Sunday, October 26, 2008


I picked up the debut novel by Patrick Quinlan, Smoked (276/dead) for my Q book.
This is a page-turner thriller about Smoke Dugan, a bomb-making expert who, a few years back, "retired" from the mafia after one of his explosives was used to cause a plane crash. His retirement consisted of him assassinating a mobster, stealing 2.5 million dollars, moving to a small town in Maine, and changing his name.
All's good, until the mob finds him. (They always find ya.)
The characters in this novel are most definitely the highlight. Even if some of them are rather unbelievable, and the twists that occasionally happened required a bit of suspension of disbelief, the ride is enjoyable enough that that's overlookable. (Overlookable?) The one thing that was interesting was that nobody was safe in this book. Many thrillers that I've read introduce characters - especially quirky ones - and the writer falls in love with them, thus keeping them alive longer than you'd expect. Not so with Smoked. Turns out that mob life really is pretty deadly, and putting your guard down for even a minute can result in a messy end.
Which was cool. It gave the book a more sense of urgency.

I only listened to The Best of ? and the Mysterians: Cameo Parkway 1966-1967 once, but I guess that's because I just wasn't in the mood for multiple listens of groovy-late-60's rock-pop. It was enjoyable, but not fantastic.

Michael Caine rocks my socks off. I don't think I've ever seen a bad performance from him, and his turn in The Quiet American is no different. The movie itself is good, not great, but Michael Caine totally steals the show. Not much else to say about that.

1 comment:

CosmicAvatar said...

I liked The Quiet American, although it's one of those films I probably wouldn't watch again. I thought Brendan Fraser was very good in it; he's a pretty talented actor, although he doesn't often get a chance to really show that off with most of his film choices.