Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today's Totally Awesome Book Review.

OH JOHN RINGO NO!

Perfect review of the Ghost/Kildar/et al series, and yes, I have all but the latest. They are a lot of fun, but they are among the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. Like eating Peanut Butter Captain Crunch in bed, straight from the box.

(A big H/T to Unix Jedi. Thanks to that link, my sides hurt from laughing before 6AM.)

20 comments:

J.R.Shirley said...

Excellent.

I have not read any of the Ghost series, incidentally...

Since I'm a big fan of Ringo, and he's been very nice to me, that's saying a lot.

Tam said...

I have to admit that on the re-reads, I tended to just skip from shoot-em-up to shoot-em-up.

The whole "Bondage on the Boat" part hits kinda the wrong chord with me, seeing as how I get claustrophobic and feel trapped if my car's in the shop, let alone the thought of being tied up.

Alan said...

I like the series for the pure, concentrated anti-political correctness contained in every book.

Jim Sullivan said...

"Bongade on the Boat". Yeah.

I could only make it through the first two. The BDSM stuff was just too over the top for me. I wish Ringo had just focused on the Varangians...

pdb said...

Don't forget to get the t-shirt!

Mark said...

I liked the series enough to get them in hardback when they came out, and in paperback.

I'm an unabashed Baen military SF sucker.

Kevin said...

I read that review a couple of months ago, shortly after reading the third book in the series.

I laughed my ass off (but it found me again.) The funniest thing is that Ringo himself agrees with the review!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Hradzka's review of the Paladin of Shadows was spot on. I LMAO'd all the way through it.

...Which was my reaction to Ghost, too, when I first read it...or at least the first two-thirds of it. (And, like Hradzka, I thought the part where Mike called up the girls' parents to ask permission to "enslave" them was hilarious.)

Then I got to the part with Mike and the underage hooker in the Balkans brothel...at which point I abruptly quit laughing and threw the book across the room. Scared the crap out of my pet cockatiels, too. "OH JOHN RINGO NO!" indeed...

When I picked up the book again, I flipped to the end, where Mike is sitting on his porch, getting drunk, wondering what the hell is wrong with him. At the time I thought that Mike was actually speaking for the author...which, as it turns out, he was.

Andrew C said...

I hadn't planned on reading this series, since Ringo warned everyone it was way over the top on sex and violence. But, being the book addict that I am, I eventually caved.

The first book was way twisted, but the later books were much more enjoyable reads.

Larry said...

Try John Norman's "Gor" series if you think Ghost was bad...

In much the same way, too.

JHardin said...

The third part of Ghost isn't bad if you skip to the end of the chapter when he starts beating up the hooker.

Apart from that bit, I reread the series regularly, and enjoy it a lot.

unix-jedi said...

You're welcome. :)

Oh, and if you didn't bother with the comments thread...:

http://hradzka.livejournal.com/194753.html?thread=774337#t774337

Tom Kratzman also showed up in the comments to give a thumbs up.
And Ringo plugged the T-shirts on his site. :)

But of all the OH JOHN RINGO NO moments, I have to honestly say when I really said that to myself, was...
[Ghost is parachuting into a target, a yacht *under weigh*. If that makes it any worse.]
He delta tracked in on the anchored yacht then popped his canopy at 1500 feet, banking around to approach from the stern. There were two guards on the rear deck, armed guards, watching the water for boats or swimmers. Well, couldn't have that. . .
He lined up on the open deck then drew a silenced pistol in either hand. The shots were almost simultaneous, but in fact they were in very rapid sequence. Both of the guards dropped without ever noticing the black parachute dropping out of the night sky like some elder go


OH JOHN RINGO NO!

unix-jedi said...

(Whoops. I don't know where I thought the yacht was moving. Duh. Must have confused that with another scene.

Or the two-gun just fried my brain so much I missed the "anchored" part of the description.)

Anonymous said...

