Friday, March 4, 2016

Review: The God's Eye View . . . Not as Good as the "Rain View"

I've read quite a few books by Barry Eisler (see here), most of them as a part of the John Rain series. I thought they were fun because they were outside the norm. First, it used a first person point of view for the protagonist. Secondly, John Rain was a bit of an anti-hero; former CIA assassin now a freelancer, half western, half oriental. Lastly, all of the books were filled with what I thought were some wonderfully poetic writing. Good to find that Barry Eisler's non- John Rain books are as good. Not better, but as good.

The God's Eye View (here) is a pretty fun book. The cast of characters are all quite diverse and fun to know more about. One of the main characters, Marvin Manus, is like John Rain in that he is a unique assassin, in this case he's deaf. The main female character too is an interesting character. I think he spends a bit too much time going into the back ground and depth of character of the villain who I found to be the least engaging of the bunch, but still, it was all worthwhile.

What I didn't find? Those poetic lines that I like so much. In Hard Rain (here) Eisler wrote:

I moved deeper into the comforting gloom, along a stone walkway covered in cherry blossoms that lay like tenebrous snow in the glow of lamplights to either side. Just days earlier, these same blossoms had been celebrated by living Tokyoites, who came here in their drunken thousands to see reflected in the blossom's brief and vital beauty the inherent pathos of their own lives. But now the blossoms were fallen, the revelers departed, even the garbage disgorged by their parties efficiently removed and discarded, and the area was once again given over only to the dead.

The prose in The God's Eye View as a tad more pedantic and less flowery. I've come to expect a bit more from Eisler. In the past he has reminded me of James Dickey (Deliverance) and Pat Conroy (The Lords of Discipline) who I felt also have more poetic quality to their writing. The God's Eye View offered none of that.

All in all, it was a good thriller. Fun to read and worth the short time it takes to consume. Still, I'm looking forward to getting back to the John Rain series.