Is It Possible That I’m Retarded?

August 12, 2007

As part of the liberal elite, a good portion of my life is spent openly sneering at the things other people enjoy, like NASCAR or Larry The Cable Guy.  But upon reflection, it’s not like I spend my nights reading Dickens & watching Masterpiece Theater.  In fact, as I went to Amazon.com and read the following synopsis for the upcoming Bob Lee Swagger novel, a book I am actually salivating at the prospect of reading, I’m not sure I have much intellectual high ground from which to snark at others.  I wish I could pretend to only ironically enjoy the Swagger novels, but the truth is I just loves them so.  Even if they do get made into corpse-rapingly awful movies.

In The 47th Samurai, Bob Lee Swagger, the gritty hero of Stephen Hunter’s bestselling novels Point of Impact and Time to Hunt, returns in Hunter’s most intense and exotic thriller to date.Bob Lee Swagger and Philip Yano are bound together by a single moment at Iwo Jima, 1945, when their fathers, two brave fighters on opposite sides, met in the bloody and chaotic battle for the island. Only Earl Swagger survived.

More than sixty years later, Yano comes to America to honor the legacy of his heroic father by recovering the sword he used in the battle. His search has led him to Crazy Horse, Idaho, where Bob Lee, ex-marine and Vietnam veteran, has settled into a restless retirement and immediately pledges himself to Yano’s quest.

Bob Lee finds the sword and delivers it to Yano in Tokyo. On inspection, they discover that it is not a standard WWII blade, but a legendary shin-shinto katana, an artifact of the nation. It is priceless but worth killing for. Suddenly Bob is at the center of a series of terrible crimes he barely understands but vows to avenge. And to do so, he throws himself into the world of the samurai, Tokyo’s dark, criminal yakuza underworld, and the unwritten rules of Japanese culture.

Swagger’s allies, hard-as-nails, American-born Susan Okada and the brave, cocaine-dealing tabloid journalist Nick Yamamoto, help him move through this strange, glittering, and ominous world from the shady bosses of the seamy Kabukicho district to officials in the highest echelons of the Japanese government, but in the end, he is on his own and will succeed only if he can learn that to survive samurai, you must become samurai.

As the plot races and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that a ruthless conspiracy is in place, and the only thing that can be taken for granted is that money, power, and sex can drive men of all nationalities to gruesome extremes. If Swagger hopes to stop them, he must be willing not only to die but also to kill.

Man.  Someday I can only hope to be in at the center of a series of terrible crimes I barely understand but vow to avenge.



  1. If you’re retarded, I’m right behind you. Bobby Lee Swagger goodness.

    BTW, I was playing that stupid game you posted about the other day (high score 21), and my girlfriend asked what I was playing. I gave her the link and now she fucking hates you too.

  2. Crap…now I’m going to have to read the books. I know that you despised the movie, Shooter, but I actually quite enjoyed it. Maybe it helps that I hadn’t read the books.

    I’m a college educated, former member of Mensa, yet I delight in the crap writing of Douglass Prescott, movies like Hudson Hawk, and television like Big Brother and Dr. 90210.

  3. Mensa retracted your membership? Did they find out about the Hudson Hawk thing?

  4. I was ousted because they already had met their quota of fat, bald guys who are into computers and science fiction.

    PS Fuck you and your fucking links to games. Why didn’t I pay attention to your other readers? Thank god the firewall at work blocks Flash apps, otherwise I’d be shooting bubbles right now.

  5. I have to agree with Chris, you bastard…I don’t have time to be addicted to this friggin game…it’s fucking Monkey Ball all over again.

    Bastard. I will beat you.

  6. Hope you enjoy the book.

  7. This is the 14th greatest day of my life.

  8. Guess you’re caught red-handed! No more liberal elite sneeriness for you!

    Hubby tried to play that game recently, too. He’s been in the hospital, and yesterday they had a “Dog, the Bounty Hunter” marathon. Hubby was thrilled. But then the pretty little nurse walked in, and Hubby says to me “OK, enough of that now. Please turn it back to PBS.” The little shit.

    How nice your favorite writer commented. Aren’t you the Big Man now!

  9. I’m pretty sure the liberal elite sneeriness is bonded at the molecular level with my blood platelets. But I AM delighted that Stephen Hunter commented here, that was awesome.

    By the way, hope your husband gets out of the hospital soon, Cam.

  10. Was I the only fooled that that wasn’t really Stephen Hunter? Why couldn’t it be? Maybe he has Google Alerts set up anytime someone blogs about him or one of his books.

    – We love you SH, please name a Character after me in your next book. – Jake Killerpenis

  11. That is NOT, in fact, JK’s real name.

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