Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cryptos Conundrum

Jonathan Chalmers fell on his head at age four.  The resulting brain injury turned him into a
savant who could read fifty pages per minute in multiple texts and instantly
recognize complicated mathematical patterns. 
In 1918 he is inexplicably rescued, wounded, from the trenches of Verdun
by a group of quasi-spiritual, quasi-extraterrestrial beings who make him whole
and instill his brain with some arcane cosmic knowledge.  This experience apparently also retards the
aging process.  As a result of his
youthful appearance he is able to again enlist in the army at the outbreak of
World War II but he is quickly snatched from basic training and recruited by
the OSS which segues into the CIA after the war.  This coincidentally is around the time of the
incident at Roswell so Chalmers finds himself in charge of the alien bodies
which resemble H.R. Giger’s alien from the movie of the same name rather than
the cute little gray guys with big heads we are used to associating with

The above only describes a fraction of this epic length
adventure into the bizarre life of a charter member of the CIA who behind the
scenes is responsible for the protection of everything and everyone.  It is in a word, weird.  At times it is painful.  There are numerous anachronisms and much
verbal gymnastics.  I would like to see
the editor tarred and feathered for allowing the phrase, “Chalmers knew...” to
be used forty-three times.  Seriously, it
annoyed me so much I counted.  That
ignores all the cases of, “He knew...” and when the point of view shifts to the
aliens—yes, even the aliens get a viewpoint—we are made to suffer with, “The
alien knew...”  The aliens’ names are
corny distortions of English words and part of the alien dialog is first given
in nonsensical characters before it is translated for us.  I read the whole thing and never stopped
asking myself why.

In fairness it has its moments of clever situations and
intriguing hypotheses.  Having said all
this, I probably should give some thought to the fact that the author is a
retired CIA spook who surely knows how to get even.

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