Reading the "Ghost" series is kind of like reading the later Laura Hamilton/Amanda Blake books; as one title goes - "Guilty Pleasures".
emdfl

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of Baen's online library and websubscriptions almost from their beginnings. And they introduced me to Ringo. And I'll admit it - 30+ years ago I was reading the Mack Bolan series. So I downloaded the ARC of Ghost. And wrote a thankful email to John telling him he had written a "trashy novel for men". We had guns, dead terrorists and sex. We had a "dark paladin" on the side of good. The conversation between Mike and those girls' mothers back in Steelville, MO was halarious. And I buy each new volume electronically as soon as available on Baen's site.
BTW: If you haven't checked it out: try Baen's Free Library. Especially the Honor Harrington series.
MichaelG

Mark said...

I pissed off Elf Sternberg (and many of his fans) by pointing out that what Ringo wrote in his Ghost series wasn't anything Sternberg wrote 10 years earlier, except that Ringo was a multiple NY Times bestselling author and Sternberg first published most his stuff on Usenet.

Oh well. Go read the James Bond books. Very racy stuff for the era. Then remember that Ghost actually won an award as a Romance novel!

I've read pretty much all of John Ringo's work, as well as Tom Kratman's books. Mr. Kratman's books will make you appreciate the politically correct, balanced & nuanced writing of John Ringo's Ghost series. No detailed S&M/B&D sex scenes in Kratman's books either, so that will give you an idea of what the politics are like. :-)

I read John Ringo's latest, The Last Centurion. A fun read, interesting style, and he grinds a bunch of political axes in that one as well.

tanksoldier said...

I read Ringo, Kratman and Taylor regularly. I buy the ARCs on Webscriptions so I don't have to wait as long for the books.

Yeah, some of the stuff is over the top but I think these three authors are rejecting PC-ness by deliberately pushing the boundaries.

TBeck said...

"Whoreverine"

The guy needa a disclaimer on this post. Or I need a liquid-proofed keyboard.

Yeah, the Balkans rape scene in GHOST made me feel a little ill as well. Ringo does a better job of creating an empathetic dom hero in his THERE WILL BE DRAGONS series. Herzer is all cool, with no Bundy-esque tendencies. Although Joh still manages to make a harem a major plot device later in the series.

And comparing Mack Bolan to the Kildar is just unfair. Mack would NEVER treat April Rose that way!

John does a good job a creating conflicted, sometimes ugly heroes that we want to like but don't necessarily want to share a room with. Like rejuvenated Waffen SS that are the only hope for Germany or a female assassin that looks like a hustler model and made her first kill at the age of eight.

Tom Kratman is like a Coke Zero version of John Ringo. Most of the pleasure without the guilt.

Bob Robertson said...

So this is what Republican fiction is like.

(well, the reviewer does contrast it that way!)

Seriously, being much more a non-aggression axiom type myself, if I were writing it the only difference would be that the former slaves would be freed first, to stay and get kinky, get trained with arms themselves, leave and go hunt evil themselves, or most likely a combination of all of it.

Maybe I'm strange, I just don't get any jollies, not even guilty ones, from coerced sex.

So the "getting permission from Mom" thing is just plain fantastic. I wish I'd thought of it. I think I may hunt down the books just for that, as a redemption for any actual beating/raping that the story otherwise has.

On the review, I was thinking as I read it just how wonderful it would have been to hand in a book report in 9th grade like this. Just to see the teachers jaw hit the floor.

Oh, John Ringo, NO!

Tam said...

"Maybe I'm strange, I just don't get any jollies, not even guilty ones, from coerced sex."

Yeah, that gives me the creeping willies.

I know lots of folks have things like "rape fantasies" and whatnot, and I just don't grok that at all...

(Although, speaking of Republican fiction, that reminds me of a great P.J. O'Rourke line, where he mentions being called a Nazi by lefties and counters with "...but nobody has ever had a sexual fantasy about being ravished by someone dressed as a liberal." ;) )