A fascinating narrative while trying to understand John Charles Gilkey, a man with no real job and no real address and whose only passion is acquiring rare books by any means necessary.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is an epic which is meant to be read slowly and deliberately, the tale is smart and the story is fun. Even though the book incorporates shoguns and samurais, most of the account is carried by clerks and translators. The epic rescue attempt in a sanctuary surrounded by snow capped mountains is no less exciting than the description of diplomatic rituals and the “arse-licking pilgrimage” one must make before meeting the shogun.
The Kill Artist is a well written spy novel, filled with details in all the right places as well as several characters from Silva’s previous novels and wonderful political popcorn for those of us that care. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
The book touches on many themes, such as the role Jewish writers and artists played in American pop culture (like it or not comics are American mythology). However, escapism is probably the most important theme, whether it is from Nazi occupied Europe or from one of the characters sexual identity or physical weakness.
Mr. Gul is certainly an expert on the subject and breezes through acronyms, even though to his credit he explains who they are / were several times in the narrative – for those who need more information there is a comprehensive synopsis of militants and organizations in the tribal areas of Pakistan.