliveen warrior jumps out in the backwoods of america and is made to oink like a pig by the locals".

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted June 9, 2015
Ale, I'm glad you liked it. Tell your friends. As for the mower, maybe a ride-on?

Ale X mutters...

Posted June 10, 2015
A ride on could work. Perhaps a rear wheel drive ride-on with a big heavy bastard driving it. A silly junior rancor jumps out in front of him - he and the mower topple backwards, but as it is a rear-wheel drive mower, the champion-to-be drives into said rancor and thock, thock, thock - a champion is born. I can imagine the ride-on purrrrring (idling) just before battle. The champion might be able to pick it up and use if like a head-ge trimmer (ha ha, Dad joke). sorry.

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Ixion28 would have you know...

Posted July 16, 2015
I've enjoyed the Dave books a lot, but will I get smacked in the mouth if I ask what's become of "Stalin's Hammer: Cairo"?

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