Monday, June 15, 2009

Sea Leopard" by Craig Thomas

Why I read it: The title had Leopard in it, and as my brain was working on "Water Leopard", and "Sea Leopard" is sort of similar, when Ed left it on the floor in the living room, I picked it up. It's a library book.

Bookmark: Chapters Love of Reading Foundation

Tastes like chicken: I guess that Hugh Laurie book I read a couple of years ago was a send-up of this genre, though I didn't really realize it at the time, as I haven't read much of this genre. It's a submarine thriller. I think Hunt for Red October (the only other submarine thriller I've read, even though they're lying everywhere in our house) is a better book.

What I liked: Written in the early 80's, so it didn't know what we (think we) know now about the USSR at the time, and their resources, and stuff.

Plot: British invent a cloaking device and put it in a submarine. They fail to take it out when they send the sub out on manoeuvers, and then the Russians enact a plan to steal the sub (temporarily, until they can steal the technology) and then give it back by normal diplomatic means. They have some pretty cool weapons (the catherine wheel is nice). The sub-plot involves Hyde trying to find the cloaking device's designer, a recluse whose only confidante seems to be his college-aged daughter.

Not so much: I guess the world in the 80s was populated 95% by men? Maybe if Hyde had been a woman...

The main character was a cloaking device for a submarine that had a "cloaking device vs. self" conflict. The self of the conflict being the backup system, and the automatic switchover for it. Seriously. It's the only character that changed.

I had a hard time keeping track of the humans.

Lesson: If I was making a screenplay out of this book, I would consolidate Hyde the Australian and Clark the American into one character and have them not run their late-book adventures simultaneously. Though for all I know, these are recurring characters from one of the author's previous works. (update: I read in the Amazon reviews that this is in fact the first appearance of the recurring Hyde, who I would have cut. Interesting.) The last third of the book (especially when Hyde was out with the girl getting shot at by the Russians) did not entirely work for me.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Okay, it wasn't very good. But it did expand your literary horizons... In a downward direction.